Paul Smith (comics)

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For other people of the same name, see Paul Smith (disambiguation).
Paul Smith
Born (1953-09-04) September 4, 1953 (age 62)
Kansas City, Missouri
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker

Paul Smith (born September 4, 1953) is an American comic book artist, known for his work on The Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, American Flagg!, Nexus, GrimJack and his creator-owned book, Leave It to Chance

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but only lived there three days. His father was a U.S. Naval aviator, and the family moved several times during his childhood. As a young comics fan, Smith particularly admired the work of Steve Ditko on The Amazing Spider-Man and Neal Adams on Batman.[citation needed]


X-Men cover by Paul Smith and John Sibal.

Smith had no formal art training aside from some courses in airbrushing. Before becoming a professional comic book artist, Smith worked as an animator. In 1977, he began work on the animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings produced and directed by Ralph Bakshi. He also worked on Bakshi's film American Pop.[citation needed]

He first came to attention at Marvel Comics in the early 1980s, where he filled in on a variety of Marvel titles, including Marvel Fanfare #4, cover dated September 1982, doing the final chapter of an X-Men story, and Doctor Strange #56, cover dated December 1982, pencilling a re-telling of his origin. The following month began his run on The Uncanny X-Men, then the biggest selling US comic. He drew that series from #165 - #175 (with the exception of #171), replacing Dave Cockrum. His cover for issue #173 would prove influential. When editing the 1985 anthology book Heroes for Hope, which was intended to benefit famine relief in Africa, editor Ann Nocenti asked artist Arthur Adams to pattern his cover of that book after Smith's rendition of The Uncanny X-Men #173. This in turn prompted Bob Budiansky to have Adams produce a Wolverine poster with the same type of pose. The image, inked by Terry Austin, became not only a bestselling poster, but an iconic life-size standee for comics shops.[1][2][3]

A few months after leaving The Uncanny X-Men, Smith returned as the regular artist on Doctor Strange. He worked on that series from #65 - #73, drawing seven of those issues. Smith's brief run on X-Men left a large impact, and most of it was later reprinted in the From The Ashes trade paperback. Eventually his entire X-Men run was reprinted in Essential X-Men Vol. 4. He bookended the Marvel Fanfare series, pencilling a short Daredevil story in issue #1, and writing, drawing and lettering a sequel to that Daredevil tale in #60, the final issue of the book. Smith would briefly revisit the X-Men, drawing the X-Men / Alpha Flight limited series as well as a brief stint on the X-Men spin-off X-Factor. Since the mid-1980s Smith has worked as an artist on a range of comics titles, including work for the X-Men stable.

Perhaps his best-known work outside of the X-Men are The Golden Age and the young adults comic Leave It to Chance, both collaborations with writer James Robinson. Smith has also contributed art to a number of First Comics titles including American Flagg!, Nexus, and GrimJack.

Among Smith's most recent work is the Kitty Pryde: Shadow and Flame limited series written by Akira Yoshida.

Selected works[edit]



  1. ^ Cooke, Jon B. (January 2002). "The Art of Arthur Adams". Comic Book Artist (TwoMorrows Publishing) (17). Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ Khoury, George; Nolen-Weathington, Eric (2006). Modern Masters Volume 6: Arthur Adams. TwoMorrows Publishing. ISBN 978-1-893905-54-2. 
  3. ^ Kraft, David Anthony (1987). Comics Interview #46 (1987). Fictioneer Books. pp. 16–27.

Thompson, Kim. "Maidens, Mutants, and Mages: Paul Smith Climbs the Stairway to Stardom . . . Ten Steps at a Time!" Interview with Paul Smith. Amazing Heroes #12 (June 1982).

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dave Cockrum
Uncanny X-Men artist
Succeeded by
John Romita, Jr.