Steve Lieber

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Steve Lieber
Steve Lieber in 2006.jpg
Steve Lieber at the Stumptown Comics Fest 2006
Born (1967-05-19) May 19, 1967 (age 55)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Area(s)Writer, Artist
Notable works
Whiteout: Melt
AwardsEisner Award, 2000
Inkpot Award, 2015[1]

Steve Lieber (born May 19, 1967) is an American comic book illustrator known for his work on books such as Detective Comics and Hawkman, and the critically acclaimed miniseries Whiteout, which was adapted into a 2009 feature film starring Kate Beckinsale. His other works include the Eisner Award-winning sequel Whiteout: Melt, and the thrillers Shooters and Underground. With writer Nat Gertler, he co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel.

Lieber has described his career as being about "telling your own unified stories with finality."[2]

Early life[edit]

Lieber grew up in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh in the state of Pennsylvania.[2] He graduated in 1985 from Allderdice High School, studied at Pennsylvania State University but left there before graduating to finish his artistic education at The Kubert School for cartoonists in New Jersey.[2][3] He studied with Joe Kubert, whom he cites as a significant influence on his career and artistic sensibilities,[4] and graduated in 1990.[5]

Lieber also cites comic artists David Mazzucchelli, Alberto and Enrique Breccia, Milton Caniff, Alex Toth, Howard Chaykin, Alex Raymond, and Jaime Hernandez as major influences. Outside of comics, he cites other painters and illustrators as having influenced his artistic style: Hieronymus Bosch, Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Joseph Clement Coll, Norman Rockwell, Edgar Degas, Edward Hopper, The Ashcan School painters, Andrew Loomis, Robert Fawcett, and Charles Dana Gibson.[dead link][6]


In 1993 Lieber drew Hawkman Annual #1. He subsequently drew 20 issues of the monthly Hawkman series from 1994 to 1995, beginning with issue #5 and ending with issue #27, and at one point, releasing a #0 (which happened between #13 and #14) as a stunt.

Lieber's Hawkman artwork brought him to the attention of Hollywood, where he began doing sketches for the show Batman.[citation needed] He said:

A big company that owns the characters offers a lot of visibility and the ability to play with extremely well-known icons ... Working for a big company, you have to be able to leave the character and ideas behind [after departing the project] in exactly the same place as when you came in.

— Steve Lieber, 2001[2]

In 1998 Lieber illustrated the four-issue miniseries Whiteout with writer Greg Rucka for Oni Press.[7] The critically acclaimed series,[8] which was described as a "blood-in-the-snow serial killer story",[9] was collected into a trade paperback, and adapted into a 2009 feature film starring Kate Beckinsale and Tom Skerritt.[3][8]

Lieber attributes his success to persistence, and described himself coming out of school as "averagely skilled", but that he "stayed working in comics longer than some of my contemporaries because I didn't want to do anything else."[2] In addition, Lieber exchanged information and tips from comics creators such as Dwayne McDuffie.[10] Lieber's graphic novel Underground, a story about a park ranger trapped in a cavern, was described as a "spelunking thriller" by Time magazine.[11]

Lieber has been a guest at comic book conventions such as the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con International.[12]

In February 2008, Lieber drew a series of illustrations in which characters from the TV show The Wire were rendered in the style of the TV show The Simpsons,[13] one of which was named by Alan Sepinwall of The Star-Ledger and as the "coolest link of the day".[14]

Beginning in September 2009 Lieber illustrated the five-issue miniseries Underground with writer Jeff Parker for Image Comics. The series, about a spelunking park ranger trapped in a cave,[11] was later collected into trade paperback from in early May 2010.[15]

In April 2012 DC/Vertigo published writers Brandon Jerwa and Eric Stephen Trautmann's military thriller graphic novel, Shooters, which was illustrated by Lieber.[16][17]

In July 2013 Lieber began drawing Superior Foes of Spider-Man for Marvel Comics.[18] The series follows a team of hapless, lesser-known villains from the Spider-Man universe. Lieber has received extensive praise for his work on the series, including a nod on Comics Alliance's "Best of 2013" list. Comics Alliance reviewer Dylan Todd says "Lieber’s at the top of his game here, with a mixture of traditional cape comics styling and a more humane point-of-view that reminds you that these are really just people in suits doing dumb, dangerous things and that they can get hurt at any moment."[19]

Personal life[edit]

Lieber and his wife, novelist Sara Ryan, live in Portland, Oregon,[3] where he is a member of Helioscope Studio.


As writer and illustrator[edit]

As illustrator[edit]

  • Conan the Usurper #1-3 (of 3) (writer: Chuck Dixon; additional art: Klaus Janson), Marvel Comics, 1997
  • Grendel Tales: The Devil's Apprentice #1-3 (of 3) (writer: Jeffrey Lang) (Dark Horse Comics), 1997
  • Whiteout (writer: Greg Rucka), 1999
  • "The Mermaid's Necklace" (adapted from the story by Ruth Plumly Thompson; adaptation, Eric Shanower) p. 154-159 in Oz-Story, no. 6, Hungry Tiger Press, Sept. 2000
  • Whiteout: Melt (writer: Greg Rucka), 2000
  • Detective Comics #767 "Timeless" (writer: Greg Rucka), DC Comics, 2002
  • Me and Edith Head (writer: Sara Ryan) in Cricket v.4 no. 1 (Carus Publishing), 2002
  • Family Reunion (writer: Sean Stewart), 2004
  • On the Road to Perdition, two issues:
    • #2 of 3 "Sanctuary" (writer: Max Allan Collins), 2003
    • #3 of 3 "Detour" (writer: Max Allan Collins, penciller: José Luis García-López), 2004
    • Collected in Road to Perdition 2: On the Road (ISBN 1-4012-0357-4, DC Comics), 2004
  • Flytrap - Episode One: Juggling Act (writer: Sara Ryan), 2005
  • Gotham Central #37 (writer: Greg Rucka), 2005
  • Civil War: Frontline #1-10 (writer: Paul Jenkins, additional art: Ramon Bachs), 2006–2007
  • Thunderbolts: Desperate Measures #1 (writer: Paul Jenkins, color: June Chung), 2007
  • Underground (writer: Jeff Parker, color: Ron Chan, 5-issue limited series, Image Comics, 2009–2010, tpb, 128 pages, 2010, ISBN 1-60706-266-6)[20]
  • Alabaster Wolves #1-5 (writer: Caitlín R. Kiernan), 2012 [21]
  • Quantum and Woody Must Die! #1-4 (writer: James Asmus), 2015
  • Lazarus X+66 #1 (writer: Greg Rucka), 2017

As a contributing illustrator[edit]

As co-author[edit]

  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel, with Nat Gertler, Alpha Books ISBN 1-59257-233-2, 2004

As interviewer[edit]

  • "Another Survivors' Tale : The Harvey Pekar Interview". Interview conducted by Jim Ottaviani and Steve Lieber. p. 117-125 in Hogan's Alley, v. 1, no. 4, 1997
  • "The Authoritative Frank Stack, or, Foolbert Sturgeon on Jesus, Crumb, and Cancer". Interview conducted by Jim Ottaviani and Steve Lieber. p. 92-110 in The Comics Journal, no. 189, Aug. 1996


  1. ^ Inkpot Award
  2. ^ a b c d e John Hayes (April 27, 2001). "Squirrel Hill native works the mainstream and the underground". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  3. ^ a b c Deborah Weisberg (November 27, 2002). "City illustrator draws Hollywood's interest". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  4. ^ Holtorf, Tim The artists: Steven Lieber. Hawkworld. The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  5. ^ Weldon, Glen (August 13, 2012). "Comics Legend Joe Kubert, 1926-2012: An Appreciation". NPR. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  6. ^ Vaccari, Marcello. "Interview with Steve Lieber". Glamazonia. Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Ulaby, Neda (October 10, 2008). "Listen While You Work: Who Does, And Why?". NPR. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  8. ^ a b "Check out these chillers at the cineplex". USA Today. August 27, 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  9. ^ Geoff Boucher (July 29, 2009). "Spotlight on noir: Hard-boiled crime stories punch up the world of graphic novels". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  10. ^ Douglas Wolk (February 25, 2011). "Emanata: Remembering Dwayne McDuffie". Time. Retrieved 2012-08-16. ... McDuffie counsel, including his comment to Steve Lieber ...
  11. ^ a b Douglas Wolk (March 14, 2011). "Five Great Free Comics For Your iPad". Time.
  12. ^ Dargis, Manohla (August 5, 2007). "We're All Geeks Here". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  13. ^ Lieber, Steve (February 15, 2008). "The king stay the king." Archived November 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Periscope Studio.
  14. ^ Alan Sepinwall (April 30, 2008). "My meme is my meme!". Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  15. ^ Brian Truitt (May 19, 2010). "Jeff Parker's a team player with 'Atlas,' 'Thunderbolts'". USA Today.
  16. ^ Brian Truitt (April 17, 2012). "'Shooters' graphic novel hits home for Washington writers". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  17. ^ Brian Truitt (September 1, 2011). "Comic creator turns documentarian for 'Untold Tales'". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  18. ^ Paul Montgomery (April 4, 2013). "Superior Foes of Spider-Man". Retrieved 2013-12-15.
  19. ^ Dylan Todd (December 12, 2013). "THE BEST COMIC BOOKS OF 2013, PART FOUR". Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
  20. ^ Whole book for free; or learning from 4Chan Archived 2010-10-22 at the Wayback Machine, official Underground site, October 19, 2010
  21. ^ "Search :: Dark Horse Comics".

External links[edit]