|Born||January 12, 1960|
New York City, U.S.
Ted McKeever (b. 1960 in New York City) is an American artist known for his work in the comic book industry. A master of pen-and-ink, McKeever has also fully painted many comics. He is known for his distinct graphic style and "bold, angular lines, which gives his work a fantastic, almost Kafka-esque edge."
McKeever's first professional comics work appeared in 1986 with Transit, published by Vortex Comics. His following thirty years in the industry also included such titles as Eddy Current, Plastic Forks, Metropol, Industrial Gothic, Junk Culture, and Faith. Over the years, McKeever collaborated with other creators, including Dave Gibbons, Peter Milligan, Jean-Marc Lofficier, and confrontationalist Lydia Lunch. McKeever cites his relationships with editors Archie Goodwin, Lou Stathis, Karen Berger, and Jim Valentino for much of his success in the industry.
Life and career
McKeever claims to have had no professional training, stating that he began drawing at age five, and cites no professional influences. His personal philosophy is "to never use another artist's work to copy off of. I've always felt that if art doesn't come out of your own head, then it's not truly your own."
In the mid-1980s, at the Atlanta Fantasy Fair, McKeever showed editor Archie Goodwin some preliminary pages for Transit; Goodwin encouraged him to show the work to as many publishers as possible. As a result, the project was soon picked up by Vortex Comics and editor Lou Stathis. (Transit and McKeever's later series Eddy Current and Metropol tied into McKeever's shared Metropol universe.) McKeever's next project, Eddy Current was published by the short-lived publisher Mad Dog Graphics in 1987–1988.
McKeever's next series, Plastic Forks, was originally destined for publication by Comico, but the company went out of business before publishing a single issue. Archie Goodwin, now at the Marvel Comics creator-owned imprint Epic Comics, brought Plastic Forks over to Epic. Metropol was published by Epic in 1991–1992; followed by Metropol A.D. (this last series appearing after Goodwin had left Epic).
In 1994, McKeever connected with DC Vertigo Executive Editor Karen Berger, first working on The Extremist with writer Peter Milligan. McKeever then took over as artist of Doom Patrol volume 2, working with writer Rachel Pollack; McKeever drew most of the last 13 issues before the series was canceled. During this period on his first ongoing monthly title, McKeever claims that he was able to pencil "a pretty tight eight pages a day, then when I got to inking, I was completing an average of three fully inked pages a day." Other Vertigo projects followed — most edited by Lou Stathis, who had moved to Vertigo (but who died in 1997) — including Industrial Gothic (1995), Junk Culture (1997), Toxic Gumbo (with writer Lydia Lunch, 1998), and Faith (1999–2000).
In the late 1990s/early 2000s, McKeever worked with writers Randy Lofficier & Jean-Marc Lofficier on a trilogy of DC Elseworlds one-shots based on German Expressionist cinema — Superman's Metropolis (1997), Batman: Nosferatu (1999), and Wonder Woman: The Blue Amazon (2003). During this period, he also contributed to The Matrix Comics webcomic series, published on Whatisthematrix.com.
In the period 2005–2006, McKeever began work on a planned collaboration with writer Dan Taylor on an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars for IDW Publishing, but the project was canceled partway through.
In 2010 McKeever began producing solo projects for Jim Valentino's Shadowline imprint at Image Comics. Starting with Meta4, McKeever then continued between the years 2011 through 2015, where he produced the series Mondo, Miniature Jesus, The Superannuated Man, and finally Pencil Head in 2016, before he walked away from the comics industry for good. Part of McKeever's stated reason for leaving comics was his poor relationship with then-DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio, who took on the position beginning in 2000.
Upon learning of McKeever's retirement from comics, writer/editor Heidi MacDonald characterized him as "a unique, powerful talent with a body of work that shows not only a powerful storytelling voice but a haunting streak of surrealism."
- (nomination) 1992 UK Comic Art Award for Best Writer/Artist
- (nomination) 1997 Eisner Award for Best Short Story for "Perpetual Mourning" in Batman Black and White #1
- 2007 International Horror Guild Award for Illustrated Narrative (with Thomas Ligotti, Joe Harris, Stuart Moore, Michael Gaydos, Colleen Doran and Ben Templesmith for The Nightmare Factory)
- Transit (Vortex Comics, 1986)
- Eddy Current (Mad Dog Graphics, 1987–1988)
- Plastic Forks (Epic Comics, 1989-1990)
- Metropol (Epic Comics, 1991–1992)
- Metropol A.D. (Epic Comics, 1992)
- Industrial Gothic (Vertigo, 1995)
- Junk Culture (Vertigo, 1997)
- Faith (Vertigo, 1999–2000)
- Meta4 (Shadowline, 2010–2011)
- Mondo (Shadowline, 2010–2012)
- Miniature Jesus (Shadowline, 2013)
- The Superannuated Man (Shadowline, 2014–2015)
- Pencil Head (Shadowline, 2016)
Other comics work
- untitled one-pager in Strip AIDS U.S.A. (Last Gasp, 1988)
- (with writer Dave Gibbons) "Survivor," in A1 #1 (Atomeka Press, 1989)
- "The Talk of Creatures," in A1 #2 (Atomeka Press, 1989)
- (with writer Peter Milligan) The Extremist (Vertigo, 1993)
- (with writer Rachel Pollack) Doom Patrol #75–79, 81–82, 84–87 (Vertigo, 1994–1995)
- "Perpetual Mourning" in Batman Black and White #1 (DC Comics, 1996)
- (with writers Randy Lofficier, Jean-Marc Lofficier, and Roy Thomas) Superman's Metropolis (DC Elseworlds, 1997)
- (with writer Lydia Lunch) Toxic Gumbo (Vertigo, 1998)
- (with writers Randy Lofficier & Jean-Marc Lofficier) Batman: Nosferatu (DC Elseworlds, 1999)
- "A Life Less Empty," in The Matrix Comics Series 1 (Whatisthematrix.com, 1999)
- "Grave Wisdom," in Flinch #14 (Vertigo, 2000)
- "The King of Never Return," in The Matrix Comics Series 2 (WhatIsTheMatrix.com, 2000)
- (with writer Keron Grant) "Day In... Day Out", in The Matrix Comics Series 2 (WhatIsTheMatrix.com, 2000)
- "Memories of Green," in Marvel Knights Double Shot (Marvel Knights, 2002)
- (with writer Brian Michael Bendis) Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #12–13 (Marvel Comics, 2002)
- Spider-Man's Tangled Web #18 (Marvel Comics, 2002)
- (with writers Randy Lofficier & Jean-Marc Lofficier) Wonder Woman: The Blue Amazon (DC Elseworlds, 2003)
- (with writer Joe Kelly) Enginehead (DC, 2004)
- (with writer Steve Niles ) Little Book of Horror: War of the Worlds (IDW Publishing, 2005)
- (with writer F. Paul Wilson) "Cuts," in Doomed #1 (IDW, 2006)
- (with writer Joe Harris) "Dr. Locrian's Asylum," The Nightmare Factory (Fox Atomic Comics, 2007)
- "Morgue Amore," in Legion of Monsters: Man-Thing #1 (Marvel Comics, 2007)
- (inspired by Tori Amos' Under the Pink) "Past The Mission," Comic Book Tattoo (Image Comics, 2008)
- McKeever entry, Grand Comics Database. Retrieved Dec. 30, 2021.
- McKeever entry, Lambiek Comiclopedia. Retrieved Jan. 1, 2022.
- Dueben, Alex (August 29, 2016). "Ted McKeever Walks Away From Comics, Looks Back at Career". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- MacDonald, Heidi. "A Lost Princess of Mars?", The Beat (July 14, 2006).
- MacDonald, Heidi. "It can suck to be a middle aged comics pro case study #2: Ted McKeever," The Beat (Aug. 30, 2016).
- "Newswatch: UK Awards Named," The Comics Journal #149 (March 1992), p. 22.
- "1997 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees, Comic Book Awards Almanac".
- "The INTERNATIONAL HORROR GUILD AWARDS for WORKS from 2007". Retrieved 7 September 2010.