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Joe Simko is a contemporary artist. He is the illustrator/author of the book THE SWEET ROT. Artist for Topps’ Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages trading cards and designs artwork for bands creating album covers, tour posters, concert shirts, etc.


Joe Simko was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was raised in Southampton, PA. He attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City were he graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cartooning. He was the recipient of the Joe Orlando scholarship award from his graduating department that year. Among Simko’s professors at SVA, he was taught by Joe Orlando (Artist and VP of DC Comics and associate editor of MAD Magazine), Klaus Jansen, Sal Almendola, Carmine Infantino, and many other professionals working in the field of comics and graphic storytelling.


After graduating from SVA, Simko held a full time position as an artist for men’s neckwear, creating sophisticated and conversational design pieces for ties. In 2000 Simko was hired as a full-time, in-house storyboard artist for television commercials at GEM Studios in NYC, all the while picking up various freelance jobs for local bands throughout the city designing show posters. Through constant persistance of getting freelance band work, Simko’s poster art was gaining attention and eventually he was taking on higher profile groups which helped to land him a gig in 2006 designing all the artwork for the widely successful and largest traveling Rock tour, The Vans Warped Tour. In 2007 Japan’s Real Rock festival, MAGMA commisioned him to design all the artwork for their tour and oversee all the art direction as the managing artist. Creating all the designs for the advertising posters, t-shirts, album, dvd, and logo where among his projects for MAGMA. Two 20ft. tall inflatable monsters based on Simko's character designs were also created for the Japan Rock concerts.

Simko currently freelances full time from his studio in NYC and continues production as author and illustrator of his book series The Sweet Rot. An original story showcasing a pallette of wildly eccentric little kids also known as “little rotters” in the make-believe town of Pollilop Drop. The Sweet Rot is published by Schiffer Books.

Other clients/organizations Simko has created artwork for include Ride Snowboards, Sims Snowboards, Outlook Skateboards, The Gotham Girls Roller Derby League, New York Hardcore Tattoos, Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend, Monster Mania, JLO Hangtag for Andy Hilfiger, Live Fast (New York City Rock and Roll clothing boutique), Penciler and co-creator for actor Stephen Baldwin’s graphic novel series “Spirit Warriors”, and designer of bottle artwork for “Manglaze” (a rock n’ roll black matte and gray flat finish nail polish geared for the punk/goth/rocker/skater crowd. Band client list includes: GWAR, Trivium, Murphy’s Law, Dwarves, Insane Clown Posse, Sonic Youth, Good Riddance, The Undead, Peelander Z and more

In 2006, a Simko designed shirt was used in the film “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”. The shirt was designed for the store Live Fast in NYC.

He is currently represented by MF Gallery in New York and Italy.

Artwork for Rock Music Festivals:

MAGMA – 2007, 2008

Vans Warped Tour – 2006

Superbowl of Hardcore – 2006, 2007, 2008

Medusa Festival – 1 thru 5 (2003 through 2006)

Published Work

The Sweet Rot – Schiffer Books - Spring 2010

New EF Poster book vol. 1 – January 2009

In Sunlight and in Shadow - 2009

Revolver Magazine – September 2008

Doll Magazine – June 2007

Revolver Magazine – March 2007

Roller Derby Art – Schiffer Books

AOMR mini A-Z. Chronicle Books

The Art of Modern Rock - Chronicle Books

Skinnie Magazine – November 2006

Stephen Baldwin’s Spirit Warriors Graphic Novel Series – B&H Books

Blood and Thunder Magazine – Fall 2006

Spin Magazine – June 2006

Swank Magazine – April 2004

The Art of Electric Frankenstein – Dark Horse – February 2004

New York Press – Summer 1999


New York Waste - June 2010

New York Waste – Oct. 2009

Alternative Press Magazine – May 2009

Skinnie Magazine – April 2007

Blood and Thunder Magazine – Winter 2006

The Tennesean Newspaper

Print Critic Review

Time Out NY Magazine

New York Waste

Art Shows


The Sweet Rot Book Release – TT Underground Gallery @ Toy Tokyo (NYC) – June 2010

Zombies Attack Brooklyn - MF Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) - June 2010

I Need Your Skull Show - MF Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) - May 2010

G2 Opening – G2 Gallery Lounge (NYC) – April 2010


Naughty and Nice show – Parlor Gallery (NJ) – Dec. 2009

Return of the Living Decks – Ave. A (NYC) – Oct. 2009

MF Gallery’s 7th Annual Halloween Art Show – Oct. 2009

Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend – Orlando, FL – Oct. 2009

Closing Art Exhibition – Live Fast Underground Gallery (NYC) – Sept. 2009

Tatto Art Show – MF Gallery (Genova, Italy) – Sept. 2009

Kings of Pop – Ave. A (NYC) – August 2009

The Art of Simko -Solo Exhibition – Live Fast Underground Gallery (NYC) – Aug. 2009

The Punk Rot Art of Joe Simko - Solo Exhibition - ITM Lounge (NYC) – June 2009

Night of the Living Decks – Ave. A (NYC) – June 2009

MF Gallery Show at Asbury Lanes (NJ) – May 2009

Welcome to Our Nightmare - Don Pedro’s (Brooklyn, NY) – March 2009

Stitch Custom Vinyl Show – Showroom Gallery NYC (Hong Kong, Hawaii) – Feb. 2009


Vicious Intent Poster Show – Showroom Gallery (NYC) – Sept. 2008

Halloween Art Show – ITM Lounge (NYC) – Sept. 2008

NYC Tribute Art Show – Ave. A (NYC) - Sept. 2008

Paint It! – MF Gallery (NYC) – June 2008

Sci-Fi Art Show – MF Gallery (NYC) – Jan. 2008


Skateboard Art show – Ave. A (NYC) - August 2007

Creepy Carnival – MF Gallery (NYC) - August 2007

Bart Simpson Custom Vinyl Show–ShowroomGallery (NYC,Japan,China) Summer 2007

Zombies Attack! – MF Gallery (NYC)– April - 2007


The Skull Show – The Back Alley Gallery (Minneapolis, MN) – May 2006

Girls, Girls, Girls – (Live Body Painting Exhibition) MF Gallery (NYC) –April 2006

Live Body Painting Exhibition – Live Fast (NYC) – March 2006

Zombie Art Show – MF Gallery (NYC) – January 2006


The Throne Show – Lulubell Toy Bodega (Tuscan, AZ) – November 2005

Halloween Art Show – MF Gallery (NYC) – September 2005

Live Fast - Store opening/Mural exhibition (NYC) – Summer 2005

Graphic Noise Poster Show – Museum of Design (Atlanta, GA) – Summer 2005

Funny Club Show- Rotifugi(Chicago), Munky King(CA), Pixie Gallery(Tawain)–Spring


Electric Frankenstein Poster Art – CBGB’s Gallery (NYC) – Summer 2004

The Art of Musical Maintenance – The Goodfoot (Portland, OR) – July 2004


CBGB’s Gallery – (NYC) – May 2000


Solo Exhibition - Gray Parrot Café – (Brooklyn, NY) – 1999

Society of Illustrators Group show (NYC) - 1999