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Richard Corben (born October 1, 1940)

Richard Corben

Richard Corben (born October 1, 1940) is an American illustrator and comic book artist best known for his comics featured in Heavy Metal magazine. He is the winner of the 2009 Spectrum Grand Master Award. In 2012 he was elected to The Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.


Richard Corben was born on a farm in Anderson, Missouri, and went on to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, in 1965.
After working as a professional animator, Corben started doing underground comics, including Grim Wit, Slow Death, Skull, Rowlf, Fever Dreams and his own anthology Fantagor. In 1970 he began illustrating horror and science-fiction stories for Warren Publishing. His stories appeared in Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, 1984 and Comix International. He also colored several episodes of Will Eisner's Spirit. All the stories and covers he did for Creepy and Eerie have been reprinted by Dark Horse Books in a single volume: Creepy Presents Richard Corben. The three stories he drew for Vampirella have been reprinted by Dynamite Entertainment in Vampirella Archives Vol. 5.
In 1975, when Moebius, Druillet, and Jean-Pierre Dionnet started publishing the magazine Métal Hurlant in France, Corben submitted some of his stories to them. He continued his work for the franchise in America, where the magazine was called Heavy Metal. Also in 1975, a selection of his black-and-white underground comix stories was collected in hardcover as The Richard Corben Funnybook from Kansas City's Nickelodeon Press. In 1976 he adapted a short Robert E. Howard story in an early graphic novel, Bloodstar.

Among the stories drawn for Heavy Metal he continued the saga of his most famous creation, Den which had begun in the short film Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman used the same title, Neverwhere, later, but the two creations have nothing common) and a short story in the underground publication Grim Wit No. 2. The saga of Den is a fantasy series about the adventures of a young underweight nerd who travels to Neverwhere, a universe taking inspirational nods from Robert E. Howard's Hyborian Age, Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom and H. P. Lovecraft's horror dimensions. There, the boy becomes an enormously endowed nude muscleman who has erotic adventures in a world of outrageous dangers, hideous monsters, and buxom nude women who lustfully throw themselves at him. This story was adapted in a highly abridged form in the animated film Heavy Metal, where Den was voiced by John Candy in an abbreviated adaptation that involved Corben himself that he felt was satisfactory.
Corben's collaborations are varied, ranging from Rip in Time with Bruce Jones, to Harlan Ellison for Vic and Blood, to the Den Saga, the Mutant World titles, Jeremy Brood, and The Arabian Nights with Jan Strnad.
From 1986–1994 Corben operated his own publishing imprint, Fantagor Press. Among the titles Fantagor published were Den, Den Saga, Horror in the Dark, Rip in Time, and Son of Mutant World. Fantagor went out of business after the 1994 contraction of the comics industry.
Due to the sexual nature of Corben's art, it has been accused of being pornographic, a description he himself disagrees with. One notorious example was the interview he gave Heavy Metal editor Brad Balfour in 1981. Corben was very dissatisfied with the interview. He felt it portrayed him as a "petty, childish, borderline psychotic oaf". He wrote a letter in retort, which was published in the September 1981 issue.
Corben did the cover of Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell, Jim Steinman's, Bad for Good and a movie poster (based on a drawing by Neal Adams) for the Brian De Palma film Phantom of the Paradise. In addition, he provided cover art for the VHS release of the low-budget horror film Spookies.
In 2000, Corben collaborated with Brian Azzarello on five issues of Azzarello's run on Hellblazer (146–150) which was collected in a trade called Hellblazer: Hard Time. He also adapted the classic horror story The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson for DC's Vertigo imprint. In 2001, Azzarello and Corben teamed up to create Marvel's Startling Stories: Banner (a four issue mini-series exploring Doc Samson's relationship with Bruce Banner) and Marvel MAX's Cage (a five issue mini-series starring Luke Cage). In June 2004, Corben joined with Garth Ennis to produce The Punisher: The End, a one-shot title for Marvel published under the MAX imprint as part of Marvel's The End series. The story tells of The Punisher's final days on an earth ravaged by nuclear holocaust. Ever the independent, Corben would work with rocker Rob Zombie and Steve Niles in 2005 on a project for IDW Publishing called Bigfoot. In 2007, Corben did a two issue run on Marvel Comics' surreal demon biker, Ghost Rider. At Marvel's MAX imprint he has produced Haunt of Horror, a mini-series adapting classic works of horror to comics. The first mini-series, published in 2006, was based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe followed by a second series in 2008 adapting works by H. P. Lovecraft. Between 2008 and 2009 he illustrated the flashback sequences in Conan of Cimmeria #1–7, collected as Conan Volume 7: Cimmeria. In 2009 he illustrated Starr the Slayer for Marvel's MAX comics imprint. Since then Corben has done more work for Marvel, DC, IDW, and most notably Dark Horse, drawing the Eisner Award–winning Hellboy.

Personal life

Corben's wife is named Madonna "Donna" (née Marchant); they've been married since 1965.


Corben's work in comics and animation has won him recognition, including the Shazam Award for Outstanding New Talent in 1971, and a Shazam Award for Superior Achievement by an Individual in 1973. Corben won a 1973 Goethe Award for "Favorite Fan Artist." He also received a CINE Golden Eagle and President of Japan Cultural Society trophy in 1968 for his short film Neverwhere.
While working for the Warren anthologies, he received numerous Warren Awards: 1973 Best Artist/Writer and Special Award for "Excellence", 1976 Best Art for "Within You, Without You" (Eerie #77) and Best Cover (also for Eerie #77), and 1978 Best Cover Artist.
In 2009 Corben won the "Best Finite Series/Limited Series" Eisner Award for Hellboy: The Crooked Man and in 2011 he won the "Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)" Eisner Award, for Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil. Finally, in 2012 he was elected to the The Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.


  • Corben, Richard; Alan Moore (Introduction) (2000). The House on the Borderland. DC Comics. ISBN 978-1-56389-545-6.
  • Corben, Richard (1977). The Odd World of Richard Corben. A Warren Adult Fantasy Publication. Warren Publishing Co. ISBN 978-2-913999-01-5.
  • Corben, Richard; Moebius (preface) (2001). Den La Quete, tome 2. Toth. ISBN 978-84-85138-21-0.
  • Balfour, Brad (June 1981). "The Richard Corben Interview, Part 1". Heavy Metal No. 51: 6–11.
  • Balfour, Brad (July 1981). "The Richard Corben Interview, Part 2". Heavy Metal No. 52: 8–14.
  • Bharucha, Fershid (1981). Richard Corben: Flights Into Fantasy. Thumb Tack Books. ISBN 978-84-499-1949-7.
  • Bissette, Stephen R.; Wiater, Stanley (1993). Comic Book Rebels: Conversations with the Creators of New Comics. Donald I. Fine, Inc. ISBN 978-1-55611-354-3.
  • Garriock, P. R. (1978). Masters of Comic Book Art. Morpheus International. ISBN 978-0-9623447-6-3.
  • Giger, H. R. (1993). Necronomicon II. Aurum Press, Ltd. ISBN 978-0-905664-05-7.
  • Horn, Maurice (1985). Sex in the Comics. Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 978-0-87754-850-8.
  • Kurtzman, Harvey (1991). From Aargh to Zap!Harvey Kurtzman's Visual History of the Comics. Prentice Hall Press. ISBN 978-0-13-363680-2.
  • Richardson, John Adkins (1977). The Complete Book of Cartooning. Prentice-Hall, Inc. ISBN 0-13-157594-5.
  • Sackmann, Eckart (1987). Great Masters of Fantasy Art. Parkwest Pubns. ISBN 978-3-89268-008-6.
  • Oliver, Agustín (2004). Richard Corben (Un rebelde tranquilo). Sinsentido. ISBN 978-84-95634-51-1.
  • Van Hise, James (1989). How to Draw Art for Comic Books: Lessons from the Masters. Pioneer Books, Inc. ISBN 978-1-55698-254-5.
  • Adams, Neal (1976). The Neal Adams Treasury. Pure Imagination.
  • Balfour, Brad (June 2001). "The Richard Corben Interview, Part 1". Heavy Metal No. 51: 6–11.
  • Balfour, Brad (July 2001). "The Richard Corben Interview, Part 2". Heavy Metal No. 52: 8–14.
  • Balfour, Brad (August 2001). "The Richard Corben Interview, Part 3". Heavy Metal No. 53: 8–13.
  • Bharucha, Fershid (1981). Richard Corben: Flights Into Fantasy. Thumb Tack Books. ISBN 978-84-499-1949-7.
  • Brayshaw, Christopher (December 1998). "Interview Frank Miller". The Comics Journal (209): 69.
  • Giger, H. R. (1993). H. R. Giger Necronomicon II. Morpheus International. ISBN 978-0-9623447-6-3.
  • Holm, E. K. (2004). R. Crumb: Conversations. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-57806-637-9.
  • Seuling, Phil (1975). "The Fantasy Epic: Creating the Graphic Novel". Mediascene No. 16: 8–9.

Richard Vance Corben (Anderson, 1º ottobre 1940) è un illustratore statunitense, noto anche come Gore, Corb, Harvey Sea.


Richard Corben nasce in una fattoria a Anderson in Missouri, e si laurea in Belle Arti al Kansas City Art Institute nel 1965.
Dopo aver lavorato come animatore professionista, Corben inizia a produrre fumetti "underground", tra cui Grim Wit, Slow Death, Skull, Rowlf, Fever Dreams e la sua antologia Fantagor. Nel 1970 inizia ad illustrare storie dell'orrore e di fantascienza per l'editore Warren Publishing. Le sue storie compaiono su Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, 1984 and Comix International. inoltre colora diversi episodi di The Spirit di Will Eisner.
Nel 1975, quando Moebius, Druillet, e Jean-Pierre Dionnet iniziano a pubblicare la rivista Métal Hurlant in Francia, Corben gli propone alcune delle sue storie. Continua il suo lavoro per la filiale in America, dove la rivista viene chiamata Heavy Metal. In 1976 adatta una breve storia di Robert E. Howard in quella che probabilmente è la prima graphic novel, Bloodstar.
Tra le storie disegnate per Heavy Metal egli continua la saga della sua creazione più famosa, Den che ha avuto inizio nel corto Neverwhere e in una breve storia nella pubblicazione underground Grim Wit #2. La saga di Den è una serie fantasy sulle avventure di un giovane nerd sottopeso che viaggia verso Neverwhere, un universo che si ispira all'era hyboriana di Robert E. Howard, al Barsoom di Edgar Rice Burroughs e alla dimensione orrorifica di H. P. Lovecraft. Lì il ragazzo diventa un uomo enorme superdotato e muscoloso che ha avventure erotiche in un mondo pieno di stravaganti pericoli, mostri orrendi e prosperose donne svestite che gli si gettano addosso con lussuria. Da questa storia è stato tratto il film di animazione Heavy Metal.
A causa della natura sexy dell'arte di Corben, è stato accusato di essere pornografico, descrizione in cui l'autore non si riconosce. Un famoso esempio è l'intervista che concesse a Brad Balfour di Heavy Metal nel 1981 e di cui Corben non fu per nulla soddisfatto. Si sentì descritto come un "meschino, infantile, goffo borderline" e scrisse quindi una lettera in replica, che venne pubblicata nel settembre del 2001.
Il suo lavoro nei fumetti e nell'animazione gli ha portato diversi riconoscimenti, tra cui il Premio Shazam come Outstanding New Talent nel 1971 e per il Superior Achievement by an Individual nel 1973, un CINE Golden Eagle e un trofeo "President of Japan Cultural Society" nel 1968 per il suo corto Neverwhere.
Corben è l'autore della copertina dell'album Bat Out of Hell di Meat Loaf, di quelle di Jim Steinman, di Bad for Good e della locandina (basata su un disegno di Neal Adams) per il film di Brian De Palma Il fantasma del palcoscenico. Inoltre ha fatto la copertina per la pubblicazione in cassetta del film dell'orrore (a basso budget) Spookies.
Le collaborazioni di Corben sono varie e vanno da Rip in Time con Bruce Jones a Harlan Ellison per Vic and Blood tratto dal racconto Un ragazzo e il suo cane (A Boy and His Dog 1969), fino alla Saga di Den, Mutant World, Son of Mutant World, Jeremy Brood eThe Arabian Nights con Jan Strnad.
Nel 2000 Corben ha collaborato con Brian Azzarello su cinque albi di Hellblazer (146-150) che furono poi raccolti col titolo di Hellblazer: Hard Time. Ha inoltre adattato un classico dell'orrore, La casa sull'abisso di William Hope Hodgson, per la Vertigo.
Nel 2001 Azzarello e Corben hanno fatto di nuovo squadra per creare per Marvel Startling Stories - Banner (una mini-serie in quattro albi che esplora la relazione tra Doc Samson e Bruce Banner) per la Maz Cage (una mini-serie in cinque albi su Luke Cage).
Nel 2005 Corben lavora con il rocker Rob Zombie e con Steve Niles su un progetto per IDW Publishing chiamato Bigfoot. La serie esce con cinque albi e dimostra l'evoluzione dell'artista. La storia è la cronaca di un giovane ragazzo che assiste al massacro brutale dei suoi genitori dall'enigmatico personaggio che dà il titolo alla saga e il suo ritorno alla foresta per vendicarsi quando diventa grande.
Nel 2007, Corben da due numeri per il demone motociclista della Marvel Comics, Ghost Rider. Per la MAX produce Haunt of Horror, delle mini-serie che adattano dei classici dell'horror al fumetto. La prima mini-serie, pubblicata nel 2006, era basata sulle storie di Edgar Allan Poe seguita da una seconda serie nel 2008 su storie di H. P. Lovecraft. Tra il 2008 e 2009 illustra i flashback di Conan of Cimmeria #1-7, raccolti come Conan Volume 7: Cimmeria. Nel 2009 illustra Starr the Slayer, uscito per la MAX Comics.
Il suo ultimo lavoro è come animatore per il gioco per computer DARKSTAR – The Interactive Movie.




Eerie 1986 cover by Corben featuring a scene from his story "Change... Into Something Comfortable"





cover for Bat out of Hell 

 richard corben - scenes from the magic planet, 1979

Richard Corben : Bison





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