Information submitted by Michal Mims:
Joe DeVito was born on March 16, 1957 in New York City. His family later moved to New Jersey where he grew up in the town of Berkeley Heights. It was while in the city, though, that his life-long love of dinosaurs and fantastic creatures began, with his first viewing of King Kong. A frequent visitor to the Museum of Natural History as a boy, his infatuation with all animals has never left him. He graduated with honors from Parsons School of Design in 1981, studied at the Art Students League in New York City and has taken several workshops in human and animal anatomy with John Zahourek. His love of learning and his strong artistic inclinations have led to a long career as an illustrator and sculptor.
Over the last twenty four years Joe has illustrated hundreds of book covers specializing in science fiction, fantasy, adventure, horror and dinosaurs. His credits include covers for classics from Mark Twain and Jules Verne to those of Piers Anthony, Terry Bisson, Robert Bloch, Jonathan Carroll, Robert Heinlein, Katherine Kurtz and illustrations for the last seven Doc Savage books. He has also contributed widely to the fields of advertising, magazines and comics in the form of covers, posters and trading cards, painting such characters as Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and Wonder Woman for DC Comics and Fleer; several covers for MAD Magazine (so far as he knows, he holds the record for the most Alfred portraits ever painted on one MAD cover – 15). His clients have also included virtually all of the major publishing houses in New York City, the Hasbro Toy Group, TOPPS, and Warner Bros. among many others.
In three dimensions, he has sculpted Doc Savage battling a giant python for Graphitti Design; the first authorized Tarzan statue in association with Burne Hogarth and the Edgar Rice Burroughs Foundation; Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman Masterpiece Editions for Chronicle and Wonder Woman for DC Comics, U.S. and Canadian trophies for Land Rover Vehicles; scientifically accurate dinosaurs with Saurian Studios; the SPECTRUM award which is given out to entry winners each year; and religious, wildlife and fantasy themed pieces for the Bradford Exchange. He also designed the sculpting input drawings for several of the major dinosaur toys for The Lost World: Jurassic Park II. Joe has also finished work on two twice-life size statues of the Madonna and Child. The first was placed at the Blue Army Shrine in Washington, NJ. Joe also designed the ninety foot wide site on which the statue resides. The second, identical sculpture, has been placed in Fatima, Portugal.
An avid writer as well, Joe has recently created and illustrated his first book, KONG: King of Skull Island, which he co-wrote with Brad Strickland. Over thirteen years in the making, it draws on a life-long love of storytelling, dinosaurs, adventure, and of course, King Kong. It is published by DH Press and acts as both prequel and sequel to the original 1932 novel, King Kong. Joe’s second book is a full rewrite of the 1932 story itself, entitled Merian C. Cooper’s KING KONG, to be published by St. Martin’s Press in the fall of 2006. Also co-written with Brad, it remains true to the spirit of the original, while adding four new chapters for added depth and nuance. Along with an original color cover, it will contain several new b&w interior illustrations. It meshes perfectly with KONG: King of Skull Island to form one continuous storyline that is exclusively authorized by the estate of Kong’s creator, Merian C. Cooper.
Joe’s art has won numerous awards from regional to worldwide shows competitions and conventions, including coveted Gold and Silver awards from SPECTRUM art competitions. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the US and abroad, including simultaneous openings of the first ever dinosaur only art galleries in Tokyo and Beverly Hills; the Canton Ohio Museum of Art; and a one man show of the ‘The Art of KONG: King of Skull Island’ at New York’s Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators. His paintings and sculptures are included in numerous private and published collections such as all of the SPECTRUM art annuals; Infinite Worlds; and MAD Cover to Cover. Joe presently lives with his wife and their two daughters in Chalfont, Pennsylvania.