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 Steve Epting  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: United States      Known for: comic book illustration

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Ad Code: 4
Steve Epting
from Auction House Records.
Captain America #31 Red Skull Cover Original Art
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Steve Epting received a BFA in graphic design from the University of South Carolina.  In 1989, he read of a contest being conducted by independent comic book publisher First Comics, with the winner's story to be published by the company.  Although the contest did not actually exist, First declared Epting one of the "winners" and he began drawing for the company.  His assignments for First included backup stories for Nexus, guest-artist duties on Dreadstar and Whisper, and two miniseries starring Nexus supporting character Judah Macabee: Hammer of God and Hammer of God: Sword of Justice.

By early 1991, First Comics had gone out of business, and Epting was sending submissions to other comics’ publishers.  Soon, he found work at Marvel Comics.  Originally assigned to draw half the issues in a six-part bi-weekly The Avengers story arc, Epting ended up drawing five of the six issues (#335-339.) Shortly thereafter, Epting became the full-time penciler on Avengers.

Working closely with writer Bob Harras and inker/colorist Tom Palmer, Epting helped craft several epic Avengers adventures, beginning with issue #343 and ending with issue #375.  Epting's art was generally well-received, but the stories themselves were controversial due to their dark tone and their deviation from the Avengers status quo.

After leaving Avengers in 1994, Epting spent the next few years working on Marvel's franchise of X-Men books.  He had a brief run on the ongoing X-Factor series, but mostly concentrated on annuals, specials, and mini-series. These included X-Men '97, Bishop: X.S.E., the Marvel Comics/Image Comics cross-over Team X/Team 7, and Factor-X, the Age of Apocalypse timeline counterparts of X-Factor.

During this time, Epting also collaborated with writer Roger Stern on a story starring Marvel's World War II heroes, The Invaders.  It was serialized in the first three issues of Marvel's short-lived anthology title Marvel Universe.  This Invaders story was inked by one of Epting's heroes, Al Williamson.

Towards the end of the 90s, Epting moved from Marvel to DC Comics.  Most of his work for DC was on Aquaman, where he was teamed up with writer Dan Jurgens.  Their Aquaman run began with issue #63, but sales of Aquaman had been declining for a long time, and the Jurgens/Epting team was unable to save the book from cancellation.  Their final issue of Aquaman was #75.  He also had a stint as the main artist on the popular Superman comic book.

In 2000, Epting returned briefly to Marvel's Avengers, which had been relaunched three years earlier with writer Kurt Busiek; Epting drew issues #36 and #37.  But most of Epting's efforts during this time were occupied by an ambitious new independent comic’s publisher, CrossGen.

Epting drew issues #1-25 of Crux, a fantasy-adventure book he co-created with writer Mark Waid.  But Epting's next CrossGen project, El Cazador, looked like it might be his first masterpiece.  A meticulously researched historical adventure centering on a female pirate, it is considered a high point in the careers of both Epting and writer/co-creator Chuck Dixon.  Unfortunately, El Cazador was launched just as CrossGen was on its last legs, and it was cancelled after only six issues.

In 2004, Epting returned to
Marvel with Captain America, written by Ed Brubaker with whom he would continue to work on The Marvels Project in 2010.

Submitted by John Coates, a life-long friend of the artist.

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