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 Ken (Kenneth) Steacy  (1955 - )

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Lived/Active: British Columbia/Ontario / Canada/Germany      Known for: comic book art, illustration, set design and war art

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Ad Code: 3
Ken Steacy
from Auction House Records.
Totally Kids Magazine Cover Illustration and Preliminary Drawing Original Art
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ken Steacy (AKA: Kenneth Steacy) is a distinguished comic book artist, illustrator, graphic novelist, set designer, commercial artist, publisher, educator and war artist. He was born on Zweibrücken Air Base, Germany and has lived in Victoria, British Columbia since 1987, when he moved there from Toronto, Ontario (1).  He attended Sheridan College (near Toronto) and graduated from the Ontario College of Art*, Toronto (1975 - 1979).

His awards include the Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal (1978) (2), the Will Eisner Award* (1988), the Comic-Con Inkpot Award* (1990), and induction into the Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame* (2009).  His paintings are currently (2011) part of the touring exhibition "A Brush with War: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan" (3) and twenty of his works are in the permanent collection of the Canadian War Museum.  AskART has excellent illustrations of his graphic art.

Attached below is his Joe Shuster Hall of Fame citation and an edited excerpt from his biography provided by Ken Steacy Publishing.  

Citation courtesy of the Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame

Ken Steacy is a Canadian Air Force brat who decided at age eleven to become a professional comic book artist and has gone on to become one of Canada's leading comic artists with a career spanning over thirty years. He graduated at the Ontario College of Art in the mid-1970s [1979] where he studied Photo/Electric Arts and drove all of his profs crazy by turning in comic strips for assignments instead of the film or video requested. They finally figured out what he was up to and awarded him a pile of scholarships, including the Lieutenant Governor's Medal. He pursued his intent to become a comic creator until the magic moment occurred in 1974 with the publication in ORB Magazine [December 1, 1974] of "Super Student", a two page strip that he wrote, penciled, inked, and lettered. This holistic approach has been a hallmark of his work ever since, true to his belief that specialization is for insects, not artists.

He has since contributed to numerous comic books and magazines, such as Epic Illustrated, Marvel Fanfare, Jonny Quest and Iron Man.  Steacy also worked for the "Star Wars" series, making comics, trading cards and children's books and collaborated with comic writers such as Harlan Ellison on the graphic novels Night and the Enemy and Dean Motter on The Sacred and the Profane along with numerous collaborations with author Douglas Coupland [see AskART].

Ken Steacy was the writer/artist of the 1990 comic series Tempus Fugitive, published by DC comics.  In the early 1990s, he worked on an interactive CD-ROM for children, called The Awesome Adventures of Victor Vector and Yondo, and made a comic series starring the same characters and later created Brightwork, a book celebrating classic car ornamentation.  He also produced all of the display artwork for the Space Place gallery at Edmonton's [Alberta] TELUS World of Science, designed the sets and promotional material for a production of West Side Story, and painted stacks of World of Warcraft, Marvel Masterpieces, and Indiana Jones gaming cards.  He was the recipient of a 1990 Inkpot Award and currently runs Ken Steacy Publishing, an on-demand publishing house for comic creators.

With paintings in the permanent collection of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and two recent exhibits at art galleries in BC, Ken Steacy has had a distinguished and very prolific career in the graphic arts, creating innumerable illustrations and covers for comics and for many productions outside the comic field, and he continues to this day producing his unique and distinctive brand of artistic magic.

Source: The Joe Shuster Awards.

Biography excerpt courtesy of Ken Steacy Publishing  

Ken has written and illustrated the exploits of practically every popular character you could name, including "Astro Boy", "Harry Potter", "Batman", "Ultraman", "Spider-man" and "The X-Men". His four major works in print are The Sacred & the Profane (co-authored by Dean Motter), Night and the Enemy (stories by Harlan Ellison), Megapowers (written by physicist Jack Weyland) and Tempus Fugitive (which he did all by himself).  Other graphic novels featuring his own IP are currently in progress.

Ken spent two very intense years at Sanctuary Woods Multimedia [Victoria] creating, producing, directing and illustrating The Awesome Adventures of Victor Vector & Yondo, an inter active edutainment CD-ROM series for kids. He later produced a three-issue comic book mini-series chronicling the further adventures of VV&Y in print.  He has worked for many years with LUCASFILM, producing stories and computer rendered illustrations for "Star Wars" books, prints, and merchandise.

Ken produced storyboards and design elements for the Rainmaker Entertainment digitally animated feature film Escape from Planet Earth, and re-branded a number of local enterprises, including Baggins, the world's largest Converse shoe store.

Ken is an official Canadian War Artist, and created a series of paintings depicting the peacetime activities of navigators in the air-arm of the Canadian Armed Forces. During that assignment he flew with the Snowbirds aerial demonstration team, and aboard Search & Rescue and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.  He also broke the sound barrier in a CF-101B interceptor, a plane his father once piloted. The paintings are now part of the permanent collection of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, two of which are included in a touring exhibition titled "A Brush with War" which opened at the McMichael Collection in Kleinburg [Ontario]. The show also includes works by A.Y. Jackson [see AskART], Alex Colville [see AskART], Ted Zuber [1932], and Gertrude Kearns [see AskART].

On numerous occasions he has worked with author/artist Douglas Coupland [see AskART], and their collaborations were shown at P.S. Gallery [Victoria] in 2008. The Winchester Gallery in Victoria hosted a major retrospective of Ken's work in 2009.  He guest lectures extensively on the topic of sequential narrative storytelling, most recently at Sheridan College [Ontario], and the University of Toronto.

Source: Ken Steacy Publishing.


(1) Steacy's father was an RCAF [air force] pilot. As a boy, Steacy moved from Sidney, B.C.; to Cold Lake, Alberta; to Ottawa, Ontario; to Toronto; to Chatham, New Brunswick; to Comox, B.C.; to Saint-Hubert, Quebec; to Baden-Baden, Germany. Source: Tom Hawthorn, "Designs on a dystopian future" The Globe and Mail, Toronto (August 19, 2008).

(2) The Silver Medal was first presented in 1921, to recognize outstanding students for their achievements in secondary schools, universities, and specialized training facilities throughout Ontario. The Silver Medal program was discontinued in 1999 with the introduction of the Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Award for Students. Source: Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

(3) The schedule for the exhibition "A Brush with War: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan" includes the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario (January 17 to June 14, 2009); Museum London, London, Ontario (September 26 to November 29, 2009); Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario (February 4 to May 2, 2010); Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick (September 18 to November 15, 2010); McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Ontario (December 17, 2010 to February 27, 2011); The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario (March 18 to May 8, 2011); and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia (June 24 to September 5, 2011). Source: The McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

Additional sources: Atomic Avenue Inc.; Canadian War Museum, Ottawa; Will Eisner Awards; San Diego Comic-Con International; The Canadian Encyclopedia (online); Library and Archives Canada; Winchester Galleries, Victoria, B.C.; and Robert Amos, "Doug and Ken make great art" Times Colonist, Victoria (August 14, 2008).

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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