Dean Motter

Archived Bio. Not part of the current Guest list.


Writer/illustrator and graphic designer Dean Motter was born just outside of Cleveland, Ohio in the '50s and grew up awash in comic books, monster movie magazines and science fiction paperbacks.

He studied commercial and fine art in London, Ontario, but it was new media, electronic music and Marshall McLuhan that came to dominate his studies. He also worked as cartoonist for his college paper, and a local fanzine, Media Five.

He then moved to Toronto where he began his career as illustrator in the animation and children's book industries. He went on to work as art director at CBS Records Canada in the '70s, designing posters, ads and record jackets for acts such as Meat Loaf, Billy Joel, and Willie Nelson. He later struck off on his own to form Diagram Studios (later renamed Modern Imageworks), a multifaceted studio servicing the Canadian music business. He created award-winning album covers for Loverboy, The Nylons, Triumph, Jane Siberry, Burton Cummings, The Irish Rovers, The Diodes and many others.

During that time he moonlighted as art director and designer in the comic book business. He collaborated with Ken Steacy on The Sacred & the Profane for Star Reach (later repackaged for Marvel's Epic Illustrated) which the late Archie Goodwin referred to as one of the first true modern graphic novels. He also did work for Dark Horse, Eclipse, and DC Comics.

He designed, art directed and co-edited Andromeda, an independent science fiction comic book anthology that featured stories by authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Alan Dean Foster and A.E. Van Vogt. Later he performed similar duties for one of Canada's most groundbreaking comics publishers, Vortex. There he created the '80s comics sensation, Mister X.

While most notorious for Mister X, Motter is also is known for the DC prestige mini-series/ graphic novel The Prisoner: Shattered Visage (and is being reissued this year), based on the Patrick McGoohan '60s TV series, and his acclaimed Vertigo series, Terminal City, which was nominated for both Eisner and Kurtzman Awards.

In the '90s Dean relocated in New York City where he served on staff at both DC Comics and Byron Preiss Visual Publications as art director, supervising licensed characters and designing book covers and graphic novel projects such as The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as well as the comic book adaptations of the works of Ray Bradbury, Harvey Kurtzman, Roger Zelazny, and Raymond Chandler.

Motter has has written for for numerous titles including Superman Adventures, Batman: Black and White, The Spirit, Wolverine, Flinch, Dominic Fortune, The Heart of the Beast (one of Vertigo's earliest hardcovers), and the award-winning ‘film-noir' graphic novel, Batman: Nine Lives. He has created covers for Action Comics, The Shadow, Wolfcop, and even Spongebob Squarepants. He has also provided editorial content and publication design for several books by Vanguard Publishing including The Definitive Frazetta Reference and books on Michael Kaluta, Alex Schomberg, Rich Buckler, Frank Brunner and Wally Wood.

Currently Motter makes his home just outside of Atlanta, Georgia as he continues to write and illustrate new Mister X projects (now over 30 years on the stands) as well as graphic novels, comics and album covers for a variety of clients, including the recent non-fiction comics, The Book Hitler Didn't Want You To Read and Karski's Mission: To Stop the Holocaust.