Marvel Spotlights Rising Artists In Stormbreakers Program
by James Ferguson
As revealed by Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski and EVP, Creative Director Joe Quesada, Marvel Comics is investing in the future with Marvel’s Stormbreakers, a talent distinction program intended to spotlight the next generation of artists in the industry. Launching this week, the inaugural class includes Josh Cassara, Patrick Gleason, Peach Momoko, Natacha Bustos, Iban Coello, Carmen Carnero, Juann Cabal, and R.B. Silva.
One might look at this group and think they are already elite with their work on some of the biggest titles from Marvel, but it’s clear that’s just the beginning. Over the next two years, Marvel intends to push these artists even higher.
“This year’s Stormbreakers embody pure talent and creativity that, time and time again, have shown us all there are no limits to what visual storytelling can do. We are continuously blown away by their innovative styles and by the power in how they capture the heart, humor, and humanity of our characters,” said Cebulski. “These eight artists have proven their unrivaled talent and passion for storytelling, and much like Beta Ray Bill, they are truly worthy of taking up the mantle as one of Marvel’s Stormbreakers, the next generation of elite artists. We can’t wait to show you all what’s next. And to all our Stormbreakers – take up your hammer!”
The name Stormbreaker has a deeper meaning in the Marvel Universe as it brought great change to Thor from creators like Walter Simonson. This era saw Marvel embrace new initiatives, deeper character-driven stories, and unique new art styles. We saw new prestige formats, new printing technology, and new ways for artists to tell their stories. That spirit is alive in this program.
“There’s a special skill set you need to have in order to draw comics at the highest level,” said Quesada. “Like the finest illustrators, you must be able to draw anything and everything at any given moment, have the keen storytelling eye of a master film director, the ability to convey emotion in characters like the world’s greatest performers, and the imagination of the greatest storytellers in history. But to be a Marvel comic artist, you need all of that as well as the ability to make your characters and stories jump off the page. They need to be larger than life, yet grounded enough that we all see ourselves within them. We’re thrilled to bring together Marvel’s Stormbreakers, a team of super up-and-coming talents who will continue that legacy.”
Long time fans will recall Marvel’s Young Guns program, which operated in a similar capacity over the past fifteen years. That program selected and recognized 36 then up-and-coming artists who went on do draw some of the biggest events in recent Marvel history. These included Steve McNiven, Jim Cheung, Sara Pichelli, Ryan Stegman, and more. Stormbreakers is the next evolution of that.