The Unsung Superhero

At the drawing board with Marvel illustrator, Jim Towe

Comic book fans are unlike any other. Their global, cult-like culture spans generations and annual conventions like Comic-Con, can attract more than 50,000 fans clad in cosplay per day. From his quaint Royal Oak apartment, comic book artist Jim Towe creates artwork that reaches these devoted readers.

A comic book enthusiast since childhood, the illustrator produces drawings of thrilling heroic combat — sometimes split into six frames — between Marvel Comic’s characters. “Marvel is top tier in comics, so the quality of your output has to be top of the line,” says the 27-year-old who studied illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids. “I draw every day and push myself, on every page, to be better than the last.”

Towe impressed Marvel editors this year when they came across the illustrations he drew for the relaunch of Youngblood, a series by notable comic book creator Rob Liefeld. He’s now working on his fourth project with the publishing house, an issue of Spider-Man/Deadpool, which is set to release in early December.

“I would fill up notebooks with my own Spider-Man comics as a kid and now I’m drawing him for a living,” Towe says. “It’s a crazy honor to add to the canon of the Marvel universe.”

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