Not every creator can be well-known right out of the gate. Virtually everyone starts out on smaller projects, be it small indie comics or doing fill-ins and anthology work for larger publishers. All of today’s top writers and artists did it, and the next top artists and writers are doing it now. This week’s iFanboy Upstart is one of the artists, developing his skills as he hustles from project to project and publisher to publisher to line up work that will pay the bills and get him to the next level.
Allan Jefferson Souza, who often works under the name Allan Jefferson, is one of many artists who team up with other like-minded comic creators as a group or studio, sometimes virtually and sometimes elbow-to-elbow. First part of Dial R Studios, Jefferson is now part of Space Goat Productions which is one of a number of comic studios virtually unknown outside comic publisher. Jefferson got his official start in comics in a big way, drawing a back-up story to 2008′s Justice League of America #16 featuring Roy Harper volunteering in a soup kitchen. After that, Jefferson bounced around and ended up across town at Marvel doing another food-related comic in a custom Thor comic featuring Thor. That little project opened the eyes of Marvel editors, who rotated Jefferson in to do several fill-in issues of War Machine in 2009. After that, Jefferson got a plum assignment of his first #1 when Dark Horse tapped him to illustrate the comic prequel to the 2010 film Predators with David Lapham writing. This really showed Jefferson’s work for the first time. Yes, rough around the edges, but beneath all that you could see something special trying to work its way out. After doing that, Jefferson took a break from comics in 2011 and 2012 but is returning this March with a one-off issue of Batwing and has been tapped to take over the digital-first Arrow series around the same time.
Jefferson may not be ready to work on one of the industry’s A-list titles yet, but his work shows some solid underpinnings of talent that’s just waiting for experience to help hone those his comic skills. Here’s a sample of some of the work he’s done, and you tell us: does he have it? And what should he do next?