Legendary comics creator Joe Kubert ushered in many of today’s comic greats, and I’m not talking just about his sons Adam and Andy. Through the Kubert School, Kubert has trained top names in comics ranging from Adam Warren to Alex Maleev, and today’s iFanboy Upstart is a 2011 Kubert graduate who made his pro comics debut earlier this month.
New Jersey-based artist Tony Vassallo has been doing comics as a hobby for over a decade, but in 2008 he decided to make that hobby a career. Enrolling in the Kubert School in 2008, Vassallo attended classes taught by the Kuberts and others while participating in various talent search contests at conventions and even won a scholarship from DC in 2010 for his tuition. In 2011 Vassallo graduated from school and set out for a career, doing samples for Marvel’s Thunderbolts, DC’s Batman, as well as comics for Dark Horse’s Star Wars line. He received high marks for his work from DC and Marvel editors like Mike Marts and Steve Wacker during portfolio reviews, and found his big break when he partnered with writer Sohaib Awan on Jinnrise, a new comic series that was launched through IDW earlier this month.
Vassallo’s work looks like a hybrid of classic era Kelley Jones and a smoother Simon Bisley, while his storytelling is reminiscent of Sam Kieth. Vassallo is currently working on finishing the Jinnrise series, his own book Murderthane, as well as continuing to look for work-for-hire projects.