JTC Walks Into Nerd Heaven

So, they had me come in. I got to meet Georges Jeanty who was working on Gambit. Dexter Vines who was finishing up the art on Superman Batman at the time, and about ready to his run on Civil War and Marvel…. I was that little nerd that was like o my gosh I’m around my idols here, cool.”

JTC got to know them better and, as he began working work with them,  he started to get invited to comic conventions.

Comic Cons Made JTC’s Dreams Come True.

John Tyler Christopher

Around 2003 Christopher started to sell his work at the cons. Little did he know that the approach he took would change his live forever:

“So, I was going to these cons and looking around and everyone was doing the same thing. [T]hey were making like thirty prints of the same thing making it a limited edition and selling it for $50 dollars. I was like ‘why is everyone trying to sell their stuff around that $50-dollar mark… these people can’t charge $40 a pop for everything’. But I can charge $10 because everyone would have ten bucks.”

Because of this approach his art sold out daily,  and he got noticed. The editor at Top Cow, Philip Sablich, noticed people all over carrying around these John Tyler Christopher prints. Impressed, Sablich offered him, a gig on the Top Cow book Witchblade.

Marvel Comes Knocking

John Tyler Christopher

After he drew Witchblade cover, Top Cow asked Christopher to write a step by step on how he did it. What happened next?

Comic book resources actually wrote an article about my step by step process on how to make a Witchblade cover. As it goes this was seen by someone at Marvel by the name of George Ballard. He literally just called me up and said ‘I saw that Witchblade thing. You want to draw Iron Man?’ It took off from there.”

This takes us to the Star Wars action figure covers we see today. Before Christopher took on these covers, he was doing around 30 to 40 comic covers a year. He worked over 100 hours a week doing so.

It started with Star Wars #1 the Luke Skywalker cover. I was doing 30 to 40 covers a year and was working like a 100 to 120 hours a week and it was hard on my family and my personal life. {M]my wife had to have an intervention with me. I took it to heart and promised my wife no more work… whatever they ask me to do next.”

 What They Asked Him Next

John Tyler Christopher

“Two days later I get a call from George Ballard at Marvel… I was like ‘I can’t I promised my wife’ and he comes back with ‘dude they are Star Wars action figure covers’. I was like son of a…… So, I did Luke, Han, Vader and Leia after my wife went to sleep so she would not get upset about it. Well people loved them and since they are action figure covers, I’m able to do the same amount of work in less time to be a better husband and support the family.”

So, as you can see the action figure covers just about didn’t happen. But, now over 100 covers later John Tyler Christopher keeps pushing them out.