Joe DeVito

Joe DeVito was born on March 16, 1957 in New York City. He graduated with honors from Parsons School of Design in 1981, studied at the Art Students League in New York City and has taken several workshops in human and animal anatomy (both modern and prehistoric) with John Zahourek. His continued studies keep him on the cutting edge of paleontological developments.

Over the years, DeVito has painted and sculpted many of Pop Culture’s most recognizable icons, including King Kong, Tarzan, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, MAD magazine’s Alfred E. Newman, Doc Savage and various characters in World of Warcraft. He has illustrated hundreds of book and magazine covers for authors such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Piers Anthony, Terry Bisson, Robert Bloch, Jonathan Carroll, Robert Heinlein, and Katherine Kurtz. He has also painted several notable posters, including those of Lobo, Supergirl, Robin, Catwoman, and numerous trading cards for the major comic book and gaming houses such as DC Comics, Fleer and Upper Deck.

Joe has created concept art and toy designs for TV and for movies such as “Jurassic Park 2, The Lost World’ and ‘Batman Forever’. He is actively involved in the Merian C. Cooper family’s KING KONG property development and has helped create the brand identity for the highly influential art annul SPECTRUM, painting their signature poster image and sculpting their award trophy. He has also designed, painted and sculpted a multitude of collectibles for the Bradford Exchange in various genres.

Deeply rooted in the fine arts, he has sculpted two monumental statues of the Madonna and Child. One is placed in Domus Pacis at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, in Portugal. The second sculpture resides at the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) Shrine in Washington, NJ. Joe has restored the historic Russian icon known as the Odessa Madonna for the WAF, which now resides in Kazan, Russia. Other prominent painting and sculpture commissions include those from various corporations such as Land Rover Vehicles, Quaker Chemical, the Edgar Rice Burroughs Foundation, and the Merian C. Cooper Estate.

An avid writer, Joe has co-authored (with Brad Strickland) and illustrated two novels. The first is KONG: King of Skull Island (DH Press, 2004). A five-issue  comic book series based on the ‘KONG: King of Skull Island’ property has also been published by UK based Markosia Comics. The second book, Merian C. Cooper’s KING KONG, was published by St. Martin’s Griffin, in 2005. He has also contributed essays and articles to such collected works as Kong Unbound: The Cultural Impact, Pop Mythos, and Scientific Plausibility of a Cinematic Legend and Do Androids Artists Paint In Oils When They Dream? in Pixel or Paint: The Digital Divide In Illustration Art. His newest property, a screenplay trilogy of truly epic proportions tentatively titled ‘The Primordials’, is in the late stages of development and about to go into pre-production.

Joe’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the U.S. and other countries. In 2005 The Art of KONG: King of Skull Island was hosted by the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York City and was the longest one man show in the 100 plus years of their history. His art has won numerous awards, including coveted gold and silver awards from SPECTRUM, and his paintings and sculptures are included in published and private collections around the world.

To augment his various creative endeavors, DeVito has taught in the graduate illustration program at  the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and is currently an adjunct professor in the illustration department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

In 2008, Joe and his brother, Vito combined for BROTHERS IN ART:  A Twenty Five Year Retrospective, in the historic Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton, New York.

The artist lives in Chalfont, PA, with his wife and two daughters.

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Brad Strickland

Brad Strickland has written or co-written 55 novels and about 60 published short stories and poems. Most of Brad's novels are for younger readers.

His first young-adult novel was Dragon's Plunder, a comic fantasy adventure. He has published books in various media-related series. Brad wrote some of these on his own and co-wrote more with the late Thomas E. Fuller. Brad and Thomas also co-wrote two original adventure series, Pirate Hunter (Mutiny; The Guns of Tortuga; and Heart of Steele) and Mars: Year One, as well as a comic mystery for adults, The Ghost Finds a Body, set in the Florida Panhandle.

In 1991, Brad was asked to complete four mystery novels left partly finished or even just outlined by the late children's author John Bellairs. These were so successful that John's son asked Brad to continue the series, and he has written ten books featuring characters and settings created by John Bellairs. The most recent of these is The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2003).

Brad's current writing projects include Merian C. Cooper's KING KONG, written with Joe DeVito, and three mystery novels for Dial Books under the series titled Grimoire. He also plans a sequel to the Florida mystery, this one to be called The Ghost Feels the Heat. When not writing, Brad is a Professor of English at Gainesville College. He and his wife Barbara live in Oakwood, Georgia, USA.

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