Artist Spotlight: Dennis Calero

Artist and writer Dennis Calero has worked with Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and many others. He is the creator of The Suit for Dark Horse comics, as well as co-creator of Xmen Noir for Marvel. With actor/writer Todd Stashwick, Dennis is also the co-creator of the webcomic, Devil Inside. In addition, he has worked with Akiva Goldsman and Ron Howard.

He was born in Miami Beach Florida and lives in New York. He attended the Pratt Institute, studying Architecture before changing majors to illustration. Whether or not that was the correct choice still remains to be seen.

1. First John Carpenter memory?

Oh man, there are so many, they all run together. I would have to point at The Thing. I was small the summer of The Thing and E.T. and I remember thinking “this Thing thing looks a heck of a lot more interesting.” I had good taste!

2. How did you get started writing/drawing/lettering?

I’ve drawn as long as I can remember. My mother swears she would catch me at 2 or 3 years old trying to draw Mickey Mouse from the TV. And with drawing, I wanted to write stories to go with them. I’ve always had an affinity for both. I’ve always seen it as playing the piano and singing. One goes naturally with the other.

3. How did you get involved with Storm King Comics?

Oh, I don’t even remember now, honestly. I met Sandy somewhere and of course, to know Sandy is to love her. She and the whole SK family have given me a home to tell my storiesthe way I want to tell them…within reason, lol.

4. Who are your idols/mentors?

So many. Bill Sienkiewicz, Howard Chaykin, Gene Colan, Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, Caravaggio, the list goes on. Erol Otus as a young fan of D&D. Al Williamson’s Star Wars comics blew me away! Old Tales from the Crypt comics.

5. What is the thing you geek out the most about and why?

Transformers figures, the new kind that look like the old cartoons but also transform. When I was a kid, it was basically a truck that turned into a red and blue lump of junk that was SUPPOSED to be Optimus Prime, hero of the Autobots! Still have a lot of love for Star Wars. I regularly watch the old Universal Monster movies on my projector and sit in the dark with a brandy and fall in love all over again.

6. Guilty pleasure….food? music? entertainment? Everyone needs an escape.

I have no guilt about anything I love. I love 80’s new wave, I love disco, Jazz. I love Mel Brooks movies, especially Young Frankenstein.

7. The world has changed..is there anything you like in the post covid world?

One would like to see a world where more people rely on science and are more skeptical of being told what they want to hear instead of what they NEED to hear.

One can hope!

8. What change would you like to see in the world?

Aside from the above, I’d love to see people recognize that life is short. I think before anyone starts to talk about what other people should be doing, that they be sat down, and explained that, yes, one day they will die, and, once it’s sure they get it, then be asked “now, do you wanna rethink your life?”.

9. Favorite 2021 memory?

Getting an exercise machine.

10. What brings you joy?

Life is good. Drawing, music, art, movies. People, my wife, my kid. Working with Storm King!

See Dennis Calero’s work in these Storm King releases: