Richard Corben, Gore (b. 1 October 1940, USA)
Richard Corben grew up in Kansas City, where he studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, graduating in 1965. His first work was published 1968 in the Fanzine Voice of Comicdom. Two years later Corben published his own underground comic book entitled Fantagor, which consisted of four science fiction tales that he had conceived and drawn himself. They contained elements of horror, violence and sexuality, and already embodied the main themes of his future work. Afterwards he worked on the underground magazines Slow Death and Skull, sometimes using the pseudonym 'Gore'.
In 1971 Corben left the underground comix scene. In this year Corben's first longer fantasy history Rowlf came out, which still was printed in black-and-white. The story was about the loyalty of a dog to his mistress. Through a magic spell gone wrong, Rowlf becomes half dog, half man, and, as this hybrid creature, he must rescue his mistress from demons in a strange land.
Since the beginning of the seventies Corben drew regularly for the magazines Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella. Until 1978 he drew altogether forty stories. In this time Corben found his actual means of expression: color. The big breakthrough took place in 1975 with the establishment of magazine Métal Hurlant in France. The first Métal Hurlant-years became Corbens most fruitful work phase: Bloodstar (1976), Mutantworld (1978/79), the first episode of Den (1978).
'Den' is the story of a man who is dragged into another dimension. The hero finds himself transformed into a muscular giant of a man in a prehistoric universe of dragons, animal-men and beautiful, savage women. Calling himself Den, he sets forth to explore this strange world. With 'Den', Corben had found his ideal fantasy world. Corben returned again and again to it, and an end of 'Den' is not to be foreseen. Later Corben drew for Marvel, DC and Dark Horse Comics. Most of them were cover work, but also interior art on series like 'Ghost Rider' (Marvel') and 'Hellboy' (with Mike Mignola, Dark Horse). In 2005 he worked with Rob Zombie and Steve Niles on the independent comic 'Bigfoot' for IDW Publishing.
Corben's art and visions are likely to turn up almost anywhere, from fanzines and convention programs to books and magazines, from animation and corporate comics to undergrounds and just about everything in between.