Dean Haspiel

Dean Edmund Haspiel (born May 31, 1967[1] in New York City) is an American comic book artist, writer, and playwright. He is known for creating Billy Dogma, The Red Hook, and for his collaborations with writer Harvey Pekar on his American Splendor series as well as the graphic novel The Quitter, and for his collaborations with Jonathan Ames on The Alcoholic and HBO's Bored to Death. He has been nominated for numerous Eisner Awards, and won a 2010 Emmy Award for TV design work.

Dean Haspiel
Dean Haspiel (11560).jpg
Haspiel at BookExpo America in 2018
BornDean Edmund Haspiel
(1967-05-31) May 31, 1967 (age 52)
New York City, New York
Area(s)Cartoonist, Writer, Illustrator, Playwright
Notable works
Billy Dogma
The Red Hook
The Quitter
AwardsEmmy Award, 2010
Ringo Award, 2017

Early lifeEdit

Haspiel grew up on Manhattan's Upper West Side and attended The High School of Music & Art/Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School,[2] graduating in 1985.[2]

In the mid-1980s, Haspiel worked at Upstart Associates (a shared studio space on West 29th Street in New York City)[3] as an assistant for Howard Chaykin on American Flagg! and for Walter Simonson on Thor; he also worked (at a different studio) as an assistant for Bill Sienkiewicz on New Mutants and Elektra: Assassin.[2] Later, Haspiel attended the State University of New York at Purchase, first majoring in illustration and eventually switching to film.[2]


Haspiel at the 2012 Comic New York symposium at Columbia University. Sitting with Haspiel are (left to right) Danny Fingeroth, Miss Lasko-Gross, Al Jaffee and Tracy White.

In 1987, while still an undergraduate, Haspiel inaugurated his professional comics career when he co-created The Verdict with Martin Powell.[4] Haspiel went on to co-create the two-man comics anthology Keyhole with cartoonist Josh Neufeld (a fellow graduate of LaGuardia High School).[2]

Haspiel's "last romantic anti-hero" Billy Dogma made his comic book debut in Keyhole,[5] and has appeared in a number of comics and graphic novels since then, published by Top Shelf Productions and Alternative Comics. Recent works starring Billy Dogma include Brawl, a "creature romance double feature" mini-series with Michel Fiffe for Image Comics; and "Sex Planet," a Billy Dogma interlude for Popgun volume 2 (also published by Image).

Haspiel was a long-time collaborator with Harvey Pekar on American Splendor. The culmination of their work together was the 104-page nonfiction graphic novel The Quitter, published by Vertigo in 2005.[6]

In 2006 Haspiel spearheaded the foundation of ACT-I-VATE, a webcomics collective which featured the works of founding members Haspiel, Dan Goldman, Nick Bertozzi, Michel Fiffe, Leland Purvis, Nikki Cook, Tim Hamilton, and Josh Neufeld. (In 2009, IDW Publishing published the ACT-I-VATE Primer, which featured an original Haspiel story as well as work by other members of the collective.)[7]

In fall 2008, Vertigo released the original graphic novel The Alcoholic, written by Jonathan Ames and drawn by Haspiel. Also in 2008, Françoise Mouly's Toon Books published Mo and Jo: Fighting Together Forever, written by Jay Lynch and drawn by Haspiel. In 2008, Haspiel serialized Street Code, a webcomic for Zuda Comics, after editing the webcomics anthology Next-Door Neighbor for SMITH Magazine.[8][9]

In 2010, IDW/Graphic NYC Presents published the monograph Dean Haspiel: The Early Years, by writer Christopher Irving. That same year, Haspiel illustrated Inverna Lockpez's Cuba: My Revolution, published by Vertigo. The book was covered by, among others, NPR's Tell Me More,[10] the New York Post,[11] and Graphic Novel Reporter.[12] Also in 2010, Haspiel won an Emmy Award for outstanding main title design for the HBO show Bored to Death.[13][14]

In 2011, Haspiel helped spearhead the creation of Trip City, "a Brooklyn-filtered, multimedia, literary arts salon featuring free regular exclusive content created by a fellowship of 21st Century auteurs."[15] For a period, it was the online home of new Haspiel comics and postings.[16]

Since 2016, Haspiel has been writing and drawing the serialized webcomic The Red Hook, about a master thief living in the "New Brooklyn Universe," for Line Webtoon.[17]

In 2019, Haspiel and long-time collaborator Josh Neufeld launched a weekly podcast, Scene by Scene with Josh & Dean, that focused on Harvey Pekar and the American Splendor movie.[18]



Creator series/graphic novelsEdit

Stories/comics elsewhereEdit


Dean Haspiel has contributed illustrations to the following projects:

  • Video King, Mummy Monster Sign and The Scuzzbournes and various others for Nickelodeon Magazine
  • Thor's Day for Shuttle Sheet magazine
  • Pot Monkeys for High Times magazine
  • various illustrations and covers for New York Press
  • various illustrations and covers for The Austin Statesman American's XLent
  • various illustrations and covers for Washington City Paper
  • CD single cover for Cowboy Johnny Christ
  • CD album cover for Yummy
  • pin-up for David Yurkovich's Less Than Heroes graphic novel
  • CD cover and 8pp comix foldout for comedian Mitch Fatel's Super Retardo



  • Playwright for Switch to Kill (2014)
  • Playwright for Harakiri Kane (aka Die! Die, Again!) (2017)
  • Playwright for The Last Bar at the End of the World (2018)


  • Ignatz Award nomination for Outstanding Comic (Keyhole) (1997)
  • Eisner Award nomination for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition (2002)
  • Ignatz Award nomination for Outstanding Artist (2003)
  • Eisner Award nomination for Best Webcomic (2008)
  • Emmy Award outstanding main title design for Bored to Death (2010)
  • Ringo Award best webcomic for The Red Hook (2017)


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e "An Exclusive Interview with Dean 'Dino' Hapiel, Rock Star in Cartoonist's Clothing" Archived October 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Walrus Comix (2008).
  3. ^ Nolen-Weathington, Eric (2006). Modern Masters, Volume 8: Walter Simonson. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 1-893905-64-0. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  4. ^ Smith, Zack. "The Life and Times of Illustrator DEAN HASPIEL," Newsarama (July 27, 2010).
  5. ^ Keyhole #1 (Millennium Publications, June 1996).
  6. ^ Itzkoff, Dave. "Street Fighting Man: 'The Quitter,' by Harvey Pekar," New York Times (Dec. 25, 2005).
  7. ^ Manning, Shaun. "Dean Haspiel on the ACT-I-VATE Primer," Comic Book Resources (Aug. 12th, 2009).
  8. ^ Boucher, Geoff. "‘Next-Door Neighbor,’ nonfiction comics that peek past the curtains," Los Angeles Times website (June 10, 2009).
  9. ^ Arrant, Chris. "Dean Haspiel on the Next Door Neighbor Anthology," Newsarama (June 6, 2008).
  10. ^ Keyes, Alison. "Graphic Novel Tells Grim Story Of Cuban Revolution," NPR website (Nov. 24, 2010).
  11. ^ Deliso, Meredith. "Haspiel takes on Castro in Lockpez's bittersweet revolution memoir," Archived 2010-11-26 at the Wayback Machine New York Post (Sept. 29, 2010).
  12. ^ Hogan, John. "Inverna Lockpez's Cuba: Remembering a Revolution," Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine Graphic Novel Reporter. Accessed June 13, 2013.
  13. ^ 2010 CREATIVE ARTS EMMY(R) WINNERS The Futon Critic; August 21, 2010
  14. ^ Hauman, Glenn. "Dean Haspiel wins Emmy for 'Bored To Death' titles"[permanent dead link] ComicMix; August 23, 2010
  15. ^ "Curators," Archived 2013-07-08 at the Wayback Machine Trip City. Accessed June 13, 2013.
  16. ^ Means-Shannon, Hannah. "TRIP CITY at One Year: Around the Digital Campfire with Dean Haspiel," Comics Beat (Nov. 14, 2012).
  17. ^ Jusino, Teresa. "Interview: Dean Haspiel Talks The Red Hook and LINE Webtoon’s New Brooklyn Universe," The Mary Sue (Apr. 20, 2016).
  18. ^ Maveal, Chloe. "Podcast Spotlight: Scene By Scene with Josh and Dean: The minute-by-minute comics history breakdown you didn't know you needed," The Beat (Aug. 8, 2019).

External linksEdit