Master of art

Current work includes drawing Shaolin Cowboy for Dark Horse Comics.

Born in Cedar Rapids, IA, artist Geof Darrow went through 12 years of Catholic schooling, attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts for four years, and from there he worked in advertising, audio-visual, animation, and comics and at the Quaker Oats company in their maintenance department.

I felt much more like a junior partner with Geof Darrow in most of my collaborations, because his point of view was so distinct that he dominates.

While working at Hanna Barbara, he met Moebius; which eventually led to their collaboration on “La Cité Feu” portfolio. He is most famous for his later collaboration with Frank Miller on the comic books “Hard Boiled” and “Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot”.

As of May 2007, seven volumes had been released. Variety reported in April 2009 that the Wachowskis and Circle of Confusion were producing an animated feature of Shaolin Cowboy, written and directed by Darrow, and animated by Madhouse.

Hard Boiled Geof Darrow

Moebius introduced Darrow to Frank Miller which led to a friendship and eventually two collaborations.

Hard Boiled Trilogy Geof Darrow

Darrow and Miller collaborated on the comic book Hard Boiled, a 3-part mini-series, for which they won the 1991 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist.

Hard Boiled Geof Darrow

The Wachowskis saw his work on Hard Boiled, and approached Darrow to do some conceptual work for The Matrix.

The Matrix

The insect-like machine that attacks Neo is a classic Darrow mechanoid made up of tubes, viewscreens and riveted joints. He has also contributed to both volumes of The Matrix comics, a series of short Matrix-inspired comic stories.

Geof Darrow

Geof Darrow

Frank
Miller

Darrow and Miller worked together again on Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot in 1996, a far more family-oriented work, in which the protagonists save Tokyo from destruction by a giant lizard.
The story was later developed into a 26-episode animated series of the same name, produced by Columbia TriStar Television and Dark Horse Entertainment, which aired from 1999 to 2001.

Outside of comic books and film, Darrow has also done some artwork for the Magic: The Gathering trading card series.
As well as various trading card line, such as Witchblade, Star Wars, The Shadow and Mike Allred's Madman.

At the 2011 Toronto, San Diego and New York Comic Cons, Darrow said that Shaolin Cowboy would continue as a three-issue series with Dark Horse Comics. A "pulp-style" prose novel written by Andrew Vachss, with spot illustrations by Darrow, was released in 2012.

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Geof Darrow

Hard Boiled

Hard Boiled was Darrow’s American debut and was released four years after the superhero comic industry was transformed by the darker tones of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s Watchmen.

At the heart of Darrow’s art is a fundamental exploration of contrasts: big versus small, many versus one, fast versus slow. This creates an interesting push and pull. Full of action and speeding ahead, the plot of Hard Boiled is intentionally designed to be quick and lean.

Geof Darrow

The brutality of it is hard to take in, but the tone and excess of Darrow’s vision really ties in with the story’s overarching theme of corporate culture growing out of control.

Nixon

You've got NO home!

Hard Boiled

Frank Miller said that he had to change his whole approach to writing the book when seeing the first three pages from Darrow. So much so that the overall tone had to be completely rethought.

A trail of bloody agents leads to a full double page spread that has Nixon locked in and surrounded by the enemy along with the battles casualties on the ground.

Geof Darrow

Geof Darrow

Nixon

Miller doesn’t deviate much from standard science fiction themes – artificial intelligence rebelling against humans. But something about its tone does feel refreshing. When trying to readjust to Darrow’s art he says “Finally I happened to write down the words “come and get it you bum” and realized that it was going to be a comedy”.

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Geof Darrow Hard Boiled