Academy Illustration Alums Evoke Industry Buzz With New Web Comic
Academy of Art University
Illustration students and alumni are consistently
recognized for their work in the comic book and graphic novel world. The Academy has one more
addition to their list of accolades with the buzz Jon Colton and Kevin Shriver are receiving for
their newly published comic
Projekt Werwolf. The web comic, an exciting mix of horror
fantasy and historical fiction, was recently featured on The Pulse, a website about the comic book
industry. Jon wrote and inked the comic while Kevin did the layouts and drawings. Jon’s wife
Kathryn, also an Academy of Art University alum, served as the colorist.
Jon learned about the Academy when some of their reps came to visit the school he was
attending at the time. Bill Maughn, the Director of Graduate Fine Art Painting led demonstrations
of technique and discussed color theory. Jon was sold – he knew the Academy was the right school
for him. Within the Illustration program, he found a faculty of the highest caliber.
“They are all actually out there in the marketplace, which gives them a more genuine insight
into not only the techniques, but also the business side of things,” he said.
A Bay Area native, Kevin had attended the Academy’s Pre-College Summer Art Experience while
in high school. After graduating, he attended a state school but found its programs frustrating. He
decided to transfer to the place where he’d already had a great experience: Academy of Art
University. Kevin had no doubt that he wanted to study Illustration.
“All my favorite artists were illustrators,” Kevin said. “They were my inspiration and they
did the type of work I wanted to emulate.”
When Jon came up with the idea for
Projekt Werwolf, he knew his friend Kevin would be the
perfect artist to collaborate with. The two BFA Illustration students had a couple of classes
together and after a few conversations they found that they shared a common love of comics and
movies. Kevin’s knack for historical illustration was vital in the development of the comic.
“If you want someone to draw a historical comic book, you’d have a hard time finding anyone
better suited for it than Kevin Shriver,”
Jon came up with the concept after a special he saw on the History Channel about WWII. A Nazi
resistance group, codenamed “Werewolf,” terrorized Allied forces occupying Germany. The comic was
born from the idea that this group actually was a pack of werewolves.
Projekt Werwolf is inspired by old EC Comics, a series of
books from the 1940s and 1950s specializing in horror and military fiction.
“I think both Jon and I like the old EC Comics sensibilities: lots of action, mayhem, and
gore but with a playfulness and humor to take the edge off,” remarked Kevin.
The comic is currently electronically published under Komikwerks, the leader of web comics.
Both Jon and Kevin see web comics as the future for the comic book industry. Soon after
Projekt Werwolf was published, it appeared on The Pulse in
conjunction with Comicon.
“It’s amazing how fast it was featured after the book was posted on the web,” said Kevin.
In terms of a sequel, both Jon and Kevin are open to the possibility, especially if
Projekt Werwolf continues to garner attention.
“I have an idea for a sequel, but it’s only at the outline stage at this point,” said Jon. “
So, we’ll wait and see.”