Shawn Martinbrough is the author of “How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling” by Penguin Random House and an Eisner Award nominated artist whose comic book projects include; “Batman: Detective Comics”, “DMZ”, “Luke Cage Noir”, “The Black Panther” and “Hellboy”. He is also a Vanity Fair contributor.

Shawn illustrated “Thief of Thieves”, the graphic novel series co-created with Robert Kirkman (“The Walking Dead”, “INVINCIBLE”) and the Eisner award nominated “Prométhée 13:13”  published by Éditions Delcourt-Soleil and ABLAZE.

Shawn is currently illustrating an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “Anansi Boys” for Dark Horse Comics, with screenwriter Marc Bernardin.

Original art by Shawn has been showcased at the prestigious Society of Illustrators in New York. His “Storyteller” exhibition featured works published by DC Comics, Marvel, Skybound/Image, Dark Horse and others. Shawn also developed and co-curated “The Artist Experience: From Brotherman to Batman” exhibition for the Society of Illustrators with journalist and writer, Karama Horne. The show featured a select group of prominent Black comic book artists and explored their unique creative processes.

In 2022, Shawn served as a judge for the D&AD (British Design & Art Direction) Book Design awards and was a recipient of an ADCOLOR Legend award.

Inspired by Shawn’s TEDx Talk, which explored storytelling and themes of inclusion, The George Lucas Foundation consulted with Shawn to develop the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Summer Studio. Co-hosted by the Boys and Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles, Shawn worked with a team of artists and educators to provide an intensive two week workshop culminating with each student creating their own mini comic book. 

Shawn serves on the Membership Committee of the Society of Illustrators and is an advisor to the Hip Hop Education Center.

Shawn is an alum of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art/Performing Arts and The School of Visual Arts.

He currently draws and writes in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


Photos by Joy Asico and Eli Kaplan.