Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 6297


Corben was born in Missouri and grew up in Sunflower, Kansas, a work force community of Sunflower Ordinance Works which made bombs for World War II. He's been drawing comics all of his life. An early effort was a series of comics about the adventures of TRAIL, the family dog. Later he moved to imitations of Tarzan and Brothers of the Spear. Corben also showed a keen interest in animation by turning many pads of paper into animated flip books.

In art college he concentrated on basic drawing and painting. Developing these skills would become vital in creating his chosen realistic style. His school offered no courses for animation but Corben nevertheless produced a 5 minute animated film highlighting the labors of Heracles, using his father's 8 mm movie camera, as his senior project. 

After school he wanted to go to New York to launch a career in comics or animation. But Corben was always a timid and shy person and he put off such a drastic move. After some time working in construction for his father among other things, he found a local job as an artist/animator/cameraman in a Kansas City industrial film company. 
Despite his shyness he found a girl to marry him. 

After nearly ten years at the film company, Corben felt frustrated that he really hadn't given his art career a chance. He started drawing so called "underground" comix and fanzines. About this time Warren Publishing Company began publishing a series of black and white horror comics, CREEPY, EERIE, and VAMPIRELLA. This was a perfect match for Corben's interests and he drew several stories for CREEPY on speculation. Unfortunately none of these were accepted. But the "wannabe" comic book artist persevered and even met James Warren at a science fiction convention. Finally Warren and his editor Bill Dubay relented and started sending Corben scripts to draw. 

At last a foothold was established in his comic career. Even with the responsibilities of a wife, daughter and house the young artist felt with the steady flow of comic work, he could quit the full time job at the industrial film company and devote all his time to drawing. The underground comix surge spread to Europe and requests to reprint Corben underground features began to appear. His fantasy character DEN that appeared in the American underground comic GRIM WIT, went on to the French METAL HURLANT, then back to the American HEAVY METAL. When the popularity of the undergrounds began to diminish, the Corben's started FANTAGOR, a publishing company mainly devoted to publishing Richard's comics. This business wasn't enough to support them so he also began drawing for American comics, D.C., MARVEL ,DARK HORSE, and others. Now his work of drawing comics continues as a business but he creates small animated movies for pleasure. Maintaining drawing skills requires constant practice. Corben has regularly attended life drawing sessions throughout his career. He finds this activity both challenging and a source of pleasure.

-George Walter
Richard Corben (born October 1, 1940) is an American illustrator and comic book artist best known for his comics featured in Heavy Metal magazine. He is the winner of the 2009 Spectrum Grand Master Award. In 2012 he was elected to the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.

Richard Corben was born on a farm in Anderson, Missouri, and went on to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, in 1965. Corben's wife is named Madonna "Dona" (née Marchant); they've been married since 1965

After working as a professional animator, Corben started doing underground comics and his own anthology Fantagor. In 1970 he began illustrating horror and science-fiction stories for Warren Publishing. His stories appeared in Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, 1984 and Comix International. He also colored several episodes of Will Eisner's Spirit. All the stories and covers he did for Creepy and Eerie have been reprinted by Dark Horse Books in a single volume: Creepy Presents Richard Corben. The three stories he drew for Vampirella have been reprinted by Dynamite Entertainment in Vampirella Archives Vol. 5.[

In 1975, when Moebius, Druillet, and Jean-Pierre Dionnet started publishing the magazine Métal Hurlant in France, Corben submitted some of his stories to them. He continued his work for the franchise in America, where the magazine was called Heavy Metal. Also in 1975, a selection of his black-and-white underground comix stories was collected in hardcover as The Richard Corben Funnybook from Kansas City's Nickelodeon Press. In 1976 he adapted a short Robert E. Howard story in an early graphic novel, Bloodstar.

Among the stories drawn for Heavy Metal he continued the saga of his most famous creation, Den which had begun in the short film Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman used the same title, Neverwhere, later, but the two creations have nothing in common) and a short story in the underground publication Grim Wit No. 2. The saga of Den is a fantasy series about the adventures of a young underweight nerd who travels to Neverwhere, a universe taking inspirational nods from Robert E. Howard's Hyborian Age, Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom and H. P. Lovecraft's horror dimensions. There, the boy becomes an enormously endowed nude muscleman who has erotic adventures in a world of outrageous dangers, hideous monsters, and buxom nude women who lustfully throw themselves at him. This story was adapted in a highly abridged form in the animated film Heavy Metal, where Den was voiced by John Candy in an abbreviated adaptation that involved Corben himself that he felt was satisfactory.

Corben's collaborations are varied, ranging from Rip in Time with Bruce Jones, to Harlan Ellison for Vic and Blood, to the Den Saga, the Mutant World titles, Jeremy Brood, and The Arabian Nights with Jan Strnad.

From 19861994 Corben operated his own publishing imprint, Fantagor Press. Among the titles Fantagor published were Den, Den Saga, Horror in the Dark, Rip in Time, and Son of Mutant World. Fantagor went out of business after the 1994 contraction of the comics industry. 

~ More in Wikipedia
A Feast Unknown .
. ..


Doubleday Book of the Month Cover and interiors




Squa Tront 4
From Burroughs Bulletin No. 34 (1974)

Much more at

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2017/2018 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.