DC’s Newfound Artist Not Very New

by Oscar Bergeron-Oakes
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Jeremy Roberts was recently announced as the winner of DC’s Talent Hunt and the artist of Stormwatch’s final issue in April. His art appeared in Harley Quinn #0, and DC hailed him as their newest talent. They led fans to believe that Roberts was a man who had risen from obscurity to become an artist at one of the Big 2 comic publishers. It was an incredible story, until it became known that it was not true.

According to a report by TheOuthousers.com, “Roberts has over 70 comics credits to his name, drawing covers and providing coloring work for Marvel, Dark Horse, Devils Due, and others. Oh yeah, and for DC themselves. Not only that, but Roberts also illustrated a Man of Steel tie-in children’s book published earlier this year.”

Roberts' artwork that was featured in the Man of Steel: The Fate of Krypton children's book. Found on his deviantART site.

Roberts’ artwork that was featured in the Man of Steel: The Fate of Krypton children’s book. Found on his deviantART site.

In essence, DC launched a public campaign to find a new artist and bring them into the comic book fold, but instead hired an artist with previous experience and attempted to pass him off as someone brand new to comics. When DC originally launched it’s talent search it stated that it was searching for “one undiscovered talent to join” Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s book, Harley Quinn #0. The contest rules even specifically stated that the artist was meant to be new to the comics industry.

“DC Entertainment Open Talent Search – Official Rules & Regulations:

Thank you for your interest in participating in DC Entertainment’s Open Talent Search. We are looking for new, talented artists who believe they can bring something special to one of our favorite characters (and one of the Joker’s favorites as well), the one and only – HARLEY QUINN”

The contest, which was already controversial because of the scenes it asked contestants to draw, has now ended in a manner as controversial as it began. DC has not released any comments regarding Roberts recently discovered comic experience, but it did herald him as a new artist in this week’s announcement concerning the cancellation of Stormwatch.

“Meet newcomer Jeremy Roberts, whose inclusion in HARLEY QUINN #0 came as a result of his DC Entertainment’s HARLEY QUINN Open Talent Search submission. The promotion encouraged new artists to submit their best interpretations of Harley in the hopes of being discovered by DC and having their art included in HARLEY QUINN #0. And with Roberts, a true new talent has emerged – and he’ll be sticking around for a bit!”

Roberts' promotional art for Stormwatch #30.

Roberts’ promotional art for Stormwatch #30.

DC went on to say that “we envision this being the first of many contributions from Roberts at DC” in regards to his art work on the final issue of Stormwatch. Will DC continue to attempt to pass Roberts off as a new artist? It’s unclear as of yet, but a quote from Roberts from the Stormwatch announcement may be the icing on the cake that is this controversial story.

“I’m incredibly excited to work for DC Comics! I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life,” Roberts said. “It’s such an amazing opportunity, and I am thrilled to be working on a fantastic book like Stormwatch.”

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Source: The OutHousers, DC Comics, deviantART

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