Paul Gulacy
Gulacy in 1999
Born (1953-08-15) August 15, 1953 (age 70)
AwardsInkpot Award 1981
Haxtur Award 1997

Paul Gulacy (/ɡəˈlsi/;[1] born August 15, 1953)[2][3] is an American comics artist best known for his work for DC Comics and Marvel Comics, and for drawing one of the first graphic novels, Eclipse Enterprises' 1978 Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species, with writer Don McGregor. He is most associated with Marvel's 1970s martial-arts and espionage series Master of Kung Fu.


Early life and career

Paul Gulacy was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, and as a teen was inspired by art of Jim Steranko on Marvel Comics' Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.[4] He went on to study at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.[5] Fellow Youngstown resident Val Mayerik, a Marvel artist, introduced him to another local Marvel artist, Dan Adkins of East Liverpool, Ohio, for whom Gulacy would work as an assistant, and who suggested Gulacy prepare a six-page sample for Marvel.[5][6] "He sent it to an editor named Roy Thomas", Gulacy recalled, "and two weeks later I got the phone call telling me I was hired."[5]

Gulacy's initial work as a Marvel freelancer was penciling the 15-page story "Morbius, the Living Vampire" in Adventure into Fear #20 (cover-dated Feb. 1974), written by Mike Friedrich and inked by Jack Abel. Following this came an inking assignment, over penciler Bob Brown on the superhero comic Daredevil #108 (March 1974). At some unspecified point during this time, Gulacy did a small amount of artwork for the pornographic magazine Hustler, explaining that comics artist Jim Steranko, whom he had met through Adkins,[4] had turned down what Gulacy called "a couple of jobs" and suggested Gulacy instead. "I did them. They offered me more and a lot of money, but I turned them down. ... I consider it a skeleton in my closet."[6]

In 1974, Gulacy began work on the character with which he became most associated, the philosophical martial artist and secret agent Shang-Chi, in the comic Master of Kung Fu (cover-billed as The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu) #18 (June 1974), inked by Al Milgrom. That initial story and one in the next issue were written by Steve Englehart, but issue #20 (Sept. 1974), co-written by Gerry Conway and Doug Moench, and the same month's Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu #1, written by Moench, marked the beginning of a Moench–Gulacy collaboration on the increasingly complex, cinematic feature about the son of longtime pulp fiction supervillain Fu Manchu, who teams with British intelligence to bring down his father's labyrinthine plans for global domination. With some exceptions, the writer–penciler team would continue through a serialized arc to issue #50 (March 1977), culminating with the apparent death of Fu Manchu.[7] Comics historian Les Daniels observed that, "Ingenious writing by Doug Moench and energetic art by Paul Gulacy brought Master of Kung Fu new life."[8] In 2010, Comics Bulletin ranked Moench and Gulacy's work on Master of Kung-Fu sixth on its list of the "Top 10 1970s Marvels".[9]

In the later 1970s, Gulacy took on occasional other assignments, including the covers of the science fiction film adaptation Logan's Run #6 (June 1977) and of the Western The Rawhide Kid #147 (Sept. 1978), both for Marvel;[7] and a 10-page preview of the graphic novel Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species, with writer Don McGregor, in the comics-magazine Heavy Metal vol. 2, #2 (June 1978; mislabeled "vol. 3, #2" in indicia).[10]

Graphic-novel pioneer

Sabre (1978), one of the first graphic novels. Cover art by Gulacy.

With writer Don McGregor, Gulacy created one of the first American modern graphic novels, Eclipse Books' Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species. Published in August 1978—two months before Will Eisner's more famous graphic short story collection A Contract with God—it was the first graphic novel to be sold in the new "direct market" of comic-book stores. Described on the credits page as a "comic novel" (the term "graphic novel" not being in common usage at the time), the trade paperback was priced at a then-considerable $6.00. It helped prove the new format's viability by going into a February 1979 second printing. Eclipse would publish a 10th-anniversary edition (hardcover ISBN 0-913035-65-3; trade paperback ISBN 0-913035-59-9) with a new Gulacy cover. A 20th-anniversary edition was published by Image Comics in 1998, and a 30th anniversary edition by Desperado Publishing in 2009.


In 1979 and 1980, Gulacy drew several horror/science fiction/fantasy stories for Warren Publishing's black-and-white comics magazines Eerie, Vampirella, and Warren Presents; some were reprinted in Eclipse Comics Nightmares #1–2 in 1985. Gulacy also drew the cover and the six-page story "Libido", written by his Master of Kung Fu colleague Doug Moench, in the comics magazine Epic Illustrated #3 (Fall 1980).[7]

Along with the covers for independent publisher Capital Comics' superhero title Nexus #1–2 (1981–1982), Gulacy drew covers and an occasional story for such anthology series as Marvel's Marvel Preview and Bizarre Adventures and Eclipse Comics' Eclipse Magazine. In 1983, he drew several covers for independent AC Comics' Black Diamond, Americomics, Starmasters, and Femforce Special before reteaming with Moench on the four-issue, creator-owned Epic Comics miniseries Six from Sirius (July–October 1984) and its four-issue sequel, Six from Sirius II (December 1985–March 1986).[7]

Through the remainder of the decade, he drew primarily for Eclipse (the company's revival of the 1940s series Airboy and a new spin-off, Valkyrie) and Dark Horse Comics. Gulacy also began working for DC Comics with Batman #393–394 (March–April 1986), and the six-issue miniseries Slash Maraud (November 1987–April 1988), co-created with Moench. The two also collaborated on a series of eight-page chapters starring the superhero Coldblood which ran in the biweekly omnibus Marvel Comics Presents #26–35 (August–November 1989).[7]

Later career

During the 1990s, Gulacy worked primarily on Batman and such science fiction movie properties as Terminator, Predator, and Star Wars, and co-created the Valiant Comics crime series Grackle.[7]

Among the many titles Gulacy has drawn are the DC Comics Batman, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight ("Batman: Prey"),[11] Batman: Outlaws, Year One: Batman/Ra's al Ghul,[12] Catwoman, Green Lantern: Dragon Lord and JSA: Classified; Acclaim Comics' Eternal Warrior and Turok, Dinosaur Hunter; Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars: Crimson Empire; and Penthouse Comix's Omni Comix.[7]

In 2002, he combined his interest in science fiction and spy stories in DC Comics' S.C.I. Spy, and that same year returned to his signature character with his and Doug Moench's six-issue Marvel miniseries Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu (November 2002 – April 2003). Other Marvel work includes collaborations with writer Marc Guggenheim on the four-issue miniseries Squadron Supreme: Hyperion vs. Nighthawk (March–June 2007) and with writer Cary Bates on True Believers.[7][13]

Personal life

As of 1989, Gulacy lived in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Valerie and their infant daughter Paige.[6] In December 2008, he married wife Nanci.[14] As of 2014 they remained married.[15]

Awards and nominations


Comic books (interior pencil art) includes:

Dark Horse Comics

DC Comics

America's Best Comics[edit]


  • Sci-Spy #1–6 (mini-series) (writer/artist, with co-author Doug Moench, 2002)


Eclipse Comics

Marvel Comics

Epic Comics[edit]

  • Six from Sirius #1–4 (with Doug Moench, 1984)
  • Six from Sirius II #1–4 (with Doug Moench, 1986)

Books and compilations


  1. ^ MASTER OF KUNG FU. The comic art inspired the hit movie. Four industry vets explain.
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  3. ^ "Paul Gulacy". Lambiek Comiclopedia. May 31, 2013. Archived from the original on August 17, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Gulacy in Cooke, Jon B. (February 2000). "A Master of Comics Art: Artist Paul Gulacy and His Early Days at Marvel". Comic Book Artist. No. 7. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. I never had seen anything like that before—it just flipped me out. This was the '60s, and these were experimental times.
  5. ^ a b c "Paul Gulacy". The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Mattsson, Steve (February 15, 1989). "Paul Gulacy". No. 159. Amazing Heroes via Paul Gulacy official site. Archived from the original on November 27, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Paul Gulacy at the Grand Comics Database
  8. ^ Daniels, Les (1991). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics. New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-8109-3821-2.
  9. ^ Sacks, Jason (September 6, 2010). "Top 10 1970s Marvels". Comics Bulletin. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  10. ^ Heavy Metal Magazine #v3#02 at the Grand Comics Database
  11. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1990s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 188. ISBN 978-1465424563. Doug Moench scripted the next five-issue installment in this flashback series with the help of artist Paul Gulacy. ((cite book)): |first2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Manning "2000s" in Dougall, p. 281: "Writer Devin Grayson and artist Paul Gulacy told a tale of Batman versus the threat of Ra's al Ghul."
  13. ^ Richards, Dave (July 21, 2008). "Keep 'Em Honest: Bates on True Believers". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  14. ^ "Friends, Romans and fellow geeks". Paul Gulacy official website. April 19, 2009. Archived from the original on January 26, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2016. .. my new wife Nanci that I married back in December.
  15. ^ "What's up, everybody?". Paul Gulacy official website. May 1, 2014. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Eagle Awards 1977". Eagle Awards. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012.
  17. ^ "Eagle Awards 1979". Eagle Awards. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012.
  18. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
  19. ^ "1988 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012.
  20. ^ a b "1997 Haxtur Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012.
  21. ^ "1999 Haxtur Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012.
  22. ^ "2003 Haxtur Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012.
  23. ^ "Inkwell Awards 2016 Winners". Inkwell Awards. n.d. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016.