Steve Rolston

Born in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Steve Rolston grew up a little further north in a small town called Pender Harbour. Some of his earliest memories are of doodling with pens and paper from his parents’ office supply & stationery store. Over the years, this access to drawing materials and other art supplies would prove invaluable.

Steve excelled in school and won awards in Math and Art. Outside of class, he belonged to various clubs and played on his high school’s basketball, track & field and rugby teams.

Art remained his favorite hobby and he would often get recruited for projects such as drawing a t-shirt design for a local basketball competition or designing a new mascot for the girls’ volleyball team and silk-screening it onto their jerseys.

By grade 11, Steve had decided what he wanted to do with his life: create comic books. He was fascinated by the storytelling possibilities that the medium of comics provided. Unfortunately, the only comic art school he knew of was too far away, so he decided he would study animation in Vancouver instead.

Steve studied classical animation at Capilano College. After graduating, he worked as a storyboard artist on several different cartoon shows. But what he really wanted to do was tell his own stories in a medium that allowed him greater creative control, so he quit his animation job to pursue a career in comic books.

Steve’s family had always encouraged him to follow his dreams, and they continued to do so as he became an aspiring comic book artist. While honing his skills, he created two animated webcomics starring his own characters Jack Spade & Tony Two-Fist.

In 2000, Steve landed his first professional comic job: illustrating the spy series Queen & Country. That work won him the Will Eisner Award for Best New Series. He was also nominated for the Russ Manning award for Most Promising Newcomer.

In the years since, Steve has illustrated a wide range of comic books including The Escapists, Degrassi, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pounded, Mek and his own “slacker noir” graphic novel, One Bad Day.

Steve illustrated the teen graphic novel Emiko Superstar with writer Mariko Tamaki, which won the Cybils Award for Best Young Adult Graphic Novel and made the American Library Association’s list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens.

The Great Motion Mission: A Surprising Story of Physics in Everyday Life (2009) marked the first time Steve provided extensive artwork for a book that wasn’t a comic or graphic novel. It was a perfect fit for him, combining his love of character, design, and storytelling with his knack for fun, light-hearted visuals. He has now returned to the Annick Press fold to provide illustrations and a few comic sequences for Tanya Lloyd Kyi’s Seeing Red: The True Story of Blood (2012).

Annick Press books
illustrated by Steve Rolston