Dave Mckean

Dave Mckean Photo

David (Dave) McKean is an English photographer, illustrator, graphic designer, comic book artist, musician and filmmaker. He works with a range of things, like drawing, collage, digital art, sculpture, found objects and painting.


In 1986 McKean made a trip to New York which wasn’t so successful and didn’t give him any type of comic art work but afterwards he met Neil Gaiman and the two published a graphic novel in 1987, titled Violent Cases. Following this, in 1988 another assignment they worked on together was a miniseries, Black Orchid. They also made covers called Hellblazer for DC Comics. In 1989, McKean made illustrations for Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, a graphic novel of Batman. At that time, his work was sometimes measured up to to Bill Sienkiewicz’s work (an award-winning American writer and artist).  In the same year until 1996, McKean made covers for The Sandman, Gaiman’s famous series. Furthermore, he produced Signal to Noise with Gaiman in 1992. Three years later, he illustrated and wrote a book Voodoo Lounge, for The Rolling Stone. During all this time from 1990 to 1996, McKean drew and wrote an ambitious graphic novel, Cages. These issues were about creativity and artists. The copies were published in 1998 by Kitchen Sink Press, then in 2002 by NBM Publishing and in 2010 with a paperback the Dark Horse Comics released it.


From 1996 until millennium, McKean was the designer of the posters by Raindance Film Festival. For the same festival, he was the writer, director and editor of a trailer that lasted for 90 seconds. Then in 2005, for Telluride Film Festival’s 32nd event, he was the poster designer. For Lestat, a Broadway musical, McKean designed the sets and projections and he also directed the movie clips. Moreover, with just illustrations the multi-talented artist has made documentary books about his traveling, such as Postcards from Brussels, 2009; and Postcards from Paris, 2008. He also wrote Squink, made up of 15 chapters of drawings and 200 pages.


Dave McKean has produced four photo books, such as A Small Book of Black and White Lies in 1995 – a collage of haunting photographs; Option: Click in 1998 – a famously liked terrifying fantasy book; The Particle Tarot: The Major Arcana – a collection of beautifully colored images representing different characters; and The Particle Tarot: The Minor Arcana.

Mckean is considered as having the ability to shape thoughts – he uses traditional influences from childhood, life experiences, thoughts and knowledge  about metaphysics – however he is still unique. McKean can articulate his imagination into pictures, drawings, illustrations and everything visual. He is known to be the creator of unseen worlds – places he gives birth to through any medium in his range.  He has the power to bring transformation to his photographs using digital tools for editing and go beyond the horizon of photography.

Apart from this, McKean has made several CD covers for musical bands, such as Altan; Alice Cooper; Bill Laswell; Kreator; James Murphy; My Dying Bride; Paradise Lost; John Cale; Dali’s Dilemma; Believer; Tori Amos; Michael Nyman; Skinny Puppy; Stabbing Westward; Project Pitchfork; Mediaeval Babes; and some more.

Dave McKean has made the book cover of a fantasy novel by Cory Doctorow, a writer from Canada. He designed the cover for the book Wizard and Glass from the series of Dark Tower by Stephen King. He worked on the book covers for Iain Sinclair and Jonathan Carroll. He also designed the front cover for Neil Gaiman’s books – The Graveyard Book and Coraline.