Creator of Concrete, The World Below, writer of The Matrix Online.
Paul Chadwick (b.1957) has worked widely as an artist and writer for comic books, with collaborators like Ron Randall, Doug Wheatley, Alan Moore, John Bolton, Harlan Ellison, Jan Strnad, Randy Stradley, Archie Goodwin, Brian K. Vaughan, and others.
He’s most noted for his award-winning series Concrete, about a thoughtful man stuck in a brutish, rock-coated body.
Born in Seattle, he grew up in its lakeside suburb Medina, then a haven for Boeing engineers and their families, now the site of palaces for Bill Gates and his ilk. His father Stephen F. Chadwick was City Attorney for the small hamlet.
As a teen, he joined Apa-5, the amateur press alliance of comics fans which also provided a creative outlet for future comics luminaries like Frank Miller, Mike Richardson, Randy Stradley, Chris Warner, Randy Emberlin, and others.
He attended Art Center College of Design, majoring in illustration. Around this time Chadwick lived in a courtyard apartment building, The Golden Palm, which teemed with talent. Bryn Barnard, Ron Harris, David Mattingly, James Gurney, Thomas Kinkade, Kurt Cyrus, Mark Verheiden, Andy Su, Terry Robinson all lived there, five of them as Chadwick’s roommate (at different times).
Chadwick graduated in 1979, and began storyboarding movies for Disney, Warner Brothers, Lucasfilm and others. Credits include Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Strange Brew, The Big Easy and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. Chadwick says the auteurs behind two small films he worked on, Lies (Jim & Ken Wheat) and Miracle Mile (Steve DeJarnatt) were the greatest personal influences on his writing.
Chadwick also freelanced illustration, mainly for movie advertising (Streamers and Galaxy of Terror were the only finished posters among the dozens of preliminary paintings he did) and for SF and Fantasy paperbacks.
Chadwick decided to devote himself to comics, but Concrete didn’t sell at first. Chadwick’s first comic in print was The Life of St. Norbert, published by an order of Norbertine monks. Going from the sacred to the (mildly) profane, he next drew Steve Perry’s strange and silly Salimba, about a jungle girl fighting “wormboys” and a giant three-headed were-dog.
A year on Marvel’s Dazzler completed Chadwick’s apprentice years, and he sold Concrete in 1985 to Dark Horse comics. It has appeared intermittently ever since.
A Concrete movie has been in development for years. Chadwick has written several screenplays for it, first in collaboration with Larry Wilson, then solo. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh wrote one, as well, which briefly won a green light for the film.
The decision was reversed upon the release of the surprise hit The Blair Witch Project, which caused the sudden mass delusion that Hollywood could dispense with costly visual effects and stars. The fever passed, but Concrete’s window had closed, at least until somebody with the clout or energy decides to brave the thousand demons that lay waiting to kill every movie.
Chadwick wrote and drew (inks by Ron Randall) eight issues of The World Below, about a network of vast, mysteriously lit caverns beneath northern Washington State, and the strange beings and technology to be found there. Dark Horse plans to reissue the series as a collection.
The Human Dilemma, the newest Concrete series, won Chadwick an Eisner award for "Best Writer/Artist." It will be reissued soon in a single volume, in the same format as the recent Concrete collections Heights and Depths.
Chadwick is currently drawing a miniseries for DC, Seven Against Chaos, written by Harlan Ellison.
He’s also writing the continuing story for The Matrix Online, a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game.