Jeff Balke Studios at Dallas Fan Days 2018
Over the many years that I’ve been attending conventions, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some truly talented & creative people. Creators who have a passion for what they do have always fascinated me & at the top of that list have always been the artists. The people who take the strange & wonderful parts of their imaginations & bring them to life for everyone to enjoy continually amaze me. Several years ago, I had the chance to become friends with one of those artists, in particular: Jeff Balke. At the time, he was working as a colorist for comic book publishers like Marvel, Image, & Zenescope & I was actually reading the Wonderland series from Zenescope. So, when I walked by his table & saw that he was not only selling the latest trade paperback for Wonderland, but had several other pieces that I recognized, I knew I had to talk to him.
In the years since we first met, Jeff has moved on from his time working as a full-time colorist & started his own animation studio! After working on so many other people’s projects, he finally decided it was time to share his own stories with the world. Now, through Jeff Balke Studios, he is working on finishing his first animated short, featuring two cute little squirrels names Stanley & Natasha. With an art style heavily influenced by Disney, Jeff wants to bring his own brand of family fun to the world of animated entertainment. However, creating short animations wasn’t enough for Jeff, so he also decided to create a weekly comic strip (which has been on temporary hiatus, but will be coming back after the New Year), a children’s book, & a coloring book. You know, because one massive project just wasn’t enough for him! What’s more, each one has an artistic flavor all their own to keep fans wanting more. While the Disney influence remains throughout all of his work, some, like his take on classic fairy tales, will blend a little Calvin & Hobbs into the mix, others, like the Balkenator & B, have a bit of a Family Circus vibe to them.
Even with the help of a small team that he has continued to bring on, little by little, to help him achieve his vision, Jeff’s voice is clear through all of his work. It’s all good fun & there’s something for the whole family. If you would like to check out Jeff’s latest work or stay up-to-date on what he’s working on next, be sure to check out his website & follow him on all social media platforms. And definitely don’t forget to catch his weekly Thursday live streams to watch him create his latest piece of art!