Featured Creator: Lee Madison

By Lee Madison

Art and creation have always been a part of who I am! That is Lee W. Madison, also known by my goofy artist pen name “Artraccoon,” because I like raccoons and such. Note the scowling raccoon “mon” in the signature part of my works.

I’m an “Old School Anime” style artist who was influenced by science fiction and fantasy anime shows of the 1980s. I have a deep love of the futuristic art of that period as well. Most of my work is, not surprisingly, in those genres, mostly being book and comic covers as well as tabletop role-playing games.

I was the signature artist for Dallas-Ft Worth anime convention Project A-Kon for 26 years and became known for all the characters I created, especially the anime-style robot girls that came to be known as “Geishabots.” That ended in 2016 after new management took over that convention, and I was unceremoniously dropped because they wanted to go another way.

In recent years, I began to delve into a few comic and manga projects, but before I could really get those going, a major life disaster struck. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2020, and that sidelined every project that I was trying to do. Between the surgeries (including one to remove a tumor in my eye socket bigger than my eyeball), the chemo treatments, the diagnostic visits, and the horrible sickness and fatigue, I wasn’t left with much energy to do artwork with. In the end, I made it through.

Now that I’m in remission, it’s time to get back to doing artwork and creating worlds. Too much time has been lost, and as the future is never assured, it’s time to get with it. My mad scheme is to get back to those languishing projects and ideas, to put forth a range of original SF and fantasy projects, and to use a blended art style drawing from manga, Eurocomics, and SF illustration styles.

The immediate goal is several short-run projects that occur in the same sci-fi setting but range from some very serious SF scenarios to fun family-friendly tales. Along with that scheme, I will be pursuing projects with others, mostly one-shots, illustration work, and SF & comic cover art.

Space art is one of my passions, and I want to capture the magnificent vistas of distant alien skies or vast starscapes. I would like to see if some of that can translate to comic book work as well. Often I look at the sci-fi illustrations of Wally Wood and want to work on twenty-first-century versions of that kind of style to create my own illustrations and adventure-filled comics. His influence would not be the only one, as I’ll be bringing with me my love of 1980s and later sci-fi anime, as well as assorted artists and designers from outside that genre whom I’ve studied, such as Syd Mead, Jean Girard, Juan Gimenez, and John Berkey.

Some would say that such a list is a vast cosmic and creative brew to drink in and learn from. It’s a tall task, but it’s what I want to do. All the while improving my skills, both artistic and in writing, and avoiding the siren’s song of stalling out and waiting for perfection.

Lucky for me, I have several sci-fi and fantasy writers as friends, and my best friend is a literary critic and writer just starting out who has mad skills in his field. The artistic skills are just things I have to keep perfecting, like a samurai trying to get the proper sword draw and strike. It’s well known that doing comics isn’t the easiest thing to do, and hardly anybody gets rich from it, but while money is really nice, there’s something to be said for seeing one’s own creation and hard work fulfilled to make something and share it.

Where can you find Lee Madison’s work and keep up with him?

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