February 22


Nikolas Draper-Ivey on Static: Shadows of Dakota, Anime Influences & What Comes Next


February 22, 2024

milestone media, nikolas draper-ivey, static, static shock

If today’s episode feels like a private chat among friends, that’s no accident. I became acquainted with Nikolas Draper-Ivey shortly after he was announced as the series artist for Static: Season One — the title that kicked off the Milestone Returns line at DC Comics. We’ve been building a solid rapport ever since, but I could never get him to sit for an interview — until now.

In this conversation, I ask Nik about his journey so far. He explains his origins as an artist, how he got the attention of Milestone Media’s Reginald Hudlin & Denys Cowan, and what it’s meant to be trusted with a beloved character like Static for a new generation of readers. 

Static: Shadows of Dakota is now available in hardcover from DC Comics/Milestone Media, and you can purchase it here.

About Nikolas Draper-Ivey:

Nikolas Draper-Ivey is an American illustrator based outside of New York City. Born in Lansing, Michigan in 1991. He grew up in Detroit, where his father first exposed him to Japanese animation with Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira. In his adolescence he discovered Shonen Jump Magazine.  This inspired him to pursue a career as a professional illustrator.  In 2010 he began his first semester at Savannah College Of Art & Design (SCAD) in Georgia as a Sequential Art major with a minor in Illustration. 

His style plays heavily on use of light and shadow and combines afro-futurist elements with hints of fantasy, hip-hop and punk culture and his love cinematography. His two biggest influences are Roger Deakins (Director of cinematography for Blade Runner 2049) and Takeshi Obata, (artist for Hikaru No Go, Death Note, BAKUMAN Platinum End).  In 2014, after moving to New York City, he had the chance to meet with his idols, Editor Koji Yoshida and mangaka Takeshi Obata who praised his early works as a “successful fusion of his Eastern and Western influences”.

Currently, Draper-Ivey is working on his original work Dream Vesper, he firmly believes that his unique Afro-Asian futuristic art style can change the world.

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