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Barry Windsor-Smith has retired from comics while at the top of his game

Barry Windsor-Smith
Image credit: Sampsel Preston Photography

Iconic writer/artist Barry Windsor-Smith has quietly retired from comics, and retired in what could be considered at the apex of his storied career.

Monsters cover
Image credit: Barry Windsor-Smith (Fantagraphics)

During the 2022 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, Fantagraphics editor Gary Groth relayed news of Groth's decision as part of an acceptance speech on behalf of Windsor-Smith upon his winning the Eisner for 'Best Lettering' for his 2021 graphic novel Monsters.

Groth told the assembled crowd of that he had known Barry Windsor-Smith for over 30 years, and during work on Monsters told him that it would be his final book. Since then, Windsor-Smith picked up two additional awards - 'Best writer/artist' and 'Best Graphic Album—New'.

For some, Windsor-Smith was largely considered retired by the late '00s after the publication of a series of creator-owned books by Fantagraphics. But in that gap of published work, Windsor-Smith ocassionally provided updates on a story he had been developing since the mid '80s; a story some thought would never see publication. Originally planned in the mid '80s as a Hulk story for Marvel Comics, Windsor-Smith eventually adapted it into a creator-owned project that ultimately became 2021's Monsters.

Upon its release in 2021, Monsters reminded long-time fans that Barry Windsor-Smith wasn't a lion in winter, but retained his full faculties - and had even honed his storytelling sensibilities to a greater degree of exactness and intention.