Michael Cho is an illustrator, comic artist and “occasional” writer. Born in Seoul, South Korea, he relocated to Canada at 6 years old. With an interest in illustration from a very early age, Cho drew all the time on whatever he could find. He attended and graduated from Ontario College of Art (and Design). After which he started his freelancing career.
Cho divides his time between editorial work, making comics for clients and making comics for himself. Some of his clients include The New York Times, National Post, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Random House, Penguin Classics, and comic giants Marvel and DC Comics. His hard work has earned him Silver Canadian National Magazine Award, a Joe Shuster nomination and a story included in The Best American Comics 2010.
In 2013, Drawn and Quarterly published a book of Cho’s hometown Toronto drawing called, Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes. More recently, saw the release of Cho’s debut graphic novel, Shoplifter, a New York Times BestSeller about “a young woman’s search for happiness and self-fulfillment in the big city”. Published by Pantheon Books, Shoplifter in esteemed company, alongside the likes of Maus, Persepolis and Habibi.
Cho’s work is drawn with a combination of digital, watercolour, goauche and ink and makes good use of a limited pallet. His comic illustrations are made up of two colours and even his commissioned work, more often than not, stays within four colours. The limitation creates contrast and guides your eyes instantly to the important element on the page. Also, using one colour for a crowd and another for a protagonist creates a wonderful divide, highlighting uniqueness or isolation. Something Cho uses to great effect for Shoplifter.