Tennis Magazine

Here’s the finished illustration I did for Tennis magazine.  It’s in the April issue on page 66.  I really enjoyed working with the art director Dennis Huynh who gave great feedback and helped me make the finish much stronger than the original sketches.  Also thanks to my friend Chi Birmingham for lending me his great eyes for design.


MOCCA time again!

Hey, is it too early in the year for independent comics?  Heck no!  That’s why this weekend (April 9-10) I’ll be at The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Arts (MoCCA ) annual festival sharing some brand new books, old favorites, silk screen prints , and a sneak peek at upcoming projects.  Stop by booth C-19 and say hi!  I’ll be there both Saturday and Sunday and I’d love to meet lots of new folks!  (especially new folks who bring me delicious food treats.)

Tennis Stresses

So this week I had the great opportunity to work with Dennis Huynh the art director at Tennis Magazine.  He had me do a piece for their psychology column.  I’ll detail more about the development of the finished piece in a future post but for now I wanted to show some of what did not make it to the final illustration.  These were small drawings of “stressors” that could influence someone’s game.  I liked these (especially the dog!) and was sad to see them go.  So here they are: gone but not forgotten!

Portrait Time!

will varner illustrator peltier Azusa SVA

Here’s a portrait I just finished of my SVA classmate Ryan Peltier.  I’m a huge fan of his moody, atmospheric illustrations.  If you haven’t seen his stuff check out Ryan is a big fan of the late Edward Gorey like me so I gave him a furry collar in tribute to Mr. Gorey.  Each member of our class drew someone else in our class and each portrait will be featured on the invitation for our thesis show.  I’ll post more details for the show as the day gets closer.

Tweeting Our Lives Away?

Check out the current issue of Time Out New York and you will find a timely article that asks “Is Social Media Bad For NYC?”  I was hired by art director Lucy Quintanilla to do two illustrations with the instructions to “be very conceptual”.  I loved the challenge of representing something that would be very New York but also read universally in this age of connectedness.  Yes I know it is ironic that I’m blogging about this.

Lucy was a pleasure to work with and I was able to use six of my SVA classmates as models!  Thank you to  Hye Su Lee, Erin Supinski, Daniel Fishell, Efi Chalikopoulou, Phillip Cheaney, and Brad.

Also if you are around Williamsburg, Brooklyn this Saturday Dec. 4, stop in at the Comics and Graphic Arts Festival I’ll be there as part of Rabid Rabbit’s latest anthology:  Rabid Rabbit Goes to Hell!!!  Hope to see you there!

Coal Feather

On September 28th after months of intense labor, soul searching, and outright meltdowns my fellow  SVA classmates and I presented our first year book projects.  Below is a description of mine and a few images from the book and show.

In an ancient time the world is about to undergo a massive change.  The age of monsters must end so the age of man can begin but one female dire wolf, a most unusual beast, refuses to go quietly into oblivion.  In this dark revision of the Noah’s Ark story I mixed together many elements including fantasy, indigenous cosmology,  Mormon folklore, and my love for nature to create a  world both familar and strange.

The black and white artwork is a combination of traditional as well as digital media and the sweeping landscapes reflect my love for cinema and the American West.

will varner shewolf SVA BYU NYC art coal featherWill Varner Mammoth art sva nyc illustratorWill Varner Coal Feather SVA NYC BYU illustrator



I’ve also made a for-sale version that has the full text and some of the illustrations which I’m selling for $7.  If interested please email me at

Fashion’s Night Out

As part of the effort to “save the fashion industry” I have been invited by Movado Watches, along with fellow illustrators Jungyeon Roh and Kelley Hensing to paint a new original work from inside the window of the famous watchmaker’s  NYC boutique.

The store is at 610 Fifth Ave. between 49th and 50th st. in Rockefeller Center.  The event runs from 5- 9 pm.  Come out for what promises to be a fun evening of art, people-watching, and of course fashion!

will varner art painting movado watches store nyc fashion's night out illustration illustrator drawing

Buzz for Birdsong

will varner SVA illustration gay bees honey BYU birdsong poetry zine

I’m honored to be included in the first ever COLOR edition of the local poetry/art zine Birdsong.  Here’s my take on the theme ‘buzz’ (click to see the entire image).  If you’re around come out to the launch and reading party on Saturday August 21st, 6:30pm at Rose Live Music. 345 Grand Street, off the Bedford L stop. Brooklyn. Free!

What the Hell?

Hey all!  I just finished a two-page story that’s going to be included in the latest issue of the comics anthology Rabid Rabbit.  The theme is Rabid Rabbit Goes to Hell and so I did my best to dig into my own (mormon-gay-guilt) experience with the concept.  The book should be out by September and premiering at SPX The Small Press Expo in Bethesdah, MD.  Thanks to Chris Butzer and the rest of the Rabbit crew for letting me participate!  Here’s my contribution:

same-sex comics will varner illustration utah mormon lds drawing hell sva nyc


The last week has been an exciting time for me. My altpick page that I mentioned in my last post is now up to 240,000 visits views while daily views to this blog and my website have more than quadrupled. 

Most exciting has been the huge amount of feedback I am receiving through many different channels:

1.  repostings on various blogs including,, the independentUK , the weekly dope, and many more.

2. comments and messages both posted and emailed to me.

3.  many more requests for prints of  my artwork.  (those interested can email me through my website

4. (what I’m really focused on right now) more offers to do editorial work from art directors!

Many people have been drawn to the image Surveillance 2010 (see my last post) and it is getting reposted and commented on the most.  I can only say making it was an honest attempt to respond in a creative way to the current social and political malaise.

* hmmm there are a lot of links in this entry.