Ashley Wood - The Triumph of Bedroom Based Space Exploration
Ashley Wood is an award-winning Australian multi-media artist, illustrator, art director, and internationally renown toy designer. Ashley Wood has been pushing the boundaries of comic books and collectible figures for over 30 years. Getting his start at the UK’s infamous serial 2000AD working on the iconic Judge Dredd series, eventually jumping to the Big Two publishers - Marvel and DC Comics doing both cover and interior work. His avant-garde approach caught the eye of Todd McFarlane and Image Comics, which led to his breakout work co-creating and illustrating the Hellspawn series.
In a few short years Ashley Wood’s art book Una Fanta became IDW’s first venture into the publishing realm, which became his long-time home for his original I.P. and work on licensed comics. Wood was handpicked by concept artist Yoji Shinkawa to take on the duties for adapting the Metal Gear Solid series into comic form for the western world. This led to his work on the actual video game series Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. With IDW, he helped establish the publisher as not only a brand for licensed comics, but also as a welcome environment for incredible indie-books and creator owned series. During his tenure at IDW, his original series Popbot, Zombies Vs Robots, World War Robot, Duo Star Racers, and Lore were all optioned for film and television.
In 2008 Ashley Wood co-founded 3A, a designer toy company based in Hong Kong, where he designed, art directed, and produced hundreds of original vinyl toys, action figures, fashion dolls, and couture streetwear, in-addition to producing high-end collectible figures for some of the world’s most well known brands like Halo, The Transformers, Destiny, Metal Gear Solid, and more. During this era he curated the Venture art exhibitions taking place in Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, and San Diego. Each Venture exhibition blended fine art, pop art, and toys and provided an outlet for established and up-and-coming artists to be seen by new audiences and expose the toy scene to something they’ve never seen before.
In 2019 Ashley Wood dissolved 3A and founded his own entertainment and collectible brand, Underverse, where he continues his legacy of producing high-end designer figures from his original series. He has also recently returned to Image Comics, with his own sub-label Syzygy Publishing, creating new comics, republishing past work, and co-curating new independent series by other writers and artists around the world.
In the midst of all of this – Wood still finds the time to produce personal work for himself and for gallery shows across the globe.
Check out our interview with Ashley for a look into his process!