Storm: De navel van de Dubbele God (2007)
Romano Molenaar is a Dutch comic artist, best known as the second artist of the popular sci-fi series 'Storm'. He has also worked extensively for US comic books and gaming projects. Born in The Hague, Molenaar has drawn covers and interior art for US comic books since 1996, starting with the Liar Comics miniseries 'More than Mortal' and 'Witchfinder'. He then joined Chaos Comics, where his credits include 'Lady Death' and 'The Tenth'. He also worked for Top Cow, doing fill-ins on 'Witchblade' and 'The Darkness', as well as the miniseries 'Cursed'.
Molenaar was asked by publisher Rob van Bavel to take over the popular Dutch comic series 'Storm', following the death of the original artist Don Lawrence in 2003. Molenaar gave up his dayjob at the reproduction department of a technical office and has done the artwork for new stories in cooperation with colorist Jorg De Vos since 2006. The stories, written by Martin Lodewijk and later by De Vos, are first published in Eppo magazine and then in albums by Van Bavel's Don Lawrence Collection. In 2013, Molenaar also started a spin-off series starring the female character 'Roodhaar', for which the scripts are provided by none other than 'Conan the Barbarian' writer Roy Thomas.
Romano Molenaar has also worked in game design since the 1990s, and shares his own Artking Studio with Niel Vredeveldt. He has done stage designs for rock band Within Temptation, and also drew a comic book series based on the band's 2011 albums 'The Unforgiving'. The artist, resident of Pijnacker, The Netherlands, was asked by DC Comics to draw the 'Batman' spin-off 'Birds of Prey' in June 2012.
In 2014, his talents were also recognized by Standaard in Belgium, who hired him to draw 'J. Rom - Force of Gold', the second more adult spin-off of their 'Suske en Wiske' franchise. In 2016, he was one of the six Dutch artists to draw a comic book starring Willy Vandersteen's 'Suske en Wiske' for S.O.S. Children's Villages, based on a story by a Dutch celebrity. Molenaar made the story 'De irritante imitator' with TV personality Carlo Boszhard. The other other artists involved were Eric Heuvel, Michiel de Jong, Hanco Kolk, Gerard Leever, and Gerben Valkema.
Since 2016, he is part of "The Wolfpack", a creative team of Standaard Uitgeverij assigned to come up with new ideas for spin-offs with Willy Vandersteen's classic creations, following the success of 'Amoras' and 'J.Rom Force of Gold'. The other members are storyrunner Johan De Smedt, film director Vincent Bal, comics colorist and animator Tom Metdepenningen and the Dutch/Flemish comic authors Bruno de Roover, Lectrr, Stedho, Gerben Valkema and Aimée de Jongh.