Behind the Panels: Gabe Eltaeb


Gabe Eltaeb’s Journey in the Comic Book Industry

By Jen & Sylvia Soska

Gabe Eltaeb is a name renowned in the comic book industry. He’s a multitalented force who writes, draws, colors, and more. From his early career days working with the legendary Jim Lee to his work on DC’s Man of Steel, Gabe has consistently molded the visual landscape of comics. However, as DC began to politicize their books and veer away from the respect for existing lore, Gabe chose to walk away. He decided to create the kind of quality entertainment that DC and Marvel were once known for. It wasn’t long before Gabe connected with Rippaverse founder Eric July and became the colorist for the record-breaking independent hit Isom #1.

Recently, Gabe has partnered with none other than the real-life Superman, Dean Cain. Together, they are telling the story of Dean Cain: All-American Lawman,  a return to the classic action and adventure comics filled with real heroism and morals, without any sacrifice in storytelling.

From Standing Against DC to Partnership with Dean Cain

Dean Cain connected with Gabe after seeing him take a stand against DC Comics and Warner Bros, which became viral news globally back in 2021. Dean resonated with Gabe’s views on “WOKE nonsense” and offered to help Gabe promote his work. They quickly became friends, sharing the same ideals of fatherhood, family values, patriotism, and Christian faith.


The Making of ‘Dean Cain: All-American Lawman’

The story of Dean Cain: All-American Lawman is an homage to the 80s and 90s action movies and starring Dean Cain. After hearing Gabe’s pitch, Dean wrote a character bio for the All-American Lawman, leading to the creation of Chris Tanaka. The name is a tribute to his adoptive father and son, both named Chris, and his biological father’s last name, Tanaka.

Gabe then wrote a plot outline, which Dean approved. From there, the process involved passing it on to illustrator Akheon and writing the dialogue after the artwork was completed. According to Gabe, this is his preferred method as an illustrator himself. Once Akheon finished translating the plot into actual panels and storytelling beats, Gabe was able to understand what the characters were saying. With his background in improv comedy, writing dialogue came easily and enjoyably to him.

The Importance of Values in Storytelling

Gabe places great importance on integrating his morals into his work. He believes that art is a gift from God and it would be unethical to create art that teaches evil lessons. He states that art is merely patterns, and when the human brain recognizes a pattern, it rewards itself with pleasure. This applies to both good and bad lessons in stories.

He emphasizes the significance of storytelling as a powerful form of persuasion. Gabe doesn’t want to contribute to creating art with negative morals that may subconsciously convince people that these are good things to believe in and practice. Instead, he focuses on making his stories entertaining first and subtly incorporates messages into them.


Gabe’s Journey in the Comic Book Industry

Gabe’s journey in the comic book industry started with coloring because he couldn’t hire anyone to color his black-and-white drawings in college. He got into comics during the early 90s Image Comics boom. After seeing Jim Lee and Chris Claremont’s X-Men in 1992, he decided at age 13 that he wanted to work for Jim Lee and become a comic artist like him. This dream was realized in 2007 when Jim Lee himself hired Gabe to work at his studio for DC Comics.

Gabe has worked on notable books like Star Wars for Dark Horse, Batman: Arkham City for DC Comics, and Roughriders for Aftershock Comics. He also loved working on DC Comics Rebirth in 2016. However, his favorite project to date is Dean Cain: All-American Lawman.

For those aspiring to break into the comic book industry, Gabe advises them to practice, be persistent, and never give up. He emphasizes that achievement is not solely based on talent. Success is about sticking with things consistently over the years. He encourages aspiring artists to pursue their goals, no matter how long it takes, because the time will pass anyway.
Gabe Eltaeb has indeed made a significant impact on the comic book industry. His commitment to maintaining the integrity of the art form, his dedication to his craft, and his emphasis on positive values in storytelling are truly commendable. We look forward to more of his captivating work in the future.

soska sisters banner