Profile: Pioneer High graduate Stalmack has designs on creative goals


Stereotype is defined as “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”

Quick. Picture a concept artist, illustrator or comic artist. Is your “widely held but fixed and oversimplified image” the captain of the high school varsity football team? Probably not.

Thad Stalmack II was an exceptional athlete during his four years at Pioneer High School and was co-captain of both the football team and the swimming and diving team. But when he picked a college he wasn’t “drawing” on his ability to run, jump or swim.

“I don’t consider myself a graphic designer but a writer, illustrator and cartoonist,” said Stalmack. “My dream is to write and publish my own books. Hopefully to gain the ability to later help work on them as films or video games (any other larger project of sorts).”

Stalmack, now 22, was born in Maryland but was raised in Ann Arbor.

During his years at Pioneer he played sports, earned the SEC Sportsmanship Award and graduated with a 3.5-plus grade-point average. He also discovered his creative side and a passion for turning a blank piece of paper into something magical and unique – something all his own.

Stalmack received the Presidential Scholarship from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and was chosen by the school’s Travel Abroad Program to spend a semester in the European Union in 2017. He was on the Dean’s List (2014-2016) and received the Roy B. Justus Comic Art Scholarship of 2016.

He also was featured in the 2017 Minneapolis RAW Gallery and more recently was featured at last year’s ZINE FEST in Minneapolis.

“I have been creating and self-publishing independent comics since 2014,” Stalmack said. “Recently, I’ve been working as an illustrator for NTC Corporate creating educational comics for children. I’m also publishing mini comics through my internship at Uncivilized Books.”

Stalmack, the son of Michelle and Thad Stalmack, is finishing up his last year of college at MCAD and plans on graduating with a BFA this spring.

“My work mainly focuses on science fiction and fantasy,” he says. “Often revolving around themes of action, masculinity, failure, tragedy and individual growth. I do this with sharp, threatening ink work, consistent muddy desaturated color tones, and dirty, textured and pencil illustrations.”

For more on his work, check out




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