Illustrator Feature: Christopher Steininger

Illustrator Feature: Christopher Steininger

Modo, who first made his appearance in The Hunchback Assignments, is a young, disfigured spy trained to be the ultimate secret agent. Not only is Modo brilliant and strong, but he also has a special ability: he can temporarily take on the appearance of other people.

While on holiday, Modo and fellow spy Octavia Milkweed find themselves in Ember’s End. Created by the slightly mad scientific genius Dr. Ebenezer Ember, this is no ordinary wild-west town. It is surrounded by an energy field that prevents gunpowder from firing, and messages are sent via pneumatic tubes. There are also rumors that before Dr. Ember died, he built a weapon so powerful it could end all wars. With the local sheriff recently deceased, the two travelers are suddenly put in charge of Ember’s End law enforcement.

Tell us about the illustration style of your book? How did you decide what it would be?

I use whatever style suits the story. For this book, it seemed a fun, upbeat, punchy dynamic look would fit best.

9781459817210What is your favorite medium to use?

Ink on paper.

What are your favorite ways to procrastinate?

I never should have bought Witcher III.

Where do you do your illustrations? What would be your ideal place to work?

I work at my home studio which luckily is my ideal place to work. Phew!

What is your favorite spread in your book?

Definitely the big double page spread reveal at the end.

Did you do any research for your illustrations?

Oh, yes. I used a lot of reference from old western towns, to horses to motors, etc. Research is important. You’re only as good as your reference!

Do you have any special or unlikely talents?

I am unbeatable in Cribbage.

Do you listen to anything—music, podcasts, audio books—while you work?

I mostly listen to lectures or classical music. Lately it’s Jordan B. Peterson and Antonín Dvořák.

How do you know when an illustration is finished?

It’s when you feel like adding anything more will take away from what is there. It’s a very tricky sweet spot. It’s a little like cooking.

Modo: Ember’s End is available now!

Steininger, ChristopherChristopher Steininger has done storyboards for numerous shows and video games, including Marvel’s Avengers Assemble and Spec Ops: The Line. He’s also created concept art for a variety of projects, such as Warhammer 40K and Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast. He is the illustrator of In Search of Hannibal, a historically accurate retelling of Hannibal’s epic battle against Rome, and the creator of the Dead Heaven fantasy series. He lives in Inglewood, Ontario. For more information, visit

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