Tony Millionaire was born in 1956 and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He grew up surrounded by a family of artists. His mother teaches art to Junior High School students, while his father is an advertiser and designer. Two of Millionaire’s grandparents were artists (one of his grandfathers was friends with the cartoonist Roy Crane). Millionaire’s mentor/grandfather was also an illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post and various adventure books and magazines. Millionaire also picked up his predilection for drawing ships and ocean scenes from his grandfather.
Millionaire attended the Massachusetts College of Art in 1974 for four years. Until the age of 35, he made extra money by drawing people’s houses for about $50.00 a piece. Before achieving fame and fortune with Fantagraphics, he also did illustration work for The New York Press and The New Yorker, and animation for Saturday Night Live.
Tony Millionaire’s Maakies is one of the most popular weekly comic strips in America, running in many of the largest U.S. weekly newspapers, including the Village Voice, the L.A. Weekly, the Chicago Reader and Seattle’s The Stranger. He has won numerous Eisner and Harvey Awards, including “Best Syndicated Strip” in 2004 and “Best Writer/Artist — Humor” in 2007.
Photo by by Guillaume Paumier at the Alternative Press Expo 2010, organized at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco, California, by Comic-Con International on Oct. 16-17, 2010.
Maakies has been collected in numerous volumes published by Fantagraphics. Other, non-Maakies book releases include his series of Sock Monkey comics, graphic novels, and children’s books and The Art of Tony Millionaire from Dark Horse Comics, and, from Fantagraphics, Mighty Mite: The Earmite, the acclaimed original graphic novel series Billy Hazelnuts and 500 Portraits.
Tony Millionaire lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife, the actress Becky Thyre, and their two daughters.