John F. Malta is a visual artist who lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri.  Malta's work explores a perpetually evolving narrative inspired by his teenage years traversing the Northeast Ohio punk scene, wading through murky creeks, and skateboarding till he could no longer see the road in front of him. His most recent work is cluttered with artifacts from a life spent raising reptiles, reading comics, and exploring the Great American Plains with his pitbull Hanz. John has worked on illustrations and projects with The New Yorker, Adult Swim, The New York Times, Quality Eats NYC, Brasserie Dunham, MIT Technology Review, and Valley Cruise Press.

John studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts Illustration as Visual Essay MFA program in New York City and is a recipient of the 2012 Xeric grant.  His work has been exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, Taiwan, Australia, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, Vancouver, and widely across the Midwest.

John is the editor and publisher of Universal Slime, an annual comics, illustration, and art anthology. His comics and books are available at Secret Headquarters and Seite Books in Los Angeles and Desert Island in Brooklyn. You can find more info about his projects and collaborations at Bent: Design Lab.

  • Feature and Interview on the Kansas City centric website Made in the Middle. I talk about my illustrations, zines, toys, professional wrestling, and livin' in the midwest.
  • Feature and Interview in Rubystar Magazine
  • " Picture a universe filled with purple dogs, pink cave giants, yellow punks playing basketball. Purple and blue forests, acid blue skies, or Barbara Maitland,  the character from the late 80’s hit movie “Beetlejuice”, always eating junk food. Adventurous and delightful, Malta’s short-narratives and graphic novels are distinguishable by his use of bold lines and psychedelic panels" -Decompoz Magazine


Comic Arts Los Angeles // Dec. 2015 // Photo via Comics Grinder

Comic Arts Los Angeles // Dec. 2015 // Photo via Comics Grinder

"John Malta is a character that is well-respected in the world of skate art and illustration. His peers seem to have a reverence for him, like he lives on another plane of creativity. And when you look at his work, you can see why. Each piece in this series, which he created for Think Tank Gallery's "Dude Monsters" exhibit back in 2012, bears witness to a universe all its own, in which a group of characters interacts with one another by a set of guidelines to which we aren't privy here in the real world. Each painting also carries its own unique color palette, which fits completely with his illustrative style of shading and outlining" -Think Tank Gallery

Partial Client List

The New Yorker, Adult Swim, The New York Times, Quality Eats NYC, Brasserie Dunham, Valley Cruise Press, Vice, TEDxKC, Ghost Robot, Creative Control (Film), Reunion Goods & Services, Lands' End Canvas, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, MIT Technology Review, Asset International, Willamette Week, The Stranger, Portland Mercury, The Village Voice, The Globe & Mail, Sacramento News & Review, Surfing Magazine, Blood is the New Black, AARP: Life Reimagined, and Pennsylvania Gazette. 


New Image Art Gallery, Superchief Gallery, Good Mother Gallery, Upper Playground PDX, Giant Robot 2, Space 15 Twenty, Think Tank Gallery, Rivington Design House, Taipei World Design Expo, Not Gallery, Choque Cultural Gallery, Flat Color Gallery, Rare Gallery, Temp Gallery SoHo, Double Punch Gallery, Roy G Biv Gallery, Wonderfair Gallery, Paradigm Gallery, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Skylab Gallery, Grasshut Gallery, The Shelf Gallery, Chop Chop Gallery, Interurban Gallery, and Spore Print Info-Shop