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Peter Ledger (October 25, 1945, Sydneymarker, Australia - November 18, 1994, Oakhurst, Californiamarker) was an Australian artist and illustrator. In addition to studying art, he worked with surveying teams in the Australian outback, hunted deer for the government in New Zealand, was a professional scuba diver, a leathermaker and a gourmet cook. He raced motorcycles, flew hot air balloons, was a body builder, and in later years became a private pilot.


Ledger rose to the top as an illustrator in Australia, famous for his intricate airbrush work and fantasy images. In 1977, he won the Art Directors Silver Award for his stunning Surfabout poster. Also in 1977, one of his Golden Breed posters was honored in the Graphis yearbook of award-winning posters from around the world. In 1978, he won the "King of Pop" award for "Best Album Cover Design" for The Angels' album Face to Face.

From around 1978-1979, he lived in New York and worked for Marvel Comics. One of his contributions to the comic book field was the first fully-painted and airbrushed work on the series, Warriors of the Shadow Realm.

In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles to work on a project funded by George Lucas and Gary Kurtz. It was a coffeetable art book of Uncle Scrooge McDuck: His Life and Times, as written and drawn by Carl Barks. Peter was a big fan of Barks' wonderful duck art. His contribution was to hand-paint and airbrush all the stories. He met writer Christy Marx for the second time in that year. They were married on Catalina Island in March 1983. They worked together on comic book, movie and game projects for a total of thirteen years.

As a team, they produced a number of comic book stories, such as Carlos McLlyr, and The Sisterhood of Steel graphic novel.

Peter worked in the film and television business, mainly doing storyboards and preproduction design. He painted robot suits and designed aliens for the movie The Ice Pirates. He created the first Babylon 5 logo, did the first character illustrations and an initial painting of the B5 station. J. Michael Straczynski used this art while selling the series.

Peter loved planes and his particular deep interest, since he was a boy, was the German planes of WWII, most especially the amazing jet aircraft developed during the war. In 1988, Peter and Christy travelled to Bonn, Germany to have Peter's limited edition aviation print signed by famous German WWII ace, Adolf Galland.

Toward the end of 1988, Peter and Christy started working on computer games for Sierra On-Line. He created the art for Conquests of Camelot: King Arthur and the Search for The Grail. Though Peter did continue to produce paintings for use in computer games (Ringworld, Blood and Magic), he never much cared for working with computers.

From about 1990 on, Peter concentrated on doing large wall murals and trompe-l'œil paintings. He partnered with British artist, Susie Wilson. Together, they created many trompe l'oiel works in the Fresno, Oakhurst, and Monterey areas. Most are in private homes, but some of their work can be seen at Castillo's Mexican Restaurant in Oakhurst, CA, on the way to Yosemite: jungle scenes, desert scenes, parrots, a pteradactyl bursting in through an open (trompe-l'œil) window.


On the evening of November 18, 1994, Peter was driving home to Oakhurst from Monterey. He was on a dark country road and he either missed or ignored a stop sign at a blind corner. He was hit broadside by a semi-trailer hauling a full load of cotton. Both vehicles were totalled. The truck driver survived. Peter died instantly. He was buried in the small, historic cemetery in Oakhurst.

His gravestone features a bronze plaque of his face (taken from a life mask), an epitaph poem that Peter had written a few years earlier, and numerous sculpted details created by his son, Julian Ledger.


The Ledger Award (The Ledgers) began in 2004, they are Australian comic art awards created in honor of Peter's contribution to comic book art.


This biographical material was provided by Christy Marx.

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