Ivan Velez, Jr. (b. 1961) is a writer.
Raised in the South Bronx, Ivan was heavily influenced by the chop-socky karate flicks, Astro Boy cartoons, blaxploitation films, Spanish soap operas, and Silver Age comic books that filled every second of his free time. So far, that hasn't changed.
Ivan has written and designed characters for several of the mainstream comic book companies, including Milestone (Blood Syndicate, My Name is Holocaust, and a year-long run on the acclaimed series Static). Both Blood Syndicate and Static have won awards on his shift. His work was also seen in Marvel Comics (3 years on Ghost Rider, Abominations, and a Venom mini-series), DC Comics (Eradicator, Extreme Justice, and Vertigo's Flinch, plus many kid stories for Scooby-Doo, Dexter's Laboratory, Ben 10, and his favorite; Powerpuff Girls).
But Ivan is mostly known as the creator of the seminal Tales of the Closet, a ten-chapter graphic novel that depicts the lives of eight gay teenagers in Queens (first published in 1987 as part of multi-cultural initiatives for various educational programs throughout the country, and winning the 2004 Xeric Grant and even having been serialized in Korea) and has used this to create his own imprint; Planet Bronx Productions. His work has also been seen in several issues of Details magazine, and NYQ. He has sold scripts to HBO and the Hudlin Brothers.
One of the first out gay, and out Latino writers for the mainstream comics industry.