Jump to content
Tim Bradstreet

(Bradstreet) It's been a great run folks . . .

Recommended Posts

To my wonderful friends and supporters at Straight To Hell -

 

Sadly, after seven years on the title, I'm being lifted from my cover duties on Hellblazer.

I've been feeling this coming for a while. Heavier than usual art direction over the last year was my first clue. Prior to that I'd never really gotten much. "Do what you do" was the order of the day. It was a wonderful freedom to have. And still, in spite of the recent propensity for direction from on high the last year was a thorough pleasure.

 

When I left to work in Italy last May I was forced to make a decision with respect to my normal process of cover work. Not being sure of how I'd be able to print my black and white line art onto watercolor board for hand painting led me to go digital for color until last January. Expedience and a thick schedule prevented me and my painter (Grant Goleash) from switching back to that process in the 5 months since we returned. I'd been getting a lot of comments from upstairs concerning my more digital or photo realistic look since the switch. We tried a lot of different methods in an effort to make them look more hand painted but still we were met with a steady course of disapproval. Unfortunately while we were in Italy we simply had no choice. I've been told that this was a contributing factor to my losing the gig, which is indeed a shame (if this is true) given that I've done everything in my power to make every cover the best it can be. It's a little disturbing that a small change in technique should meet with such disapproval when the end result (in my opinion) can still go toe to toe with any cover art out there. I am extremely proud of the recent work and ultimately I know it's good shit. Like I said, this was a contributing factor.

 

I'm sure the real reason I'm leaving is based on the fact that Hellblazer sales are in the tank. Sales have been slowly declining every month (give or take a month here or there) since Azzarello left. This should have no reflection on Mike Carey. I think he's done a wonderful job and it's been a pleasure to work with him. Who can explain it? The movie didn't really help sales of the regular title and I'm sure DC was hoping to receive a boost because of it. But no, I think it's hovering somewhere around 14,000 books a month which is not too much above break even.

So here's what. DC is looking to revamp the title. To do that they need to throw a changeup. That means getting a new writer and a new cover artist. I don't think getting rid of Manco was an option since he's fairly new to the title and he's doing an excellent job. Mike was leaving anyway so no sweat for him. But for me it's a sad day when I finish my last stroke on the cover to issue 215. Hey, don't cry for me, it's been a GREAT run. I've had a ball every step of the way. I'm not going to act like some kind of jilted lover. The folks who run the show simply feel it's time for a change and they feel I'm expendable. It's not like I will have trouble getting work. I'm busier now than I have ever been after 19 years in the freelance shark tank. The rub for me is that I do not feel I've said all I can say with the character. The decision to stay or go was taken out of my hands and for me that's a shame. I'd have loved to have done it on my own terms.

 

I have no ill will towards anyone at DC. They had to make a hard decision on the flagship Vertigo title. I respect that. I'd rather see Hellblazer stay alive and on the shelves. If overhauling the book can accomplish that than more power to them.

 

My hope is that maybe someday I'll make a return to the title that I love so dearly. I think that would be wonderful thing. Think about it Vertigo, you know where to find me.

 

In seven years I have made some fantastic friends at Vertigo/DC. Some are gone now, some have moved on and most are still in the house. Big thanks to Karen Berger, Richard Brunning, Axel Alonso (who brought me to the title), Will Dennis, Tony Bedard, Mr. Jon Vankin, Casey Siejas, Jenny Lee, Zach Rau, Bill Kaplan, Stuart Moore, Shelly Roeberg (Bond), and the immortal Archie Goodwin.

 

And don't think I'm going anywhere folks. Here's what's coming up -

 

1. The Punisher - every month from Marvel

2. Bad Planet - Image/Raw Studios - coming in December.

Created and written by Thomas Jane and Steve Niles. Pencils by Lewis Larosa and inks by yours truly. Covers by Bradstreet, Bernie Wrightson, William Stout, and Dave Stevens.

3. Jonah Hex - upcoming cover for the mini written by Jimmy Palmiotti.

4. Movie posters for "The Lurkers" and "In The Blood" from Lion's Gate Films.

5. Sandman Mystery Theater - Covers for the 5 issues

6. Hellblazer: Warlord - By John Shirley - Cover art

7. Punisher: First Kill - By Garth Ennis - Cover art.

 

Finally, thanks to all of you who have helped me with reference, comments, advice and feedback.

Thanks to you folks for keeping me honest. A huge thanks to Mr. John McMahon, the man, the myth , the mugwump. Straight To Hell is truly the OFFICIAL Hellblazer site despite no actual affiliation with DC.

 

And just cause I'm leaving the book doesn't mean I'm leaving the boards here. You can't get rid of me that easily.

 

Cheers all - Tim Bradstreet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a real shame, especially since your recent covers (well, over the past couple of years) have been wonderfully creative. In fact, your recent digital work has been - in my opinion, at least - even better than your pen and ink stuff.

 

Glad to see you're sticking around on the boards - it's always cool when a pro drops by, and even cooler when they're as friendly and intelligent as yourself.

 

The moment you and Constantine are reunited, I'll be there like a bullet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will definitely miss your covers--they were evocative, interesting, and were pretty much what kept me buying the book during Azzarello's run.

 

That said, your portrayal of Book for the Serenity miniseries is one of the most beautiful portraits I have ever seen.

 

I wish you well, and will add my voice to those who say that your art will be missed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first contact I ever had with Tim was when he posted on a thread over on one of our earlier forums - I was surprised by how incredibly passionate he obviously was about Hellblazer and ever since then he's been a great friend to this place. That sounds eerily like the opening line for a eulogy! This is obviously shit news and I have to say it doesn't make much sense to me - sure Hellblazer sales have been a little static but Tim Bradstreet is recognised as one of THE leading cover artists in US comics - who the fuck are they going to find to replace an artist like him ?

 

If nothing else, Vertigo owe him a chance to work on some Hellblazer interiors - and he should be given time to bring his best to the table - hell, if you want to boost sales then 22 pages of Bradstreet art is the way to go.

 

Tim mate, I hope you continue to haunt us on occassion, or failing that get the chance to bring that Constantine on Survivor style story to print! Thanks for the ace covers over the years and cheers in particular for the countless hook ups. Speaking of which, care of Tim, here's a sneak look at the cover to 213 and a nicer version of 212.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll be missed, Tim. Thanks for the great work - it's been hugely appreciated, and it won't be the same without you. Still, it's good to hear you'll be sticking around here, at least.

 

Best of luck to you, man. Thanks again.

 

EDIT:

If nothing else, Vertigo owe him a chance to work on some Hellblazer interiors - and he should be given time to bring his best to the table - hell, if you want to boost sales then 22 pages of Bradstreet art is the way to go.

 

Oh, and this is fucking gospel. Get on it, Vertigo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If nothing else, Vertigo owe him a chance to work on some Hellblazer interiors - and he should be given time to bring his best to the table - hell, if you want to boost sales then 22 pages of Bradstreet art is the way to go.

Second that totally! Will it do any good to send DC a few emails 'politely' suggesting this as a way of listening to the grass roots?

 

Good luck Tim, I've only returned to the title in the last few months after more than a decade away and feel a real disappointment at this news, those who've been with you since the start must be feel right pissed off. When I started picking it up again the first thing your covers did was to remind me that though the whole premise of John's talent/curse is based within the fantastical, the real hook for me is the gritty realism that surrounds Hellblazer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your recent covers have also been particular favorites of mine.... Low sales or not, I think your covers have always been particularly appealing from just an artistic perspective. I like how different they appear from other comic covers on the shelves. Well it's sad to see you go but I'm very glad to see that you won't be going away. I haven't been here for long but I thought it was incredibly cool to see you posting here with your artwork. Good luck with all your upcoming projects!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You'll be missed, Tim. Thanks for the great work - it's been hugely appreciated, and it won't be the same without you. Still, it's good to hear you'll be sticking around here, at least.

 

Best of luck to you, man. Thanks again.

 

EDIT:

If nothing else, Vertigo owe him a chance to work on some Hellblazer interiors - and he should be given time to bring his best to the table - hell, if you want to boost sales then 22 pages of Bradstreet art is the way to go.

 

Oh, and this is fucking gospel. Get on it, Vertigo.

 

AYE!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim's was one of the few covers that actually jumped out at me over the years. At least I can see his covers elsewhere on the comic racks.

All I can say is; damn fine work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In fact, your recent digital work has been - in my opinion, at least - even better than your pen and ink stuff.

 

 

Here's the misconception. Only the color is digital. I still hand draw with pen and ink, every cover. EVERY COVER, with the exception of issue 212 which is a combination of hand drawn and digital. Just wanted to clarify.

 

And thank you all for the kind wishes. A Hellblazer one-off is in the future, never fear. John Vankin and I have been discussing it. It won't happen for a while but my hope is to work with Denise Mina before she leaves the title. My one demand may be doing the cover as well. We'll see how it goes.

 

- TB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a better understanding of the process check out the link John posted to 213 in his post.

It will show you the black and white line drawing. And if this attachment thing will work for me (it's being very laggy and wierd) you can see what that line drawing looks like when fully painted in photoshop.

In other words, here's a sneak peek at the finished 213 cover.

- TB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAMMIT, Tim, I'm so upset about this. IMO, you had the best covers and I just love to stare at them for a while. I have a Punisher poster on my wall illustrated by you, for the Punisher movie. I love your work I and pray that good things continue on for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks John -

Also big thanks to Ade Brown.

Ade - I got this background from the shots you sent me. It was perfect to stand in as . . .

But that would be letting the cat out of the bag. Suffice it to say - Thanks Ade.

 

- TB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the great work. You'll be sorely missed, I'm sure.

 

I do look forward to catching your future work, though, wherever it may lead you. Please continue to stop by once in a while to let us know what's new.

 

Keep on keepin' on...

 

Cheers,

Pru

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn Tim, don't they know you're part of the furniture ?

Given the recent Vertigo covers policy has been bonkers, this comes as less of a surprise, and from what I know at least two of your covers have been buggered up after your work was well and truly done.

 

Take those comments about Constantine on the plains of Hell for example.

 

Glad to see some of your coming work (Jonah Hex! and is that a NEW ******* Mystery ******* book I see before me or the collections?)

 

At the end of the day, any failure of the film to boost sales is down to lack of integrity and lack of cross-publicity - classic managerial practice says the people who make those decisions will take it out on someone else.

 

Please stick around here when you can.

Hope to see your work on things I like for years to come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks John -

Also big thanks to Ade Brown.

Ade - I got this background from the shots you sent me. It was perfect to stand in as . . .

But that would be letting the cat out of the bag. Suffice it to say - Thanks Ade.

 

- TB

 

I know that place !

(Both of them ;-) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jonah Hex - upcoming cover for the mini written by Jimmy Palmiotti.

 

Love me some cowboy action, so I'll be all over this, if it looks to be any good at all. Bradstreet cover art will be a particularly gratifying bonus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh , and my bad . . . there are two other covers that are entirely digital, 192, and 201.

OK so that's two and a half covers that are digital out of like 80 covers.

The other 77.5 covers are all by hand. That's my final answer ;)

- TB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

_40507011_vader.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's sad that it's ending the way it is, too, and I'm none too fucking pleased. What can I say - it's great to have a creative and talented cover artist on the most character driven comic I read and a lot of that goes to Tim Bradstreet's iconic shots of Constantine.

 

Hang around a while too, Tim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Darth Vader (and jaynova above), put it best.

 

Truth be told, and I say it without a hint of cliche, it was your covers that got me into the Hellblazer books. Without 'em, I doubt I'd even be reading this title today.

 

I'm really sorry to see you go Mr. Bradstreet, and I think it's a mistake for Vertigo to take the best damned cover artist off their flagship title.

 

And I'm in agreement with the rest of the board here when they say 22 pages.

 

P.S. Jonah Hex? Count me in!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...