Tim Bradstreet is one of the quintessential noir styled illustrators who has lent his creative talents to creating book covers, movie storyboards and animation, roleplaying games, trading cards and posters. His versatility has garnered him much exposure over the years, a far cry from his early days when he struggled to be noticed. His landmark style has earned him rave reviews from his peers, and with his iconic dark realism and photographic quality in his work , Bradstreet has achieved his status as one of the premier artists in the comic book cover genre.
Tim Bradstreet started off his career trying to break into the industry by attending numerous conventions and getting small bits of work to gain a foothold in the world of comics. He began to develop his skills with legend Tim Truman on a project entitled Dragon Chiang in the early 90s. After a few minor jobs, he was commissioned for a full comic book illustration gig for Clive Barker’s Age of Desire, but fell ill and was forced off the project.
To this day, Bradstreet maintains that he’d never entertain the idea of doing a full length comic book unless it was directed under his own terms. From there, he found a comfortable niche in developing dark, brooding images for role playing games such as Twilight 2000 and Shadowrun. But his early claim to fame started with his work in White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade series.
After much critical acclaim, Bradstreet began to receive better offers from comic book companies such as Dark Horse and Vertigo, and some more prominent roles in Marvel‘s Punisher and Blade titles. Over the course of the decade, Tim Bradstreet would work on projects such as Activision’s Vampire Bloodlines video game; he would work closely with writer Andrew Vachss on two titles – Hard Looks and Another Chance to Get it Right. In addition to this work, Tim Bradstreet developed imagery for Gangland, Unknown Soldier, Human Target and Hellblazer series, with Hellblazer being one of his most successful cover runs.
He was nominated for a number of awards: in 1995 he was nominated as Best Artist by the International Horror Guild, and in 2005 was nominated for his Hellblazer covers, again by the IHG. In 2002, he was nominated for an Eisner award for Best Cover Artist, also for Hellblazer.
Tim Bradstreet has also done concept work for the movies, assisting Guillermo del Toro in his production of Blade II in 2000, and in 2003 he created poster artwork and other artwork for The Punisher live action movie. It was his experience as the regular cover artist for both Hellblazer and Punisher that earned him the concept work for film – his unique style captured the attention of a number of execs who noticed his style. With over 70+ covers for both titles to his credit. It was obvious that Bradstreet had a great understanding of the characters he portrayed in such dramatic fashion.
Once his run on the Hellblazer comic came to an end, Bradstreet moved on to newer projects such as covers for Criminal Macabre of Dark Horse, and alongside his good friends Thomas Jane, Steve Niles and Lewis Larosa on the Bad Planet series.
His dreams of bringing his own pet project Red Sky Diary to the big screen are slowly beginning to come to life. Starting initially as rough stories and concept artwork, Bradstreet has created an entire world surrounding his character of Manfred Gallows. Many of his loyal fans await the development of a full length film – until then, he continues to create some of the best cover artwork in comics in the last 20 years.
When you see his work, you know Tim Bradstreet is the man in Maximum Black. For more information on Tim Bradstreet, check out his website, or get your hands on Archetype: The Art of Timothy Bradstreet, which has an amazing selection of work from his portfolio and more indepth details of his life and his process.