Interview With Dan Brereton (Portion)
By Kim August
Below is a portion of the 1999 interview I conducted with
Adventures of Snake
Plissken cover arist Dan Brereton. Dan's dynamic
painting style makes him a cult
favorite in the comic world and one of my favorite artists. Image ©1997 -
Brereton and used with Permission.
Why do you think so many artists don't
paint their pages as you do?
Most of us grew up reading and looking at line art comics, and
that's what you
is the standard. Plus, drawing is easier for most than painting. Also I think
fewer opportunities to paint than to pen and ink. That's all. It could change with
advent of color computer stuff, but really, painting a book takes longer and goes
the production line ethic needed for monthly books. I couldn't do a monthly
book. It comes down to that. If they could get a monthly painted book out of
like me or Alex or whoever, they'd do more, I'm sure.
I love the look, very realistic, like oil paintings. Do you work
from models, photos...
Yes, models, friends, family. I shoot references based on
and I go from there. It helps get a lot of things correct and also allows
ability to stray without losing structure, light pattern. The trick is to not get
down and become a slave to the photo ref. It's there to bounce off of, a launch
The stuff I do for myself, in my doodle and notebooks, looks doodle, cartoony,
I like it, but you can't sell it to fans. So the realistic part of
adds that level of craft that I can't do alone. I'm just not that good.
There was and still is to a certain degree a frowning on of the
use of photo ref by
but its largely a misconception. All good artists who want their stuff to have
realism of any kind, will use reference (or scrap as some call it) in their
it takes different forms and some rely on it less than others. But to think
can draw everything out of your head, or copy it from the way another artist did
is not a creative or learning process. And when a thing is badly drawn, it's badly
and it's just too easy to get the reference to avoid that.
And now onto a favorite topic of ours, Snake Plissken. How did
you land the Snake
Marvel called me and asked me if I was interested and I was!
Are you a fan of the character, the Escape films? Snake
seems to be your type of
Talks little, packs some big guns! (and of course he's a futuristic cowboy).
Big fan of Kurt Russell films directed
John Carpenter. The Thing is on my top
all time fave movies. And I have always
the laconic, enigmatic Snake.
Did you work from photo refs on this one
was a shot of Kurt from EFLA that was
They sent me a few partially useful
from Escape From L.A., but nothing
spectacular. They also art-directed me
a corner, which is too bad. If they'd
up on the cover image, I think I could
came up with a better image, but it
out alright, I guess.