As reported earlier here at The Cimmerian, award-winning artist, Timothy Bradstreet, is the creator behind all of the black-and-white pieces for the upcoming El Borak and Other Desert Adventures from Del Rey. Above is one of his illustrations for that volume (recently posted on the homepage of Conan.com).
Yesterday, Bradstreet updated his website to discuss his work on the project.* Bradstreet succintly gives major props to Robert E. Howard and his fiction. He also reveals that actor Thomas Jane worked with him to provide photo references for many of the pieces. While Bradstreet doesn’t specifically say so, I’ve heard through the grapevine that Jane is an REH fan as well. In my opinion, if an El Borak or Kirby O’Donnell movie was to be made, the producers could do far worse than cast Jane as the lead.
Jane has worked with Bradstreet previously on the many Punisher projects that the artist has illustrated (see the illo above). I’ve never been a huge fan of artists working largely from photo reference. The practice seems to induce too much staticity and renders them lifeless (don’t get me started on Vallejo’s post-’70s work). That said, Bradstreet is one of those rare birds (like sports artist, Ted Watts, whom I’ve known for almost four decades) who can instill vigor and movement into his art despite using photographic references. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the nearly seventy illustrations from Bradstreet when El Borak and Other Desert Adventures hits the bookshelves.
*My thanks to [redacted] for the tip.