Tim Bradstreet Says Metal and Comics Are for Escapists Everywhere
“Metal music and comics are the choice of escapists everywhere,” artist Tim Bradstreet, who got his start designing role-playing games before breaking into sequential art and then covers for comics, told Noisecreep. “And not just the fans, but the musicians themselves, from the Ramones to Monster Magnet to Rob Zombie! They are inspired, and that inspiration finds its way into their own creations. You see it in the art of rock and metal music itself. Maybe not in the actual sequential artwork to a great degree, but certainly the genre themes that comics offer us.”
Bradstreet, who designed the cover of Revolver’s oral history of Pantera‘s ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ issue, as well as the cover of Iron Maiden‘s ‘A Matter of Life and Death,’ is working on a variety of films (‘Sweetwater’ and ‘The Devil’s Commandos’), graphic novels (‘Jennifer Blood,’ ‘Deep West’ and various ‘Punisher’ projects) and novels (‘Rogue Angel’). But he’s got a hankering for metal.
He continues about the metal/comics connection, saying, “Thankfully, it’s not all superheroes! Superheroes are great, but there is so much more. Dave Wyndorf from Monster Magnet actually wrote a song called ‘Ego the Living Planet’ on ‘Dopes to Infinity,’ right out of the pages of Thor! What else is there to do when you’re on the road? It can’t be all Jack Kerouac. You gotta have a complete run of Mike Mignola’s ‘BPRD,’ some ['Hellboy' comics], the latest issue of ‘Jonah Hex’ and a collection of ‘Famous Monsters of Filmland’ in mylar bags and stuffed into a magazine box to keep you entertained!”
Bradstreet, who considers himself an illustrator, told us he’s been a fan of heavy metal since he first heard Judas Priest‘s ‘British Steel’ when he was a wee lad in seventh grade. “I’d been listening to Kiss for a few years and Queen, too, which I guess you could call a precursor to metal. So that predates my introduction to ‘Breaking the Law.’ So yeah, I’ve been listening to metal kind of all my life. I’ve seen Maiden and Priest a lot, and Ozzy and Metallica, too. I’ve always been a big fan of the band Trouble from Aurora, Ill.
“I’ve strayed into other musical styles over the years, but I get into these huge resurgences where I bust out all the old stuff and crank it for a month or two. My wife hates it when I do that [laughs]. Some of my favorite bands are the aforementioned as well as classic [Black] Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Rollins Band, Tool, Monster Magnet, A Perfect Circle, Helmet, Fu Manchu, Bigelf, Fireball Ministry and the new Alice in Chains. I’m not a big fan of nu-metal. Some stuff is OK, but for the most part, it fails to find the energy and legitimacy of the real thing, for me anyway. One thing I try never to do is make someone feel inadequate or stupid because they are into music that I’m not. If you wanna listen to Debbie Boone or Garth Brooks, then have at it. I’ll be over here with my Maiden albums!”
In other Bradstreet news, he is working on a book with full-page illustrations in black and white. “Each illustration in the book will have a prose fiction story to go with it,” he said. “It’s the creative process flipped on its ass. Instead of me drawing a story that exists, the writers of this project will each get to pick an illustration and then come up with a story for it, and I’m giving them almost complete autonomy to do whatever they want with it.”