Brian Bolland (born 1951) is a British comics artist, known for his meticulous, detailed linework and eye-catching compositions. Best known in the UK as one of the definitive Judge Dredd artists for British comics anthology 2000 AD, he spearheaded the ‘British Invasion‘ of the American comics industry, and in 1982 produced the artwork on Camelot 3000 (with author Mike W. Barr), which was DC’s first 12-issue comicbook maxiseries created for the direct market.
In addition to the above credits, Bolland is most widely known as the artist of one of the definitive Batman stories, The Killing Joke. Created in collaboration with writer Alan Moore, The Killing Joke explored the unique relationship shared by Batman and The Joker, providing a template that would underline almost every subsequent portrayal of the dynamic between these characters (up to and including 2008’s Dark Knight film).
Years in the making before its eventual release in 1988, The Killing Joke is, sadly, one of the few complete interior art jobs that Bolland has done in the past 20 years. As you can see, his art style is incredibly detailed and, presumably, incredibly time consuming.
As such, he mainly sticks to covers. Here is a gallery of various Batman-related covers he’s illustrated over the years, many of which come from his extended run as cover artist for Batman: Gotham Knights.
Unlike most comic artists (who still use the traditional pencil and paper illustration method), Brian Bolland has exclusively utilized a Wacom tablet for producing his artwork since the 90s. This allows Bolland more control over the artwork in all capacities, from drawing to coloring. Unfortunately, it also means there is no original artwork for the collectors to search for.
Bolland has also had a Black and White statue based on his work…
…and figures based on his Killing Joke work.
So yeah, I love this guy’s work. It’s a tragedy that he hasn’t done more interior stuff, but I guess I must learn to appreciate what I get, which is a regular stream of some of the best comic covers being produced today. I’ll defintely do another Brian Bolland themed post down the line, but I’ve still got a million 70 Aspects Of Batman posts to do. Y’know, I guess sometimes it’s
P.S. Here’s a link to a short story Bolland both wrote and drew for the Batman: Black And White anthology, entitled “An Innocent Guy”. He has said of this story that “if anyone were to ask me what is the thing I’ve done in my career that I’m most pleased with, it would be this.” Enjoy.