Artist Showcase – Bryn DC

Art – by Bryn DC
Words – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

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This accepted reality is but a delicately thin veil. What lies beneath, one can’t even begin to comprehend. Unless of course, you are artist Bryn DC, whose body of work explores this realm of unimaginable horror, bringing nightmares to life through sculpture, photography and moving images.

The year is 2006. The place, a student house in Canberra. Like the others at this party, I am an aspiring young artist, drawn by the promise of something deliciously bohemian and debaucherously dangerous. Not quite Dogs in Space, but still very exciting to a wide-eyed country boy like me. Every room buzzes with an energy that only the young, inspired, and hopeful can create. The bottle in my hand is empty. This minor setback leads me to the kitchen where I retrieve a fresh bottle from the fridge. I remove the twist-top lid and flick it in the general direction of the bin when I am accosted by a tall teenager with angular features.

“Birdseed under the eyelids!” he shouts, wild eyes gleaming under a floppy fringe, “Can you imagine anything more painful?” He gesticulates the action with his hands. As strange as he is, he certainly has my attention.

Flashforward three years, after I’ve escaped our nation’s Capital Territory to settle in Melbourne, and I’ve all but forgotten about this strange boy. Unbeknownst to me, the strange boy has outgrown Canberra and I am surprised to learn that he’s living a suburb away, on the couch of a mutual friend. In need of a place to stay until he finds his feet, he moves in to the spare room of our Brunswick house with my brother and me. With two cats and a backyard, this arrangement is good, if not a little chaotic. The place has become some kind of halfway-home for artists and backpackers. I move out, and life goes on.

Another three years pass, and it comes to be that once again, I have a spare room that Bryn DC ends up living in. With more cats and more backyard, it is slightly less chaotic—though not by much.

Situations and living arrangements change again and again. Every now and then our paths cross, but there is always one constant with Bryn DC, and that’s his passion for horror and art.

Over the years, like many of us, he’s tried his hand at a variety of disciplines to expand his knowledge, and to find his true calling as an artist. The journey has brought him to now, where he’s landed with both feet firmly on the ground, in photography. Drawing on his wide range of skills and experience in special effects and sculpture, he’s able to tell tales that span horror, alternate dystopian timelines (both past and future), and all in a style that is truly recognisable as his own.

The proof is in the pudding.

For more art and full credits visit: https://bryndc.com/


Follow and support Bryn DC at:

https://www.facebook.com/bryndcphotography/

https://www.instagram.com/bryndc/

 

 

Artist Profile: Sam Kieth

Article – By Morgan Thistlethwaite

Maxx-01_Kieth
The Maxx (1993) Image Comics

You either get Sam Kieth or you don’t, and from what I can tell, Sam’s okay with that. Over the years, Kieth’s instantly-recognisable style has not only got him work with all the major comic publishers, but also a devout following for his stories and artwork.

He’s done everything from Batman to Wolverine, Incredible Hulk to Judge Dredd… The list goes on. He was also the first artist to bring Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman to life.

Over the years, he’s written and drawn many of his own books for various publishers but if you’re anything like me, you probably know his name from the comic, The Maxx, which was also adapted into an animated series in way back in 1995.

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Batman: Secrets (2006) DC Comics

His idiosyncratic style, along with the themes his stories explore, are often quite dark yet balanced with a whimsical humour and absurdity. Readers who connect with his material may, like myself, find this connection stays with them their entire life.

Kieth says he became a comic artist because he felt he was never really good enough to do anything else. He grew up reading comics and hung out with other artists, and always felt his work wasn’t up to scratch compared with what he saw other people doing. Despite this, he got himself noticed and scored a few gigs by ruthlessly shopping his work around at comic conventions. It was this effort that led to the Sandman gig, which wasn’t as big a deal at the time, as it might seem to be in hindsight.

sandman_kieth
The Sandman (1989) DC Comics

Five years into his career and Kieth had made his mark, at least on his peers anyway, and when the comics industry shake-up of the early ’90s that gave rise to Image came along, Kieth was invited to join their ranks. It was here that he came up with The Maxx, who made his first appearance as part of Darker Image, a one-shot collection created to showcase original and more adult-oriented content. Kieth’s handful of pages were well-received and he was asked to develop The Maxx as an ongoing title.

This was around the same time that MTV were taking an interest in the ongoing production of animation. Having already found success with Beavis and Butthead and Aeon Flux, MTV approached Kieth to turn The Maxx into a series. Saying yes exposed his modest little comic to a whole new audience.

The Maxx, however, was a long time ago. Since then, Kieth’s stories moved away from the superhero imagery that this book played up to. His following books would delve further into the realm of character study (Zero Girl, Four Women) and exploration of themes previously only touched upon in The Maxx.

Additionally, Kieth has also produced the five-part comic series Ojo, with Chris Wisnia and Alex Pardee. He directed the film Take it to the Limit (2000) and continues today to work as a comic artist and has put together a number of special edition collected books of his work to unleash upon a whole new generation.

For more of Sam Kieth and his art, visit his blog.


References:

http://www.sequentialtart.com/archive/dec01/kieth.shtml
http://www.comicbookdb.com/creator.php?ID=852
http://ifanboy.com/podcasts/talksplode-11-with-sam-kieth-of-my-inner-bimbo-the-maxx-batman-and-more/

 

Comic – Assorted strips

Comic – by Andy Mai Mai


The intricate detail of Andy Mai Mai’s work is testament to the time and dedication poured into each piece, and this assortment of strips are no exception.

Some of these were one-off promotional drawings for Potato Revolution back in the early days. Like all his work, even these one-offs hint at a story larger than the panels they encompass.

Whether contemplative, surreal, comical, or all of the above, Andy’s work always manages to feel incredibly personal.

You can see more of his work on his blog.