I first met Bryan at a small comic book convention at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in November 2004. At the time, I was looking for an artist to illustrate “Descur”, a story I had written in a screenplay format (then entitled “Stone Heart”). I had already interviewed close to a hundred artists for the job, but hadn’t found the one to bring “Descur” to life.
It was late in the afternoon and the place was only minutes before closing but I decided to go in anyway: I had been looking for it for hours after getting lost in downtown L.A. I was too close to turn around. So, without too many expectations, I walked into the auditorium. Everyone was packing up. It was probably too late for me to find what I’d been looking for. But, as everybody was already leaving, I continued to the very end of the convention and I saw a guy sitting at a small table in the artists alley. A few of his sketches were neatly displayed on his table and he was working on a new piece. I approached and took a look at his drawings. The first thing that struck me was the details he put in every one of them. There were dragons, monsters, and naked chicks with swords (hey, it’s a comic book world!). The dark tone of his illustrations was perfect for “Descur”. I told him I was looking for someone to illustrate my story and asked if he would do a few test pages for me. He gave me his email and I told him I’d contact him that night. He later told me he didn’t expect me to contact him at all, since he’d heard that same story about a hundred times before. But I did email him. That night. I sent him a quick scene to draw for “Descur” and hoped he’d return the pages after a couple weeks at most. But I didn’t hear from him for almost two months. Until one day, I received a little package in the mail. When I opened it, I found Bryan’s 3 test pages. It took me about half a second to know that he was the guy who would draw “Descur”. The details, the tone, everything in it screamed his name. I contacted him that very day and for the next 5 years, he drew all the pages of “Descur” and a few covers. I have never worked with an artist so dedicated to a project and who would put so much passion into his work. His style improved with every page, and I think he really understood what “Descur” was about: a tortured soul, looking for a reason to live when everything seems lost.
Bryan passed away just a few weeks before the third and final chapter of the “Descur” trilogy came out in Heavy Metal Magazine, but he knew it was getting published, and he had seen the final pages colored. He knew his work was going to be complete and I’m sure he’s still keeping an eye on it from above.
His art will live on with “Descur”, and I couldn’t be more proud to have known him and worked with him for all these years. We will all miss him.
So it’s only natural that this first blog is about him. Because he brought “Descur” to life.
Rest in peace my friend, this one’s for you.
- Michael Giordani, writer “Descur”