Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sean Phillips variant covers for The Hellblazer.

In stores this week is DC's The Hellblazer #18, with the conclusion to Richard Kadrey's three-part story, "The Bardo Score."  Readers of this blog will be more interested to know that the issue ships with two covers:  the variant cover is by Sean Phillips, who twetted a photo of his comp copies, shown below.

This particular series is part of DC's 2016 Rebirth relaunch, but Sean Phillips has quite a history with the title character, John Constantine.  I believe Phillips' first work for one of the "Big Two" publishers was in 1990, providing the artwork for issue #31 of the original Hellblazer series, with writing by Jamie Delano.

It appears the solicitations have not included images of the variant covers, but Phillips has been treating readers with in-progress work and other previews on his Twitter feed and Instagram feed.

The original painted artwork for this cover is what Sean Phillips has recently put up for sale at Spash Page Comic Art, 'painted in acrylics and colored pencils on 11" 3/4 X16" 1/2 comic art board.'

Phillips' earlier tweet revealed the completed artwork for issue #19, a variant cover with an ominous view of blood-red London.

Solicitations and the subsequent listings on DC's website mention Sean Phillips variants at least through issue #21, covering an arc by the series' new writer Tim Seeley.

Each month, Phillips dedicates the bulk of his working hours to his monthly comic books with Ed Brubaker and the remainder to special projects, such as the artwork accompanying the DVD and Blu-ray releases for the Criterion Collection and Arrow Films. 

(We wonder if he's planning to pivot from these variant covers to that Criminal novella...)

We reached out to the artist himself, and Sean Phillips relays that he's working on a total of six variant covers for the series.

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