iFanboy Upstarts: Reilly Brown

Comics isn’t a business where someone can just blindly jump in and make a success of themselves; they have to learn the ropes, learn how editors and publishers work, and learn the way to handle yourself in the industry. A surprising number of comic creators got their start by doing internships at major publishing houses, including the likes of Joe Madureira. An enterprising young artist in today’s marketplace got his start in the same way, and now he’s on the path to go from reliable company man to making a name on his own.

Reilly Brown got his first taste of the comics business by working as an intern at Marvel in the summer of 2002. The artist went on to get a degree in illustration from Virginia Commonwealth University, in the early ears of the 21st century split his time between doing samples for Big Two and creating a number of small press books. In 2005 his luck finally caught up to his skill and he got his first shot at the big time with a story in that year’s Marvel Holiday Special. In short work he landed a regular assignment drawing Cable & Deadpool. From time to time Reilly moonlighted doing freelance work such as a one-off comic for the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey, but he quickly became a trusted company man for Marvel editors to put on its lower tier books. Brown went on to have stints on Deadpool, New Warriors and Incredible Hercules as well as standalone books like Chaos War: Alpha Flight and Spider-Man: You’re Hired. In the summer of 2011 he got his biggest gig yet, stepping in to illustrate the two part “The Substitute” arc of Amazing Spider-Man with writer Christos Gage. Since then Brown turned his focus on creator-owned project, starting with the digital-first series Power Play. Mixing extreme sports with superheroes, this story by Brown and Kurt Christenson is a fun romp mixing superpowers and sports.

Brown may not be the flashiest artist in comics, but he’s developed a strong sense of storytelling and an approach that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Comparable to a degree to a young Rags Morales or John Buscema, Reilly seems to be floating around waiting for the right project to put his name on the map for the comics industry at large.

Comments

  1. I love that Cap gray scale and whoever that dude underneath him is, thats a great inked sketch that doesn’t even look like its done from the same artist. Fun image of Deadpool upside down shooting and the panels in Power Play worked well and felt like action was happening. He may not be a flashy artist but definitely could be.

  2. Mickey (@GeeksOfChrist) says:

    Cool!

    I happen to be listening to Princess of Mars as I’m scrolling through, so the John Carter pin-up was most welcome!

  3. Awesome stuff. I saw this guy on the Friday sketches a few weeks ago, and was immediately impressed. I’ll pick up anything with this guy on it right now.

  4. Very cool! I’ve been a fan of Reilly Brown’s work since he was on “Cable & Deadpool”, and we have the same hometown. Glad to see him featured!

  5. Glad to see Reilly Brown featured. I watched his art really grow during his run on Cable & Deadpool. He went from “eh” caliber to top notch in a couple of years. Check out the last 10 issues or so of that run – what was collected in the Deadpool vs. Marvel Universe TP – for a really great showing for Reilly. Good stuff.

  6. That last picture made my day.

  7. Got my first ever sketch from this guy. A complete class act. Might double dip at C2E2 this weekend