Every dozen years or so, a new artist comes along whose style is so different from the comic book norm that they shake up the complacency of the field. Neal Adams was one of those. Alex Ross was another. And then there was Brian Bolland.

Bolland’s career started in the United Kingdom, where he was born March 26, 1951. His first work appeared in fanzines and he made his first professional sale in 1971 to Time Out, a UK magazine. He worked on several British weeklies, including 2000 AD where he started drawing “Judge Dredd” in the late Seventies.

Such an incredible artist gets attention across the pond and, in this case, it was his American friend Joe Staton who helped get him his first assignment at DC, the cover to Green Lantern #127 (Apr. 1980).  Multiple DC assignments followed over the years, including drawing the Camelot 3000 maxiseries and his enormous breakthrough, Batman: The Killing Joke.

Bolland’s popularity with fans grew steadily thanks to his incredibly dynamic covers, which could be seen on his lengthy run on Animal Man, as well as Wonder Woman and Batman: Gotham Knights, winning multiple awards including Harveys and Eisners along the way.

Among my very favorites were the 23 covers he did for The Flash from #164 (Sept. 2000) to #187 (Aug. 2002), missing only one cover during that time. To celebrate the artist’s 72nd birthday, here are 13 of those, including a (Rogues) gallery of great Flash villains.

The Flash #164 (Sept. 2000)

The Flash #165 (Oct. 2000)

The Flash #167 (Dec. 2000)

The Flash #169 (Feb. 2001)

The Flash #171 (Apr. 2001)

The Flash #176 (Sept. 2001)

The Flash #177 (Oct. 2001)

The Flash #178 (Nov. 2001)

The Flash #181 (Feb. 2002)

The Flash #182 (Mar. 2002)

The Flash #183 (Apr. 2002)

The Flash #184 (May 2002)

The Flash #186 (July 2002)


— 13 COVERS: A BRIAN BOLLAND Birthday Salute — 2022 Edition: WONDER WOMAN. Click here.

— 13 COVERS: A BRIAN BOLLAND Birthday Salute — 2020 Edition. Click here.

PETER BOSCH’s first book, American TV Comic Books: 1940s-1980s – From the Small Screen to the Printed Pagehas just been published by TwoMorrows. He has written articles and conducted celebrity interviews for various magazines and newspapers. Peter lives in Hollywood.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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1 Comment

  1. Happy birthday to Brian Bolland. The mention of Alex Ross at the beginning of this article has me wondering when he and Bolland will ever team up. I believe Bolland’s inks for Ross’s pencils would enhance both artists’ line art.

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