Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Artist.
Working name of American artist Gerald Brom (1965- ). Growing up in the family of a United States Army pilot, the young Brom lived in a number of locations and concluded his formal education by graduating from high school in Frankfurt, Germany. The self-trained Brom first worked in commercial art before joining TSR in 1989, contributing art to the Dungeons and Dragons game and painting book covers, with particular attention to developing imagery for the Dungeons and Dragons Dark Sun series. Providing what the market demanded, Brom initially specialized in unremarkable full-body portraits of male and female warriors, but his art gradually took on the darker ambience, suggestive of Horror, that would later be his trademark. His cover for James Lowder's Prince of Lies (1993) might be regarded as a transitional work, presenting an armoured warrior painted in full colour accompanied by a pale demon writhing in pain and a dark-haired woman with a gleaming white body and cape. Ten years later, painting a new cover for the same book, Brom offered a grimmer image of a pale robed figure, recalling Ingmar Bergman's Death, holding a sword in front of a strange symbol while standing at an unsettling forty-five-degree angle to the reader.
Brom left TSR in 1994 and, as a freelancer, began painting covers for other publishers, including White Wolf and Del Rey Books, though he later did some additional covers and artwork for TSR. One distinctive effort, for a 1997 republication of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan at the Earth's Core (September 1929-March 1930 Blue Book; 1930) and Tarzan the Invincible (October 1930-April 1931 Blue Book as "Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle"; 1931), offered a macabre take on Burroughs's hero by showing the ape man crouching in the shadows while an ethereal elongated hand seems poised to attack him. Well after he had established himself as a successful artist, Brom was rather incongruously honoured with the Jack Gaughan Award as an Emerging Artist in 1999.
The artist was also branching out to do artwork for Comics, toys, role-playing and computer games, and films, including Galaxy Quest (1999), John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars (2001), Scooby Doo (2002), and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). He ventured into yet another arena in 2007 by publishing The Plucker: An Illustrated Novel (2005), the first of four novels to date which he also illustrated. The interior illustrations for his first novel earned Brom his second Chesley Award, while the cover of his second novel, The Devil's Rose: An Illustrated Novel (2009) – an outré portrait of a sepulchral figure riding a motorcycle with a horse's head – can be said to epitomize his singular artistic style. Having already accumulated four awards and thirty award nominations, the relatively youthful Brom seems like to go on to even greater achievements in the future. [GW]
born Albany, Georgia: 9 March 1965
- The Plucker: An Illustrated Novel (New York: Harry N Abrams, 2005) ["updated" edition published in 2010: illus/hb/Brom]
- The Devil's Rose: An Illustrated Novel (New York: Harry N Abrams, 2007) [illus/hb/Brom]
- The Child Thief (New York: Eos/Harper Collins, 2009) [retelling of Peter Pan story: illus/hb/Brom]
- Krampus: The Yule Lord (New York: Harper Voyager, 2012) [illus/hb/Brom]
- Lost Gods (New York: Harper Voyager, 2019) [illus/hb/Brom]
- Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery (New York: Tor Nightfire, 2021) [illus/hb/Brom]
- Darkwërks: The Art of Brom (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Friedlander Publishing Group, 1998) [graph: pb/Brom]
- Brom's Little Black Book (Dover, New Jersey: Sirius Entertainment, 2001) [chap: graph: pb/Brom]
- Offerings: The Art of Brom (London: Paper Tiger, 2001) [graph: hb/Brom]
- Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! (San Jose, California: Flesk Publications, 2012) with Phil Hale, Android Jones, Iain McCaig, and Mike Mignola [graph: hb/Brom, Phil Hale, Android Jones, Iain McCaig, and Mike Mignola]
previous versions of this entry