Saturday, January 20, 2018
Home  >  Features  >  Mighty Artist Spotlight: Sam Bentley

Sam Bentley's BATMAN


Up and coming artist Sam Bentley has been drawing for as long as he can remember. He recently caught the eye of Todd McFarlane and was one of the top 13 finalists in the Spawn #250 Cover Contest. We got the chance to talk to Sam about his road to comics and what he has coming up down that road!


MightyVille: What got you into comics?

Sam Bentley: I've always had a love of antiques, pocket watches, books, that kind of thing. When I was around 10, I came across a book of comics in one antiques store and picked three old comics for my mum to buy me, and since then I was fascinated in this medium of storytelling through static images. I've since become an avid reader, collector and artist for comics!


Mighty Artist Sam Bentley


How long have you been drawing?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn't drawing. I remember being at my Grandma’s house when I was very young tracing Spider-Man from the front of an annual she had bought me. I always saw drawing as a hobby, just something that I was good at, until I went on holiday in where there was very little to do in the immediate area, so I grabbed a sketchbook and set my mind to drawing a couple of sketches in a more focused way than I have before. The result were a couple of images that made me think, 'Wow, did I do that!?’. Since then, I decided to change my vocational choices and pushed myself to be a better artist, to take on the role full time. 

Who are some of your favorite characters to draw?

Tough question ... My style suits a darker, horror-noir genre character I suppose, but I love drawing superheroes. I don’t really have a favourite that I keep going back to draw, I try to diversify with my fan art so as not to repeat myself to often. I love drawing the characters of the books I’m working on at the moment. They’re a little different to whats been seen before, but still down to Earth and there's so much emotion within them. I suppose I should also say Spawn right? I guess I owe quite a bit to him!


Sam's Winning SPAWN Art


Who are some of your artistic influences?

Where to start?! I love the watercolour/ink-work of Francis Manapul, and the realism brought to you by Alex Ross. The majority of my influences come from Jae Lee, who was the first artist I personally came across who drew comics a little different. I fell in love with his way of framing and composition, something that I think resonates through my sequentials. I suppose my most recent work is reminiscent of Andrea Sorrentino, who I think combines that photorealism with the more traditional comic book style. I am constantly inspired and influenced by the art I see others around me producing as well. There are some really talented people out there!


The Thing by Sam Bentley


What does your drawing table look like now?

Right now, a bit of a mess ... which I hate as I have a minor form of OCD! Once I get round to setting it right though I have a 21 inch graphics tablet monitor on the right hand side, along with the keyboard. I do most of my sequentials digitally now, as it allows for slightly more detail in a slightly faster time, which is imperative with deadlines! I reserve the left half of my table for hand drawn elements. I try to keep covers and pin-up artworks done by hand as much as possible. Not for any particular reason but to maintain the feeling of doing things in the traditional way. I think I use my walls more than my table to pin up notes, influences, comics and sketches, so they are covered. 


Cognition Cover

Cognition Sequential


What are you working on now that has you excited? What’s coming up for you down the road?

I’m working on a couple of books at the moment with great potential. Cognition by Ken Reynolds is a great book in the development stages that is very exciting and very different, combining several genres which I don’t think have been done in this way before. I’m also working as one of two colourists on the upcoming book series Blank Walls, written by Paradigm writers Matthew Cashel and Jerry Jones, and illustrated by the fabulous Derik Hefner. It's been fun working on a book with a completely different style that I am used to, and the book is quite literally out of this world. I would certainly keep an eye out for that one! As for the future, who knows. I’ve got a few projects on the go that I can’t say too much about at this stage, and pretty soon I hope to start crowdfunding for my own graphic novel Illicitus, written by myself and Liam Kavanagh. Its got an amazing plot and the ideas that Liam has brought to the project are outstanding, so I hope to get that produced sooner rather than later. 


Illicitus Cover

Illicitus Sequential


Do you have any rituals that get you in the creative or artistic mood?

Not really, no. I just have to be in a good mood, which I usually am! I always feel like drawing after I see a good movie/TV show or read a good book, but generally I’m always in the mood to draw, its just finding the time!

What comics are you currently reading that you’d recommend to our readers?

I'm certainly not reading as much as I should! Having a two year old will certainly take a good chunk of your time away (not that I mind, of course). I've just started reading Spawn again. They've gone back to their roots and brought back Al Simmons in a very revamped way. I’m also reading The Flash: Season Zero, which is the comic book tied in with the TV show, which is really making use of the comic book medium to tell stories that they would struggle to tell on the TV show, which I think really shows how limitless comic books are! I’m also a huge fan of DC Comics: Batman, The Flash, Superman ... and they’re going through a huge change in their Convergence event, with many characters being drastically redesigned, some for the better and some ... well we’ll just have to see how it all pans out!


The Flash by Sam Bentley


Thanks for your time, Sam! We can't wait to see more of your work down the road. 


More Spotlights on MightyVille:

Mighty Creator Spotlight: Sean Fahey and Black Jack Press

Versatile Visions: A Spotlight on Eric Canete

True Colors: A Spotlight on Laura Martin


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