Bill Bryan Artist
Bill Bryan has drawn, designed, sculpted painted, written or acted for some client or publication for the better part of the last thirty years; as a child, adolescent and adult. His father among other practices was at one time an oil painter and actor. This provided Bill with great inspiration. As a small child Bill studied Disney features, Looney Tunes and Fleischer’s Popeye cartoons as early inspirations. As an adolescent he added adventure comics and horror comics to his curriculum along with the already fascinating animation and caricature. Bob Montana, Johnny Hart, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were among many comic art influences of the time.
Before entering his senior year in high school, Bill was already creating commercial cartoons for signs, business cards, van murals and doing portraits in restaurants. At the age of nineteen, Bill spent some time in New York City doing specialty work and contributing to The House of Mystery, Crazy and Mad magazines. He also did occasional background and color work for some of the artists at the Continuity Studio of Comic and Commercial Art. In just a short time Bill received help and in-between project training from the artists at Continuity.
A highly stylized freelancer, Bill found a great deal of work back in Detroit with print shops, T-shirts, airbrush artists and costume designers. He created dozens of mascot characters for various companies, created in-store posters for the Dayton Hudson Company, designed Western ads for Sibley’s Shoes, package and promotional art for Archway Cookies and a Big Boy style comic book for the McDonald’s Corporation.
During all this, Bill also worked as an instructor of cartooning and figure design at community and public schools and restaurant and nightclub portraitures. With an abiding love for the theatre, Bill worked in campus and community playhouses as an actor, costume designer, poster and program book designer. This experience led to a stint as Spiderman to promote Marvel Comics on television for a local distributor and later to positions as writer/vocal impersonator at two Detroit radio stations.
Bill has contributed covers and interior art to many science fiction oriented newsletters, but, of greatest interest is the beautifully produced Detroit newsletter The Dancing Cuckoos, the Laurel and Hardy newsletter done in connection with the international Sons of The Desert group. This was an outstanding publication.
Bill lent his sculpting skills to one of the rare wax figure shops in the country, Pegasus Wax Sculpture, which dealt in heroic, nature and wildlife figures, and portrait/caricature sculpture.