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Hunter: Magic by DarthFar Hunter: Magic by DarthFar
[I've been drawing far too much serious stuff lately; time for a little fun ;)]

100 Pictures Challenge #62: Magic. Er, duh.

Long before Harry Potter started making his rounds, there was *another* bespectacled British boy with the potential to become the most powerful magician of this age - if he lived long enough to learn to harness his magical powers. His name was Timothy Hunter, and he was created by Neil Gaiman of Sandman and Stardust fame. Oh, and he also had an owl - only it was his yoyo, before Dr. Occult turned it into a bird.

[Oh, and before anyone bashes me: nobody's accusing Ms. Rowling of plagiarism. Mr. Gaiman himself stated that "the similarities were either coincidence, or drawn from the same fantasy archetypes. "I thought we were both just stealing from T.H. White", he said in an interview, "very straightforward."]

Just a personal tribute to one of my favourite Vertigo comics series (which seems to be highly under-appreciated here at dA -- !). I hear they're in the process of making a Books of Magic movie... but who knows when it'll hit the big screen.

If you're a stranger to the DC universe, the "Trenchcoat Brigade" consists of: The Phantom Stranger, John Constantine, Dr. Occult and Mister E. And yes, that's a slap mark on JC's face, courtesy of three stewardesses in Part II of the original miniseries. ;)

If you would like to know more, please read:

The Books of Magic (miniseries): 1990-1991
The Books of Magic (series; #1-75): 1994-2000
The Names of Magic (miniseries; #1-5): 2001
Hunter: The Age of Magic (series; #1-25): 2001-2003
The Books of Magick: Life During Wartime (series; #1-15): 2004-2005


Technical Note: The "noise" on the paper is actually ink spattered with a manual "hand-pumped" airbrush.
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:iconcarnage1236:
Carnage1236 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012
I actually read Books of Magic and The Trenchcoat Brigade pretty recently, and I'm absolutely in love with the magic side of DC now. Beforehand I always knew it existed what with the more vibrant magical characters like Doctor Fate and Zatanna, but there's just this whole other world in the DC universe that's so different to the Superman, Captain Marvel Wonder Woman type side.
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:iconladymidath:
ladymidath Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2012
Timothy and The Trench Coat Brigade.
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:iconovalportrait:
ovalportrait Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011
I quite like your Mr. E.

--also, Life During Wartime is technically an alternate universe. I would also suggest the Mister E mini-series (it tied in SOMEWHERE to Books of Magic, but the timeline's very iffy).
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:iconcarlianwhately:
carlianwhately Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011
Simply brilliant work.
Reply
:iconghostbusterlover:
Ghostbusterlover Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh. Oh my. I love "The Books of Magic" miniseries! The art there is extraordinary splendid and at most times breathtaking when it comes to photorealistic as possible. Vertigo and their takes on the DC occultists/magicians like the Trenchcoat Brigade often fascinates me. (Yes, Timothy and his owl sure is very similar to Harry Potter and Hedwig. However, I do believe in coincidences.)

This is one of the best tributes I've ever seen of the Trenchcoat Brigade and "The Books of Magic" in general (and perhaps the only one?)! The colors are great, the textures is a nostalgic touch and a reminder of the artists behind the miniseries - the same goes to the noticable details for the characters, from Timothy's book to Stranger's glowing eyes or Constantine's constant smoking. And the text there is just perfect - it really tells a lot about the plot with a few words. =D What else can I say? Superb work! :clap:

Wait... they're trying to make a movie? :wow: Ohpleasepleasepleaseplease...! :eager:
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner May 9, 2011
Hey, a fellow BoM fan - awesome! :highfive: I loved the entire series, but that miniseries just totally rocked. I love Bolton's art in particular: it's more like fine art than comicbook art. Very glad you like the drawing. :)

And uh... I have no idea where they're going with the movie, but yeah, I think somebody already bought the rights to it. (Although I have no idea how much they've "de-Potter-fied" it, or if the project's even still going on. But one can hope!).

Have you read any of the vintage Phantom Stranger comics?
Reply
:iconghostbusterlover:
Ghostbusterlover Featured By Owner May 9, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with you. =D

I hope they'll make it justice! =) And good appearances of The Trenchcoat Brigade with great roles.

You mean the two volumes of his own comics and the miniseries? Yep! Those were the first ones I've read to acquaintance more with the character. ^^ I just love them!
Reply
:iconbluesequinhearts731:
BlueSequinHearts731 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Student General Artist
GAHHHH! Best. Graphic. Novel. Series. EVERRRRR! Neil Gaiman is a GENIUS!!!!
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2010
Yes it is! yes he is! :D It's too bad the series has stopped... in the middle of nowhere?
Reply
:iconbluesequinhearts731:
BlueSequinHearts731 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2010  Student General Artist
Hm. The original series already ended. But if you're talking about "The Books of Magick" (you know, with a K) then you're RIGHT. I've got it, and I've been waiting on the next one. And waiting...and waiting...and waiting....SMH. TimeBetweenSeriesInstallments Fail? :p
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:iconthe-figtree:
the-figtree Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Actually, Vertigo is the best Dc got :P

Nice work, Thumbs up!
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009
Oh yeah, Vertigo has some of the best titles around. :D

Thanks!
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:iconsilvershadow66:
silvershadow66 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2008
YAY!! It's the trenchcoat birgade in all its glory! The original John Constantine as well! Thank you!!!!!!!! XD
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2008
You're a fan of the Trenchcoat Brigade! :highfive:

[I don't care what Hollywood says. Constantine is blond and British, and a womaniser to boot!]
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:iconsilvershadow66:
silvershadow66 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2008
HellBlazer Yeah!!! I'm a huge fanatic of Constantine, comics, Neil Gaiman (among other authors), art, music, and literature alike! I found the Trenchcoat Brigade while devouring all the novels, comics, and movies Neil Gaiman ever laid hand in. This trail has done me well in finding the Constantine series, Books of Magic, the Wraeththu series, and many, many more delightful treasures!
I am something of a collector as well as a devourer of books. I am still hunting down all of the Hellblazer series and my Sandman series is almost complete (YAY! :D)
Long live the devilish blond hair, blue eyed, British magician whose cheeky grin never fails to piss off all angels and demons alike!
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:iconmr6:
Mr6 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2008
Really cool ! Well done :D
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2008
Thank you very much! :D
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:iconmr6:
Mr6 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2008
You´re welcome XD
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:icongh0stm1ck:
Gh0stM1ck Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
your right, tim is very unappreciated on here. I was reading BOM before I knew that Harry Potter even existed and it kinda pisses me off to this day that people claim Neil Gaiman and Jon Bolton ripped off Rowling. I love Harry Potter, great series, but nothing touches Tim Hunter. I wish they had kept it going past Age of Magic (life during wartime was one of the 'other Tims' i believe)
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2008
Awesome, another BoM reader! :highfive: I think part of the reason why the BoM series is so appealing is that, rather than portraying magic simply as something extraordinary and wonderful, it also shows its ugly side, and how even the simple act of choosing to believe in magic can have dire consequences upon your life whether or not you look for trouble in the first place. (All those practitioners of magic warned Tim against taking the path of magic in the original series, after all). There are far too many stories (HP included) that tend to portray only one face of magic.
Reply
:icongh0stm1ck:
Gh0stM1ck Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Hell yeah I'm a BOM reader. I seriously refused to read Harry until my dad made me see the flick. I just viewed it as a rip-off of Tim. Im pissed actually though that DC never completed the trades of BOM. I've got the majority of the original series but theres still like 12 or 13 issues I dont have and I don't think I'll find.

I have to agree with you that too many series' gloss over the magic end of things in favor of happiness. As far as Potter goes, I think that the reason why it wasn't addressed is becasue Potter didn't have any true links to our world outside of his aunt and uncle, but they couldn't give a shit about him. He was of that other world, wherein Tim on the other hand had friends who cared for him in our world so he had more direct consenquences for his choices.

Have you ever read the Spiderwick Chronicles? Not the film, the novels. They have a fairly grounded version of fantasy that reminded me of BOM's universe.
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:iconocelott:
ocelott Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2008
What? How dare you imply that Rowling stole things from someone like Gaiman! Blah de blah ranty! (Seriously, though, if you're going to steal characters for a fantasy series, I would hope nobody's quite dumb enough to target a powerhouse like Gaiman.)

I love that they all look simultaneously creepy and smug. That's quite a feat.
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2008
:rofl:

Yeah, it would be literary suicide to attempt to pilfer from Gaiman.
Reply
:iconfalconfan:
FalconFan Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2008
:laughing:

...three stewardesses! :laughing: He probably got it for CALLING them "stewardesses:" they're "flight attendants" now! LOL!

This is yet another piece that illustrates characters I do not know--but now really want to! :nod: Great job with each of the men--they all exude a definite personality here (and Mr. Constantine certainly appears to be a man who might draw a slap or two... ;) ). And the owl was his yo-yo...? Mercy--it must be a bit tough to do a "round the world" with him now... :laughing: Terrific work again--wonderful framing (I really like how you've separated Timothy so delicately with the "aura"--a wonderful emphasis and effect!) and wonderful light! Another :+fav:! :D

FF
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2008
:rofl: Good point!

Thanks very much, FF! I would highly recommend the series if you're into slightly dark fantasy and wild magic - although you can only get the first 50 or so issues collected in seven trade paperbacks (I don't have the remaining 25 either; it annoys me no end).
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:iconinversereality-2:
InverseReality-2 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2008
You know, I’ve perused both titles and have never noticed the similarities between the boys. D’oh!
Reply
:iconwraithten:
WraithTen Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2008
I love the gray outfit the man with the glasses is wearing, it's fantastic. :clap:

And somebody needs to trim the owl's nails, he's making the boy's arm bleed! You can't resist a little blood if you can possibly get it in, can you? ;)
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2008
Ah. Mister E, the blind man? His eyes were carved out with a spoon when he was a kid, by his father, who caught him looking lustfully at pictures of immoral women. ;) He's a bizarre one.

And you know I'll sneak in stuff like that wherever I can. ;)
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:iconwraithten:
WraithTen Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2008
Of course he is. *sigh* I seem to always be drawn to the bizarre.

Yup. ;)
Reply
:icongothkath:
gothkath Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008  Student Digital Artist
Oooo, I love Timothy Hunter. He is awesomeness.

Constantine was always my favourite of those guys.
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2008
:highfive: Constantine is by far the most interesting and most colourful of the four.
Reply
:icongothkath:
gothkath Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2008  Student Digital Artist
Aye.

I've read a lot of Constantine. I have a copy of HellBlazer 1. It's my baby... Well, aside from my actual kid, it's my baby. >.>
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:iconkaracat:
Karacat Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008  Hobbyist
*SQUEEE!!!* Phantom Stranger!! Much love!
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2008
:laughing: I *was* waiting for you to come by and find the Phantom Stranger here. Thanks!
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:iconzedderzulu:
ZedderZulu Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I haven't heard of this before, but I do love the pic :D
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2008
Thank you very much. :D
Reply
:icondabull04:
Dabull04 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008
Love it :D
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2008
Thanks, David! :D
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:icondabull04:
Dabull04 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2008
My pleasure ;)
Reply
:iconnoideawhyismile:
NoIdeaWhyISmile Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008
I didnt read the grafic novel of this...I read Books of Magic book 3: Childrens Crusades. When I saw this, my eyes went wide. I had no idea that Gaiman had done it because I had read the book a long time ago. I know I want to read more of Gaiman's books, such as American Gods and other ones by him.
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2008
I never read Children's Crusade; I haven't been able to find that anywhere. But I do know more or less what that's about.

Gaiman's books are worth reading several times. :nod: If you've read American Gods, follow it up with Anansi Boys.
Reply
:iconnoideawhyismile:
NoIdeaWhyISmile Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2008
I havent read it yet. I want to desperately. I have two friends who are reading it currently, so I will probably read it after one of them is done with it and it goes through the process of passing from person to person. ^^

And Childrens Crusade was good. I got it from walmart about the same times that Spiderwick Chronicles first came out...so about four-six years ago. Lol.

You could always order it from some place.
Reply
:iconknightsavtrian:
KnightSavtrian Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008  Hobbyist Artist
I have to agree with Jardel, I really can't stand Keanu as Constantine....I've only had the pleasure of picking up a few issues of the names of Magic :P I'm deprived I know. Very nice as always Far ^_^
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008
Ugh. Constantine went from a British smart-ass, streetsmart charmer of a man to... an American occult guy with no personality. WTF! :rofl: No doubt Keanu Reeves fans will have my head for saying this, but he just doesn't do the guy justice.
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:iconknightsavtrian:
KnightSavtrian Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008  Hobbyist Artist
Yeah, for a D movie it was somewhat enjoyable...but definitely couldn't compare to the original Constantine :P We'll leave Keanu to go : Whoa 0_0 lol
Reply
:iconwotchertonks7:
wotchertonks7 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008
YES! I've been telling people this for years! The Books of Magic and Tim Hunter came first, and are NOT a rip off of Harry Potter! It's the other way around!

I have been a big fan of Neil's magical world since it began and was always hoping for a movie or a mini-series, or an animated series. There are just so many great stories to work with. I loved the illustrations and colors of the earlier books.

I liked the movie version of Stardust although they changed way too much from the novel for me to be truly pleased. It was fun to see all the characters brought to life. Michelle Phieffer made the perfect witch queen!
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008
YES! Someone who's read BoM! :highfive: While I do enjoy both HP and BoM, I'm definitely a bigger fan of the latter. The notion of wild magic (as opposed to disciplined, spell-based magic) and the simple choice of choosing to *believe* in magic having devastating consequences appeals to me.

Have you seen "Mirrormask"? Not exactly the most brilliant fantasy film ever made, but it totally channels that quirky Gaiman/Dave McKean creative spirit. If nothing else, it's a treat for the eyes.
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:iconwotchertonks7:
wotchertonks7 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008
I liked that version of magic, too. I also liked how Tim created his own friends with his magic, even when he didn't know he was doing it, like Awn da Blink and Happy the Golem. Man, I miss those graphic novels! They were filled with just about every kind of lore and fairy tale every, yet it was all worked into real life. I especially loved how Hell was like a giant mall. The humor was excellent.

Loved Mirrormask! The concept and visual artistry of it were stunning. I enjoyed the idea that the worlds were connected through the girl's drawings, and that half the characters were part flat drawing themselves. The sphinxes were hysterical. And that the entire world had that sepia tone to it was just gorgeous.

I had always hoped that Neil would do a movie or anime of The Sandman because I always loved that character, and Death.
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:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2008
Haha, Awn was one of top favourite characters from the series (Molly being another). And I agree - it was a lot of fun watching Tim do magic *before* he entered the White School.

I don't know about Sandman, but I hear that plans are being made to make a "Death" movie, and that an actress has already been approached.
Reply
:iconwotchertonks7:
wotchertonks7 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2008
I've been re-reading my old novels and Molly is now one of the best female characters I've encountered. I think I now like her a lot more than Tim. She was so hard core and clever and compassionate. She was a tom boy who did and said what she thought was right and stood her ground no matter what.

My favorite stories with her are "The Burning Girl" saga, where she really shows all of Faerie what she's made of and the spin-off of this where she and Yarrow save Faerie. I also really loved when she agrees to protect all of Tim's creations from the Other. That was touching.

A Death movie? I haven't heard that yet but it's earthshaking news! I can't think of anyone who would perfect as Death at the moment.
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