Richard Bennett

Richard Bennett was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. He grew up and studied art early on. During his late teen years he worked as an assistant for Eduardo Barreto, a Uruguayan artist working for DC Comics.

In 1990 at age 21, Richard moved to New York City. His immediate goal was to become a comic book artist, which he accomplished, starting at Neal Adams ‘Continuity Studios’ in Manhattan.

Richard worked on a new series called “CyberRad”, as well as many other books for Neal. It was an invaluable learning experience for him, since not only was he given his first break with a brand new title where he had the opportunity to do all the artwork (usually in the US the work is broken down in parts, pencil-ink-color and so on), but he was also guided by a living legend. Every Friday Neal would spend time with Richard helping him out with his pages and drawing.

Three years later, Suzanne Gaffney, an Editor, at Marvel Comics, contacted Richard. Once again it was an ideal situation. Richard began working on several ‘X-Men” titles, such as “Uncanny X-Men”, “X-Men”, “Wolverine”, “X-Force” and even a special edition with concept designs for the “X-Men-Technical Guide to the Mansion”.

Late 1993, a new company, ‘Image’, was founded. It was created by seven of the most important artists working at Marvel. The new opportunities they offered were incredible. Richard was contacted to join this elite team.

The studio Richard decided to work with was Jim Lee’s ‘Wildstorm’ in La Jolla, San Diego. Subsequently, Jim and Richard created the character “Brass”, which became a mini-series where Richard did all the artwork and co-wrote with Aron Wiesenfeld (artist and friend). Richard’s wife Mónica, provided all the color for the series. They also worked together on the “Deathblow-Wolverine” crossover mini-series, which received two Eisner Award Nominations for ‘Best Art Team’ and ‘Best Color’.

Richard alternated between Wildstorm and TopCow, another Image Studio, until 1998. Within this period Richard also worked on the HBO “Spawn” Animated series drawing all the main background designs for the first season of the show.

Richard began toying with the idea of jumping on to his next goal, which was to work in Film. It was something that was always in the back of his mind, even during the time he was drawing comics. However, he came to the realization that in order to achieve this goal he needed to enhance his skills.

Richard decided to enroll at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Initially, he enrolled into the Night Program and eventually in the Full Time Program. It was January 2000 and he was back in school. He continued working in comics for as long as he could, but at some point he had to leave the industry to concentrate on his studies.

Fortunately, freelance work showed up during school breaks, mainly for the video game industry, doing conceptual and character design for Sony Playstation 2 and Electronic Arts.

Around 2002, towards the end of school, Richard came across some of his first Film gigs. Richard designed characters for the film “Northfork” by the Polish Brothers and Production Designer Ichelle Spitzig.

Later on Richard provided key frames for the HBO movie “Live from Baghdad” working closely with Production Designer Richard Hoover. Additionally, director Randall Wallace (We Were Soldiers), contacted Richard and kept him busy until November 2003, creating many Pre-visualization illustrations, concepts and storyboards for his next film.

In early 2003, Richard finished the experience at Art Center, receiving a BFA in Illustration and graduating with Honors.

After vacation in January 2003, Paul W S Anderson, director of the “Alien vs. Predator” contacted Richard to work on the film as a storyboard/concept artist. Richard can’t emphasize enough what this meant to him since he grew up studying and drooling over the Alien movies and all the H.R Giger artwork. Richard had as much fun working on the project as he did back in N.Y. when Neal Adams gave him his first opportunity in comics.

Viewing the ‘real’ scenes based on the designs and storyboards Richard created for “Alien vs Predator, was quite and experience. Also, on “Alien vs Predator, Richard had the opportunity to work with Visual Effects Supervisor John Bruno (Virus, Star Trek Voyager, Titanic) until October 2003.

So far in 2004, Richard is busy doing commercial work, projects for Stan Winston, Sony Computer Entertainment and Ridley Scott.

There are many artists Richard continuously studies for inspiration, but if he had to tell you which one comes immediately to mind they include Juan Gimenez, Syd Mead, Moebius, Otomo Katsuhiro, Shirow Masamune and directors Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick. Also, writers William Gibson and the late Joseph Campbell.

Music is also a big part of Richard’s life, and even though he tries to keep his ears open to everything, U2 is on top of his list, along with electronic music.

Richard’s earliest and fondest memories related to his profession have to do with ‘eating away’ the works of artists like Neal Adams- ‘Detective Comics # 402’ (first comic he had at age four, didn’t know how to read yet but he would not leave the store without the book), and later his ‘Superman vs. Muhammad Ali’ graphic novel. Juan Gimenez “Ace of Cards” series about an II world war B-17 bomber and the Sci-fi story “Frontline”. Equally impressive were the films “THX-1138”, “Blade Runner” and “MadMax”, just to name a few. Richard is extremely passionate about his designs and looks forward to creating concept design and storyboards for many blockbusters in the future.