Nice art: Danny Hellman


Danny Hellman—one of the signature art styles in the New York illustration world until that went kerflooey. The Holy Yost has a shout-out.


  1. Benjamin L Boyd says

    I’m sorry to sound naive but how and when did the New York illustration world go kerflooey?

  2. The Beat says

    Ben, there is a thing that came along called the Internet that pretty much sank the printed magazine/newspaber industry to a shadow of itself.

    Top illustrators — of whom there were many – regularly made 6 figures a year.

    Now, maybe only a handful do.

  3. says

    I believe that reports of the death of print are somewhat exaggerated. Yes, it’s been a long, nasty recession, but for me at least, 2012 has been shockingly busy, and I’m feeling a lot more optimistic than I was this time last year.

    It’s true that NYPress is gone and the Voice has been hollowed-out, but that has as much to do with bad business decisions as it does with the internet.

    Meanwhile, there are hundreds of great alt weekly papers all across the US that are still using illustration, and newsstand shelves are still piled with slick mags. I’m even starting to get internet illo assignments, which I’d like to think is a sign that things are changing for the better.

    I can only speak for myself, but I’m working harder right now than I have in the previous four years. Illustration has survived the Great Recession, and if and when digital media replaces print, illustration will thrive in that digital medium.

    It’s certainly true that illustrators’ incomes have taken a hit during the economic downturn, but unless you’re part of the 1%, that’s true for pretty much all working people. The problem of a dwindling living standard isn’t confined to the publishing industry. It’s a national problem, and it’s a socio-political problem. Keep it in mind when you vote this November.

  4. Sandy Jimenez says

    When I look at Hellman’s work, I actually think of the great standup comedians like Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Hicks. Hellman’s work is so thoughtfully free of any number of the unnecessary things other artists use to build a composition or create an image, it gets to your eyes and brain without anything to water it down. I wish I had that kind of clarity on my best days. I wish more artists had his dynamic balance of playfulness and raw focus. I await any of his new material constantly.

  5. says

    Danny — thanks for the update!

    It’s funny how comments here on indie comics subjects are so insightful and polite, while comments on superhero posts are so awful, isn’t it?

  6. Benjamin L Boyd says

    Thank you Heidi for your reply and explanation and Danny Hellman for your realistic and detailed analysis from you POV. My first exposure to your work was in DC Comics’ Bizarro thingy book of all places. I enjoy your work immensely!

  7. says

    just sandy gets paid? i don’t get a check, danny? ass kissing has taken a real hit in this darn recession and we ass kissers need all the income that can can be afforded to us. please remember that when you vote this november.

  8. says

    Here’s the thing, Craig: Sandy’s post has ninety words, while yours has just……six.

    Your choice: I can send you a buck twenty five, or you can come up with another eighty words or so.

  9. Sandy Jimenez says

    @Danny, Craig,
    I meant every word, especially now that I know I’m being paid for every single one.
    But seriously Dan, your work consistently kicks ass, and has for decades.

  10. horatio weisfeld says

    The problem of a dwindling living standard isn’t confined to the publishing industry. It’s a national problem, and it’s a socio-political problem. Keep it in mind when you vote this November.

    @Danny Hellman:

    So you’ve found a country (that isn’t governed by an utterly corrupt political elite) that I can move to and vote in .. where? where?

  11. says

    i posted first, i didn’t blather on with false praise but was to the point. that should count for something. sandy is a sycophant of the worst sorts. he was just waiting to see what way things were going. if i would have posted something negative about your art believe me he would have piled on. and why do you get 14 comments and the review of my “frazetta-funny stuff” gets only two? you think you’re better than frazetta, hellman? sandy never heard of him? i hereby withdraw my positive comment. if you’re getting work from all these art directors in this tough financial climate you must be giving them other than just delivering illustrations to curry their favors. you should be ashamed of yourself.

  12. Sandy Jimenez says

    So much for Heidi’s praising of this thread’s tone.
    I stand by my ass kissing, nothing false about it. (THUMPS CHEST) I’ve been a “sycophant of the worst kind” since the 80s as far Danny Hellman is concerned, so it’s you who are in fact jumping on my bandwagon Mr. Yoe.
    All joking aside Craig, I do try to rip off Danny’s backgrounds all the time. Ass kissing is how I make amends. I heard about your book on Carl Barks at Boston Comic Con, it looks very cool, I’ll be picking it up next paycheck.

  13. says

    Danny Hellman, the Bill Hicks of illustration — I can go along with that!

    Glad to hear you’re work is in demmand in these days of publishing upheaval.

  14. says

    @Horatio: unfortunately, corruption is built into the human DNA, but there’s corruption and then there’s gilded age-style kleptocracy, the kind which the Kochs and their cohort are working day and night to restore. Which presidential candidate is more likely to raise taxes on the wealthy elite? Which candidate is more likely to fund clean energy initiatives and put an end to tax breaks for Big Oil? You can’t vote for utopia, but you can certainly vote against corporate fascism.

    @Craig: I gather from your crabby tone that you’re opting for the $1.25, but I feel I must subtract 35¢ for your slanderous, disgusting and awkwardly-phrased accusation that I reward art directors with sexual favors, (that is what your accusing me of, is it not?).

  15. horatio weisfeld says

    You can’t vote for utopia, but you can certainly vote against corporate fascism.



    I don’t think the big corporates are fascist as much as lazy bums and gamblers– who then want to get bailed out every 5-6 years now. Problem is we can’t afford to bail them out even one more time — and meanwhile they clog up markets w/ Zombie entities that keep new/small business (the life’s blood of old America) from getting started again.

    Before you go ringing the bell for one of the parties in this falls “election”:

    You might want to take a look (or another look) at the tape (Bill Moyers ran) that shows Clinton (giggling/cackling) as he signed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, and then handing the pen to a (giggling/cackling) Phil Graham.

    You then might want to read Wapshotts’ recent book: Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics — which clearly shows that both of our “political parties” have been long playing a zero sum game by running up public debt to subvert the business/election cycle + Michael Lewis’ recent book The Big Short, which details the sub-prime ponzi scheme, which (after being fostered by both parties) has undermined the tax base (which was barely supporting unfunded entitlement programs, as it was) and probably wrecked USA financial situation for the rest of our lives (it’s only just begun, I am sorry to say)

    After watching the Moyers’ tape and reading the books, you might want to consider if it really makes any sense to continue voting for any of these “candidates” or “political parties” we have- or rather spending the time energy it takes to get rid them, break them up, whatever -restore checks and balances and restore good ole fashion capitalism )to something like, you know, what we had even 30 years ago). I have no politics. I can merely read (present and past financial history), add and subtract – and I do.

    PS: Always enjoyed your work / :)

  16. says

    I agree with everything in your post, Horatio. I don’t love the Democrats. I think they’re only marginally better than the Republicans. I won’t attempt to defend Clinton, because my heart wouldn’t be in it. The Democrats are simply the lesser of two evils, and guess what? Those are the kind of choices that life tends to offer us.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this country that couldn’t be fixed by our existing political system. Put Glass-Steagall back in place, put tax rates back where they were in the 70s, and you’ve gone a long way towards fixing our immediate problems. You accomplish that by voting, by donating to progressive candidates, and the change happens gradually, over time.

    And I do believe that the Koch brothers and their ilk are fascists. What, do you need to see an armband? They use their vast wealth to subvert democracy, gut the government and turn whatever shell is left of that government into the puppet of corporate interests. They’ve been doing it for decades, and they’ve been successful. I’m pretty sure that if a revolution were to happen in this country right now, the Koch brothers would end up owning it.

  17. horatio weisfeld says

    Put Glass-Steagall back in place, put tax rates back where they were in the 70s, and you’ve gone a long way towards fixing our immediate problems.


    I’m down w/that — of course, to get that done, at this point, since Obama has done nothing in the last 4 years, would probably require the gov to seize the entire financial sector, which might set off a depression (…which will happen anyway)


    You accomplish that by voting, by donating to progressive candidates, and the change happens gradually, over time.

    I don’t get “progressive” — progress toward what?

    I agree with what your first statement, which basically amounts to, we have to get where we were — and I don’t think there is anytime left to get there.
    We are where we are because our politicians have ignored the most basically principle that governs every school of economic thinking I know of: YOU DON’T SPEND AND RUN UP DEBT WHEN TIMES ARE GOOD – YOU COLLECT REVENUE WHEN TIMES ARE GOOD — AND SPEND THAT WHEN IT GETS BAD. (unless you think you should never spend it – some do)

    Since BUSH did all the spending when it was good, there is now nothing left to spend, now that it’s bad.
    We need to get rid of all the people responsible for this right away – that includes Republicans and Democrats– THEY ARE UNFIT!

    If we need to progress toward anything, I would say it is that people in America have at least some knowledge of economics theory (AKA: Not be sooo fucking ignorant) — because if they know anything, they would have seen that what our politicians have been doing in the last ten years follows no known school of economic theory (–and in fact violates every school of economic theory) that exists (all in the service of gaming the business cycle to win elections)

    We also need to separate social issues from financial issues– what do guns and abortion have to do with these clowns having run the country’s finances into the gutter.

    You may have the right to choose, or the right to your AK47, or the right to marry another member of your gender — but if that is all you pay attention to, you are going to end up very poor, and so will your kids, friends and family — and you’ll take me right along w/ you.

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