Illustrators: The Great Brothers Hildebrandt


When the first poster for Star Wars came out in 1977, it made the twin brothers from Detroit, Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, famous, at least in my eyes. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when at the library as a teenager in the fantasy section, I was drawn to the great illustration cover for Terry Brooks saga (too similar to Tolkien’s Middle Earth) entitled, The Sword of Shannara.  Long before computers, these brothers began their career in 1959 and became key contributors to the genre of fantasy and science fiction.

They are known for their Lord of the Rings calendar illustrations, DC Comics, Marvel Comics as well as Greg’s erotic pin-up girl calendar.

Check out their website:

Now, if you are lucky to find an original poster or calendar, they are quite valuable, about $1000. I wish I had saved my Star Wars poster!


In this age of computer graphics, it still seems like cheating. I remember the day when artists picked up pens and brushes and used them hunched over their drafting tables.  My admiration for the Hildebrandt brothers art work is greater each year that passes.

20 thoughts on “Illustrators: The Great Brothers Hildebrandt

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  1. My! they did some great stuff didn’t they!?
    “The Sword of Shannara” … is also one of the greatest names in fantasy bookdom.
    The great illustrators fired our imaginations like so few are able to do these days … seemingly lost.


    1. Yes, I would believe it. Why not treat yourself to the first two? They are outstanding. Their themes contained you already hold dear to your heart when watching a war movie. Honor. Brotherhood. Courage. Family. Community. The graphics are stunning, too.


  2. Hi, Cindy:

    Never been much of a Tolkein or Lord of the Rings fan.

    Had my one shot with Tolkein with Ralph Bakshi’s surprisingly good, roto-scoped ‘The Hobbit’ back in the late 1980s.

    I’m a bit old school and will proffer the works of Frank Frazetta, from whom all contemporary cover and art illustration flows.

    And Jim Streanko. Who introduced “Op Art” to comics. And breathed new life into many Marvel characters. Most notably, Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.


    1. Hi Kevin:
      To each his own, of course. Can’t say as I’m a Jim Streanko fan, but your Frank Frazetta I’ve seen many times–Conan the Barbarian, stuff, yes? Lot’s of talent there and can see why men would like his art work. Always glad when you stop by and comment. Thank you 🙂


  3. Hi, Cindy:

    Conan. Of course. Though I do like the energy and Testosterone of his “The Disagreement”. 😉

    While Steranko added a new point of view and style to late 1960s Marvel comics. Very much like how Walt Simonson and Archie Goodwin brought a new look and perspective with their limited run, award winning DC comic, ‘Manhunter’ a few years later.


    1. Sweet! Chris, I read they only had 36 hours to create the poster and wallah! Instant success after twenty years of illustrating they are icons. I loved their Tolkien drawings. 🙂


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