About the Artist


About the artist:

Brett E. Swanson is an artist who specializes primarily in comic book and cartoon art and dabbles occasionally in fine and abstract art.  Brett lives in Stonington, CT with his wife Terri and 2 dogs.

Brett is a 1991 graduate of the Joe Kubert School of Art.  Brett has published several cartoon strips for local newspapers and national magazines, and exhibits in various art shows and festivals.  He also self-publishes his own line of comic books.  

Why SickPuppyStudios?  Brett's dogs always seem to be hacking, gagging or taking part in eating extremely gross things - "that's one sick puppy", the phrase stuck with him and became the name of his art studio.

To get in touch please email info@sickpuppystudios.com

Recent articles about Brett:


Power Kid to the Rescue!

Mystic mailman™s adventures in art

Published on 8/9/2007

“I don't know what's going on here pal but if you want a fight-you got one!”


“We'll see about that!”


“Looks like this fight is over!”


Meet Power Kid, Mystic's newest superhero, the brainchild of Brett Swanson. Swanson, a 15-year

veteran of the Mystic Post Office, will participate for the second time in the Mystic Art Festival to

showcase his first professional comic book, Power Kid!

“[Power Kid!] is about a kid who has powers and he fights crime,” Swanson explained. “It's a very

positive book and it's geared toward kids. There's a bunch of them out there that are not [positive]. I felt

like this would be good and be different.”

Aside from playing with his two dogs, Bart and Alexis, Swanson's heart remains in the excitement of

comics. He continues to draw in his spare time and said anything can give him an idea of what his next

comic should be about.

“My ideas flow very naturally, but I can be inspired by music, art, books, and life,” he said, naming comic

influences Jack Kirby, Curt Swan, and Sal Buscema. “Nothing's done on the computer...I just do it all by


Swanson uses inks, dyes, and paints, mostly acrylics. “But I'll definitely try anything,” he added.

Everett Hillman of Newington has known Swanson since grammar school. “We both [liked] comic books

and Brett was always a fantastic [artist]...even young,” Hillman said.

One of Hillman's favorite comics of Swanson's was called Stick Man and Figure Boy.

“He created these guys in high school, and he went and copyrighted it and gave them all to us,” he said.

“And we loved them. He would make comic books about us, about the group of friends we hung around

with and some of the adventures we would go on.”

Hillman said Swanson made a lot of their memories timeless through his comics.

Knowing Swanson's passion for drawing, Hillman's mother worked with Swanson to get him into the Joe

Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, N.J., where he graduated in '91.

Attending the same school with Swanson, Gary Smith said they had become good friends and had similar


“School was a good training ground,” Smith said, where they were both able to hone their skills and

techniques. Smith enjoys the thick lines found in Swanson's comics but more of his abstract collision of

color in his paintings.

“[My] Acrylic Fusion paintings are a side project, experimenting in color, mood and design,” Swanson

said. Influenced by artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso and Jackson Pollock, Swanson focuses on being

different. “I like to coordinate, so if I see something dark, I like to spark it up with a little bit of light or

vice versa. I'm always experimenting.”

“His use of color is quite dynamic,” Smith said.

Yet after graduation, Swanson's drive toward making comics began to waiver when he couldn't land a

full-time gig. “It's a tough field,” Swanson said. After years of constant reinforcement from his friends

and loved ones, Swanson is back at it, preparing to participate again in the Mystic Art Festival.

“He loves being in the Mystic Art Festival,” said his wife of six years, Terri. “It's a great venue to get a

lot of different people to see his stuff.”

“Last year when he did the show, I wanted to be the first person there because it was his first show and

I wanted my son to make his [Swanson's] first sell,” Hillman said.

Focusing more on landscapes and figurative designs on romance subjects, Smith joined Swanson at the

Mystic festival last year and will again this year. “It gets my juices going to make new pieces,” Smith said.

Swanson, also looking forward to the festival, announced his new addition of Custom Comix, making a

way to turn any child into a superhero on paper. “I'm going to launch that on my site hopefully within the

next month,” Swanson added.

New London resident Kimberly Matson heard about Custom Comix from Terri at Pfizer, where both

women work. “My 4-year-old is really into superheroes,” Matson explained, referring to her son, Garrett.

Swanson recently made a cover of Garrett depicted as a superhero, using only a few pictures as a

reference, and Matson thought the project came out very well.

“I haven't even shown my son,” she said, but she plans on framing it and giving it to her son as a gift.

“He [Swanson] actually named this comic Super G,” she said with a laugh. “I'm active in the mom clubs in

New London...and I know a few moms that are probably going to be interested in having the same thing


Swanson said he doesn't mind replicating other characters for children, such as super-hero favorites

Batman and Spider-Man, but most of his work at this year's festival will be original. He decided to put a

lot of his work on cards and posters for a larger range of people to purchase.

“I've had people say 'These are great! But I can't afford these,' so I have these,” he explained, picking

up his prints. “My next book that I'm going to do will be this guy,” he said, pointing to a large painted

canvas of a muscular man with a yellow cape. “'The Sentinel' is an action strip featuring a patriotic

character fighting America's enemies, both foreign and domestic,” he explained. “America's Military Man

of Might!” Geared toward adults, he added that there's a lot more action and a little more violence.

“[It's] certainly my dream for him to make a big career out of his artwork,” Terri said. “He could stay home

with his dogs and draw great stories and succeed that way.

I am incredibly proud of him...I'm so thrilled that he's finally been able to publish his own book because

that has always been his dream.”

“I'm still waiting for that big break,” Swanson added.

By Kristal Spence

Times Staff Writer

To view more of Swanson's work, visit sickpuppystudios.com.

Streets Lined With Art


The Day

Kathleen Edgecomb     

Published on 8/9/2007  

When Brett Swanson isn't delivering the mail, or watching his three dogs, he's

drawing comic book figures and working on his abstract paintings.

The Mystic letter carrier and owner of SickPuppyStudios joins 285 international

artists and crafters who will line two miles of Mystic streets this weekend during the

50th annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festival. More than 100,000 pieces of artwork will be

on display.

“It's really big and there are a lot of folks,'' says Swanson, who will be selling his

comic strip art and abstract pieces at a booth near the Stonington flag pole. He'll

also be offering a self-published comic book recently released.

“It's absolutely great,'' he says of the exhibition.

Oils and watercolors, photography and pastels, sculpture and acrylics are featured

in this annual event put on by the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers

donate time, money and services. Local non-profit organizations, such as the Mystic

Lions Club and the Boy Scouts, sell food and drinks to raise money. The Mystic Arts

Center on Water Street will have children's activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days

and will hold a children's chalk drawing competition.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the chamber commissioned a piece of

art by renowned artist Lolly Stoddard, which will be raffled off at the end of the


The art, and the crafts, line the main streets on both sides of the Mystic Draw Bridge

and spill into the side streets. Some local churches offer parking for a fee, but other

than that, it's space available on the side roads.

— Kathleen Edgecomb

Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., downtown

Mystic; free; 572-5098, mysticchamber.org.





Journal Staff Writer


NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. -- A stroll through downtown Wickford was a walk through a world of art Sunday as the seaside village held its annual festival, which draws artists from across the country and beyond.

Thousands of visitors perused the white booths, where paintings, sculptures and photographs bloomed with color and textures, despite heavy, humid heat.

Keeping cool became an art itself, as people ducked beneath parasols, umbrellas and wide-brimmed hats.

On Sunday, the last day of the two-day festival, chilled bottles of water, ice-cream cones and frozen lemonade were among the weapons of choice as people strove to keep the heat at bay.

This year marked the 51st year of the Wickford Art Festival, and it continues to offer a variety of styles and media, from classic pastoral pastels to abstract sculptures and whimsical ceramic creations.

About 250 artists participated in the juried show, and some reported slow sales despite enthusiastic reactions from the sidewalk patrons.

“With the economy, things are still down for most of the arts,” said Connecticut painter John Harris, who was displaying his interpretations of shimmering water — vivid pieces done in acrylic on linen canvas.

With all the blue hues in his booth, it looked like one of the coolest places to be, but he said that the effect was strictly psychological.

“I’m sure if you put a thermometer in here, it’s just as hot as everywhere else,” he said.

Nearby, New York artist Lori Rosen was surrounded by her hand-built pots and ceramic sculptures. Glazed in the colors of earth and sky, the sculptures looked like colorful cairns crafted by nature.

Rosen said that the show was turning out to be a success for her, with some of her larger pieces selling.

Bill Dougal of Connecticut was art in motion as he quickly sketched caricatures of people, including one little girl who wanted to make sure he gave her a mermaid’s tail.

Organized by the Wickford Art Association, the festival has become a Rhode Island summertime tradition, and festival director Bruce Luscombe said this year was another success.

Luscombe, a photographer, said he and the association had worked to recruit some younger artists with more diverse styles for this year’s show in order to complement the traditional “fine art” that has always been featured.

“I think it’s been a great festival,” he said, noting that the area dodged any heavy downpours on Saturday, and adding that Sunday’s mix of sun and clouds made it perfect for an art fair.

He said this year’s lineup included a couple of artists from Canada and one from Israel.

It was the first time in Wickford for Florida artist Brenda Gordon, who was displaying brightly colored summer scenes with swimsuit beauties in a vintage style that she called “romantic realism.”

Many of her works were designed so that the scenes were framed by giant sunglasses. They garnered a lot of attention, but Gordon said it hadn’t paid off.

“I don’t know,” she said when asked about her first Rhode Island show. “I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback, but haven’t sold anything.”

Luscombe, who is in his first year as festival director, said that people can expect some changes next year. Over the winter, he and association members will take a look at multiple aspects of the show to decide where new ideas or offerings should be introduced.

“The show has been pretty much the same for a long time, and it’s good,” Luscombe said. “But now I want to look at everything and see what could be done differently.”

The Providence Journal / Bob Breidenbach

Erin Lynch of Wickford admires the artwork of Brett Swanson of Mystic, Conn., as she visits his display at the Wickford Art Festival.

Wickford has its festival down to an art

July 14, 2013 04:33 PM

current Sick Puppy Studios residents:  Dude and Penny!