Thunder Hunters

by Mark A. Nelson

Artist and adventurer J.V. Holbrook has traversed and recorded the natural history of an uncharted planet. Thunder Hunters is the unique, culminated cross section of his sketches, journal entries, sequential stories, and portraits of inhabitants and the expansive Vermillion Sands region. It showcases his attention to detail and love of his newly explored alien domain, revealing a never before seen world of myth, culture, landscape and wildlife.

Newly collected in an exclusive oversized hardcover by writer/artist Mark A. Nelson. Plus a rare chance to own the original art!

"Mark makes the most beautiful and original creatures in the world, no matter how odd or ugly they might be. His work never ceases to amaze and enthrall."


supported of $6,000



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Digital Copy

PDF format, 104 pages





104 pages, 8.5 x 11"




Retailer Bundle - ALL COPIES SIGNED

3 copies at 52% off retail pricing. All copies signed by Mark A. Nelson. In order to qualify for thi...




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Cover original art

Own the original 11 x 17" cover inks drawn by Mark A. Nelson!


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Alternate Cover original art

Own the original 11 x 17" alternate cover inks drawn by Mark A. Nelson!


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Card Drawing 4

2.5 x 3.5", ink/marker/pencil art by Mark


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Card Drawing 5

2.5 x 3.5", ink/marker/pencil art by Mark


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Cowpoke original art

Own the original 6 x 9" pencil art featured in the sketchbook collection. One of a kind!

The Book

Thunder Hunters is a collection of stories and illustrations by J.V. Holbrook.
Vermillion Sands is an uncharted area that he has journeyed into. He is on a solo expedition, as a artist/naturalist, to record the indigenous peoples and animals, and collect their stories. These tales range from the cultural myths to everyday events in Vermillion Sands.

This book collects a selection of some of his highly detailed work and brings to life this new region. There are 7 short stories, various pinups & drawings, and for this special deluxe hardcover 16 pages of concept work & sketches have been added!


Original Art

Here's a closer look at all of the original art by Mark A. Nelson that's available for purchase in the ADD-ONS section above:










Mark A. Nelson is a comic industry veteran who has also held various Professor and Art Director positions throughout his career. He has tackled work for just about every publisher in the industry. He is perhaps best known for his work on Aliens and Godzilla, and had influential stints on Action Comics, Green Lantern and more, including:


- Fantasy World-Building, Dover Publications Author and Illustrator of book on world creating

- Innsmouth: The Lost Drawings of Mannish Sycovia, Alaxis Press authored with Stephen Smith, illustrated by M. A. Nelson

- AAA Video Games at Raven Software: Quake 4, Soldier of Fortune II, Jedi Knight II, Star Trek Elite Force, and Heretic 2

- Blood and Shadows, 4 issue mini series. Co-created with Joe R. Lansdale. DC Comics

- Feud, a four issue creator owned mini-series commissioned by Epic Comics (Marvel)

- Nightbreed and Hellraiser: various stories and comics for Marvel

- Aliens #1-6, 24 pages of artwork, pencils and inks by M. A. Nelson; story by Mark Verheiden. Dark Horse Comics

- Legends of the Mouseguard, Archaia Studios Press. Mouseguard Universe - short story written and drawn by M. A. Nelson

- Various projects for: DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Marvel Comics, First Comics, Eclipse Comics, Now Comics, Kitchen Sink, Graphic Classics and Just Imagine Comics

- Spectrum, The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art

- Aphrodisia, the Art of the Female Form (#1 won Gold Fine Art Award)

- Covers and interior art for Dungeon and Dragon Magazine

- Covers for books and interior art with Cemetery Dance Publications and Subterranean Press (Authors: Ray Bradbury, Joe R. Lansdale, Tad Williams, and more)

- Wizards of the Coast, World of Warcraft, Three Rings Publications game cards

- TSR and Wizards of the Coast game module, monster and creature design, and book interior art

- From Pencils to Inks and Visual Dialogues books on my artwork and monthly articles on drawing comics

- Various solo and group exhibitions of my artwork


"Mark makes the most beautiful and original creatures in the world, no matter how odd or ugly they might be. His work never ceases to amaze and enthrall."
- Geof Darrow (Shaolin Cowboy, Hard Boiled and The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot)
Mark Nelson has been one of my favorite illustrators for my entire life, and I am truly blown away by his current book Thunder Hunters. Seemingly endless imaginative creatures and worlds are brought to life every single page of this book. With Mark doing what he does best, Thunder Hunters is a masterpiece that should not be overlooked by anyone who is a fan of the medium.”
- Zach Howard (Wild Blue Yonder, Shaun of the Dead, Spiderman, X-Men, GI Joe, The Cape, and Batman)
"I met Mark Nelson in the early 90s during the black and white indy comics explosion and have seen his art evolve with admiration in the intervening years. Technically I learned a lot from watching him sketch at conventions and his brush control is still a talent to be envied.
With Thunder Hunters Mark moves up into the ranks of master worldbuilders luminaries with Jack Vance and Frank Herbert, creating entire plausible alien cultures complete with religious factions and societies built around central themes. All these seem to emerge fully formed out of ether but are in fact long careful consideration of Mark's part.
The general public is easily enraptured with superfluous detail that honestly means nothing but what Mark creates bolsters his ideas, all well thought out choices on his part. Nothing is gratuitous.  Clothing, architecture, even saddles and harnesses are all plausible. Nothing just fills up space.
I wish I had his patience and a fraction of his imagination, and I eagerly look forward to more Thunder Hunters material and I'm sure you will too."
- James O'Barr, creator of The Crow
"In Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’, we meet a gentleman by the name of Slartibartfast.  He is a Designer of Planets, hired by Pandimensional Beings to help create the earth.  His particular skill is creating coastlines, notably fjords, for which he won an award.
Mark Allen Nelson is, I believe, one of these Creator Aliens.  His specialty is...well, everything.
The result is distinctly Mark Nelson.  Pugnacious, eerie, bizarre, alluring, spikey, and terrifying.  An alloy of lithography, golden age illustration and extravagant imagination.  Damn good art.
So dive into these pages. Follow their lures and luminescence into the uncharted Deep, as Mark’s crypto-zoological creations dart and wriggle and zigzag through your brain, trailing story bubbles.  
- Iain McCaig, artist/writer/filmmaker, Star Wars saga, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers trilogy, Jungle Book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
"Like any artist, Mark’s linework is as unique as his fingerprints. And yet, his brushes and pens inherited a grand tradition: you can see, in a single stroke, those that came before him, like Bernie Wrightson, William Stout and Mike Mignola. And there are also traces that stretch back to bygone generations, like Franklin Booth, Joseph Clement Cole and Virgil Finlay. While he carries the influence of many masters in the simplest of his drawings, the final image is wholly original, unique in its strange primeval existence.
How has he achieved this mastery of line? How has he found an artistic style that is so identifiably his? The answers are simple but took decades to accomplish: Mark is constantly observing, drawing, and evolving.
He sees the beauty in the hideous. Pale-eyed deep-sea fish, fossilized trilobites and misshapen creatures of the night serve as his muses. Like a paleontologist, he digs deeper and deeper into his imagination, refining his ideas until a fully realized vision is unearthed: Something that both delights and frightens all at once. The pages that follow showcase his explorations—his hunt for the unfindable quarry—that every artist chases in their lifetime.
This collection, a mere moment in Mark’s artistic epoch, reminds us all that such skills do not simply appear. It takes years of dedication, passion, and inspiration.
His line, form and imagery metamorphose with the turn of each page. We see evolving ideas bloom from extinct concepts. We see an artist yearning to grow beyond where he’s been. An artist on the move. As Mark once proclaimed, “Always keep learning, always be adaptable.” That is how this dinosaur has refused to become extinct. That is how his art continues to flourish after all this time. And our imaginations are richer for it."
- Tony DiTerlizzi, New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, The Spiderwick Chronicles
"Shades of London, Kipling, Conan Doyle, Jodorowsky, Moebius, Arzach and Dope Rider! Charting previously uncharted ruins, realms, and hinterlands, Mark A. Nelson is back in style with his inspired excavation of J. V. Holbrook's lost journals. Thunder Hunters: Vermillion Sands Journal juggles mesmerizing sketchbook portraiture with lovingly, lavishly delineated sequential passages; Nelson is the Chosen One, cartographer of imaginative realms he lets us see, hear, taste, feel, and revel in. Join these caravans of nomadic tribal traders, shamans, wanderers and their travels, and trust Mark to guide you through its perils into its most intoxicating wonders..."
- Stephen R. Bissette (Swamp Thing, Taboo, Tyrant®, 1963, Brooding Creatures, etc.)
"I could go on about the mastery of form and flourish and composition that Mark Nelson displays or the genius of his imagination that took me to places of breath taking awesomeness as well.I can say that this is art that you will need , and will revisit and cherish it over the years to come and you will thank God that Mark found his calling by creating this masterpiece of fantasy.The excitement of his visions will be apart of your waking dream.This volume puts the esteemed Mr.Nelson into the first rank of artists with his stunning unforgettable visions.I can only say that that you need two copies.One to place in your bookcase, and one to drool on!"
- Kelley Jones (Batman, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Sandman, Micronauts)

Stretch Goals


As of the beginning of the campaign, the pages have all been laid out and the finishing touches of the book design are being added. The book should be ready for print right after the campaign is over and orders have been counted.


We anticipate a late summer '23 fulfillment after a successful campaign, and Zoop will provide updates and communicate any delays that may pop up.

Frequently asked questions

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