Art and story that has touched generations of readers

Highlighting the art and visual storytelling of BREATHTAKER as well as detailing the process of bringing it to life…twice! From concept and pitch to final art and publication, take a look behind the creative and production process that gave birth to an award winning graphic novel.


This exhibition explores the creative and physical processes that were undertaken during the original production of the comic Breathtaker in the 1990s as well as how the artworks were re-adapted, tweaked and in some cases reworked with the artists during the preparation stages in 2014-2016 for the re-release of Breathtaker. Incorporating work from all aspects of the creative process the viewer will have the opportunity to experience the conception of the story, development of characters, pencil, ink, painting work as well as samples of completed comic work that all are part of constructing a narrative in the comic format.

Pencil Art Ink Art Painted Art Combined Art
Pencil Sketches Line Art Painting Combined Art
Pencil Sketches Line Art Painting Combined Art
Cover Roughs Cover Paintings Development Script Character Design

Sample Breathtaker Artwork 

Comics so good they can almost take your breath away” — Neil Gaiman

Breathtaker Breathtaker Breathtaker
Breathtaker Breathtaker Breathtaker
Breathtaker Breathtaker Breathtaker


Creator, author and artist

Winner of Eisner, Inkpot, Mucker, Gem, Speakeasy awards. Shown in the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Library of Congress, etc. Designed for Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, ABC’s Beauty and the Beast and CBS’s The Millers and Super Clyde. Creator of many graphic novels.

Creator, artist and designer

Known for his art for MAD Magazine, Nickelodeon Magazine, The Sandman, Mars, Blood of the Innocent and his own creations Gregory, Tug & Buster and Naked Brain. He has created art for television, and character design for HBO Animation. He is the recipient of the Speakeasy and the Inkpot Awards.

Curator of the Exhibition

Martin W. Mahoney currently serves as Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Norman Rockwell Museum. In this capacity he supervises the Registration and Collections Departments where he oversees care and upkeep of all collections, coordinates all logistics for internal and traveling exhibitions, and conservation of all art and archives. In addition has also curated a number of exhibitions including Mort Kunstler: The Art of Adventure (2014), Istvan Banyai: Stranger in a Strange Land (2013), Everett Raymond Kinstler: Pulps to Portraits (2012).



Complete Information for this Traveling Exhibition 

Contents: Approximately 90 original artworks; photographs; objects; introductory and informational panels; and object/extended identification labels. A PDF, including a list of all elements of the show, and images of the show pieces, is available on request.

Print Materials: A handsome show catalog, postcards and the hardback graphic novel will be available.

Video: An HD video documentary of Marc Hempel creating a piece of BREATHTAKER art is available for inclusion in the exhibit.

Artists: Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel are available, on request, for signings, power point lecture and PR interviews.

Security: Medium, all works must be monitored by a trained security officer/staff member at all times during public hours.

Environment: Light level -18 to 22 foot candles for paintings and 10 to 12 foot candles for works on paper and other light restricted objects. Humidity -50% plus or minus 5% and temperature 68 – 72 degrees, no direct sunlight and no direct contact with light fixtures or heating, air conditioning, ventilation, or electrical outlets.

Space Requirements: approx. 1500 square

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