Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NYCC Acquisitions #5 Last but not least...Mike Mignola Witchfinder 4 cover

Okay. The first minutes at a convention are filled with a myriad of decisions, all with life-changing implications and consequences. Should I stand in this line now and pass up on finding a newly arrived artist over there? Or should I keep going and pass up this probable thing for the gem waiting around the corner? For example, do I go looking for Steve McNiven when Leinil Yu is right there? Should I look for Darwyn Cooke or get in this 15 person Barry Kitson line? hmmm As noted previously, in my first pass through Artist's Alley at this year's NYCC I decided to pass up the 12-15 person Jimmy Cheung line in the hopes of finding a similarly wanted artist with a smaller line. I quickly came upon Mike Mignola's table with about 6 people in line and Mike still setting up a rather large stock of sketchbooks and many copies of one specific color print (don't ask, I forget what it was). As I scanned his table I started to ask his gal-Friday if he had original art for sale but mid sentence Mike turned and looked to me and indicated he did indeed have original art. I got in line. I knew most of the people wanted signatures but just jumping in there for first dibs would have been bad form. Desirable, but bad form.

The first guy in line was sitting in a purloined chair at the front of the table. As I got in line he started to look through Mike's portfolio, pulling out three very nice pieces for purchase. No one else in front of me got any original art and when it was my turn I was pleased to see the prices were high, but not outrageous. The lowest priced piece was $1600 I believe. There was very little Hellboy and mostly BPRD related stuff. Pinups, splash/partial splash pages and covers. I saw a few prospects as I went through the book, but any Hellboy was more than I could afford. Then I turned the portfolio page and there were two great pages and I knew that I was going to get one of them. They both had that yin/yang, black/white balance that makes Mike's art so unique. Some of the earlier pieces in the portfolio were better images, but I have two modest Mignola pieces already and wanted to make sure I got something really representative if I was going in at $2000 or higher. I learned long ago to go for the more expensive piece at a convention, although this lesson never made it to my ebay buying habits. So at this convention I passed on the less expensive one on the left and got the one on the right. Here it is: the cover to Witchfinder 4 by Mike Mignola.

Witchfinder 4 cover art by Mike Mignola 2010

I am very happy with this piece of art. It is a real gem to study and look over. The symmetry is strongly top/bottom. Everyone's neck is turned and stretched, all to the middle of course. The smaller details really astound me in person, like the alternating thickness of the black and white lines at the bottom, the symmetry of color and orientation in the elements of her dress - it is all marvelous. Simply marvelous.

In my CAF posting of this piece I indicate that I would consider trading it for a Batman/Hellboy/Starman page, with Starman on it. Cash may be required on my end or on the other end depending on the other piece. But the chances of that decrease the longer I own it. Though I already had one unfruitful negotiation (I cannot add $1000+ for those special pages/splashes/covers) I would welcome the chance to try again. But other than than Starman piece, this may be staying.

I mean, look at it.

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