Monday, December 17, 2012

Some thoughts nearing year's end

I have to tell you, I have really had a good year. Many blessings have come my way. I started this entry to talk about my comic art, surprise surprise. But I would be remiss if I did not comment on my wonderful wife and my equally wonderful daughters. They really make each and every day better. We are entering the teen years, and I know it won't always be so easy to get along but it has really been a blast so far.

I coached soccer again this year, and that was fun. We had the year end dinner yesterday, a few weeks later than optimal. Only 6 of the 14 kids attended, but it was good to see those kids again. I look forward to coaching again next year.

Okay, comic art. I had a great year. I sold more art than I ever have in one year before (I think) and I bought a bunch of really nice things. Maybe nothing to compete with last year's BWS Storyteller splash page, but what year could compete with that? I usually place my better pieces in my CAF Lowry, and looking at it now, I think it was a good year. Only one of those five things is on my comic art want list but that is really because I could not have anticipated the others. But they absolutely fall right in my collection wheelhouse. This is the one on my want list, a page from Dracula 44 by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer
Tomb of Dracula 44 page 22 Gene Colan / Tom Palmer

Although not in my Lowry, I also got a page from Dr. Strange 14 this year. This is the issue of Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts that crossed-over with Tomb of Dracula 44. Gene Colan was pencilling the art for both books at the time, and this issue is again inked by Tom Palmer.

Dr. Strange 14 page 10 Gene Colan / Tom Palmer

I got a whole lot of Gene Colan this year; in addition to those two pages, I got the only page pencilled by gene Colan that Walt Simonson ever inked; a cool page from Dr. Strange 38 inked by Dan Green; and have paid off a little over 50% of a nice splash.

 The Chris Stevens watercolor was a real treat. How I could expect he would start painting and I would get one of the first ones? Look at that piece of art.

Storm of Asgard by Chris Stevens

I got a Mike Mignola cover. It was a bit of an impulse, and I would trade it for the right Starman/Hellboy/Batman piece, but it is a wonderful piece of art. It may not have hellboy, but it has so much more that you want in a Mignola than many Hellboy panel pages. Check that shit out.

Mike Mignola Witchfinder 4 cover

I have a few collecting themes. Well, that may be overstating it but I like to get a few specific things. I now have gotten a second artist to recreate an image I can no longer find, online or in the real world. But Andy MacDonald was nice enough to take on the challenge and make this homage to a John Buscema poster of Mephisto drinking souls from his chalice. Frank Brunner did it once for me as well, and Andy was right there with his execution like the old pro! (Go buy Andy's latest masterpiece, the adaptation of James Patterson's ZOO)

Mephisto Drinks The Defenders by Andy MacDonald.

This year also found me finally getting a commission from Eric Canete. I once bought, and have since sold, a Silver Surfer from Eric's portfolio. But this year Eric joined a few other comic artists and stopped sketching copyrighted characters. There are many reasons for this, and not every artist has the same reason as the next guy. But if it is a reaction to the Gary Friedrich case it is a total over-reaction. But Eric is taking that position and talking to him in the past made it clear he is a genuine man. So when NYCC came around in 2012 I decided to get Eric to do an underwater Valkyrie. He was all over that shit. Check out the insanity he put on paper for me.

Eric Canete underwater valkyrie convention sketch - my idea, his execution

The next piece I have here represents another want list acquisition. This is the fourth page from issue 170 of Dr. Strange that I now possess. This is page 18. I think that may be enough now that the Tomb of Dracula 44 pages and Doc 14 pages are surfacing, but you never know.

Dr. Strange 170 page 18, art by Dan Adkins

And this year was also the year I got my Mike Allred commission, another want list item. I initially wanted to get the Valkyrie, Dr. Strange, Clea and other Defenders playing volleyball on the sand. After thinking about characters and cost ($200 per after the first four characters) I decided to get Doc and his posse: The Ancient One, Clea, Wong, and Rintrah. Simon Miller was a keen facillitator and Mike Allred just killed it for me. I may have stripes added on Clea's suit, and The Ancient One's shirt is supposed to be a Hawaiian shirt and I will have that added soon enough digitally. I also wish there were a few creatures, seagulls and crabs and such, but I did get the cute beachgoer in the background.

One of the best pieces I got this year is this cover by Kevin Nowlan.

Strange Tales 11 cover - Kevin Nowlan
That is a thing of beauty. It may not be his best of that period, but it is a great representation of those covers and is a very strong cover by a master artist. I loved Mr. Jyp so when this cover was made available to me I was glad to see him and Cloak & Dagger, plus Doc as well! The Doc only covers are my favorites, but MAN look at what I done got!

I also was able to score a major coup when I commissioned Rudy Nebres early in the year to do another one of my themes, Dr. Strange vs. Dracula. Rudy and his lovely, and patient, wife have been at quite a few conventions in my area in the last few years and I got to talking with them on quite a few occasions. It turns out they live 10 minutes from me, two towns over. I arranged to pick up the commission at their house and look at what Rudy Nebres presented to me.

I had given Rudy five different heroines to put in the commission and he chose The Scarlet Witch. This is right up their with my Simon Bisley, Paul Smith, and Jae Lee commissions as one of the best I have received from an artist. I loved it so much I sought out the means to make it into a shirt and now wear it proudly. I wear a comic art shirt, or more than one, every weekend and that Nebres commission started that whole trend for me. It is that great a piece of comic art.

Let's see, I also got a Starman cover this year. Issue 3.

Starman 3 cover painting by Tony Harris

What can be said after that. Thanks be to God, I am blessed. be continued.

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