Monday, August 19, 2013

Simon Bisley's commission of Doctor Strange and The Mindless Ones - The Fifty

In the short history of The Fifty, I usually say pieces enter The Fifty but that is not appropriate here. Simon Reed once assisted me in getting a commission from Simon Bisley, THE BIZ! It went smoothly and although not completed at the London con that year as scheduled, Simon Reed was in touch frequently, I heard tales of it being seen started at the show, and two or three weeks later I had it in my hands.

Look at this amazing piece of comic art.

Dr. Strange vs. The Mindless Ones by Simon Bisley (2007 commission for me!)

I am going to go on a bit on this one, forgive me. I have not yet really commented on a piece when I name it to The Fifty. But I gotta groove on this one for sure. First of all look at the overall placement and orientation of the central image, Doctor Strange, and the relative placement of the supporting elements. As soon as you look at the piece your eye is pulled immedaitely to the center of the page and eventually to the face, arms, and hands of Doctor Strange. The eye then trails directly down Doctor Strange's figure to his feet. This immediately draws attention to the conflict in the piece from the blast at Doc's feet. Again the eye is pulled, first to the blasting Mindless One and then to the rest of them in the background. Doc's cape pulls you down and back to center again.

A masterfully laid out design by Simon Bisley on this commission tells the story in the first few milliseconds the eye hits the page. Scanning and visual saccades immediately transmit the information to the brain and in this case as soon as you see the piece the spell has been cast and the story has been told once again.

Then we can look at the figure. Each limb has a different technique utilized. One arm is straight at you foreshortening and one is off to the side. The legs are utilized to pull the piece back to center and are the source of the primary conflict in the blast, so one is used to anchor the figure to the ground, or at least close to it. I love the white hot of the foot. The other leg is used to show movement in the figure and increase the action level. In fact that back foot is a central piece in pulling the eye around the page.

And the hands! The Biz is the first of the many artists I have commissioned that has pulled off the circuular spell around the hand effect. And he does is so well. When I got this commission I immediately went "Wow. this is not what I expected! But it is better!!!". When I paid my rather large sum of money (most ever at the time by far, most still for a commission for me. Hopefully that changes soon though!) I expected less structure. But what I got far exceeded what I expected and certainly exceeded  what I would have been happy with out of the experience. Seven years later it is still the gem of my collection as far as I am concerned. I asked for it to be created, please sir!, and lookee here what I got in return.

So forgive me for crowing a bit. I may even be full of shit with all that stuff up above. I have no art experience myself but like what I see and like to analyze what goes into the art. Too much perhaps, eh?

So welcome Dr. Strange and Simon Bisley to The Fifty. And thanks again seven years later to Simon Reed and Simon Bisley for the professionalism and sheer enthusiasm they showed me in 2007. I still want another guys but what could be better than this?

As always, the official count.

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones 2007 commission
3  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
4  JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread

I think it is time to lay down a challenge. To myself. When I run out of posting members of The Fifty now in my possession I will buy another member. A new guy to sit at the table perhaps. Then that will be it for the year I think.

Unless you have some Starman or Flight of Bones art for sale? No? C'mon now...

No comments: