Saturday, September 28, 2013

...finally...Gene Colan and The Fifty

The other day I started a blog post about The Fifty now containing Gene Colan, and let me not forget Tom Palmer, and got derailed by a discussion of some of the different Dr. Strange artists. So now I need to show the bad boy!

Tomb of Dracula 44 page 1 splash! Gene Colan and Tom Palmer, artists

Now take a look at that. It is missing a balloon from the printed page, but I like it better without (Doc mutters 2-3 words about Wong  being in danger if I recall correctly) . This story was the deal forme back in the 70s/early 80s. I remember driving to a baseball card and comic show at an Elks Club in Toms River NJ where I bought a ton of Dr. Strange issues for 25 cents each. I got my drivers license in 1984 and moved out of town in 1985, so that pretty much narrows it down, eh? Issue 14 of that title is the issue that crosses over with the one this art is from, Tomb of Dracula 44. Incredibly, Gene Colan and Tom Palmer were doing the art for both titles at that time, although I think at least Tomb was every other month.

Tomb 44 and Doc 14 are a crazy and wild ride. Wong dies by Dracula's bite. Doc dies by Dracula's bite. Dracula is defeated by Doc and that includes a crazy, partial-dream / partial-reality sequence where vampire Dr. Strange bites Dracula and turns him from human to vampire.

I am lucky enough to now own one page from Dr. Strange 14 and three from Tomb 44. I may be able to acquire another one soon enough, although the itch is close to scratched. (But who knows, maybe I will sell up in November!?! hint hint no promise but hint hint) I am saddened by the fact that although I was able to meet Gene Colan, along with wonderful wide Adrienne (now now, c'mon. They were lifemates despite how it ended and no one, no one, knows what transpires between spouses so I prefer to remember the couple I met.), I was not able to have these pages signed as I only bought them after his passing. but that is a very minor consideration. Because this page, really all of them but this one most of all, really fucking rocks my socks. You done read that right. It is a badass page from a great and classic comic. If you are surprised, you really shouldn't be...the Nebres piece already in The Fifty and a few others I own are all in some way an homage to this storyline.

I may end up with all the pages from these 2 issues that I own in the Fifty, I may add some but not others. Que sera sera and all that. But what is sure right now, what is clear and undeniable is that this splash will be on my wall for years and years to come. Will it be there on my last day on Earth (11/29/2066)? I don't know...but for now it is in The Fifty.

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Tony Harris / Ray Snyder Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover
3  Gene Colan / Tom Palmer Tomb of Dracula 44 page 1 splash
4  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones
5  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
6  Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
7  Dan Adkins Dr Strange 170 page 11
8  Anna Merli Clea
 JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
10  Rudy Nebres - Dr. Strange, Dracula & The Scarlet Witch

Monday, September 23, 2013

Yearly Sale Announcement

I have sent a few things, 40 in total now after dropping a few more off at the comic art con yesterday, to Comic Link for consignment in their auctions. I am taking seriously my commitment to seriously enhance my collection through selling and using the proceeds to accumulate better, albeit more expensive, pieces.

I eliminated ebay when I decided upon comic link. And now I think I will limit my comic link a bit but I will still be using them as long as things continue to go so smoothly. And they have gone smoothly. But I want to do some myself. And I should sell in a more organized fashion. And I want some fun. It should be fun.

I like the yearly New Year's Eve sale that Roger Clark usually has. He gets me some good art every year in fact. I thought I was done with him 2 years ago and then I got two great pieces this last sale. So I think I will do something like that.

Starting this year I will hold a sale from my comic art collection on my birthday every year. I will announce the specifics soon enough, but I will offer 20-50 items for sale for one day only. If they do not sell, it will be okay with me as this will be stuff not going to auction houses or on CAF in my for sale folders. I will offer items I hope do not sell in fact. I will offer Starman pages. I will offer Dr. Strange pages. A little of everything just about. But I will be whittling the collection soon enough.

 November 29 - the first annual Feed the Fifty sale. Specifics to follow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Fifty welcomes Gene Colan, and some thoughts on Dr. Strange artists

I collect Dr. Strange related art. (As I just typed that a sudden epiphany occurred - if I am moving away from convention sketches and commissions I will be less tied to the good Doctor, and that may be a good thing!) As I sometimes relate, I once read an article in Arts & Antiques magazine that said 'try to have a collection and not an accumulation'. I liked that advice and at that point focused on Grendel, Starman, and Dr. Strange. Grendel has sadly fallen by the wayside, as has the property itself over the years. VIVAT GRENDEL! And while Asgardian Storm was around these parts for a while, jack Kinght and Stephen Strange continue to reign supreme at chez Sean.

Now my Dr. Strange collection first got some internet attention in the 1990s and many collectors know I am a big fan of the Master of the Mystic Arts. But what I do not talk about too much is the fact that I do not favor the more legendary creators among Doc's creators. I have had quite a few people ask me when I am going to get my Ditko. Now do not get me wrong, I would looooove a Steve Ditko Doc page, especially if it had some mystical dimension stuff. That would really be a grail for me. But I am not a huge overall fan of Ditko's art. The Asian Stephen Strange look doesn't do it for me and and I never read those comics until this century. The figures are small and the backgrounds often wonky. When marvel Comics artistic gods are discussed I never understand Ditko's place there. I think he is a lot like Derek Jeter in that the things he brought to the page are hard to quantify but translate to success. His Spider-Man work is primitive to me as well. It packs a certain punch, surely, but why I cannot tell. Nevertheless, Steve Ditko is not an artist where I would stare at the page and marvel at the linework or brushwork. Unless it is a crazy extradimensional scene, then he wows me every time. Steve Ditko is at his best when the art conveys abstraction in my opinion, but on the more mundane scene he can be mundane as well.

So who do I like among Doctor Strange artists. Paul Smith. Frank Brunner. Those two are my guys. Michael Golden (back then but heaven forbid not now). P Craig Russell, if only he would do more or had a regular run on the title. Kevin Nowlan. When I was reading issues off the newstand Jackson Guice was the artist and he was just fine with me. Same with Mark Buckingham, whose redesign on the costume was sublime but too much of a bitch to draw for the other artists to adopt. And Tony Harris took on the good doctor as well, marrying my favorite modern creator and favorite character. (I always say that but Spider-Man is off the table for that. It sounds better, but really Spidey will always have the #1 spot in my heart from childhood. Superman as well, idiot big blue boy scout and all. Childhood fedres loves those two so much.)

What about Gene Colan you may ask? well Gene Colan is someone I still haven't made up my mind about. His midsections just drive me crazy. Ribs to knees this guy is the worst artist every paid to put pencil to paper. That bothered me for a long time and it still haunts my perceptions of his work.Figures as Gene Colan draws them, often at key story points, look to me like the midsection is well behind the top and lower parts of the body. The head, shoulders, and arms will be thrust at the reader and the legs will be similarly angled. Then the midsection will be darkened and somewhat compressed, giving a really weird bend to the figure. It is like Gene focused on the key body parts and rendered them so dynamically that the rest of the body was shoved in at the last minute. The important parts are rendered clearly and are well-lit by Colan while the unimportant and less visually dynamic aspects of the scene and character get less play, rendered darkly and in shadow and often with only vague suggestions of a line drawn by Colan.

That was always hard for me to take.

I like a clean thin line best. Think Moebius. Barry Windsor-Smith. Geof Darrow. Even Kevin Nowlan. Or new guys like Nate Simpson and Nick Pitarra. I love that thin clean line, and even better if there is a slightly thicker line on the edge of each figure. I love that shit. Love it. I eat it up.

And Gene Colan could not be further from that thin clean line that anyone else with a pencil. gene drew with the edge of the pencil i would imagine, and he probably smashed the tip after sharpening it too. So it was hard for me to like Gene's work analytically. Oh, I loved Gene's work when I read the comics. Tomb of Dracula anyone? That stuff was wonderful, and Gene's shadowy and vague line worked beautifully in that type of story.Street level Daredevil? Gene would draw the hell out of that story. You would feel the grime on you as you read the comic. Mood and the texture of a scene is what Gene Colan drew. His art perfectly melded with the story to draw you into the world of the comic. And he could convey the changing reality of a magical spell with that same vagueness in line and mastery of shadow. I own the only page ever penciled by Gene Colan and inked by Walt Simonson. Walt pitched in one day when pages needing to be inked and did one; Wendy Pini did 2 or 3 I think. But when I bought it I reached out to Walt on Facebook and Walt said that inking Gene was difficult for him as it was not a matter of following the lines but a matter of "values".

So my intellectual/analytical appreciation of Gene Colan's art was a long time coming. Unfortunately I bought and sold a few Colan pieces in the meantimes that I wish I had kept. But then something odd happened around 7 years ago or so. I was selling art with a table at a comic art con (there is one today as well in fact and I am going later on!w00t!w00t!) and sitting around doing nothing all day essentially. I sold two pieces to other dealers. But I looked around alot. And I saw that Bachara had the complete issue 44 of Tomb of Dracula. This issue was a crossover with Dr. Strange 14 that saw Dracula and doc battle it out, with both dying in the issues! Wong gets turned into a vampire as well! These babies had it all and I remember reading them in the 1980s (published 1976 I think) in my room in Pine Beach NJ as a teenager! I loved those comics and still recall the emotional punch they packed. But Bechara was not beaking up the book. At least not then. But a year or three later he did! And I got to buying. I now have three pages from ToD 44 and one from Doc 14. And I love them. They are my new obsession. In fact I am looking at one on my wall right now.

That's right. Gene Colan and Tomb of Dracula 44 are in The Fifty!

but this has gone on too long already! The page unveiling will have to wait! Until next time true believers!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Here Comes New York Comic Con

So with the birth of The Fifty, my permanent collection which I hope to frame and look at for the rest of my life until death arrives on my 100th birthday on 11/29/2066, comes a change in the way I approach the comic conventions I attend. In fact, I am almost wondering why I attend at all anymore!

New York Comic Con is coming up and is being held the four days prior to Columbus Day this year. When the original art bug hit me I was already attending conventions. I remember getting 23 quality pieces at a Philadelphia show and 15 pieces a show was the norm. I am thinking 3-5 would be a great show this year.

The major piece I am hoping for is a commission from an artist I have never met before and is new to NYCC as far as I know. I won't reveal the name until after the show but he responded to an email already and will be doing some work at the show. He also said he may take some home after the show if I want something more intricate, and I do. I have always been a fan of this man but he is not really known for his comics work, although I am indeed a fan of said comics work. He can do whimsy really well but I am wary of getting Dr Strange in a whimsical setting. I may go more dark. He also said that he would have a price sheet with a range of detail, size, and medium.

There is a chance I will try to get something worthy of The Fifty. Something expensive I guess. I may go smaller and more intimate, it depends on what we get to talking about when I commission is really. I already provided a possible idea and he asked a question or two in response so I hope we can arrive at an commission that really sizzles.

So that will be my one planned major purchase for the 2013 NYCC. I was going to get another Sienkiewicz but at this expect that a panel page or two may get in the way. Besides, I got a Sienkiewicz that beats the shit out of anything I ever got from him before, and I got some good but not quite great ones from him in the past trust you me, so I don't think I need to push my luck at this point in time. I will be hounding two other artists but they are both quite familiar with such behavior from me. Andy MacDonald is a NYC artist who really blows me away with his art. I have a few commissions from Andy and at least 25 con sketches. Att his point the problem is finding something for him to draw more than deciding if I want more, because yes I do. Andy will always be welcome to my money if he is drawing for cash and I am there. Plain and simple. He has done three Starman commissions and my plan was to have every character in the series eventually in a commission, seven at a time with Jack always present as well. He hasn't been choosing that option in the last few years so that plan may never come to fruition. Doesn't matter, because I have a ton of commission ideas for Andy to draw. I think I may set one up at the show too come to think of it. I will try for a sketch each day I am at the show, so we will see what Andy comes up with for me.

The other artist in my sites will be Sean Chen. He does those 17X5 strips for me like no ones business so I will definitely be getting one more at this years show. Spider-Man and Dr. Strange is at the top of the list but Sean will also have a choice or two to decide from. If I can get two at the show I will be in heaven, regardless of what else is in store for me. Two more Chen 17X5s would really make me happy. Genuinely happy if you can believe it.

No Cheung. Probably not a Darrow. The guy at More Great Art has a few real talents doing commissions for MYCC pickup but not for me. I am not going that way anymore. I hope to arrange a purchase or two at this Sunday's Comic Art Con and then pick them up at NYCC next month.

Now if there are no pages I am really hot for...Billy da'Sienk may indeed be slinging and scratching ink for me. And Paul Pope, I would be a fool to pass on a chance at a Paul Pope. Otherwise, it's Andy, Sean and the mystery man for me!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Fifity - So Far (with apologies to CSN)

The Fifty

1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4

2  Tony Harris / Ray Snyder Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover

3  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones

4  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash

5  Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation

6  Dan Adkins Dr Strange 170 page 11

7  Anna Merli Clea

 JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread

9  Rudy Nebres - Dr. Strange, Dracula & The Scarlet Witch

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dr. Strange 170 - Dan Adkins enters The Fifty

A few years ago Mike Burkey sold a complete issue of Dr Strange, broken up page by page. There was a bit of a fuss at the time over this as some feel that the issue had survived intact for decades and should remain so. But commerce won out in the end and the pages were scattered to the wind. I think Mike may have a few left in fact. Tell him I sent you.

But some of those pages did not scatter, but rather landed in a heap on my doorstep. I bought four of the pages over time, and still have three. Why I sold one I do not know, but these things happen. I really dig these pages from a great issue featuring Nightmare impersonating Hamir and attacking Doc and The Ancient One. I was very pleased to have the chance to purchase these pages and love owning them.

Dan Adkins was the penciller and inker of the issue. The artist, completely. He told a nice story I think, and the issue is full of fun camera movements and perspective changes. Dan passed recently, and I bemoan the fact that I have his address right here but never used it to tell him how groovy I thought he was or to purchase a cover reproduction. But I own three pages from Dr. Strange 170, so at least I have that going for me.

Here is the one I have chosen to frame this week. Yes, Dan Adkins enters The Fifty.

Dan Adkins pencils/inks Dr Strange 170 page 11

Doc got his own Marvel Comics title with issue 169, only one prior to the one this page appeared in. That is cool I think. 1968 Marvel Comics psychedelia -mysticism, astral projections and Nightmare personified. Yeah, Groovy with a capital G!

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Tony Harris / Ray Snyder Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover
3  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones
4  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
5  Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
6  Dan Adkins Dr Strange 170 page 11
7  Anna Merli Clea
 JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
9  Rudy Nebres - Dr. Strange, Dracula & The Scarlet Witch

Saturday, September 14, 2013

P Craig Russell - Dr. Strange 1972 Marvel Comics portfolio application piece

If any piece could be considered the FIRST professional art of Dr. Strange produced by P Craig Russell, than this is it:
P Craig Russell's first Dr. Strange 

Maybe you do not believe me. Or think that such a statement is hyperbole.

Well, would you believe himself?

back of P Craig Russell Dr Strange portfolio piece

PCR provenance statement

I am a big fan of P Craig Russell. His art is amazing. It has the delicate and generally thin linework that I like the most in my comics artists. But he takes that style of linework and makes it all his own. The quirky jagged edges and lean lithe figures. The man is an artist in any medium or field and I am glad he chooses to create comics.

In fact one of my all-time desires for original art, yes the dread "grail" for me, is a piece drawn by PCR. Check out this amazingness -

But if I cannot have that, at least I can have the other. It is not the work of the PCR as I came to love him, but knowing the provenance of the art makes owning this a real treat for me. When I bought it from Craig's representative off ebay in 2008 I asked if I could get a short note from Craig detailing the reason for its' creation. The reply was that he would write a nice note on the back of the page and in fact continues to do this on all ebay sales to this day as far as I know. I think that is a great contribution to the hobby and am pleased to have the note from the artist on the art. I have debated its' place in The Fifty and have not yet anointed it as such. The technical aspects of the drawing would not warrant it to me but the history of the piece makes it very special in my collection. In either case it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The end of my Teddy K story

Okay, I have put this off long enough so I may as well finish it now. Better late than never and all.

In earlier posts I had related the tale of a decade overdue commission from Danish artist Teddy Kristiansen and how I finally got the piece in the mail just before NYCC 2012 after telling a few industry folks that I would be there to meet Teddy and I was eager to settle the score.

And how I hated the art immediately.

I mean, when I got the package you may call me a fool but I was actually excited after all this time to get the piece. It was to be The Shade and Teddy's distinctive style would allow for some fairly wild possibilities artwise, and that was the reason I had chosen the character for Teddy in the first place.

I was expecting something strongly stylized. Highly stylistic in fact, stretched and slightly distorted preferred.

I got a straightforward character piece.

I was expecting black and white, india ink more likely than not. I ordered black and white and wanted a stark piece to go with the shadowy aspects of the character.

I got a painted character piece, with color. Albeit not much. but a surprise nonetheless.

In fact I was a bit angry that I got a piece so different from what I ordered all those years ago. After all that time Teddy had chosen to try and make it up to me I guess. I was not able to come up with any other possible motivation for so drastic a change. I got a painting, one done with care and delicacy, with careful and deliberate use of color.

I don;t know, perhaps I am being hard on the piece and hard on teddy. After ten years of thinking what the commission could possibly have been I may have become impossible to please after all this time. I certainly was stunned when I looked at The Shade by Teddy Kristiansen for the first time, and I still honestly do not care for the piece as I look at it now. It is not horrible, it is just there.

I wanted something from this guy darnit!

DC Comics SOLO Teddy Kristiansen issue cover

That is a fantastic take on Deadman! That is the type of look I wanted on ol' Dickie Swift, The Shade! So I hated it immediately and filed it away in the Itoya to see the light of day upon my demise (hopefully 11/29/2066).

Then something odd happened.

Teddy emailed and asked if I got the art and what I thought. So I told him, briefly, I got it. Thanks.

Then he emailed again. I may have ignored that one, or a later one, but he emailed again maybe 5 times in a day or three. I suddenly couldn't get rid of my new best friend.

I was not rude or anything, just curt. And definitely not flattering the art, in fact I stayed away from commenting on the piece at best as possible. Just...I got it, thanks. Good Luck. Have a good time in NYC. End of story. But around the third or so email teddy said something like "I will give you the money back if you don't like it" because it had been a bit overdue. Like, ten freaking years! I ignored that statement at first but he made it again and the next time or the time after my reply was little more than my paypal address. It was clear he wanted me to say it was okay and we were clear but other than accept the art he was not going to get anything from me at this point other than common courtesy. Ten years with 2-3 replies to 25 email sent, always courteously asking if my art was finished.

So he sent me my money back.

I took it.

I didn't suggest it and I didn't ever ask for it. But when he emailed me more in the week after sending the art than he had in the ten years he dodged me I got tired of him quickly.

And if he wanted to send me my money, well who am I to refuse such a generous and kind person?

The art remains buried in my profolios. I guess I will sell it or something soon enough.

Or maybe I will keep it in the shadows, where it rightfully belongs.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Fifty and Tony Harris, first time around

In olden days, or at least the olden days as I would love to have lived them, I would have been a patron of Tony Harris. Or even better, I would have been a friend in good times and bad, and a drinking partner and beneficiary of his talent. I would've taken the castoffs even, so to speak. (HEY! Keep it clean, art castoffs I mean.)

That is my poor way of just saying that I love Tony Harris' art. He is still the man and will always be among my favorite artists. That list really doesn't change - and the first guy whose art I can really afford to buy, after Moebius, Crumb, and BWS comes Tony Harris. He is right there with Billy da' Sienk for me as a modern master that I can watch grow and mature. I may not have agreed with some of his style evolutions, but who am I to try to place my perspective on the man's creative processes. He knows far better than I what is best for his art and his life. Say what you want but there is a reason I have owned hundreds of pages of his work. Hundreds, although I sold off most that was not from either Starman or Dr. Strange Flight of Bones (have some, sell them to me for top dollar please!) when I decided I really couldn't keep up and try to have it all.

Best to focus on having the best.

So I still have over a hundred Harris pieces.

Which brings us to this.

Tony Harris / Ray Snyder WIRED Magazine cover

I have it framed but if I showed that to you I would reveal too much. Soon though, soon enough.

I love this piece. It has that Tony Harris chest design that he loves and everyone else pretty much ignores. I like it but it may be tough to draw well. At least you can tell now that it is a demon/ghost type thing, which many artists seem unaware of. The demon cherubs are fantastic, and the giant Doc head is pretty groovy as well. I like to notice how the piece approaches the viewer, and in this piece it is the head that takes our attention after we viewing the central image. then those birds pull our eyes to the demons and when we come back to doc visually we pause and take it all in again. A wonderfully designed piece.

And then the execution. Tony just nails it with the drawing and Ray Snyder masterfully slings the ink here, really adding depth and texture to the art. It is a true team-up, and Ray inked Tony as well as anyone ever did. Even Wade, who is right there with Ray as the best inker for Tony.

Did I mention that I love Tony's art? Well I also love the character of Dr. Strange. He is perhaps my favorite character in all of comics. (Look, I love me some Spider-Man. I cannot deny. But everyone loves Spidey and it made no sense to me to compile an art collection around Spider-Man.) So I love Spider-Man but Doc is probably tied right there with him. 1a and 1b.

So you take the designer and penciller (my favorite by the way), the inker (my favorite inker on my favorite artist), and the character (my collecting focus), add perfect execution on the fantastic design and you have a new entry into The Fifty. Coming in at #2 even!

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Tony Harris and Ray Snyder - Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover  
3  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones 2007 commission
4  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
5  Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
6  Anna Merli Clea commission
 JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
8  Rudy Nebres - commission Doctor Strange comes upon Dracula & The Scarlet Witch

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More Thoughts on The Fifty

If I have not been clear, The Fifty is my attempt to focus my collection into something it is not. At least not now.

It is something like the discussion about what is meant by MVP in baseball or football. Is it the best player in the league or is it the most valuable player, thereby essentially eliminating players on teams that do not win?

The Fifty will consist of the favorite pieces of art that I was able to acquire in the past and hopefully in the future as well. To honor the spirit, and because you have to start somewhere, I have tried to designate pieces in my collection as part of The Fifty. But when I went to look at the best of my best, some pieces were artistically better or perhaps from more renowned and even more talented artists than some of those I chose for The Fifty. That is because The Fifty will be about the art I love.

I intend to live with my art. I now have 9 pieces of framed art. Two really do not count, as I framed them myself. My two Cerebus pages. Two others were purchased framed. They are up on the walls but will likely end up switched out of the frames for better pieces. That leaves five pieces I have taken to the framers (Michaels!) myself. Only one of these, the Barry Windsor-Smith Storyteller splash page, has been revealed as part of The Fifty but the other four are in as well.

Here is that Storyteller splash again, just for kicks

framed BWS Storyteller splash page Young Gods pg 4

As you can see, it is now framed and on the wall. It is next to some more framed BWS art. I have refrained from showing multiple pieces from the same artist for The Fifty so far, but you know it is going to happen. And certainly BWS will have at least two pieces in there. I can tell you Tony Harris, JHW3, and BWS all have more than one piece in The Fifty as it now stands.

I don't know if I have said anything new about The Fifty here. But the fact that I intend to have all of The Fifty framed and on my walls is definitely the intention. If not for all the moisture I might even consider placing the Merli in the bathroom with all the salmon and pinks we have in one of them! But Clea will be framed, last perhaps because the size makes it more expensive per square inch, but she will be framed for sure. Or bounced from the Fifty by then, but I cannot see that happening.

You see, The Fifty as a concept comes from the fact that I am aging and getting closer to death every day. that certainly hasn't changed but it has become more pronounced as of late. So I acknowledge that I will eventually die. And I do not want to leave my heirs and loved ones my art, because they could not care less. It would be a problem more than an inheritance. So I will sell it off eventually.

And I have over 600 items now.

Maybe even 700.

And I still buy stuff like crazy. So I figured if I sold 50 more items every year than I bought, I would lose 500 items in the next ten years. That would leave me with 150-200 pieces, plus the 10 or so I buy every year now anyway. That is another 100 pieces over those 10 years, making it more like 250-300. In ten years. After selling off 500 items. I am 46 now, so I would be 56 with the distilled essence of my current collection plus some goodies to yet be acquired.

Yeah, I could deal with that. In fact, I am making it happen as we speak. You may recall from a previous post that I consigned 31 items to Comic Link. Five have sold and 31 more to go -most in October and maybe some later even this year. Taxes won't be so bad since I lost money big time so far on these! But the money will be liquid soon and not art, so that counts for something I guess.

So between having too much art to live with, and more importantly too much to die with, and having bills to pay and college coming up and all that...well, The Fifty was born.

I will be getting four or five more pieces framed when the first check from Comic Link comes through and it will be a blast to throw some more art up on the walls. I am getting the original art from a concert poster - New Year's Eve of The Millenium for Ratdog, Planet Drum, and Hot Tuna - framed for the living room wall. Tim Truman painted this and it is fantastic!

That won't be in The Fifty as I do not think it qualifies, but I may change my opinion on that in the future.

Okay, too much blathering!

Take care and be well everyone!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Anna Merli and The Fifty

I love this piece.

wonderful Anna Merli commission of Clea, lover and disciple of Stephen Strange

Enrico Salvini and Red Sector Art facillitated this commission from Anna Merli. Anna does not do many superhero(ine) commissions but was willing to take on Clea. All I told her was the character, and she produced this wonderful piece. It is small but still found a place in my heart immediately. I love it. Clea on her wedding bed awaiting the good doctor as he locks the doors, casting spells of protection and privacy perhaps.

I am pretty sure it is watercolor. It is sexy and sweet and true to character and adult and yet clean and honest. Did I tell you that I love this piece?

So to me this may come as a bit of a surprise, that this commission places in The Fifty. Well, it is no surprise to me. Yes, I did not initially think of this piece for The Fifty. Until, that is, until I saw it in my search through my CAF for pieces to include in The Fifty. As soon as I saw it I knew it belonged.

It is a masterful work of whimsy, beauty, and character. It is of the best of the best. Of course it belongs in The Fifty.

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  Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
5  Anna Merli Clea commission
 JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
7  Rudy Nebres - commission Doctor Strange comes upon Dracula & The Scarlet Witch