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

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