Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Fifty - And the Dean Ormston commission makes 20!

Dean Ormston Dr. Strange & Eternity commission

Dr. Strange & Eternity, by Dean Ormston, is now in The Fifty.

This wonderful commission was a bit odd in the acquisition. I have since learned that until recently this was one of two full commissions that Dean Ormston took on over a number of years. He did not do many and why he chose to do mine is not known to me, but it does add a bit of understanding to what eventually happened.

It started simply enough and as it always did, with me somehow acquiring an artists' contact information and then asking for a commission. I usually got this info from the odd interview or promotional piece and I tried to be specific and clear in my requests. In this case I now remember it was because Dean Ormston was offering something on ebay. I contacted him through ebay and he was quick to accept the commission. I know we settled on Dr. Strange and Eternity but the parameters were generally pretty loose and everything was up to Dean's discretion in the end.

Well then something happened. I have since had it happen once or twice again, but this was the first time an artist contacted me, told me they were working on the commission as previously agreed upon but that it would now cost more than previously agreed if I wanted to own the finished piece. Well bust my britches! This was odd. Now I remember the figure of $300, but I do not recall if it was the initial price (which would have been within my means but a bit pricey for me back then) or the finished negotiation (more likely, but who knows in the end). But I recall Dean emailing me. (Is it possible we talked on the phone at that point? It is unclear and the recesses of my mind are dimly lit tonight.) The commission had grown and he told me that he could do another to the original specs or keep going on this one for a new amount. If I stayed with the one he was working on he said it would be a mock cover with lettering a logo.  I went with that, it sounded like he had a plan.

I think I made the right decision.

This thing is gorgeous. It is slightly larger than 11x17 and emphasizes the larger than life aspects inherent in Eternity. Dean manages the tough trick of showing only part of Eternity but still conveying the immensity of the character/concept. The figure of Dr. Strange is awesome as well - serene and focused in his spell-casting in the face of Eternity. It is a great commission and I cannot wait to have it on the wall. I foresee a Dr. Strange commission hallway with the PMS, the Bisley, this, and one or two others not yet revealed but most certainly in The Fifty. but today is not about them but about Dean Ormston, Dr. Strange & Eternity.

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Tony Harris / Ray Snyder Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover
3  BWS Weapon X page
4  JHW3 Milestone Forever pinup
5  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones
6  Paul Smith Dr. Strange vs Dr.Doom
7  Dave Sim Mars Attacks variant cover
8  Gene Colan / Tom Palmer Tomb of Dracula 44 page 1 splash
9  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
10  Tony Harris 1994 Starman pinup
11 Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
12  Ted McKeever Dr. Strange vs Dr.Doom in Hell
13  Dean Ormston Dr. Strange & Eternity
14  Darwyn Cooke Wonder Woman
15  Dan Adkins Dr Strange 170 page 11
16 JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
17  Rudy Nebres - Dr. Strange, Dracula & The Scarlet Witch
18  Anna Merli Clea
19  Mitchell Bretweiser Dr. Strange watercolor
20  Jae Lee Dr. Strange

Friday, April 18, 2014

Time for another one from The Fifty - Dave Sim Mars Attacks variant cover featuring Cerebus

Dave Sim Mars Attacks variant cover
I really love this piece.

But Dave Sim has gone nuts. No, I am not talking about his mental state, which seems to me to be just fine. I am referring to his penchant for the brush and jar of ink of late. Dave Sim wants to draw like Alex Raymond and is doing his best to learn how to do so. It seems a truly maddening pursuit, even for one as talented and accomplished as Dave Sim. He was documenting the process in one half, the more accepted half, of his groovy comic Glamourpuss. Glamourpuss only ran about 33 issues (that is off the top of my head, but I think I have about 33 issues) and was a beautiful book. I never completely warmed to some of the model shots myself; I always disliked the faces (even though Dave encouraged this with his model's facial expressions) while I loved the fashion. The fact that the model/fashion part of the book suffered was only in relation to the strength of the history of photo-realism comic style half of Glamourpuss, which was fascinating to this reader at least. I ate it up.

But then Glamourpuss ended.  Dave has since entered into a deal which requires re-working some of the Glamourpuss stuff into The Strange Death of Alex Raymond. Or at least it started out that way, even if he may have had to re-draw it all anyway. In any event it has apparently gotten complicated and proven to be a lot of work for Dave, and is far from ready for print. Which means it is far from ready from producing significant revenue for said Mr. Sim. Which brings us to the cover pictured above, auctioned at Heritage, and purchased by yours truly. See Dave needed capital, and IDW and Ted Adams proved smart enough to get some work out of him at that point in time. No surprise there as IDW is just killing it publishing wise in my opinion. The first, and perhaps best, of this arrangement was this Cerebus Attacks cover, a variant for Mars Attacks which had something like 20 variants for some sort of celebration/promotion.

Look at that thing closely. The degrees of depth conveyed from the front of the figure though the destroyed portion to the back of the figure and beyond is masterful. Its' Homeric is what it is. Homeric.

Dave Sim, welcome to my permanent collection. Welcome to The Fifty. This makes 19 pieces revealed. We're getting there, and that is a bit scary. Comiclink has about 40 pieces of mine coming off in the next few auctions. I was deleting them from my CAF today and was wondering what the fuck I am thinking. I was so happy getting some of these pieces over the last 20 years. But in the immortal words of Robin Harris...if you gotta go, you gotta go. This is getting real, real quick.

Also, I think I am re-arranging the list a bit. Somethings seemed out of place, perhaps ranked more out of perceived importance rather than pure unadulterated love. This may change again, but today the list looks like this.

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Tony Harris / Ray Snyder Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover
3  BWS Weapon X page
4  JHW3 Milestone Forever pinup
5  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones
6  Paul Smith Dr. Strange vs Dr.Doom
7  Dave Sim Mars Attacks variant cover
8  Gene Colan / Tom Palmer Tomb of Dracula 44 page 1 splash
9  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
10  Tony Harris 1994 Starman pinup
11 Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
12  Ted McKeever Dr. Strange vs Dr.Doom in Hell  
13  Darwyn Cooke Wonder Woman
14  Dan Adkins Dr Strange 170 page 11
15 JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
16  Rudy Nebres - Dr. Strange, Dracula & The Scarlet Witch
17  Anna Merli Clea
18  Mitchell Bretweiser Dr. Strange watercolor
19  Jae Lee Dr. Strange

Saturday, April 12, 2014

More Framed Art- This One Goes in the Main Room!

My wife and family indulge my comic art passion, but that does not mean they want the art throughout the house. I have the downstairs area and have nine pieces framed and on the walls as we speak. But I have also become interested in some art not necessarily from comics but comic related. Strip art for example, for strips I never even read or possibly was not even born yet when they were published.

I am also in the market for some music related art. So when Roger Clark offered a Tim Truman painting used for a concert poster I went all in. Tim Truman did a lot of Grateful Dead related art and that did not stop when Jerry and the Grateful Dead died. Tim designed and painted this poster for a New Year's Eve show by Ratdog, Planet Drum, and Hot Tuna. And not just any New Year's Eve, but the 1999/2000 New Year's Eve. So I bought it, framed it, and it now hangs in the living room. I think it is the star of the room and  now we have to bring our game up a notch design wise to make the room as good as the painting.

My daughter Gail already enjoys showing off the symbols in the painting.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Frames of the Faltine, or The Dr. Strange MegaWall!

Okay, maybe I went a little far here. ;-) I have a master plan in mind for the framing and displaying of my comic art and figured why not do it right from the start. There was a temptation to space things about the room until I have more art before I really concentrate things, but.......nah!

Some of the photos did not turn out so well, but here is one of the other two newly framed pieces.

This is a commission from Paul Smith. It is in a frame that housed a Starman page, from issue 8, when I bought it. But this week I had that nondescript page switched out for this commission and I think it looks great. That is on the upper left in the group photo. Below it is a page from Dr. Strange issue 170, one of two I currently own. I will probably have that other page from 170 framed and placed on this wall and move the PMS piece at that time to a solo location, but for now it looks great with the other Doc pieces.

The middles piece has been framed for a while and is one of the jewels of my collection. Tony Harris WIRED magazine cover. Large and in charge, that's for sure!!!

I think the two pages from 170 would look nice together here because on the right side I have 2 pages from Tomb of Dracula 44 by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer. The bottom one is about an inch larger in the frame than the other pieces, so that proved problematic on the wall. Then you can add to that fact the fact that the framers attached the wires on the interior page (as opposed to the splash above) slightly higher than they did on all the other framed pieces and its gets really tricky. But they look alright together I think, no?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Back from the Framer's with Tony Harris Starman

I just got back from picking up one piece and dropping two pieces off at the frame shop. Here is the first one done. Full deal, glare-resistant protective glass, all the mounting perks to keep it unattached and an extra half inch on the bottom to pull the eye down.



Here it is one the wall, with its' new companion piece.

I had a Starman page in this spot, one that I purchased framed but one I would not have chosen to have framed and will eventually have switched out for another piece. In the meantime, I think these two look nice together here.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Thoughts on Permanency of Pieces in The Fifty

It is funny, as I mentioned recently the idea of The Fifty had been on the back burner for a while as I focused more on the culling necessary to get there. But looking at the pieces in The Fifty it is a bit embarrassing to admit that I have, even recently, considered selling some of these very pieces. HAH! Permanent Collection indeed!

When I first wrote about The Fifty I did mention that the designation was not absolute and could change. But I am surprised at how fickle my tastes are that pieces I would place in The Fifty just a short time ago were considered for sale not long after. This is not to say that all of them are for sale. At least 10 of that 18 are indeed absolute as far as I am concerned right now. But many of the others, not so much. That is why, along with the $100 price tag per piece, that all of the 18 pieces now in The Fifty are not yet framed. The six currently framed, and the two others on order, are not going anywhere anytime soon. Not if I have control of the situation at least. But the commissions seem to have less sway on me at present, even if the PMS may also get a quick switch with another framed piece soon as well if I can pull it off. I mean, that commission is not going anywhere.

At least not now. ;-)

By the way, I don't say it often or enough, but I am blessed to be able to afford this type of thing and to have a wife and family that indulges me my indulgence.

New to The Fifty - PMS Commission!

Paul M Smith 2008 commission Dr. Strange / Dr. Doom

This is one of my favorite commissions that I have ever received. I will eventually frame it and hang it on the wall, and it is certainly deserving for The Fifty. I love Paul Smith's version of this guy -

and was tempted to use him against Dr. Strange in the commission. Or maybe this guy -

But as it turns out, I am quite glad I went with Doom! I mean that commission is all kinds of awesome. The tendrils on the sphere containing Strange are probably my favorite touch, and I have since asked for similar tendrils in other Dr. Strange commissions.

BTW, I will be getting three pieces back from the framer in the next ten days or so. This is a significant development as it had been many months since I have framed any of my art. But with my recent consignment of art to an auction house I decided I could spend some of the proceeds on framing. I brought three pieces in,one of which was the Starman pinup I recently posted about. One was a painting by Tim Truman that served as a concert poster for a Ratdog (Bob Weir) / Planet Drum (Mickey Hart) / Hot Tuna (Jorma and Jack) New Millenium New Year's Eve show. The other is obviously in The Fifty but has not been revealed as such yet. And funny enough the day I ordered those three frames I got a great frame shop coupon. That one lasts until mid-April and I think I may order a few more at that time. They are going to look soooooo good in my house, I can't wait.

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Tony Harris / Ray Snyder Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover
3  BWS Weapon X page
4  Gene Colan / Tom Palmer Tomb of Dracula 44 page 1 splash
5  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones
6  Paul Smith Dr. Strange vs Dr.Doom
7  Ted McKeever Dr. Strange vs Dr.Doom in Hell
8  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
9  Tony Harris 1994 Starman pinup
10  Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
11  JHW3 Milestone Forever pinup
12  Darwyn Cooke Wonder Woman
13  Dan Adkins Dr Strange 170 page 11
14 JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
15  Rudy Nebres - Dr. Strange, Dracula & The Scarlet Witch
16  Anna Merli Clea
17  Mitchell Bretweiser Dr. Strange watercolor
18  Jae Lee Dr. Strange