If I were to have conceived the idea prior to starting my collection things would have unfolded differently, but as it is the process of creating The Fifty is one of inclusion,but it is also one of exclusion when you start with 700 pieces and want to end up with 50.
So does it make you understand my thinking anymore to know that my Mignola / Badger Triumph & Torment page is not in The Fifty. It may make the cut eventually but I have a bunch of pieces already designated for inclusion and she hasn't made it yet. I love the page but the stain from lettering balloon glue is jarring and I may wait for a better page from the book.
There is also a cosmetic reason, a smudge on some lettering, that keeps my Seth Fisher piece from inclusion in The Fifty. I know it will be in there sooner rather than later, but that durn smudge is so frustrating and I cannot place glass over it and actually preserve it that way!
For some reason my Frank Miller Dark Knight Strikes Again page featuring Superman is not yet on the wall on in The Fifty. I bought it excitedly with the full plan to put it right in there but for some reason have hesitated. I may also decide to trade up or just get it a partner; believe it or not I may prefer (may) a crazy Lance Blastoff pinup or a Valiant/Dark Horse cover.
Neither of my Cerebus pages are in. I put the IDW cover in because the technique is so superior despite Cerebus being so important to me. But Dave's work on that cover, Mars Attacks variant cover with Cerebus, is so masterful and precise that it trumps my two sweet Cerebus pages. They may also make it in the end, but not yet.
I think these pieces may be some of the last to go before I officially reach my goal of The Fifty being my only comic art possessions. I am already cheating a bit with a framed Tim Truman piece in the upstairs living room but that is art for a concert poster and not a comic book. I am leaning towards also exempting my musician themed commissions but that decision is also for another day.
None of my McNiven is yet in. The FF splash may make it yet, and the Dr. Strange DVD prelim has an outside chance as well but so far I have not felt strongly enough to include any of his work in The Fifty. that may say it all right there as I was nuts for this guys' work for a few years there.
This is the same reasoning that keeps Starman pages out of The Fifty. They exist in another category for me and I am not sure I will ever truly include them in the equation. Selling 10 or so Harris Starman pages recently was a decision I regret to some degree, and I bought 4-6 other Harris Starman pages in the meantime to compensate myself for my loss.
I feel even more strongly about the Tony Harris Dr. Strange pages I own. I have 11 pieces of art from the series, 9 or so pages and a logo and title page or two. I am always buying these pages and have no intention of selling the ones I already own.
But although The Fifty may be a multifaceted jewel of an idea, one facet that I have liked in particular from the start is the inflexibility of the idea. The Fifty. 50 pieces. No more, and no less. Five zero.
Man do I have some tough choices to make. Sooner. Later. Whenever I make them, tough choices are coming.