Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Uncanny X-Men #109 Page 16 Art by John Byrne

As a huge fan of John Byrne's definitive run on the X-Men and his own creation Alpha Flight, Weapon Alpha’s first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #109 (February 1978) has always held a special place in my heart. I purchased Byrne's original art for page 16 from that issue a number of years back from a fellow collector and it is definitely one of the cornerstones of my original art collection.  The art is fantastic and really showcases the wide dynamic range of Byrne's talent with Wolverine quietly emerging from the shadows as he stalks a deer at the beginning of the page to the incredible kinetic energy of Weapon Alpha's appearance in the final panel that practically jumps off the page.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013

New York Comic Con was a blast this year! The team at ReedPop is definitely hitting their stride with the organization of the show and the Javits Center was a more hospitable environment than in past years since the construction in the facility is over.  The crowds were huge with more than 130,000 attendees over the course of four days, but the crowd management was much better than last year and the overall flow was quite good. The exhibitors were good and it was nice to see Marvel back with a big presence, but NYCC has a long way to go to match the caliber of exhibitions at San Diego Comic-Con.  On the other hand, NYCC had an amazing roster of creative guests. The best part of the show for me is the dedicated hall for Artists Alley, an oasis at NYCC that was almost like a con within a con. I'm already looking forward to October 9-12, 2014!

Click here to view my New York Comic Con photo gallery on Picasa >>

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The White Queen by Alex Maleev

After trying in vain to get a commission by Alex Maleev for the past three years, I was thrilled to see a notice from Anthony Snyder on that Alex would be taking advance requests for sketches at New York Comic Con. I jumped at the opportunity and asked Anthony to sign me up for an 11" x 17" watercolor of Emma Frost in her classic Hellfire Club White Queen costume. I tracked down Anthony at NYCC on Sunday afternoon and I was dazzled by what he presented. First, the piece is gorgeous and Alex did a perfect job of portraying the White Queen in all her cold, imperious and statuesque beauty. Second, the piece is huge at 16" x 20" in size on Arches watercolor art board.  Many thanks to Alex for his great work and to Anthony for arranging the commission!

Click here to view a high-resolution scan of the White Queen >>

Alias #15 Cover Art by David Mack

David Mack's cover art for the Marvel MAX title Alias set the perfect tone for the complexity and depth of the charters and plot in the series. His covers for the series run the gamut from straightforward painted work to intricate collages that include pen and watercolor figures and backgrounds with mixed media. I bought the cover to Alias #15 (December 2002) from David at New York Comic Con 2013 and the piece is truly a wonder to behold! Jessica Jones is painted in watercolor with the outline of her figure defined by the negative space between the watercolor and an intricate collage that consists of pieces of letters, lace, a flower and a silk butterfly that are glued and stitched together in an incredible patchwork. It's a phenomenal piece of art that literally jumps off the page.

Click here to view a high-resolution scan of the art >>

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Mutants #21 Cover Art by Bill Sienkiewicz

Bill Sienkiewicz’s run on the New Mutants left an indelible impression on me as a thirteen year-old only a year and a half into a comic title that still stands the test of time as one of my favorites.  I can distinctly recall picking up New Mutants #18 and wondering what had happened to the art and what on hell was going on in those densely packed pages.  I quickly got past my natural aversion to any change and I was fascinated by the art, anxious to decipher each panel and page and move on to the next.  Looking back, I can appreciate that Sienkiewicz brought incredible depth, complexity and sophistication to the title as he flexed his creative muscles and elevated his style to a whole new level as compared to his prior work on Moon Knight.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Heroes Con 2013

I attended Heroes Con this year for the first time ever and found that the rave reviews Shelton Drum and his team from Heroes Aren't Hard To Find have received year after year are very well deserved. The show boasts an incredible collection of rock star-caliber comic book talent without the attitude, crowds and unwanted distractions that come with the mega shows like San Diego or New York. For a comic art fan, it's a perfect show and I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet many of my favorite creators and pick up some incredible original art and other goodness at the convention.  Click here to view my Picasa photo gallery from Heroes Con or press play below to start the slide show.

Demon Bear by Bill Sienkiewicz (2013)

I was fortunate to get on Bill Sienkiewicz’s sketch list at Heroes Con last Saturday and asked if he would do a piece with Demon Bear and Mirage.  Bill’s work on New Mutants overall and the Demon Bear Saga in particular left an indelible impression on me as a young comic reader, so I was thrilled to get an original sketch from the master artist.  “How about 11 x 17?" he asked. “Can you do anything bigger?” I replied. After sorting through the clutter of his Artists Alley table, he found a huge piece of art board and off he went.  I passed by his table many times during the day on Sunday to see Bill’s work in progress on the Demon Bear sketch and watch him work on a number of other amazing sketches.  The final piece is outstanding and it's hard not to imagine the sheer savagery of the Demon Bear's howl when looking at it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Moment Between Scott and Madelyne

The splash page to Uncanny X-Men #170 (June 1983) features a a touching scene with Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor dancing the night away. Scott's initial reaction to Madelyne's resemblance to Jean Grey was complete surprise "Have I gone mad? Her voice--her face--it cant be! It's impossible!" but he's clearly gotten over the shock at this point.  The introduction of Madelyne was a masterstroke by writer Chris Claremont who's labyrinthine and oft times soap operaesque plot lines made the X-Men such a fun title to read in the 80s.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Phoenix by Alan Davis

Excalibur was one of my favorite X-titles in the late 80s and the art it made me a lifelong fan of Alan Davis. Since my view of what comic art should look like was informed by John Byrne's Fantastic Four and Paul Smith's Uncanny X-Men in the early 80s, it's easy to see in retrospect why the work of Alan Davis immediately caught my eye. I purchased this pencil sketch from fellow Alan Davis fan Gerry Turnbull who was generous to part with such a gem!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kitty Pryde Costume Parade by Kevin Wada

I first encountered Kevin Wada's work when I saw his couture-inspired X-Girls Fashion Extravaganza. After he did two fantastic commissions for me, I asked him if he'd be interested in doing a series of pieces chronicling Kitty Pryde's dizzying array of costumes over the years. Kevin was fortunately up for the project, so I set about choosing a few of my favorites from Kitty’s sizable wardrobe. Although I stifled his artistic freedom by asking for faithful recreations of the costumes, he did a great job with the first set of four from the 1980s and I’m hoping someday he’ll be willing to take on another batch.