Alison Sampson describes the art project “Think of a City” as an “exquisite corpse,” the name of the parlor game played by the surrealists in the cafes of Paris during the 1920s and ’30s. The game involved a piece of folded paper onto which, in turn, each member of a group drew a part of a body, without being able to see what others have drawn. The result was a body or character of composite parts, often quite Frankenstein-looking.
Sampson’s day job is as an architect, and like many in that profession she seems very idealistic about how good design can improve the quality of life. Having followed her blogging over the years, it appears to me she brings that philosophy to everything she does, that she actively believes comic art has the same transformative power to affect us positively. Here’s the project’s mission statement:
Marvel recently debuted Paolo Rivera and Mike Deodato Jr.’s covers for the long-promised return of Miracleman, and while no one was looking, Jim Cheung unveiled a glimpse of his own take on the character. “Thrilled to be working on this!” the artist wrote on his blog.
The publisher, which announced in 2009 that it had acquired the rights to the British hero, will begin reprinting Marvelman stories in January. New material by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham likely won’t appear until 2016.
“I know that it seems like a long way away, but the material is finally going to see the light of day and will remain in print, and I think for that, we can all be grateful,” Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada told CBR earlier this month. “To me, it’s a travesty that there are readers who have not only not been exposed to the original stories, but don’t even had a way to easily access them.”
The York (Pennsylvania) Daily Record reports had been conservatively estimated to fetch $50,000 and $75,000, but the historical significance of the issue (cover-dated February 1964), and the timing of the auction — no coincidence, mind you — helped to drive up the price.
The cover shows the Superman greeting a line of well-wishers, including Lois Lane, Supergirl, Batman and Robin, and, somehow, Clark Kent. In the story, “The Superman Super-Spectacular,” written by Edmund Hamilton and penciled by Swan, Superman must figure out who can portray Clark on a television show honoring the Man of Steel so he can protect his secret identity. He ends up turning to President Kennedy, who dons a mask and make-up to shake Superman’s hand on air.
The issue was already so far into production when Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, that it couldn’t be stopped, and Action Comics #309 was released just days later.
The anonymous seller purchased the original art in the 1970s for $75.
It seems every comics fan wants superpowers, but artist Chris Panda has pulled back the curtain to show the seedy side of X-ray vision in these comic book drawings from kids’ coloring books with the heroes’ skeletons drawn in. Panda drew three superheroes — Batman, Iron Man and Spider-Man, as well as prominent cartoon characters from Disney and Looney Tunes lore. Check out those other two superheroes below, and go to his website for more.
Remember Paolo Rivera’s EC Comics-pastiching variant covers for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy? Well, maybe someone at Mondo did as well when they commissioned him to draw this amazing tribute to the style of Wally Wood. The print is being released to mark the end of Mondo’s “Tales from the Crypt” gallery show at their home in Austin, Texas (Comic Book Resources debuted pieces by Francesco Francavilla and Mark Todd last month).
There will be a simultaneous release with a print of Jason Edmiston’s painting of Johnny Craig’s notorious cover to Crime SuspenStories #22, used as damning evidence during the 1954 Senate subcommittee hearing on juvenile delinquency. These posters will be made available at a random time today, and as such, keep an eye on Mondo’s Twitter feed to see when.
We’re living in an age where increasing aspects of our comics heritage is being protected, with all manner of work coming back into print in fittingly deluxe packages. However, we can all think of great comics that will probably never be reprinted, for various obscure reasons. For example, all manner of great work published by Marvel and DC in the 1970s and ’80s will never see the light of day again due to lapsed licensing deals. Other titles, other creators, simply fall from fashion, to await rediscovery by another generation. Others still end up in complicated rights battles and litigation.
One field of comics-related work that seems to be just lost to the unrelenting march of time and progress is that of the pre-Internet fanzine. Many significant figures in comics history contributed text and art to this near-dead medium, and it’s hard to see any organization having the will to invest in researching, reprinting or digitizing this lost legacy.
Colin Smith is a blogger and the author of Sequart’s “Shameless? The Superhero Comics of Mark Millar,” and as a critic has written about comics for some of the United Kingdom’s top magazines. He has a secondary blog where he has been recently sharing some great art from old U.K. fanzines and convention booklets.
November is a month when creative people of all types set themselves all kinds of challenges, like NaNoWriMo (the National Novel Writing Month) and its junior equivalent PiBoIdMo (the Picture Book Idea Month). For artists, there’s also SkADAMo (Sketch A Day A Month), in which the challenge is to post … well, it’s self-explanatory, really. My favorite participation has been that of cartoonist Martin Hand, who’s been posting charmingly crude, Panter-esque, comic swipes paired with unlikely but always fitting quotes from literature, advertising and music. I was almost crying with laughter when I saw that Ulik the troll/R Kelly mash-up above turn up in his Twitter feed. There’s a lot more below.
On a couple of occasions we’ve spotlighted parents who illustrate their children’s lunch bags, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time we’ve seen napkins as canvases: Laughing Squid points us to the Kirbys, who include intricately drawn paper napkins with their sons’ `daily lunches, many of which feature comics characters, Futurama or The Simpsons (and occasionally mash-ups of two of those).
“We make these colored napkins daily for our sons’ lunches. They are both in grade school,” the Kirbys explain. “We started these with our first son in first grade, many years ago, and continue to make at least 2 a day (to stay current!). These napkins have become fun to share with their tablemates, classes, and teachers. These images are typically ink on white napkins. Some napkins have been for friends or differing occasions.”
Check out some of the comics-themed drawings below, and many, many more on their blog.
Cartoonist Cameron Stewart is touring North America (with a stop in the United Kingdom) in support of his recently released graphic novel Sin Titulo, and he’s been hiding pieces of original art during each of his stops — along with hints as to where he deposited them. So far Stewart has visited 10 cities in the United States and Canada, with another signing tonight at Chicago’s Challenger Comics + Conversation. The Windy City art already been found, but people in Columbus, Ohio, New York City and Leeds, England, need to stay tuned to Stewart’s blog as he drops more clues. Here are the details of Stewart’s tour so you can get ready.
We’ve featured street art by the collective EndoftheLine before (this post from July 2012 included murals in the styles of French maestros Moebius and McBess), but it’s recently posted images of some impressive new projects, again making it abundantly clear how much the group is influenced by comics.
Last week EndoftheLine unveiled a piece in London’s Hoxton district celebrating 30 years of 2000AD‘s “Slaine” with this spot-on tribute to the work of Simon Bisley, painted by founder Jim Vision.
We’ve spotlighted the artwork of Ilias Kyriazis before, including his failed Doom Patrol pitch and his vision of what the Avengers might look like in 15 years. And now, to celebrate the launch of The Sandman: Overture, he’s aimed his talent for re-imagining superheroes at the Endless.
Kyriazis, whose professional work includes his self-published graphic novel Elysium Online, has been debuting each member of The Endless over the past few days — so far we’ve seen Dream, a Kirby-esque Despair, Destruction, Desire and Delirium, my personal favorite, with her floating fish bowl.
Check out a few of them below, and be sure to head over to his blog to see the unveiling of Death and Destiny over the next two days.
Painter Andreas Englund certainly has a unique take on interpreting superheroes. The Swedish artist has created an ongoing series of oil paintings called “The Aging Superhero,” which follows the journey of a nameless crimefighter in his twilight years. Englund’s paintings depict everything from the man’s superheroic efforts — like beating up a pile of thugs or sparring with what looks to be a supervillain — to his everyday accomplishments or lack thereof, like dropping groceries on his way to his super-car or peeling an orange in his empty home.
If you’ve only seen Jim Mahfood’s comics, you’ve only experienced half of the fun.
Los Angeles’ Hero Complex Gallery and the Last Bookstore are partnering for a unique two-part event showcasing the artist’s work. The Last Bookstore will host a book signing and Q&A for Mahfood’s Visual Funk art book, while Hero Complex Gallery will showcase a retrospective of Mahfood’s work from comics as well as animation, advertising, murals and even some body painting and live art. The signing and Q&A will take place Saturday, Nov. 16 from 3 p.m. to 5.p.m., while the art exhibit will run from Nov. 15 through Nov. 23.
Here’s a poster Mahfood created for the event:
As a kid I became obsessed with the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Who’s Who in the DC Universe, not so much because of the character entries (the former far more exhaustive than the latter) but because of the headquarters floor plans: Avengers Mansion, the Justice League Satellite, the Baxter Building, Challengers Mountain, Avengers Compound — heck, even the Serpent Society headquarters.
It didn’t matter whether I knew much of the characters (the Challengers of the Unknown) or didn’t care about them (the Serpent Society, really?), I’d pore over them by the hour. (I bought Mayfair’s New Teen Titans role-playing game just for the plans to Titans Tower; never did play it.)
What started me on that trip down memory lane are the incredible plans and cross-section drawings of Key House that Gabriel Rodriguez has been has been posting on Twitter the past few days. They’re destined to become end sheets for the Lock & Key: Alpha & Omega hardcover, but they could easily stand alone in their own book. They’re just that beautiful and meticulous (you can see more on Rodriguez’s Twttier under “#Keyhouse“).
You’ll have to wait a while to see them in print: The Lock & Key: Alpha & Omega hardcover arrives in February from IDW Publishing. In the meantime, I need to unearth those tattered copies of Who’s Who and OHOTMU …
In the spirit of Halloween and awesomeness, Tumblr user David J. Prokopetz commissioned some of the most intriguing crossover pieces to date: Wolverine as Disney Princesses.
Indeed, Prokopetz has already posted 14 different images of the best there is at what he does — and apparently, what he does is wear the crap out of a dress. While some of the drawings are clearly meant to evoke specific Disney Princesses, many are simply what Wolverine would look like were he designed from the top-down as a Disney princess. Perhaps the best one comes from Larbesta, who incorporates aspects of Wolverine’s costume and accentuates it with a pretty pink parasol.
Marvel, take note: these would be some of the best variant covers you could ask for during Halloween 2014. Seriously.
Be sure to check out the rest of Wolverine is the Best Disney Princess on Prokopetz’s blog.