INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Italian artist Valeriano Fatica knows his way around produce. The food artist has done some pretty insane things with fruits and vegetables, like this Joker made out of a pumpkin or these Dragon Ball Z characters carved out of potatoes. But Fatica has shown a particular affinity for watermelons, and his latest creation may be his best use yet of the giant, round melons.
Travel Foreman’s “Justice League United” sketchbook has surfaced online, unveiling some of the creator’s unused concept artwork for the now-cancelled title’s cast of characters. The alternate designs are surprisingly different from earlier designs, and offer a bold alternative to the inevitable costumes that were used for the “Rebirth” rebranding. Foreman worked on “Justice League United” for issues 11, 12 and 16 — the final issue of the series.
The sketchbook offers glimpses at unused art for characters including Stargirl, Animal Man, Liberty Belle, Union, Hourman, Hawkwoman, Stanley (and his monster, Spot), Tomorrow Woman, Rex, Major Force, Wildcat, and B’Wana Beast.
Happy Saturday and welcome to Shelf Porn! Today’s collection comes from Travis in Seattle, who shares not only his love for Batman and the X-Men, but also the love his son has inherited for comics.
If you’d like to share your collection, you can find details on submitting it at the end of this post.
And now here’s Travis …
After responding first with vulgarity and flippancy to criticism that he used an artist’s GIF without permission or credit, Grammy-winning producer Diplo has changed his tune, even if he can’t quite muster a full-throated apology.
“Sorry if I hurt your feelings, or trivialize your art,” he wrote in a message to illustrator Rebecca Mock, before effectively blaming everyone else for Wednesday’s social media firestorm that led Defamer to run the headline “Diplo Is a Dick.” Which really, at this point, is pretty difficult to dispute.
Publishing | Retail news and analysis website ICv2 breaks down November’s comics sales to the direct market and finds year-to-date sales up 9.33 percent over last year, with an 11.09 percent increase in comics and 5.55 percent in graphic novels. Batman #25 topped the comics chart with more than 125,000 copies, followed at No. 2 by Harley Quinn #0 with about 114,000. In the graphic novel category, the latest volume of The Walking Dead led with about 25,000 copies sold in November. ICv2 also lists the top 300 comics and graphic novels for November. [ICv2]
Creators | Molly Crabapple talks to Art Spiegelman, and draws his portrait as well. [Vice]
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.
When Andrew Vickers discovered some old comics in a dumpster, he did what any artist would do — OK, maybe not any artist — and transformed them into a man-sized (and -shaped) papier maché sculpture. And then he learned those comic books could have been worth nearly $30,000. The operative phrase there is could have been.
The sculpture, called “Paperboy,” on display through Thursday in Sheffield, England, includes the first issue of The Avengers, which on its own might’ve been worth as much as $15,000 on its own. Y’know, before it was torn apart and pasted to a chicken-wire frame (granted, the comic probably wasn’t in mint condition in the trash).
World of Superheroes owner Steve Eyre initially thought the sculpture was “fantastic,” and then he recognized the cover of 1963’s The Avengers #1 on “Paperboy’s” inside-right leg.
On Twitter, 2000AD is running a fan-art competition (#thargsartchallenge) that has produced the expected mix of submissions, with an occasional gem outshining the rest: For example, take this Mike Donachie/Baz Renshaw reimagining of Judge Dredd in the style of classic DC Thomson kids comics such as The Dandy and The Beano.
As an Irishman, I must confess I don’t know much about American politics, and the only U.S. news channel my TV picks up is Fox News — but apparently you’ve just sworn in an Islamist Communist as President for his third term. Congratulations! This has also inspired street-art legend Ron English to release a commemorative limited-edition print called “Incredible Barack.” This isn’t the first time English has invoked Marvel’s Hulk in his work; in fact, it’s something of a recurring theme for the man.
I would try each and every flavor, but I’d most look forward to Uncle Ben’s Cola and whatever that Batman drink is.
Which is your favorite?
The Giant-Size Marvel blog found this awesome print from 1996, drawn and hand-colored by Marvel artist Marie Severin and featuring herself taking on the publisher’s toughest heroes and villains. The color version was limited to 50 copies, but there were also 400 black-and-white prints, which you can see in the link.
I’m guessing Severin sold these at conventions, and I love that she included herself in the drawing.
Brazilian artist Miguel Lokia has created a series of Game of Thrones-inspired house banners for several pop-culture characters, including a few superheroes. That’s only one of the House Wayne banners above; continue below to see Houses Banner, Kent, Parker, Rogers, and a non-comics one I threw in just because it made me laugh. There are even more on Lokia’s deviantART page.
Illustrator/character designer Jeff Victor has gotten some attention lately for his Evolution of Tom Hanks T.Hanksgiving piece, but it’s just one in a series of “evolution” images he’s created, a few of them comics-related. In addition to Batman above, Victor has chronicled Jack Nicholson, Uma Thurman, and Natalie Portman, all of whom have starred in comics adaptations. Hit the break to see those three and Victor’s site for many others.
Illustrator Francis Tsai was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) a couple of years ago, but that hasn’t stopped him from creating art. He explains how he does it in an amazingly upbeat letter he recently sent to friends and fans:
“Pop surrealist” painter Isabel Samaras‘ solo exhibit “Making a Better Yesterday Today” opened Saturday at San Francisco’s Varnish Fine Art. The show features her interpretations of classic art with pop culture characters like Batman, Wonder Woman and the Planet of the Apes. She talks about it a bit on her blog where she describes how the exhibit uses QR technology to offer guests an artist’s commentary on the show:
If you have a smartphone with a QR (Quick Response) Reader App, you can listen to me yap a bit about each of the new paintings. Just scan the code on the wall by each piece and you’ll hear real actual thoughts that came out of my real actual head via my mouth.
Hit the jump to see a few samples of the paintings, then visit Varnish Fine Art’s site to see even more before joining me in lamenting that you don’t live in San Francisco. Unless of course you do live in San Francisco, in which case – by all means – rub it in.