Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jonni Future Page



I am a big fan of the Jonni Future series for one simple reason - Art Adams. The guy did some of the best work of his carreer on the books. One collector purchased all the art for the first five or so issues, making loose pages very scarce. (Pencils and inks Art Adams. Click for larger view.)

Neal Adams Strange Adventures 208, Page 11


This page is one of my favorite pieces in my collection. It's an all out action page done in 4 panels. The inking on this page is as good as you will ever see from Neal Adams. (Pencils and inks Neal Adams. Click for larger image.)

Update 09-18-2011:

I loaned some art to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum at the University of Oregon last year for their Art of the Superhero - Faster Than a Speeding Bullet exhibit. I found this cool video on youtube with curator Ben Saunders discussing the art with the U of O president Richard Lariviere. Note this piece in the background.


Neal Adams Strange Adventures 213, Page 06



UPDATE: SOLD THIS PIECE IN AUGUST OF 2008!

This was the first piece of Neal Adams art I ever purchased. I developed a fondness for Neal's work on Deadman (Strange Adventures & Brave and the Bold) via the reprints done in the 1980's. As mentioned previously, I focus primarily on 1980's artwork, and even though these stories were originally published in the late 1960's, I only became aware of them much later on. (Pencils and inks Neal Adams. Click for larger image.)

Neal Adams Spectre



UPDATE: SOLD THIS PIECE IN AUGUST OF 2008!

I happen to think that Neal Adams' best comic work was done immediately upon entering the comic book industry (1967?). Currently, I have four pages of art by Neal; three are from this period, and one from the early 70's. I think Neal's inking is better on the earlier stuff (although, the 1970's Batman page isn't too shabby either!), and really enjoy owning these pieces. (Pencils and inks Neal Adams. Click for larger image.)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Art Adams Storm


Have to give a shout out to my good friend Mario for selling me this piece. Hey Mario! I LOVE it!! (Pencils and inks Art Adams. Click for larger image.)

Art Adams Jonni Future


This was my first Art Adams pinup. He did this one personally for me so I guess that makes it a little extra special. I'm a HUGE fan of Jonni Future, so I was stoked when I got this piece. (Pencils and inks Art Adams. Click for larger image.)

Art Adams Batgirl



Art kills me with these awesome pinups. I absolutely love having them in my collection. If you have one and are considering selling, please contact me! (Pencils and inks Art Adams . Click for larger image.)

My CFA-APA Articles

I joined the CFA-APA (Comic and Fantasy Art Amateur Press Association) in March of 2004 (issue 62). Below is a list of all the articles I have published to date. Click the link to read.

About the CFA-APA

CFA-APA 62 The Chase (My John Byrne Fantastic Four Obsession)
CFA-APA 63 Humor Artists (Interview with Scott Williams Part I)
CFA-APA 64 Still Going Strong (Art Adams)
CFA-APA 65 Will Eisner (My Strip Art Collection)
CFA-APA 66 Artists of the Fantastic Four (More John Byrne FF!)
CFA-APA 67 Recreations: Threat or Menace? (My take on the subject)
CFA-APA 68 Gene Colan (My Shrinking Collection)
CFA-APA 69 Frank Miller (Miller's Prime Years)
CFA-APA 70 Alex Toth (Scott Williams Part II)
CFA-APA 71 International Artists (Neal Adams - yeah, I know...)
CFA-APA 72 Modern Good Girl Art (Franchesco! and other things)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Comic Art Collection by Title

Alpha Flight
Batgirl
Batman
Big Ben Bolt
Captain America
Daredevil
Dark Knight Returns
Deadman
Elektra Assassin
Fantastic Four
Joker
Jonni Future
Killing Joke
Namor
On Stage
Powergirl
Ronin
Rusty Riley
She-Hulk
Spectre
Storm
Strange Adventures
Superman
V for Vendetta
Watchmen
Wolfman
World's Finest
COVER
PINUP/SPLASH
PANEL PAGE
STRIP ART

Comic Art Collection By Artist

Art Adams
Neal Adams
Ken Bald
Brian Bolland
Rich Buckler
John Byrne
John Cullen-Murphy
Frank Frazetta
Dave Gibbons
Dick Giordano
Frank Godwin
Klaus Janson
David Lloyd
David Mazzucchelli
Frank Miller
Alan Moore
Frank Quitely

Fantastic Four 268, Page 17


I loved when Byrne brought the She-Hulk into the FF fold. Nobody has done the character as well since. This is a great page with Jen trying to prove that she can make it in the group. (Pencils and inks John Byrne. Click for larger image.)

Fantastic Four 268, Page 22



UPDATE: SOLD IN 2012!

Cool end page featuring the She-Hulk, Human Torch, and a nice closeup of Mr. Fantastic. (Pencils and inks John Byrne. Click for larger image.)

Fantastic Four 268, Page 04


Cool page with Mr. Fantastic, The Hulk, and Dr. Octopus! (Pencils and inks John Byrne. Click for larger image.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fantastic Four Pages


Here are some more pages from the FF 269 story that I kept. The close-up image of Reed Richards on the first page is so definitive to me. (Pencils and inks John Byrne. Click for larger image.)

John Byrne Fantastic Four


This is what got me going down that long road of original art collecting. I thought it would be neat to own a cool page from John Byrne's run on the Fantastic Four. I had so much trouble finding a page that instead, I ended up buying an entire issue, cover and all (FF 269) since that was all that was available. I sold most of the book off and kept my favorite pages (like the two shown here). Interesting note: this splash is the first appearance of Termius in the Marvel Universe! (Pencils and inks John Byrne. Click for larger image.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

CFA-APA 72 Modern Good Girl Art


In this issue we get to discuss one of my all-time favorite topics - Good Girl Art! I also ruminate about the current prices of comic art, and report on the 2007 San Diego Comicon convention. Plus, I do an interview with Good Girl artist Franchesco! You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

CFA-APA 71 International Artists


The CFA-APA organization had once again plotted to make me look bad by choosing another topic I don't know much about; international artists. I am a big fan of a lot of the erotic artists from around the world, especially Horacio Altuna and Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri (in fact I used to own a beautiful Druuna page by Serpieri), but chose instead to write about an American artist that I've long been a fan of; Neal Adams. There was already an issue of the CFA-APA dedicated to Adams but since I wasn't a member at the time, I thought I'd take a crack at writing about him in this issue. You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

CFA-APA 70 Alex Toth


I don't think I've ever read a single comic book illustrated by Alex Toth, but I have seen enough of his work to understand how brilliant he was. One of the perks of being a member of the CFA-APA is being able to learn from other members, many of whom are experts on certain subjects or creators. Since I'm not a Toth expert by any means, I published the Part II of my interview with inker Scott Williams (see CFA-APA 63 for Part I). You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Daredevil Born Again


One of the stories that always makes my top five favorites list is Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's Born Again saga in which Daredevil is nearly destroyed (and then put back together by Miller). Unlike Miller's earlier Daredevil work, which I find a bit juvenile and dated, this one holds up remarkably well these twenty-odd years later. Half the genius of this story is David Mazzucchelli's art. He's easily one of my favorite comic book artists and really makes this story come to life. It's too bad he didn't do more mainstream comic book work. (Pencils and inks by David Mazzucchelli. Click for larger view.)

Worlds Finest 260



This piece is the bastard child of my collection. Well, not really; but it is certainly the odd-ball. Most of my collection focuses on my nostalgia for comics from the 1980's. This piece is more like a throwback to the late 70's (even though the issue was released in January 1980), and represents to me, all the great cover artists working for DC at that time. My favorites from that period are Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Rich Buckler, Ross Andru, and Neal Adams. More often than not, these guys were paired with super-inker Dick Giordano, resulting in some classic covers from that period.

The other thing this cover reminds me of, is sitting around with my cousin Frank and discovering, for the first time, the wonderful world of comics. His collection of mostly DC titles was my real first exposure to the medium, and even though the stories from this period aren't significant to me, the art sure left and impression and is probably one of the reasons I became an artist myself. (Pencils by Rich Buckler, inks by Dick Giordano. Click for larger image).

Remember, remember the fifth of November...



SOLD!! SEPTEMBER 2011 (making way for a new acquisition...!)

I was really impressed the first time I read V for Vendetta and immediately knew I had to own a piece of art from the series. Sadly, my first choice was in the hands of another collector who wouldn't (and still won't) let it go. After scurrying without success after the few pieces that hit the market in the last few years, I was able to pry this page out of someones collection. Thank goodness I did because good pages rarely hit the market anymore. (Pencils and inks by David Lloyd. Click for larger image).

CFA-APA 69 Frank Miller


Another exiting topic for me - one of my favorite comic creators, Frank Miller!! You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

CFA-APA 68 Gene Colan


I have always liked Gene Colan's work. I think he's an amazing penciler, and guess what? At age 81 he's still producing great art! Check out his website if you're interested in a commission (or if you just want to see the nice work he's been doing) http://www.genecolan.com As with Eisner, I have a tremendous respect for the man, but once again, didn't feel knowledgeable enough to do an entire article on him. Instead, I talked about my change in collecting habits (namely, reducing the size of my collection!) You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

CFA-APA 67 Recreations: Threat or Menace?


In this issue of the CFA-APA we go into details about the evils of recreations...! You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

A Young Girl Reading


Mama did at least three versions of this needlepoint depicting Jean-Honore Fragonard's A Young Girl Reading. My mother has had one for as long as I can remember, my Aunt Kathy has one, and a smaller version was created as a wedding gift for wife and I in 1999. The original painting hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (click for larger image).

Frank Miller's Ronin


Ronin is one of my all-time favorite comic books. It was so original, and so different; it really blew me away the first time I read it. I believe only pages from book one were ever sold, and even those are very scarce, so I consider myself very lucky to have these. They are real treasures in my collection. Miller did the pencils and inks on this series, and I think it's some of the best art he's ever produced. (click for larger image).

The page on the left is a key one in the story - it is where the character actually becomes the Ronin (a masterless samurai) and where he's given his mission of avenging his master's murder.

Alpha Flight 15


John Byrne is the reason I started collecting original art. His comics were probably the first ones I read where I saw the medium fully realized; great stories combined with great art. This cover dates back to 1984, which I feel was his peak period. Aside from writing, penciling and inking Alpha Flight, he was (incredibly) writing, penciling and inking the Fantastic Four as well! When you read both titles and see how good the work really was, it's incredible. I remember reading this issue way back when and really being enamored with the cover. Never dreamed I'd ever own it. (Pencils and inks John Byrne. Click for larger image).

Elektra Assassin


Frank Miller was on a tear in 1986 (as highlighted in my article for CFA-APA 69). Here are some of the things he released that year: The Dark Knight Returns, Daredevil: Born Again, and Elektra Assassin. I think it's safe to say that it will be considered the best year of his career. This splash sat on a dealer's website for a loooong time. One day a buddy of mine and I were discussing it and he said "Some day that piece will be gone and we'll both wonder why we didn't buy it." So I bought it. It's the only color piece in my collection and the only Bill Sienkiewicz piece in my collection (which is too bad). (Bill Sienkiewicz all. Click for larger image).

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Piano Lesson


My sister was kind enough to send me another of Mama's needlepoints since she had so many, and I so few. This one depicts The Piano Lesson based on the original painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Beautiful colors on this one. (click for larger image).

Phillip Tighe


This is my mother's father Phillip Tighe (in uniform) with an unidentified friend. He was born on July 16th, 1909 and served in the Philippines during World War II. This picture was taken just after the war in front of my house in Middle Village in October of 1945. (click for larger image).

The Killing Joke


UPDATE: SOLD THIS PIECE IN APRIL OF 2008!

Well, a prelim may be as close as I get to owning a Killing Joke page, prices being what they are these days, so I'll have to contend myself with this. I'd heard from a fellow collector that Brian Bolland did multiple prelims per page. I got to ask Bolland directly at San Diego Comicon 2006 about his working process, and he confirmed that he only did one version per page (as shown above), and used a projector to transfer the image to the final art board. I also got him to sign a couple of pieces for me. (Brian Bolland pencils. Click for larger image.)

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


This page from Watchmen, featuring Rorschach, is one of the most sought after pieces in my collection. While he is certainly not my personal favorite character, he seems to be the one that made the biggest impression on comic book readers. The thing that makes this page so great (as explained to me by the seller) is that it's a page that features Rorschach being Rorschach. Lots of characterization going on here... (Dave Gibbons pencils, inks, and lettering. Click for larger image).

Friday, September 21, 2007

Neal Adams The Batman



SOLD!!  JULY 2013

Comic art doesn't get much better than this. You've got arguably the greatest comic book artist of all time doing the character he's best known for, on one of the best Batman stories he ever did (The Joker's Five Way Revenge - Denny O'Neil script). You've also got Neal Adams inking himself which is rare on Batman interiors. Aside from getting a nice cover, I don't think I'm going to do much better (click for larger image).

Art Adams Powergirl


Art Adams has really kicked it up a notch in recent years. This Powergirl piece is what he calls a convention "sketch". They aren't cheap, but I think they're worth every penny. I'm looking for more of these (Art Adams pencils and inks. Click for larger image).

CFA-APA 66 Artists of the Fantastic Four


If there was ever a CFA-APA topic perfect for me, it's got to be this one (unfortunately, it was not my best article). The reason I got into the comic art hobby was that I wanted one nice example from John Byrne's run on Fantastic Four. In my very first APA article (CFA-APA 62), I wrote extensively about my obsession for this artwork. In this article, I go into greater detail about why I like Byrne's work on the series so much. You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

CFA-APA 65 Will Eisner


While I knew enough about Will Eisner's work to understand why he was one of the most important comic creators to have worked in the industry, I didn't know enough to write an entire article about him. Instead, I chose to write about my small comic strip art collection. Shortly after entering the original art hobby, I discovered comic strip art, and especially, the photo-realistic strips of the 1950's and 1960's. Sadly, I no longer own most of the strips featured in the article as I felt the need to whittle my collection down to the bare essentials (as highlighted in my article for CFA-APA 68). You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Home in the 70's


Here's a decrepit photo of my house in Middle Village dating from the 1970's. Don't know who took the picture, or why. Parked in front of the house is my Aunt Kathy's old blue Dodge Dart. The station wagon to the left (gold colored) belonged to our neighbor Mrs. Galvin and is parked in front of her house in the photo. The house on the right side of the photo belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Jankowski (click for larger image).

CFA-APA 64 Still Going Strong



This issue of the CFA-APA is dedicated to artists that have been working for 20 years or more. I chose Art Adams because he was an early favorite of mine, and his stuff today is better than ever. You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

Fruit Bowl, Glass, and Apples

Possibly my favorite of all Mama's needlepoints is this one depicting Cezanne's original Fruit Bowl, Glass, and Apples. This one used to hang in my Aunt Adele's dining room where many a happy holiday meal was shared. It currently hangs in the hallway of my house where I enjoy it every day (click for larger image).

CFA-APA 63 Humor Artists


Since I have no particular insight into humor art, I opted to write "off-topic" this issue, and published an interview I did with superstar inker Scott Williams. Though the interview is complete as presented, I used some of the extra material later on in CFA-APA 70 as a part two of the interview. You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

The Dark Knight Returns

It's all downhill from here...

This is probably my favorite piece of art in my collection, a page from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. (click for larger image.) This half splash is page three from book one and it really sets up the whole premise of the book; Batman has been in retirement for ten years and he hates himself for it. He’s a man who is at war within; “…While in my gut, the creature writhes and snarls and tells me what I need...”

There’s an interesting bit of subtext that is going on in this page as well. I don’t know if it was Miller’s intent or just my interpretation, but it seems he's portraying Gordon as a manipulator of sorts. Gordon has sensed that Bruce wants to resume the role of Batman and, in a very underhanded way, tries to keep him in check by subtly reminding him of the tragic fate of Jason (the last Robin), and of his estrangement with Dick (original Robin). When Gordon asks “Spoken to Dick lately?” Bruce replies “Not for seven years, Jim. You know that. (emphasis mine).

From an artistic perspective, this page struck a nerve with me the first time I read it and long before I knew anything about owning original art. I recall being a young artist back in 1986, and marveling at the delicacy of the two hands in the first panel, and also being intrigued by the lighting of the faces in the next three. Klaus Janson’s inks on this page are him at his finest and that really matters to me. Rumor has it that Janson fell behind on the inking chores and, by book three, had recruited assistants to help him (surprisingly, Todd McFarlane has reported that he was one of those assistants). Any cursory analysis of the art clearly shows a change in style after book two. I’m of the opinion that books one and two have far superior inks and have a strong preference for those pages, which is why it was such a thrill for me to be able to obtain this one (Frank Miller pencils, Klaus Janson inks.)

Found this French video on youtube which discusses Miller's Dark Knight. Pay attention and you will see this page (either 53 seconds into it or 2:08 left to go - depending how your counter is set).


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mama's Needlepoints

Mama Marine was my father's mother (born Josephine Piazza on April 12, 1911 in Brooklyn, NY). She was a first generation Italian-American and every family member, no matter what their relation, called her "Mama".

Mama was a great cook, and loved to play the organ (she loved opera, and adored Luciano Pavarotti). Her other passion was her needlepoint work. There was never a time, in all the years that I knew her, when she wasn't working on one piece or another (or several at once). Every relative had one or more of her needlepoints hanging on their walls so that, no matter whose family you were visiting, there was always a wonderful needlepoint to enjoy.

The beautiful needlepoint pictured above, which recreates a famous tapestry hanging in the Musée de Cluny in Paris, is one of her larger works at approximately 40 x 32 inches (click for larger image). Her version hangs above my bed.

About The Original Tapestry - "Smell"

The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry, discovered in 1841 by Prosper Mérimée in Boussac castle, then the subprefect of the Creuse, became an immediate legend thanks to the works of George Sand. Purchased in 1882 by Edmond Du Sommerard, it was the subject of studies which identified its origin, iconography, and style. The tapestry is complete with its six pieces. Five of them illustrate each of the five senses. Fabulous animals, the lion and the unicorn, wear armour which identifies the sponsor as Jean Le Viste, a powerful personage close to King Charles VII. Familiar animals, a rabbit, birds, a monkey, inhabit the background of the tapestries and create a dream-like universe.

"Smell" : the Lady is making a flower chain. Behind her, the monkey once again provides the key to this allegory: he is inhaling the perfume of a rose he stole from her basket.

This Old House



This is the house I grew up in, located at 62-58 83rd Place, in Middle Village New York (click for larger image). My Great-Grandparents purchased the house in the late 1930's and it remained in the family up until about 2000. The source of this photograph is the City of New York who, between 1939 and 1941, took pictures of every structure in the five boroughs for the purpose of assessing property tax. More information here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/taxphotos/home.shtml

CFA-APA 62 - The Chase



My first article for the CFA-APA was published in issue 62. You can read my submission by clicking on the image.

I am a HUGE John Byrne fan but...



I still laugh out loud every time I look at this (click image for larger view). To experience JB to the fullest, check out http://www.byrnerobotics.com/ and get it all from the horse's mouth.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The CFA-APA

The Comic and Fantasy Art Amateur Press Association (CFA-APA) was founded in 1985 by Roger Hill. Its membership consists of knowledgeable fans, creators, and collectors of comic and fantasy art who write about various subjects related to those genres. The group self-publishes approximately three times a year and each issue has a theme relating to a specific creator or subject. Currently, membership is limited to 40 persons at any one time and circulation is limited to 55 issues, making the publication itself highly collectible.

I joined the group in March of 2004 with issue 62 and have made contributions to eleven consecutive issues to date. Since each article is copyrighted by their respective author, I cannot reproduce them here. I will however, be uploading my contribution for each issue shortly so that you can see why the word amateur is in the organization's title.

Click here for the list of articles.

WHAT I WANT


Now that I've got your attention... I am an avid collector of original comic art. While I enjoy nearly all genres of the hobby, my primary focus is on books from the 1980's. My short want list:

The Dark Knight Returns
Watchmen
The Killing Joke

I'm also looking for John Byrne Fantastic Four and Alpha Flight art. If you have art from any of these books, please contact me! I also love talking to other collectors about art - so feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! (click image above to email me)

Why I Went To The Woods....er... World Wide Web

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived.

Walden or Life in the Woods
- Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

Hello! Welcome to the first entry in my very first blog! Why blog, you ask? Why me? Well, my intentions are probably not as noble as Thoreau's (and I'm certainly not going to be as eloquent), but I thought it would be a good place to organize and share some of my interests with family, friends, and yes, complete strangers. So, take a look around, leave comments if you are so inclined, and drop me a line if you're up to it. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship"...