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After setting up my first two commissions, I was indecisive about the third. Industry veteran Bob Layton was charging a very reasonable $100 for a penciled & inked full figure, so I thought about his doing some shiny metal rogues. As I thumbed through my reference, I couldn't find a character who felt like a home run that I was willing to drop a precious c-note on. TOR? The Osprey? J'en? I just couldn't make that leap, and regretted not having brought my faded Kevin Maguire Martian Manhunter sketch for Layton to ink. I have yet to post it on this blog because I can't pull a decent scan off the yellowed paper and gray pencils.
Anyway, while I was debating, I found myself in the dealer's section, where I stumbled upon the booth for Angel Comics at a little before one o'clock. There was original art and posted rates on display, and I liked what I saw. While there were a number of styles employed, the one that jumped out at me involved elements of Sam Keith's technique over tighter, more mainstream layouts. The artist wasn't at the booth, but table mate Adrian Nelson spoke with me until he came back, as well as showing off his own work. After talking with both men, I decided to spend Bob Layton's $100 on two pieces of art from them. The first artist wanted $40 for a standard figure, but I sprang for the $60 that offered more detail and a background. After going through my stack of reference, the artist kept returning to Scorch and Doctor Trap. I really wanted at least one female sketch this round, and knew it wouldn't happen at this con unless I made a point of it, so Scorch it was.
I had told the artist that Scorch was your basic redneck trailer trash who had been given flame powers by the Joker when he was briefly deified. I continued to explain that she had fought Superman and Martian Manhunter, then hooked-up with J'Onn J'Onzz before being put in a coma. She was a bad girl, but I wasn't looking for a naughty pin-up, preferring her played tough. We both figured that given her powers, flames in the background would be natural.
I hit the super-hero costume contest at four o'clock, but alas, no Martian Manhunters there. When I got back, the artist had me stick with him to offer direction on the layout, which he was sketching out in blue pencil, working off a more dynamic take on the reference's pose. A guy dressed as Deadpool dancing to a motion sensing video game playing Lady Gaga's "Pokerface" livened things up, creating a traffic jam that had me hiding in a corner to avoid contributing to the bottleneck. After ten minutes or so, the artist had his basic framework down, so I told him I'd give him some space to work.
I picked up my piece just before six, when the dealer's area was closing to the public. In the rush to get out of the area, I neglected to get a business card or any other definite contact information from the artist. After perusing the convention's website, Adrian Nelson's Deviant Art page, and the Angel Comics website, I believe the name that most closely matches the signature to be Roderick Thornton, founder of Angel Comics. However, I'm not 100% positive, which is why I referred to him here as just "the artist," in case I have to correct my attribution at a later date. Scorch is easily the largest of my commissions, taking up the majority of a standard 11" X 17" comic art page. I think the leather in Scorch's costume would really pop if inked, so I'm thinking about getting it embellished next year. How ironic would it be if Layton came back in 2012?