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While the blog may be named after a device that generated Martian Manhunter adversaries, I wanted our fifth anniversary to be a loving shindig involving J'Onn J'Onzz's dear friends. The 1950s-set Martian Manhunter: American Secrets is possibly the finest Manhunter story ever told, and an overlooked gem for the medium as a whole, which you can read more about here, here, and here. While obscure and largely forgotten today, I'd imagine a fair percentage of the people inspired to visit a daily Martian Manhunter blog have a lot of love for the story and its characters.
Perkins Preston was an Elvis analogue, while Patty Marie was a random child star, and both could "see" through the disguises of The Lizard Men who secretly conquered Earth during the McCarthy era. Detective John Jones happened upon the two youths over the course of a murder case, and they ended up taking a cross-country road trip of escape from and confrontation of the vast conspiracy. Their lives linked by fate and circumstance, I liked the idea of paying tribute to the pair.
Jamie Kinosian has a strong humanistic quality to her artwork, and seemed perfect to capture the innocence of these kids. I approached her at Comicpalooza on Friday, a few tables down from Jerry Rascoe. Like Paul Maybury, Kinosian made the piece her official time killer in between other, more pressing work, since I had made it clear that it could be played with across the entire weekend. In Kinosian's case, she took advantage of the time frame to meticulously build the piece across all three days. She had the basic layout done on the first day, started building up the color on day two, and offered the finished piece that Sunday. I enjoyed watching it develop over that time, as Kinosian breathed rich life into the characters. Try as I might, I could never get a scan to do justice to her nuanced flesh tones, lighting effects, and watercolor halo. The image as you see it here is a might jaundiced by comparison, I'm afraid. Good thing I've got the 9x12" original here at home to appreciate.
Jamie Kinosian is an absolute sweetheart, but I totally stole this piece from her at $35. She didn't even let me forget the copy of American Secrets #2 that I gave her for reference, the way I totally lost my Green Lantern Corps #5 to the Dave Johnson New 52 Martian Manhunter commission. At least she made a little extra bread off my girlfriend, who bought her Sherlock's Serenade print without knowing the first thing about the British TV show that inspired it. Kinosian was supposed to be at Space City Con, and I had a specific set of characters I was hoping to get done for this month, but I missed her on both Friday and Saturday. Given my druthers, this will not be my last Kinosian piece, but I suppose we'll all have to wait until next con. In the meantime, why not peruse her deviantART gallery, especially you fans of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold slash fiction...