"Forgot to share this commission from @SpaceCityCon last week. An obscure comic character whose name I cant remember: pic.twitter.com/mWuw1P82"To recap, ahead of Comicpalooza 2012, my research into the artistic stylings of Cody Schibi so impressed me in its detail that I figured it would cost many hundreds of dollars, and therefore be out of my price range. I spoke with him anyway, and when I realized my assumption that his work was worth Benjamins did not jibe with his self-stated pursuit of mere Washingtons, I picked up one of my top two favorite commissions of the con for just $50.00. While pulling together all the links involved with spotlighting Schibi's Mister Moth piece, I revisited his blog drawing a blank, and learned days ahead of the event that Space City Con had gone from a total low rent joke to an arrival point for the likes of Art Adams, Whilce Portacio, Vo Nguyen, Chris Beaver, Robert Wilson IV, Adrian Nelson, Mark Nasso and Nick Pitarra. Without Schibi's notice, none of those pieces would have come into being, so I'm grateful to him for that.
I'm also appreciative that Schibi provided another stellar commission that was a top highlight of a convention, rounding out my 2012 Space City Con collection. I kicked myself for not going the $80 full figure (in color!) route with Mr. Moth after I saw the incredible work Schibi produced, and did not make the same mistake with The Mercurian.
This Renegade was something of a precursor to the mohawk-fin revision of Despero (I almost snuck it in last December,) and one of the Martian Manhunter's cooler looking Silver Age adversaries. I never tried to buy up any pricey back issues of Detective Comics, but I put together a decent run of the Alien Atlas' House of Mystery appearances on the cheap. Compared to the cruddy creatures unleashed by the Diabolu Idol-Head and Mr. V's goons, the Mercurian seemed a cut above. Only after the Showcase Presents reprints afforded me access to the Alien Atlas' more ardent adversaries did I realize the Mercurian was a bit of a dud. He just kind of showed up to conquer Earth, and when his slap fight with J'onn J'onzz didn't go his way, he cut and ran. This was in the midst of a VULTURE story, and it was they who produced the captivity-bubble-generating rifle that gave the Martian Marvel the biggest hassle in the issue. J'onn still easily duped and disarmed both parties for a speedy resolution. I explained the Mercurian's single lackluster outing to Schibi, which I'm sure played into the character's moaning "Who the HELL am I?" Let's face it, the guy is essentially defined by his planet of origin. You'd get angsty about being dubbed "The Earthling," right?
As usual, my scan of a resized color Xerox fails to capture much of the nuance of the actual 11" x 17" art. There are no gaps in the ruddy flesh tones in the original, and the tunic is much lighter, revealing more detail. That's probably a good thing when it comes to the "panty shot," wherein I'm "treated" to cameltoe from the first world circling Sol. The gray trail coming off of the raygun's barrel is actually detritus from where I had to fold the paper on my copy to scan, and you lose a lot of the googaws on that thing. In fact, I've decided to offer detail shots just to highlight how much I couldn't get into the overall scan. I love the fine bits of wrinkles and dermatological disorder on this bastard, as well as the color debris swarming around the Mercurian. I consider Cody Schibi one of my finest "draft picks" of convention season, and I can't wait to see what he lobs back at me when I serve him another obscurity from the Vile Menagerie in less than two weeks...