Saturday, March 8, 2014

2014 Comicpalooza Commission Wish List WIP

As I'm not in the mood to whip up a Martian Manhunter post, but I am game to look at pretty artwork, let's return to our annual tradition of me thinking aloud about commissions I want to get at Houston's Comicpalooza convention (in just 75 days!) I usually like to be cagey about my plans and ask for reader input, but the response is typically minimal, so I'm probably going to aim for transparency this time out.

I have two major "projects" I wanted to play out in 2014. Unrelated to this blog, I've been on a T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents kick for a few months now, and bought the blank sketch cover IDW put out for the current series' fourth issue. I've never tried to do a "jam" piece, and that would have been a nifty medium for such a thing as a wraparound cover. Unfortunately, IDW just had to put an ad for the re-release of The Maxx on the back cover, so it looks like that might be too claustrophobic. I could just get a single Agent or two, but that's wimpy, so we'll wait and see. The other idea I want to pursue is a celebration of the weird menaces from the Diabolu Idol-Head as part of its fiftieth anniversary. I still have a bunch of unshared commissions from 2013, some of which tie into that theme already, so why not expand it? Artist Alley would be the place for this experimentation, but for months now the only confirmed table has belonged to Lane Montoya, so I can only certify Lane Montoya as contributing.

Mike Mignola, Greg Capullo, Shane Davis, Michelle Delecki, and Arthur Suydam don't do commissions/convention art, so we can rule them out immediately. The legendary Neal Adams would be a great "get," but there are some seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The truth is, Adams has drawn J'onn J'onzz a few times already, and if we're swinging in that wheelhouse, I feel it should be Michael Netzer called up to bat. I'd prefer to have Adams draw Dynamo for that T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents cover, but his starting price for a waist-up seems to be $700, so I'll respectfully pass those bills to, like, seven or more other artists to do the whole team instead.

I don't think I'll even try to approach Don Rosa. I never gravitated toward Disney or the Duck tales, plus I understand that he has a curious barter system when it comes to commissions. I'm also not sure who besides Zook I would request.

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Nicholas Pitarra has done some great pieces for the blog in the past, so I'll be looking to hit him up again. I haven't given a ton of thought this time to who any of the artists should draw, but off the top of my head, Professor Arnold Hugo seems obvious, right? Futureman might be a sick curveball though, what with all the phallic imagery and opportunity to really get some shading into his scrotum-clinging outfit.

I've read and liked some of David Petersen's Mouseguard work, but as sketches go, the question is, do I play into his critter inclinations or go against type? Am I truly desperate for another Human Squirrel? Is a realistically rendered Jupiter altogether necessary? Coloring outside the lines would be preferable, though he can do saurian stuff, so maybe The Lizard Men?

Aaron Lopresti is a versatile artist that should be good at whatever you give him, though he seems to specialize in respectable lovely ladies. Diane Meade would be one way to go, but it's sorta boring, as well. Just as soon have him do Kitten Kane for the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. jam. What about getting back to his roots on monster books like Sludge? A Silver Age creature, or someone like D'Kay?

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I was very into the imagery of The Crow comics before I read the Tundra reprints in the early '90s. The story wasn't as potent as the visuals, and then came the movie and the wannabe goths. I still like James O’Barr art, and I really want to be the guy who doesn't ask him to draw the Crow at a con. Not that B'rett would be entirely alien from "violent barechested dude with a pistol," but it's a laser pistol, and no Cure hair in sight.

I certainly have respect and affection for the work of Michael Golden, but I'm still apprehensive about his reputation and rates. It occurs to me that if I got him in on the jam piece, he'd be an awesome linchpin for a central Dynamo figure, or I could really chicken out and get rows of tiny T.H.U.N.D.E.R. head shots in Brady Bunch squares to test the waters. At some point, I'd want him to do a full figure Martian Manhunter, but I'm not sure whether I'd prefer classic flavor or New 52, and I'm especially uncertain as to then when of it.

Joe Jusko was supposedly in town last year, but I never found his table anywhere. He'd still do a swell classic, Burroughs via Buscema Alien Atlas. Might also be a fun alternative take for Dynamo, but in this case I feel more strongly in favor of the Martian.

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So the first thing I ask Kevin Maguire is whether the sketch I bought cheap off eBay in the late '90s was really by him. The second thing I do is see if he wants to ink it, so even if he didn't do the first sketch, it would become a Maguire thereafter. I do follow him on Twitter, so I could probably resolve all that before he even comes to town. Having done that, shouldn't I see about an entirely new piece? Of whom, I do not know, but I'm going to get something from Maguire, and it's going to be magnificent.

Not to diminish my appreciation for all the other artists mentioned, but I worship Paul Gulacy. He's a lifelong favorite-- one of those guys whose style I love so much that I still buy books I'd otherwise avoid solely to ogle it. A Martian Manhunter (probably New 52) is a must, but based on what Anj told me about his rates, I'm dreaming of a whole "women of the Manhunter from Mars" multi-figure piece that would include femme fatales like Bel Juz, Bette Noir, and Scorch. Oh, and if I do nothing else with that T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents sketch cover, a Gulacy NoMan...


Anj said...

All great choices.

Adams and Golden have always been out of my price range.

I have Maguire and Lopresti and found them pretty cheap for what I got. $125 each.

Petersen was free for quick sketches that were still pretty good (got a Gwendolyn mouse for my daughter).

Can't wait to see what you get!

LissBirds said...

I'd be interested to find out more about that possible Kevin Maguire sketch...