Monday, July 9, 2018

2018 Gypsy Comicpalooza Commission by Janice Tauro

As has been the case for the last several years and doing no small harm to my stress levels or general well being, I approached convention season with an ambitious project in mind. Despite it's steadily "San Diegoing" its way out of showcasing actual comic book talent in a show call Comicpalooza, it's still my home town convention... and the place where I can most easily juggle crazy schemes like Aliens 30th Anniversary character commissions signed by the actors who portrayed them, or numerous jams, some still unfinished for three years and counting (though I've made progress.)

While gathering prospects for this year's (and almost certainly the next as well's) project, I stumbled upon the Journey Bunny booth. The artist had some lovely work available for a very reasonable price, plus she and her table mate were as friendly and welcoming as could be. I gave her a stack of reference for different projects I've been working on over the years, but ultimately her favorite subject was Cynthia "Cindy" Reynolds. Gypsy is of course late of the Detroit Justice League and Justice League Task Force, but more recently adapted to live action as a reoccurring character on CW's The Flash.

Tauro only had time for a bust, so she opted to having Gypsy turning invisible around the edges. However, what remains is a lovely watercolor on sturdy paper, with mysterious eyes and windswept hair. Tauro had a beaming smile every time I saw her, and I have one as I look at this great piece. My only regret is that I didn't have her take part in a jam I was working on instead, with another favorite heroine, because I paid a "name" artist an exorbitant amount of money for something I liked fractionally as much as this. Maybe I can talk her into painting over it next year?

Journey Bunny

Monday, July 2, 2018

2017 Roh Kar Jam Sketch Detail by Allen Bellman

Allen 'Al' Bellman was a staff artist at Timely during The Golden Age of Comics. The majority of his work was on Captain America Comics and Marvel Mystery Comics, and he drew characters like The Patriot, Cap, Sub-Mariner, The Whizzer and Human Torch. He's probably best known for his "Let's Play Detective" strip. He'd appeared several times at Houston's Space City Cons, and I tried to angle for a commission. At the time, he was only working on characters he'd been associated with back in the day (the same answer Jim Steranko always gives me, not to mention Frank Brunner,) and I have always made a point of not doing that very thing. Well, that and I get all this Martian Manhunter stuff that nobody living ever drew before I hit them up.

I was at the 2017 Charlotte Heroes Convention, and I was specializing in new and ongoing jam pieces at that show. I saw Bellman once again, as usual with his wife (decked out in a Captain America themed get-up.) They're adorable. Anyway, for whatever reason, Mr. Bellman was amenable to not only doing a "golden age" character from a company he'd refused to work for (DC,) but to do it as one of the finishing touches on a jam. I'd always wanted to see his take on Roh Kar, First Lawman of Mars, and he seemed genuinely honored and anxious about joining the artists who'd previously worked on the collaboration. I think he said something about being afraid of messing it up, but to me this was absolutely the capstone on two years of effort with a joyful, luminous take on the first Manhunter from Mars! It's the only part of the piece that is drawn solely in pencil, and I briefly considered having it inked, but it would be a travesty to alter Bellman's shading and linework. Personally, I think it's his best work, but I'm kinda biased!

If you'd like your own commission, click here!