Monday, January 24, 2011

1998 DC Direct Martian Manhunter Poster by Christopher Moeller

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I've been reading comics for so long, I sometimes forget that my frame of reference is not always in line with folks who might be following this blog. For instance, after JLA blew up in 1997, there was an avalanche of tie-ins, merchandise, and internet sites to cover it all. When I started Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA at the end of that decade, I was practically a Johnny-Come-Lately to the game, like the third or so web page devoted to the character. Like those Don Hillsman III images from JLA Secret Files and Origins #1, Christopher Moeller's art for what was possibly the first ever Martian Manhunter consumer poster was all over the place. I lent my copy of the poster to my friend Dave so he could scan it for me to post, but after it was all said and done, I never got around to putting it up before closing the site in 2002.

Over a decade later, and I can't find the thing anywhere on the internet. I hit eBay, Google and Yahoo image searches, all my usual reference pages, Mykey3000's JLA Collectibles list... nothing. I used to be able to dig up ancient solicitation copy at Rob Allstetter's Comics Continuum, but couldn't find anything that far back. Makes me wish I hadn't tossed out all my '90s Advance Comics and Previews, years gone. Even a guy who apparently owns the original painting wasn't aware the poster had ever been released. Jeez, it was only... um... thirteen years ago? Sheesh, I'm getting old. I'm guessing it retailed for something like $4.95-$6.95.

I dug through my old CD-R files and found Dave's scan, and it's great for its age, but does not do the painting justice. You can't shrink a 22" x 34" poster into a pasted together 67.5 kilobit JPEG and not lose a lot. When I get the thing in a proper frame, I'll try to get a good picture of it for ya'll. I jazzed up the old scan as best as possible, but this will have to do for now. I also did a brand new scan (still in an el cheapo oversized plastic frame) of as much of the poster as I could fit.

UPDATE: Shortly after this post was published, I received an email for the awesome Mr. Moeller containing a much larger and more detailed scan that Photobucket won't allow me to fully reproduce. I thanked him profusely, and noted that "it would be nice to see more comic work from you, period. I think JLA: A League of One was one of the finest Wonder Woman stories ever written, and one of the few I can hand to the uninitiated with confidence." I was lucky enough to see League in progress when Moeller showed off art from the project at the San Diego Comic Con years back. I'd also like to recommend Ruins, the twisted anti-Marvels mini-series with writer Warren Ellis. Moeller mentioned that he is currently working on a continuation of his Iron Empires epic, but in the meantime, I'd also recommend an earlier chapter from 1994, Shadow Empires: Faith Conquers.


Tom Hartley said...

That's one scary martianf***er.

mathematicscore said...

Scary badass. Love it.

will_in_chicago said...

J'Onn looks out for justice. I love the look of determination that I see in this image.

Hal Mangold said...

Cool to see! I actually own the original painting. :)

Diabolu Frank said...

Luck. EEEEEE!!!!

Unknown said...

I know a guy with that poster. What is it worth? Just curioys.Just took a picture of it actually.