Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 Comicpalooza Commission Wish List WIP

As I type this, there's only 66 more shopping days until the 2013 Comicpalooza Texas International Comic Con, in always sultry Houston (where we've skipped winter entirely for the second straight year in favor of a new season, Semi-Shady. It's pretty much just an expansion of our equivalent to autumn, the time of year where temperatures occasionally dip below 70°F.) My con experiences date back decades, but Comicpalooza is the only show I've attended annually (since the first "real" one in 2010,) and it's become the unofficial con of this blog. I had a dalliance with Space City Con last year, but they seem to be doubling down on washed up genre actors over comic talent. Hell, I think Comicpalooza may be trying to crush them, since they saw Space City's smattering of Voyager alumni and raised them half the cast of Deep Space Nine, only to completely annihilate them with the inclusion of Michelle Rodriguez. Houston's a car town with a large Latin population including a sizable geek contingent. She could end up being bigger than that kid from Harry Potter hereabouts. Space City Con was already underwhelming, and they've been pushed out of an uptown Galleria hotel into a Marriott just inside the beltway, so way to spike the ball in their faces.

Anyway, I've been following convention guest updates for Comicpalooza since not long after Space City, and They. Were. Epic. Chris Claremont & Michael Golden! Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell! George "Freaking" Pérez! I was beginning to feel like a deer in headlights, trying to figure out how I could possibly afford to take advantage of such an embarrassment of riches. However, perhaps thankfully, my expectations have been increasingly tempered. First off, one of my all-time favorite comic artists, Mark Texeira, has canceled. On the bright side, Renee Witterstaetter seems to be his broker for commissions and will be attending, so maybe I can talk to her about rates for a proper watercolor painting (and I'd rather wait until later this year to plunk down north of a half grand on art, which I'm sure I'd prefer over a figure sketch for two bills besides.) Many of the attending artists don't do con sketches, others don't do them very well, some guests have problematic reputations, and there are some returnees I'm not really hot to negotiate with again. I'm totally going, and I'll be totally giddy over the pieces I do get, but I'm in strategy mode here...

Brian Denham

If I get another Denham commission, it'll probably cost me. His 2011 Bel Juz piece is in contention for my favorite of them all, and having been spoiled, I would want a companion piece of equal quality that I doubt I could get for the same $100. The Marshal would be the most obvious choice, due to his close ties to Bel and Denham's skill with bulky dudes in armor. Then again, his greatest gift is in rendering the ladies, and wouldn't Miss Martian look fantastic? Denham was friends with the late Scott Clark, who helped him break in at Marvel with an Alpha Flight fill-in issue. It got me to thinking how great it would be if Denham took over the Manhunter back-ups in Justice League of America from Clark, so maybe the New 52 Alien Atlas would be most appropriate?

Michael Golden

I've developed a general and now well documented disdain toward head shots, but I bow to Michael Golden's awesome command of this commission type. He packs an enormous amount of personality and gravitas into an incredibly stylish yet cozy bit of space. I'm finding the prospect very tempting, especially if an inked one runs as high as most of the other artist's full figures at $175. Then again, if you're in for that much, $300 to get the body inked is a comparative bargain. Golden famously drew the Bronze Age Marvel Universe for a 1982 poster, so anyone in the Martian Manhunter's sphere should be fair game. However, if I go for a head shot, I'll want a distinctive one. J'Onn J'Onzz himself might be the best choice, especially since I'm not sure that Golden has ever drawn the character, which is criminal.

Joe Jusko

Like most comic book fans, I grew up loving the paintings of Joe Jusko and cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on one. However, Jusko does convention sketches for a couple of bills, and his line art strongly resembles the late John Buscema, so why wouldn't I want him to do a Martian Manhunter figure?

Bob Layton

Layton was doing inked single figures for a c-note two years ago, which I hear has increased by 50%. Serves me right for dragging my feet, but I'll pay today. Layton means metal, or you're just not doing it right. Therefore, TOR, the Osprey, Hunter Commander J'en, Gammeron, the Marshal and the Prophet are immediate candidates. Dark horses include JLTF period Vandal Savage, the Capsule Master, Triumph, and select members of the Hyperclan.

Marat Mychaels

Given how often he fields requests for Deadpool sketches, I could make this artist's life easy by requesting B'rett, another bald athletic gun-wielding figure. That's not going to happen though, since B'rett requires a maniacal aura, where Marat Mychaels proved on his 2010 Commander Blanx Commission that his true gift is with more coldly calculating sociopaths. I'm on record as totally digging the alterations Mychaels made to that megalomaniac, and would love to see them fleshed out for a full figure. He'd be pretty nifty on Vandal Savage or the Prophet, as well.

Yanick Paquette

I've liked this artist's comic book work since his days on Wonder Woman, but I have to confess strong reservations about plunking down a couple of bills for commissions as unpolished as what I'm finding online from recent years. Cay'an, Gypsy, Bette Noir, the Conjurer, Scorch or Bloodwynd might be nice.

George Pérez

As I explained to my girlfriend, Perez isn't so much a visiting artist as one of the comic book "gods." Unfortunately, deities aren't known for being easy to make demands upon. What I want is a full figure black and white Commander Blanx for a price preferably well within the three figure range. What I'll potentially get is a head shot, assuming those aren't decided by a lottery system wherein tickets are purchased for a dollar each with several drawn per day and a new set of lottery tickets pooled each day of the show to determine who gets a piece. Oy.

Sam de la Rosa

This here's a local who has been a regional convention staple for ages. He's best known as an inker who rode high on association with Spider-Man characters around the time of "The Clone Saga" like Venom, Carnage and Solo. He embellished dudes like Mark Bagley and Tom Lyle, so I think I'll have him take a crack at revitalizing my faded Kevin Maguire Martian Manhunter figure sketch of unverified eBay origin.

Bernie Wrightson

The odds are astronomically opposed to my getting a Wrightson commission. He already turned me down once at Comicpalooza 2010, and he seems generally against convention pieces. Still, I'll ask, and maybe if I throw enough money and creative liberties at the guy, he'll cave. In the meantime, pretend the picture above is Diabolu.

Matt Frank

Frank's a friendly fella who did me a solid with his 2012 Despero Commission, and I'd still like to see him take on some manifestations from the Diabolu Idol-Head. Other options include Gorilla Grodd, Human Falcon, Tybalt Bak'sar, Iwangis and Mr. Moth.

Brent Peeples

I liked how Peeples' 2012 Commander Blanx Commission turned out, so another may be in order. Triumph would probably be the best choice for his clean, heroic style, plus I haven't gotten a Triumph yet. Other options include Re's Eda, N'or Cott, Gypsy or Futureman, and he still might be viable for a Hyperclan group shot.

Thom Zahler

Zahler rocked Roh Kar, and since my plan to order more pieces from him online flamed out because a) I've been broke since Space City Con and b) I've never done mail order commissions with any artist ever, I guess I'll just hit him up at Comicpalooza again. It would be fun to have him do edgier characters like the Hyperclan members, but I can't resist going goofy with the gonzo obscurities. I'm thinking the Martian Criminal, Futureman, Patrolman Mike Hanson, Sally Winters, Vulkor, a Thythen, or the wizard Diabolu.

1 comment:

Anj said...

I am planning a similar post for next month about the Boston Comic-Con, my big convention for the year.

I also have the Perez dreams for Boston.

Otherwise, I think Jusko would be a great choice. And I love Paquette.