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by Roger Ash
Alter Ego #81. originally a piece I commissioned from Frank Brunner.
Aside from collecting comics, I also collect original comic art. I don’t have that lots of published pieces (I can think of five off the top of my head), but I have a number of commissions and convention sketches. one of those commissions was eventually used as a cover for alter Ego magazine. considering that comics are a visual medium, it’s fun for me to acquire art from some of my favorite creators and display them on my Comic Art fans page and on my walls at home. Well, some of them. Framing’s expensive and I only have so much wall space. and I’m not the only one. There are lots of fans of original comic art out there. All you need to do is take a gander at the number of people who post on sites like Comic Art fans or look at the lines to get sketches at conventions. and with that much demand, collecting original art can be pretty pricey. However, there is a way to see lots of art for a fraction of the cost of original art and that’s the art book.
Cover Run: The DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes
Even as few as ten years ago, there weren’t that lots of art books around and a lot of of those focused on big-time fantasy artists like Frank Frazetta or motion picture tie-in books like The Art of star Wars. now you can find impressive art books for a number of creators. If you’re a fan of classic comic book art, there are books out featuring the work of Neal Adams, Harvey Kurtzman, and Joe Kubert. If you’re into a lot more modern artists, Alex Ross, Adam Hughes, and Frank Cho all have art books available. You can also focus in by characters or publishers with such books as The Art of Marvel, The Art of Vampirella, and The Art of top Cow. You can read about the upcoming Art of Howard Chaykin here. and if you want to go high end, you have to see IDW’s impressive artist edition line which is the closest to holding a page of comic art in your hand as you can come without holding the real thing. I own the Walter Simonson Thor edition and it is gorgeous. and this is just the idea of the iceberg. If you go to the Westfield site and type “Art Of” or “Sketchbook” into search, you’ll get back pages of responses. If you’re a fan of comic art, there are a bumper crop of books available now to satisfy your needs. Let’s get certain now as there are a couple I think you shouldn’t overlook, Terry Moore’s Sketchbook Vol. 1: hot Girls, cold Feet and Mythos: The fantasy Art Realms of Frank Brunner.
Terry Moore’s Sketchbook Vol. 1: hot Girls, cold Feet
Abstract Studios’ Terry Moore’s Sketchbook Vol. 1: hot Girls, cold Feet isn’t out yet (you can pre-order it here) but I feel confident in recommending it because I know Terry Moore’s art. His art is incredible and I expect this book to be as well. Terry is rightfully known for writing and drawing female characters so look for lots of drawings of women of all shapes and sizes. After all, hot girls is part of the title (the title, according to Terry’s blog, came from his partner Robyn). one of the things I appreciate about Terry’s art is that he doesn’t draw just one kind of woman. They’re fat, skinny, short, tall, sexy, mousy; just like the women you see walking down the street every day. Yes, there is typically a fantasy element, but his women look like drawings of real women to me. The book is 64 pages of doodles and completed drawings for only $10.99 ($8.79 Westfield price). That, my friends, is what’s known as a bargain. You don’t want to miss this.
Mythos: The fantasy Art Realms of Frank Brunner
Back when I first started collecting comics one of my favorite artists was Frank Brunner. If you want to see why, get yourself a copy of Vanguard’s Mythos: The fantasy Art Realms of Frank Brunner. The book covers his comic occupation with such characters as Dr. Strange, Man-Thing, and Howard the Duck; to sword and sorcery characters like Conan, Elric, and Red Sonja; to his work in animation; to his paintings, including a very adult Alice in Wonderland. Yes, there is some nudity in the book but it’s artfully done and nothing graphic. The art includes comic pages, commissions, and paintings that are all lovingly reproduced. The text in the book, while fairly brief, is informative and covers Brunner’s occupation and his thoughts on his art. His knack of combining the wonderful with locations or emotions that feel real speaks with me. This book has been out for a few years, but if you never picked it up before, it is well worth getting now.
Original comic art is hugely popular ideal now as the plethora of volumes about comic artists demonstrates. With the number of art books on the market, there’s something for everyone’s taste. Do you have a favorite comic art book? If so, let me know in the comments section below.
Now, go read a comic!