Friday, November 29, 2013

Matthew J Fletcher - Winged Monkey

2013.10.11 Comic Con, NYC

Prior to attending Comic Con, I had attended an Imax, 3D showing of the Wizard of Oz in celebration of the movie's 75th anniversary. The movie was in theaters for only 1 week. Even though I could probably recite much of the dialog along with the movie, I had to go see it on the big screen. Since it was not intended for 3D, there were no cheesy effects like throwing items at the screen. However the 3D helped bring out depth in many of the scenes especially in Munchkin Land, wher you could clearly see many of the Munchkin faces (after all these years I learned they used children to help fill in the crowds).

I had wanted to get at least one winged monkey sketch and Matthew J Fletcher did an excellent job on the Year of the Monkey FDC. Fletcher is currently the feature artist on Red Stylo Media's graphic novel the 7th Voyage... Fletcher has also illustrated The House of Montressor as part of the Poe Twisted Anthology, contributed sketch cards for Perna Studio's Classic Mythology card set and has been featured in Thunk Magazine...

Wizard of Oz FDC  1990.03.23 Hollywood, Ca
My lino-block print cachet of Dorothy (Judy Garland)
Wizard of Oz Day 1994.09.01 Chesterton, In - commemorative cancel
singed by Ray Bolger the Scarecrow of Oz
I thought the cover would look better if the yellow-brick road in the cancel were yellow, and I extended the design across the cover
Emerald City Station 2002.06.22 Aberdeen, SD - commemorative cancel
The Wizard of Oz is very popular as commemorative cancels exist for festivals held all across the country.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Andy Price - Applejack: My Little Pony

2013.10.11 NY Comic Con, NYC
"C'mon, Ponies! Move it! You freakin' glue factories!
I got 20 bits ridin' on this!"

Andy Price is currently working for IDW on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, with writer Katie Cook.

Price has also donw license work for DC Comics, Marvel comics, Boom Studios, Innovation Comics (penciller for Quantum Leap), Slave Labor Graphics' Haunted Mansion (writer, penciler, inker) and Rittenhouse Archives,
 and WordGirl

Price is heavily influenced by comic book artists such as Don Newton (DC Comics: Batman, Captain Marvel and Aquaman in the 70s and 80s) and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (DC Comics: Superman and Wonder Woman). Price has an unhealthy love for Batman and an obsession with Nightmare Before Christmas..

My Little Pony was created by Bonnie Zacherle, developed by Hasbro and is marketed to girls. Starting as a line of toy ponies in 1983, the ponies feature colorful bodies, manes and a unique symbol on their flank. The Ponies were featured in their first animated special in 1984 titled My Little Pony and later retitled as Rescue At Midnight Garden. In 2012 IDW published the first Pony comic Friendship is Magic.

Price drew a very funny Applejack, a hard working earth pony in charge of family's apple orchard, watching the horse race on the stamp and cheering them on...

Friday, November 15, 2013

David G Hardy - Bride of Frankenstein

2013.11.03 Jersey Shore Comic Show, Forked River, NJ

I honestly do not remember who told me about David G Hardy, either Karl or Don who assist at the Hospice shows, about this fantastic artist. The first time David attended the Hospice show was the only one I had missed in several years. Seeing David's name on the Jersey Shore list, was the reason I made the trip. I had viewed his work on his site, which were beautifully rendered sketches of characters from old movies, Boris Karloff, Ingrid Berman, Elizabeth Montgomery and Ernest Borgnine as members of the Fantastic Four, and others. When I finally had the opportunity to meet David and his wife, and view the collection of drawings I was very impressed with the wide range of work and their friendliness...

I had picked up several first day covers that featured composers and I already picked up a sketch of King Kong on one of the covers. I had been looking for someone who could do justice to the Bride of Frankenstein (1935) beautifully portrayed by Elsa Lanchester, on the Franz Waxman FDC. Waxman is best known for the music he composed for the movie industry, including Rear Window, Rebecca, The Spirit of St Louis, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sunset Boulevard, Tara Bulba, The Bride of Frankenstein and others (all nominated for the American Film Institute's list of greatest film scores)...

David proceeded to produce a beautiful pencil sketch, which captures Elsa's beauty. I could not be happier with the final results...

Hardy shared on his Facebook page that arrangements were made with the Boris Karloff Estate and Karloff Enterprises to work on several projects. Congratulations on a great achievement...

A nice writeup of meeting David G Hardy from Sabrina at Runnin' Down a Dream...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Janet K. Lee - Return of the Dapper Men

2013.10.11 Comic Con, NYC

Janet K. Lee has worked as a commercial artist, who is self-taught. She developed a layered art style soon after her son was born because it was portable and dried before a toddler could get his hands on it. After achieving critical acclaim as a gallery artist, Lee made her foray into illustration with the story "Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome", written by Alethea Kontis...

The Return of the Dapper Men, by Jim McCann and Janet Lee is a tale of a world between time, where children have played for so long it has become work. All the clocks have stopped at the same time. 314 dapper-looking gentlemen, with Bowler hats, rain down from the sky and set off to start the world again. Ayden, the only boy to still ask questions, Zoe, the robot girl all other machine hold dear and the Dapper Man "41" must discover what happened to make time stop...

I enjoy the concept of the story and I found Lee's style to be a fascinating blend of children's story and comic book art. I found myself going through the pages looking at the pictures and then going back and reading the story...
  • The story won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album - new -  2011
  • Nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens - 2011
  • Nominated for an Eisner for Best Publication Design - 2011
  • Nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Writer, Jim McCann - 2011
  • Nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art), Janet Lee - 2011
When I approached Ms. Lee and presented my idea of a Daper Man in Uncle Sam's hat, instead of the bowler they usually wear, her response was "Uncle Sam is a Dapper Man"...  

Friday, November 1, 2013

David T. Wenzel - Gandalf the Grey

2013.10.11 Comic Con, NYC

David T. Wenzel's early career path led him to work at an advertising agency, followed by pencilling comic books. He won an Eagle Award in 1979 for Best Continued Story for an Avengers story arc.

Wenzel moved to illustrating children's literature in the 1980s when he illustrated Robb Walsh's Kingdom of the Dwarfs for Centaur Books. Wenzel would then provide the fully painted art for The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic, written by Chuck Dixon and Sean Deming, published by Eclipse Comics, 1989. The collection was re-published in 1990 by Ballantine Books and is considered one of the most successful graphic format adaptations. Del Rey Books re-published the collection in 2001...

Wenzel with writer Douglas Wheeler adapted some of the Brothers Grimm's fairytales for NBM in 1995. In other publications, Wenzel has worked with writer Kurt Busiek on The Wizard's Tale (1998), with writer Robert L. May's Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Grosset and Dunlap, 2001), Max Lucado's A Hat for Ivan (Crossway Books, 2004), the Little Bear series, under the direction of Maurice Sendak (Harper Festival, 2003-2004)....

Although the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit were English Literature, I used the American Libraries FDC for this sketch because of the Libraries theme... I did not have any covers that I could otherwise relate to this fantastic sketch...

July 1998 the UK Post (Royal Mail) issued a series of stamps titled Magical Worlds, one of these issues featured Bilbo Baggins and Smaug from the Hobbit... Following the release of the movie, New Zealand Post Office issued a series of stamps in 2012 featuring scenes from the movie..
In 2004 the Royal Mail issued a series of stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Lord of the Rings. New Zealand would also commemorate the story with issues in 2001 for the Fellowship of the Ring, 2002 The Two Towers, 2003 Return of the King and 2004 New Zealand Landscapes featuring scenes from the movie showing the beautiful New Zealand countryside...

JJR Tolkien was no stranger to stamps. Every Christmas from 1920-1942, his children would receive a letter bearing a stamp from the North Pole. The letter from Father Christmas would contain colorful drawings and tales of Father Christmas' travels and adventures. The envelope contained North Pole stamps and postmarks drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien. these letters would be collect by his d=children and published posthumously in 1976...