Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dear Comic Art Fan,

Ohio has consistently proven to be a fertile breeding ground for comic book creators ever since Cleveland teenagers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first created the Man of Steel while attending Glenville High School. Over the subsequent years many writers and artists, such as indie sensations like R. Crumb and Harvey Pekar to superhero superstars Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack, have been spawned from the Buckeye State. Another local boy, Brian K. Vaughan, speculated in the book The Escapists that there might be some sort of creative fallout from all the planes flying over on their way to Los Angeles and New York.

Jeff Smith, one of comics' biggest stars and Ohio’s favorite sons, is currently being honored by his alma mater, Ohio State University. A show entitled “Jeff Smith: Bone and Beyond” is on exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts.  In addition to Smith’s epic Bone series and his more recent work on Shazam! and RASL, the exhibit features art from some of his inspirations, including Walt Kelly’s Pogo, Walt Eisner’s The Spirit, and Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge. The art will be on exhibit until August 3, 2008 and Jeff Smith himself is giving a discussion on June 5th about the influence of Looney Tunes cartoons on his work. Hopefully, some of you out there will have the opportunity to check it out.

See you next week!

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Premium Member of the Week :: Simon M.

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Hello, my name is Simon and I like to do drawings... no, wait, that's not right.  I don't draw at all despite there being two other "Simon Millers" in CAF that are displaying their talents.  I'm a Brit and originally from London, England.  I've been living in the US for a little over 5 years now which means that the pound to dollar advantage has long since left me!!  I've not yet hit 30 but that milestone is fast looming and I'll have been happily married for 3 years next month. By day I'm a Project Manager for a Digital Media company here in Cleveland, by night I'm a comic art dork like the rest of us!

2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?

I'd say that my favourite piece of art is the Madman Comics advert art used to promote the Dark Horse run of the title.  It's a homage to Mac Raboy's Master Comics #27 cover.  The line work is fantastic and I've seen the Master Comics #27 ranked as one of the top 10 covers of all time so that definitely helps!  I would also say that it's got to be one of the top 5 images Mike has produced.

3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?

I bought my first piece of art from Comic Showcase in London around 1999/2000 but it wasn't until I found the internet and eBay that I really became aware of art properly which would be around 2000/2001. The first piece of art I got from eBay was a John Bolton Classic X-Men back up page but the real lurch down the art slippery slope was a page by Mike Allred.  Oh boy!!  I don't know that there was any specific prompting that got me really going, though I can try and blame John Bamber, Jason Harris, and Joseph Melchior for being knowledgeable and encouraging!!  For the longest time I would just buy a page due to it being by an artist I like, rather than it being the 'right' page for me.  That's a really expensive way to deal with art so over time I've become slightly more selective with what I buy and I look to sell less of my own art.  I now try and limit what I buy to being from books that I've read and only rarely make exceptions to that rule; the Kevin Nowlan New Mutants page and James Jean cover art I own are examples of exceptions to that rule!

4. How do you display/store your collection at home?

Ahem, well, I kind of view my CAF gallery and my website as how I display my collection so don't feel the need to hang men in tights fighting each other round the house.  I like the Superman, the Hulk, Silver Surfer etc, but I don't know that I'd want them looming over furniture at home!  I actually only have two pieces of art framed.  The Mike Allred Madman Comics advert piece, and a page from the second Madman mini series.  Both pieces hang in my home office, and I do mean to get something else framed soon, I just don't know what piece it should be right now.  As for storage of the actual art, right now they're in large Rubbermaid tubs!  One day I'll invest in more Itoyas and work some better way of storing them, honest!

5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?

For commissions, I'd love something from Paul Pope or Geoff Darrow, but neither is much of a possibility.

For published art, I actually just recently posted to the Comicart-L yahoo list, and the CGC board something of a wish list, so here it is again but limited to only 5 items!

- Mike Allred - Batman: Black & White volume 1 issue #1 pin-up
- Tony Harris - Starman 80-page giant cover, Starman: Stars My Destination TPB cover
- Brian Stelfreeze - Detective Comics pages from issue #726 and the cover for #742

View Simon M.'s Gallery

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