Friday, August 22, 2008

Vintage Classic X-Men #2 cover by Arthur Adams

Here's a nice cover that will no doubt sell for a high price. It is the cover to Classic X-Men #2 by Arthur Adams, from 1986. Many days to go but definitely an auction worth watching closely and bidding!! :)

This one has a pretty nice team shot too.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dark Knight by Whilce Portacio!

There are 2 sweet Whilce Portacio Batman pieces on eBay and ending soon. Some details.. The one ending first is inked and might be more "finished", the other sketch is tight penciled and I'd say is equally nice too. Whilce is still pumping out some cool stuff!

NOTE: One more Whilce Batman sketch showed up on eBay but it's a really nice one!!

Whilce Portacio original art hasn't really really taken off yet, in popularity nor prices. I can imagine that once people figure out that his early work on Punisher, X-Factor and Uncanny X-Men was actually very very good and solid, things will change. And let's not forget this body of work was done around the same time that Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, and the other "Image" artists came into their prime in the late 80s, early 90s. Maybe Whilce's work got lost behind their great work. His Image Comics Wetworks book was solid too. And don't forget Whilce also did some great work as an inker on a variety of titles including Alpha Flight and Longshot (over Arthur Adams), before getting his own book. His run on Heroes Reborn Ironman is very underrated.

If you have any of his early Punisher, X-Factor, or Uncanny X-Men original art for sale or trade, shoot me an email please!! Always interested in 70s, 80s and early 90s original art.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Liefeld New Mutants original art fans rejoice?

Let's talk Rob Liefeld.

Don't hate on the guy. No I'm not defending the guy. But he has got to be the most hated early 90s artist that I know of. I swear I think people love to hate the guy and his "art". I'm not sure where I stand with his stuff either, quite honestly. I mean, there are times when I look at some of his earlier work, especially his run on New Mutants 87 through 100 & X-Factor 1, and remember those days when I did actually pick up an issue or two to follow the story, characters and art. Then... I remember why I don't have any of his art in my collection now... when I look at the out of proportion human anatomy, the strange page layouts (ahead of his time?), and the strange looking "women" he draws. How many freakin muscle bulges can an arm have anyways? I'm not a doctor but damn I didn't know an arm could do that.

But to me, Liefeld will be best remembered as the guy who first drew Cable (who is a proportionally challenged character anyways), and the fact he had a Levi's commercial back when it was hip. Let's not forget Youngblood did sell many issues too. Someone bought them. And dude is still selling comics today.

Art is subjective. The reason I want to "talk" Rob Liefeld was that there was an interesting auction that ended today. It was a recreation to his New Mutants 87 cover by Rob Liefeld. And when you look at the cover, this is very representative of those early 90s. It is to me. His art style when he worked on New Mutants 87 was strong with period details including cross-hatching goodness and such. That was a good time to be collecting comics if you were a kid back then. But what intrigues me about the piece specifically though, was that someone asked him to specifically trace the cover because they liked his art the way it was back then. Apparently there were at least a dozen other people (bids) who also liked it and the auction realized over $500.00. Say what? Yes $510.00 for a Rob Liefeld cover recreation! I thought his art sucked. So my question is, did it get as much as it did due to the art or was it due to the significance of the issue/time period? Is this a good sign for Rob Liefeld original comic book art fans to get their cash ready?

Open the door already. Could there be a revitalization on his earlier style/art that put him on the comic book map? Maybe it was "only" a $500.00 auction, but I know that the interior art from X-Force 1 changed hands earlier this year and I can imagine the transaction was not cheap. Plus I'm pretty sure there will be a price jump on his art should any more of his stuff becomes available, especially pages/covers/art that hadn't been on the market previously. Like representative pieces. Nice ones. Those closet Liefeld fans are already wondering where is all his art and who is hording it all --New Mutants, X-Force, and didn't he do an issue (cover) of Uncanny X-Men long ago? I would think there is potential to make some money by setting the market price for his art. That seems inevitable.

In the meantime, if you have a representative Liefeld New Mutants cover or splash for sale/trade, shoot me an email. I might be interested. ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

X-Men move to San Francisco

Always get a kick out of reading the local newspaper and finding a comic book related story. With the X-Men moving out of their digs in Westchester County, NY, I guess they've found a new home in the City by the Bay. There goes the neighborhood. ;)

Link to article

X-Men go west, to San Francisco

If you pay attention to the national news, it's been the world against San Francisco lately. If we aren't getting hammered for the city's activism in the gay marriage debate, our role as a "sanctuary city" routinely causes controversy.

But San Francisco just got some pretty big (albeit fictional) allies in its progressive fight for equality: The X-Men have moved to the Bay Area.

This isn't a small deal in the world of comic books. The X-Men, who settled in the Bay Area in the just-released 500th issue of the Uncanny X-Men, are arguably the most popular and recognizable superhero team in comic book history. And they've spent most of their 40-year existence based out of a mansion in Westchester County, N.Y.

But it should be no surprise. The trials of the X-Men, who discover at puberty that they are mutants, and are often forced to hide their true identities out of shame, have a lot in common with left-leaning causes, most notably the gay rights movement. In the comics, the X-Men have had gay and bisexual team members and associates, and their numbers were once decimated by a virus that had strong similarities to the AIDS epidemic.

Marvel Comics Executive Editor Axel Alonso says the city will be more than just a backdrop for the comic.

"The X-Men moving to San Francisco isn't just a physical move, it's a spiritual move. I love San Francisco and we want to see it really represented," says the city native during an interview last week at Isotope Comics in Hayes Valley. "Anyone who looks at the X-Men, the analogy is right there: If you're different in any way due to race or sexual orientation or just being nerdy, there's an X-Men character for you. They're about being different and finding strength in that weakened position."

Action movie fans will note that the X-Men and their nemeses have already been to San Francisco, destroying the Golden Gate Bridge and much of Alcatraz in the 2006 film "X-Men: The Last Stand." But for that sequel, the filmmakers didn't do any meaningful filming in the Bay Area. The movie was shot in Vancouver, and visual effects were used to add a few landmarks to the background.

The comic has much more of an insider's vibe. Marvel Comics artists will be visiting San Francisco frequently to get a feel for the fashion, architecture and even the way residents walk and talk. There are no cable cars in the first issue, but the artists did include a KRON TV news truck and a panel where the iconic mutant Wolverine walks through Noe Valley. The heroes make their base in the concrete bunkers beneath the Marin Headlands and join the protest of a controversial art installation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Perhaps most significant, they seem to appreciate San Francisco's much publicized (and recently criticized) role as a sanctuary city.

"San Francisco is now a mutant sanctuary," X-Men group leader Cyclops proclaims, near the end of Issue 500. "Any of you - and your family or loved ones - are invited to join us here, and know safety and protection our kind has never known."

Of course, this being a comic book featuring a guy who looks like a giant blue cat, there are a few moments of pure fantasy. While the leader of San Francisco in both worlds is a young attractive politician with great hair who seems more than a bit starstruck, in the comics, the mayor is a woman not named Gavin Newsom. And the X-Men somehow establish their enormous base without a historical society protest or a single tree-sitter in sight - although, to be fair, they do set up a hippie-friendly hydrokinetic power plant, presumably using tidal power from the ocean.

"We believe that homo sapiens superior represent the future, so we better start living like it," says X-Men member Beast, sounding as if he's about to run for governor. "Soon the X-center won't just be green, it'll be positively viridian."

Whether the X-Men will settle here for the next four decades isn't known, although Alonso says the story arc is mapped out for at least a year. Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada says the length of their stay has a lot to do with reader reaction.

"Temporary or permanent is a weird thing in the world of comics," Quesada says. "As far as we're playing it right now, we just got to San Francisco. We're not planning to leave any time soon."

X-Men and the sanctuary city

Parallels between the X-Men and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement have been so strong that some real-life conservative groups have denounced the comics and movies for being pro-gay rights. Here are a few themes from the X-Men comics:

-- The X-Men don't discover their super powers until puberty. They often try to hide their differences until finding others like themselves.

-- The mutants suffered (mostly in 1990s comics) from the Legacy Virus, which wasn't understood at first and killed many mutants before treatment was found.

-- Anti-mutant slurs are frequently heard in the Marvel Universe. ("Mutie" is a common one.)

-- Efforts have been made to "cure" mutants by changing them back into nonpowered humans.

-- One of the biggest struggles for the X-Men is a political: establishing rights for mutants that are equal to humans without powers.

- Peter Hartlaub