I have been slowly adding to my original art collection. I've purchased a few small pieces over the past couple of months or so, by artists I really love.
This first one is by Michael Cho, an illustrator whose simple, open, and graphic style is something I find incredibly appealing. He's done a number of superhero paintings (see his blog for more info and some stunning examples) that evoke Kirby crossed with Darwyn Cooke, with a hint of Bruce Timm thrown in, but his sense of color and design is fully his own. Normally, I would try to buy one of his superhero works, but when I met him back in March, he didn't have any of those with him. However, I fell in love with this piece, which I believe was part of a series of illustrations for a Canadian magazine. Cho has a new art book out, Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes, published by my friends at Drawn & Quarterly. It's a collection of his sketches and paintings based around his Toronto neighborhood, and it's lovely.
I absolutely love the complicated simplicity of this piece...the textures of the trees, the straight lines of the buildings and their windows, the two-color execution, the gentle arc of the railing behind her and--most of all--her look, like she was captured in a surprise moment on a bridge in New York City's Central Park. A bonus is the pencils on the backside of this piece, reversed from this image, so I'm guessing he did the inking and color work (which I believe is marker) via lightbox.
You can't think of 1960s Aquaman or Metamorpho comics without thinking of Ramona Fradon. One of the very few women artists working in superhero comics in those days (Marie Severin might be the only other one), Fradon had memorable stints on Aquaman and Super Friends before leaving comic books to work on Brenda Starr in the funny pages. My favorite work of hers is in the quirky Metamorpho. DC Comics in the mid-60s was a time of great experimentation, as they tried to figure out just what Stan Lee and company over at Marvel were doing and how to duplicate their success. Most of DC's projects were downright weird, and Fradon's co-creation--with writer Bob Haney--of Metamorpho was proof positive of this. Here's a great pencil portrait of the Metamorpho cast by Fradon, which I picked up at Comic-Con this year.
These will be joining the rest of my collection on my wall at home. Now if I could just find more wall.