Comic Art Friday: Wonders from WonderCon, part 1

So, we had this WonderCon thing a couple of weekends back.

I’ve been a WonderCon regular for the past several years, mostly for opportunities to hobnob with comic artists and commission on-the-spot pieces for my collection, but also to just wander about and take in the spectacle. This turned out to be a pretty good con for me, art-wise. I didn’t accomplish every objective on my wish list, but I came home with several nice creations, as you’ll see over the next few installments of Comic Art Friday.

Iron Man and Conan the Barbarian, pencils and inks by comics artist Ernie Chan

Today’s featured piece actually had its genesis before the con even began. Ernie Chan almost always finds his way onto my WonderCon to-do list, but this year I had an idea for a Common Elements commission that I wanted Ernie to draw. I knew that if I contacted the Amazing Chan ahead of time, he’d produce something more intricate and detailed than the convention environment would permit. So, I e-mailed Ernie, and he agreed to draw this nifty scenario in his studio and bring it with him to the con.

This particular concept was right up Ernie’s alley, because he worked for many years on Marvel’s various Conan the Barbarian comics back in the day, mostly inking the pencils of the legendary John Buscema, but also drawing the occasional issue as well. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that no comic book artist alive has put his hand to as many published Conan images as has Ernie Chan. Asking him to bring to life this battle between the sword-slinging Cimmerian and the invincible Iron Man just made logical sense.

So what’s the “Common Element” between Conan and old Shellhead?, you’re asking yourself. Allow me to enlighten you, friend reader. First appearing in the pulp magazine Weird Tales during the 1930s, Conan’s fantastic adventures sprang from the fertile imagination of writer Robert E. Howard. In Marvel Comics continuity, Tony (Iron Man) Stark is the son of industrialist and inventor Howard Stark (who appears as a prominent character in the forthcoming motion picture, Captain America: The First Avenger). Thus, both Conan and Iron Man are — each in his own way — “sons of Howard.”

Which is why I’ve titled Ernie Chan’s artwork “Howard’s End.”

Ernie Chan, WonderCon 2011

Here’s the proud artist with his latest masterpiece.

I’ll have another WonderCon acquisition or two to display next Friday, as well as highlights from my convention experience. Drop around in seven.

And that’s your Comic Art Friday.

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