Comic Art Friday: Wonders from WonderCon, part 2

Last week on Comic Art Friday, we took a peek at the first new artwork I picked up at WonderCon 2011, a Common Elements commission that comics legend Ernie Chan drew in advance of the convention.

But I wasn’t done with either my Common Elements theme, or with the Amazing Chan, quite yet.

The Rocketeer and the Hulk, pencils by Ron Lim, inks by Ernie Chan

The design for the action-packed scenario above sprouted from the pencil of artist Ron Lim — or, as I like to call him, “the late Ron Lim,” because I’ve never yet been to a convention where I didn’t spent at least a couple of hours on the first day circling Ron’s table in Artists’ Alley, waiting for his arrival. Eventually, Ron always shows up, and when he does, he always delivers. Ron’s such an engaging personality — in addition to his awesome artistic talents — that I never miss a chance to renew our acquaintance, and to have him add another drawing to my collection.

Ron Lim, WonderCon 2011

Once Ron completed the pencil art, I carried the piece to the drawing board of the masterful Mr. Chan, who finished it in ink.

Ernie Chan, WonderCon 2011

Oh… the Common Element between the incredible Hulk and Dave Stevens’s high-flying Rocketeer? Both had girlfriends named Betty. In the case of the Hulk, it was Betty Ross, daughter of the Green Goliath’s nemesis, U.S. Army General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross. The Betty of the Rocketeer’s dreams never had a surname that Stevens ever revealed, but her image was based on 1950s pinup queen (and one of the earliest Playboy Playmates) Bettie Page.

Although it seems as though I spend all of my convention time hanging out in (some might use the term “haunting”) Artists’ Alley, I do manage to check out a few of the panels as well. A highlight of this year’s experience was meeting one of my favorite artists, Bob Layton, the long-time Iron Man stalwart. Bob created a pair of pieces for my Common Elements theme a few years back — one featuring Captain America and Booster Gold, and another showcasing the same two heroes in their temporary guises of Nomad (an identity Cap briefly assumed in the 1970s, in the aftermath of Watergate) and Supernova (the mysterious hero of DC’s Countdown maxiseries, who eventually is revealed to be Booster Gold). When I introduced myself to Bob, he immediately remembered the two commissions — “I never forget my commission clients,” he affirmed — and told me all about his current screenwriting projects in Hollywood.

Bob Layton, WonderCon 2011

Bob’s panel consisted of a lively, entertaining solo interview, in which he dissected his lengthy career in comics as an artist, writer, editor, and publisher. He’s unquestionably one of the brightest, most down-to-earth — not to mention funniest — people I’ve met within the comics industry.

Next Friday, we’ll display more new art and talk more story from WonderCon 2011. See you in seven.

And that’s your Comic Art Friday.

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