Comic Art Friday: Superheroines’ day off

I’ve written on other occasions about how my philosophy as a comic art collector — and specifically, a collector of commissions and other unpublished drawings, as opposed to pages from published comics — differs from many others. I tend not to sweat the details.

For example, most of the time, I’m not persnickety about whether an artist gets a character’s “look” exactly right, so long as it’s recognizable. That approach isn’t all that different from the prevailing wisdom at the Big Two these days, where artists are given much greater license to tweak characters’ appearance to suit their own creative sensibilities. No one much cares these days how large the eye holes in Spider-Man’s mask are, or whether Captain America’s shirt is made of chain mail, scale mail, or just plain fabric. We’ve come a long way from the days when house styles were so rigid that when Jack Kirby — the man who pretty much defined how superhero comics should be drawn — switched from Marvel to DC, the DC editorial staff would have another artist (usually Al Plastino) redraw the heads on Kirby’s Superman figures, because Kirby’s Kal-El veered too far off-model.

So I don’t mind too much when an artist decides to take a fresh approach to a character. I’m certain that in the comics, Storm has never worn an outfit precisely like the one Christopher Foulkes designed here. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Maybe it’s her day off.

Storm, pencils and inks by comics artist Christopher Foulkes

In fact, I like the idea of superheroes taking a break from the daily grind of world-saving now and again. They’re only human — or mutant, or android, or refugees from other planets — right?

I had that very notion in mind when I commissioned this drawing of Mary Marvel from artist Charles Hall. I thought it would be interesting to see what Mary would do when she arrived home after a long, strenuous day of beating up villains. Wouldn’t it make sense that she’d want to kick those boots off and collapse on the floor?

Mary Marvel, pencils by comics artist Charles Hall

Perhaps my favorite image of a superhero at rest is this Wonder Woman scene by Peter Krause, who’s probably best known for his work on DC’s Power of Shazam. Here, mighty Diana sheds her confining bustier (seriously, how comfortable can that thing be?) and boots for the comfort of a tank top and bare feet, as she dangles her toes in the cool water of a lake on a warm summer day.

Wonder Woman, pencils by comics artist Peter Krause

Tomorrow, she’ll be back duking it out with the forces of evil. Today, she’s all about the R&R.

I hope your weekend affords you a bit of the same.

And that’s your Comic Art Friday.

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