Comic Art Friday: The best of 2013

2013 proved itself a solid year for my comic art collection.

Perhaps the most significant 2013 addition was one that doesn’t appear in any of my galleries — a detailed catalog, completed this past July, of every piece of art that I own. For the first time in a very long time, I can determine exactly what I have in my portfolio at a glance, with all of the pertinent information about each item recorded. A task that should have been done years ago finally found fulfillment this year.

And then there was the art itself.

Although the actual number of pieces I added this year isn’t all that large, every new artwork I acquired — whether a preexisting piece, or one I personally commissioned — truly brought something special to the party. As I peruse the Class of ’13, there’s no chaff among the wheat here. Which makes choosing the very best — or at least, my very favorite — among these creations especially challenging.

But, here we go. (Remember, you can click on any image to go directly to the corresponding entry in my Comic Art Fans gallery. You’ll be able to view a much larger image there.)

Favorite Common Elements Commission, Mixed Company Division:
“Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?” (Lady Luck, Jack of Hearts, Gambit)
Pencil art by Allan Goldman

Lady Luck, Jack of Hearts, and Gambit, pencils by comics artist Allan Goldman

It might be possible to squeeze more detail into a single panel of comic art than Allan Goldman accomplishes in this incredible tableau. Then again, it might not be.

Favorite Common Elements Commission, All-Female Division:
“Raiders of the Lost Archaeology” (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Hawkgirl)
Pencil art by Drew Edward Johnson

Lara Croft and Hawkgirl, pencils by comics artist Drew Edward Johnson

I love it when an artist grabs hold of a Common Elements concept and runs with it like the wind. That’s precisely what Drew Johnson did with this assignment.

Favorite Common Elements Commission, Living Color Division:
“Through Being Cool” (Valkyrie, Taarna)
Pencil art by Steven E. Gordon

Valkyrie and Taarna, multimedia art by Steven E. Gordon

Animation maven Steven E. Gordon, who worked alongside the legendary Ralph Bakshi on several of his classic feature films, brought clarity and attitude to two of my all-time favorite bad mamma-jammas.

Favorite Solo Commission, Shazam! Division:
Mary Marvel
Pencils and inks by Brian Stelfreeze

Mary Marvel, pencils and inks by comics artist Brian Stelfreeze

You might think you’ve seen a more winsome rendition of Mary Marvel created this year. You’d be mistaken.

Favorite Solo Commission, Celestial Madonna Division:
Pencil art by Steve Mannion

Mantis, pencils by Steve Mannion

I never can get enough of Steve Mannion’s uniquely quirky take on the world of superhumans. Here, he gives one of Marvel’s classic heroines a fresh, funky energy that is a joy to behold.

Favorite Solo Commission, Feline Division:
The Black Cat (Linda Turner)
Pencils and inks by Gene Gonzales

Black Cat, pencils and inks by Gene Gonzales

Few artists today rock it old-school as brilliantly as Gene Gonzales. Gene’s deceptively simple neo-retro style, combined with his genuine love for classic comics characters, keep resulting in beautiful art like this.

Favorite Solo Commission, Art Nouveau Division:
Pencils and inks by Sanya Anwar

Isis, pencils and inks by comics artist Sanya Anwar

It’s always a treat to discover the work of a fantastic artist I didn’t know was out there. This year’s Big Wow ComicFest introduced me to the talents of Canadian creator Sanya Anwar, and I immediately became a fan. I’m looking forward to adding more of Sanya’s eye-popping work to these galleries in the coming year.

Favorite Non-Commission Acquisition:
Film noir pinup study
Pencil art by Jim Silke

Femme fatale pinup, inspired by Mara Corday, pencil study by Jim Silke

I’ve been an admirer of Jim Silke’s gorgeous pinup stylings for more than a decade. This year, I finally managed — thanks to the largesse of my beloved Pirate Queen — to add an example of Jim’s art to my collection. This piece was a preliminary study for a painting Jim created a number of years ago, for another collector. He based the character on 1950s model and B-movie actress Mara Corday, who might never have looked better even in real life.

There’s a noteworthy omission in my “Best of” post this year. For the first time in recent memory, I didn’t add a new inking commission. Part of the reason for this is that my go-to inking talent, Bob Almond, was sadly beset by family and personal health challenges over the past several months. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with my pal Bob as he recovers. I’m hopeful that we’ll collaborate successfully again in 2014, as we have on dozens of previous occasions.

Thank you, friend reader, for stopping by my little corner of the World Wide Wackiness most Fridays, and allowing me to share my collecting hobby (okay, perhaps mania is a more accurate word) with you. May 2014 bring you and all those you love health, harmony, and happiness… and bring me more reason to keep generating these posts.

And that’s your final Comic Art Friday for 2013.

Explore posts in the same categories: Comic Art Friday, Hero of the Day, Reminiscing, SwanStuff, That's Cool!

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