Art Collection · Drawing · Gene Colan · Illustration Art · Look Here · Original art vs. printed page

Look Here: A page of original art by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer

My two favourite Christmas gifts for 2011 were 1) an eight-panel, single-page comic strip on 11 x 17 inch Strathmore bristol, pencilled, inked, and coloured by our 17-year-old son, just for the occasion, and 2) a page of original art from “Angelica,” a story that was published in The Tomb of Dracula #4 (April 1980), with art pencilled by Gene Colan and inked by Tom Palmer. Our son would prefer that I not post his piece, but if you pay a visit to our house in a month or so, I am fairly confident that you’ll be able to view it, framed, on the wall in our living room — if I let you in the door, that is. As for the Colan page, here it is, first as it was printed in black and white in The Tomb of Dracula, and second, as it appears “in living colour,” as it were:

Oddly enough, that beautiful page — which I first saw when I bought The Tomb of Dracula #4 new, off the newsstand, when I was in high school — has a very strong personal resonance for me. You see, once upon a time my father quit his job in the big city to chase a dream, dragging his family to a “godforsaken place” that my mother “despised” from the moment she set eyes upon it. The mute object of my mother’s contempt was a shabby, drafty, uninsulated log house with no plumbing or adequate heating located on a discontinuous, serpentine tract of marginal farmland that some anonymous homesteader had laboriously carved out of the bush in east-central Saskatchewan. I won’t burden you with the depressing details of my father’s fourteen-year experiment in pigheaded determination and wishful thinking. Suffice to say that by the time the man finally admitted defeat, he and my mother had already spent more than a year shuttling back and forth between the farm and various low-skilled jobs the meagre pay from which might have slowed but certainly did not stop their burden of farm debt from growing more burdensome every month — which led them, at long last, to conclude that the only way forward was to file for bankruptcy and retreat, with my brothers and sister in tow, back to the city… well, not quite back to the city, but that’s a whole other story…

Book/Magazine Covers (Jones) · Connections · Drawing · Drawings and Sketches (Jones) · Illustration Art · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Look Here

Connections: Jones, Jones, Jones

I believe the oil painting is called The Puritan and was one of a series of paintings by Jones that were based on Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane.

I gave readers a “Heads Up” back on 25 July 2010, and now the regular hardcover edition of Jeffrey Jones: A Life in Art (IDW Publishing, 2011) — a 256-page collection of Jones’s “personal favourites” from a long and celebrated career — is available for purchase at a bookstore near you. I haven’t received my copy yet, but it should be here soon…

Drawing · Drawings and Sketches (Jones) · Illustration Art · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Look Here

Look Here: A tiger, burning bright, by Jeffrey Jones

Back in 2009, art collector and big-time Jeffrey Jones fan, Rob Pistella, generously invited me to use scans from his Comic Art Fans gallery on RCN. The first item I highlighted was a letter by Jeffrey Jones dated 7-20-73. The second is right here:

Commonplace Book · Drawing

John K. on making superficial copies vs. looking for knowledge and understanding

“I find that it’s not enough to just draw and copy things. I have to try to understand the why of what things look like. Otherwise I am just making superficial copies of a specific pose without being able to draw other poses later.

“So when I am copying, I look for knowledge and understanding. Not just the specific shapes I am copying, but the general forms and relationships causing the specific shapes. I try to find things that make some sense and then write them down in the hopes I remember them and can put them to use later.”

— John K., “Stiff Warm Ups and Studies,” blog entry, posted 25 August 2010, accessed 13 September 2010.

Drawing · Look Here

Look Here: Seven drawings by Alfons Mucha

Yes, I know the given name of everybody’s favourite Art Nouveau image maker is usually spelled “Alphonse.” But in the out-of-print book I scanned these images from, his name is spelled “Alfons,” so that’s what I’ve used here.


Golden Age Comic Book Stories: Alphonse Mucha, 1860 ~ 1939 — this selection of images includes Mucha’s beautiful Moonlight image.

Golden Age Comic Book Stories: Alphonse Mucha, 1871 ~ 1938, posted by Mr. Door Tree — another large selection of images.

Golden Age Comic Book Stories: Alphonse Mucha 1860 ~ 1939: THE SLAV EPIC, posted by Mr. Door Tree — suffering undone by design.

Golden Age Comic Book Stories: Alphonse Mucha, 1860 ~ 1939: Ilsee, Princesse de Tripoli by Robert de Flers, posted by Mr. Door Tree — a large gallery of page decorations.

Golden Age Comic Book Stories: Alphonse Mucha, 1860 ~ 1939, posted by Mr. Door Tree — even more images by you-know-who.

Art Collection · Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Drawing · Illustration Art · Look Here

Look Here: Mini-Comic Art by Jordan Crane

Here’s another piece of original comic art from our collection: a single pencilled-and-inked panel (image size: 11.4 cm wide x 12.5 cm high) from an out-of-print mini-comic, The Hand of Gold, by Jordan Crane. (You can read the comic online right here.) I bought the artwork back in September 2005, via Jordan Crane’s Comic Art Collective page, for US$20.00 plus $6.00 shipping. The artwork arrived with a short thank-you note handwritten by Jordan on the back of a card (13.9 x 18.4 cm) with an original design silkscreened on the front. I’ve included both the black-and-white artwork and the notecard image here for you, dear reader, to examine in detail, along with the first three covers of Jordan’s terrific one-man anthology comic, Uptight, published by Fantagraphics.

You can buy screen prints by Jordan Crane from the site. Click here to see what’s currently available.

Finally, I just have to say: Jordan’s elaborately layered, wrap-around, die-cut dustjacket design for the hardcover edition of Michael Chabon’s essay collection, Maps and Legends (McSweeney’s, 2008), is gorgeous! Watch for it, currently remaindered at a Chapters near you!