Thursday, February 4, 2016

New Fantastic Four original art (From FF #508, FF #538 and Marvel Adventures FF #7)

I picked up a few new pages of original art when I was at the New York Comic Con in October. There's always a big setup at the entrance to artist alley that has boxes and boxes of art from dozens of creators for sale, and it's easy to spend hours just pouring through the stacks and seeing what's available. Sometimes I'm taken back by the price tag attached to some of the pages - there are several pieces of newer artwork with asking prices in the four and even five-digit range. It serves as a reminder as to how serious some fans and collectors can get about comic art. I sometimes wonder who has the means to spend ten grand on a Avengers vs. X-Men page from a few years back, but I guess there's always someone.

For my own part, I tend to buy more affordable pieces. The most I've ever spent on a page is around $300, and even then I think I saw my house lights shutter and dim when I completed the transaction. I guess I went especially cheap this go-round, as I picked up some of the least expensive pages at the table, but I still walked away happy and with some neat original art from some recent Fantastic Four issues.

The first page comes from Fantastic Four #538. This was part of the uneven Straczynski/McKone run that was, honestly, sidetracked by the Civil War storyline too often. When Captain American and Iron Man are featured more prominently on the cover than members of the FF, something fishy is going on.

Anyway, the page I bought is obviously incomplete, with only two of eight panels drawn. This page was most likely one in which Mike McKone redrew the two panels to take the place of two earlier ones. I'm not sure if McKone went ahead and drew directly on this page or if inker Andy Lanning worked from McKone's reproduced pencils. I would usually guess that this is only Lanning's work, but there's no reproduced work on any of the other blank panels, so I'm not sure. I'm hoping for the best.

It should be apparent what drew me to this page: two panels of THE THING! For the price, it was well worth it. In this first panel, Ben is visiting Johnny in the hospital.

And then he makes a revelation, or something? I guess? This was around the time that the Thing left the country for France, which was such a strange decision. It was a weird time for the FF.

This second page comes from Fantastic Four #508, during the wonderful Waid/Wieringo run. Howard Porter filled in for 'Ringo on this storyline, so this page is by Porter with Norm Rapmund on inks.

This storyline ended with the Thing being *temporarily* killed. The FF soon after went to Heaven to bring him back (for real), so he's okay now.

This page was a good deal because, well, the Fantastic Four are nowhere to be found. They're in dire financial straits and they're in the process of shutting down the world-famous Baxter Building. This page is actually the final page of the issue and it has some tv-turning-off drama going for it. It's still a cool page even without the characters making an appearance. And the words "Baxter Building" do appear here, so I'm happy with it.

The last page I got is another "redraw" page, this one from Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #7.

In this book, the Fantastic Four visit/fight Namor in his underwater domain.

The FF are seen here in one of Sue's force bubbles. It's pencilled by Manuel Garcia and inked by Scott Kolbish - I believe that the original line art that is on this page is by Kolbish...the signature at the bottom looks like his, anyway.

The page was originally supposed to be sold as part of a set with the complementary artwork, but I guess these got separated somehow. This means that I was able to pick up this partial page for only five bucks! That works for me.

The total amount I paid for these pages probably could have bought me one decent, complete page. That's probably what I'd do most days, but this time around I'm happy to add these snippets to my collection. I think they're pretty neat.

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