Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kent Burles

Kent is a wonderful Canadian artist I have been a fan of for years.
His love of the comic and fantasy genres led him into the comic and role-playing game industries. Working with Malibu Comics, he created a series of "Planet of the Apes" comic books, as well as a series called "The Adventurers". His artwork can also be found in many role playing games by Fasa, Steve Jackson, White Wolf, and Anvil Galaxy and Rifts for Palladium Books. Lastly, but cetainly not least, Kent is also Max the Mutt’s Coordinator for the Illustration for Sequential Arts Diploma Program helping to teach a new generation of Canadian artists.
I commissioned the above piece from him Back in 2008. It is a great piece based on the old Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce movie series from the 30's and 40's. Check out his website to see some of his woderful commissioned pieces of comic book hero and vilians, movie characters and stunning native people series. If you are interested, send him an email to find out about your own commissioned piece - www.kentburles.ca

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Irwin Hasen

Irwin Hasen recently passed away at the age of 96.  He was one of the great artists of the Golden Age, and one of the last of the DC artists from that era.
While best known as a co-creator of the comic strip Dondi in the mid 1950's, he also worked in the comicbook industry both before and after the war. At DC he worked on many of the main titles including The Justice Society of America, Green Lantern and the Flash, and created the character Wildcat.
I had the pleasure of speaking with him a few times over the phone and he was a wonderful man with many great stories.  Above is a drawing of Sherlock he did for me a few years back at the age of 90.  He had never done Holmes before and mixed in the Hound to represent his favourite story.

Matt Wagner

In addition to Matt Wagner creating the wonderful comic book series "Mage" and "Grendel", he is also an amazing artist.  He has also worked on a number of other iconic characters like Batman, Green Lantern, The Shadow and The Green Hornet.  

With luck being on my side, I got in touch with Mr. Wagner just before he was scheduled to appear at a show here in Toronto AND just as he was about re-read the Doyle stories.  So he was gracious enough to do this great Sherlock piece for me.  It is pencil crayon on coloured paper and the finished piece looks wonderful.  I really love the look to the piece and the fact that it picks on up on a different side of the character. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Joe Rubinstein


Mr. Rubinstein started his comic career back in the 70's.  Working primarily as an inker, he has worked for all the major comic comparies - Marvel, DC and later Dark Horse - and has worked on every character you can think of.  He has had extended runs on Spider-Man, Aquaman and on the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe series.  According to Wikipedia, he has inked over 2,500 comics over his career to date.

Mr. Rubinstein actually contacted me as he saw a piece Dave Ross did for me in my comicartfans gallery.  He has worked a fair bit with Dave over the years and was curious to know if I wanted it inked.  Instead I commissioned a piece from him and he did this stunning portrait of Basil Rathbone for me.  It's in charcoal and the scan does not do it justice.  It is a dead on likeness of the great actor and is just superb.  
If you are interested in finding out about a commission from him check out the following links:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Al Feldstein

The Crypt-Keeper Holmes

Al Feldstein is best know for his work with EC Comics dating back to the late 40's.  Starting as an artist, he also wrote stories for many of the EC titles including "Weird Science", "Crime SuspenStories", "The Vault of Horror" and of course "Tales from the Crypt".  Eventually he focused on writing and editing the EC titles and saved his artwork for covers. In 1956, he took over as the editor of "Mad" magazine and continued in that role until the mid 80's.  Since then he has focused his talents on painting landscape and wildlife, and was inducted into the Will Eisner Comics Hall of Fame in 2003.

I'm a huge fan of the horror genre, especially of the 50's EC comics and "Tales from the Crypt".  So getting the chance to get a drawing of the Crypt-Keeper as Holmes by his creator was a no-brainer.  The Crypt-Keeper first appeared in an issue of "Crime Patrol" written and drawn by Mr. Feldstein, before the title changed over to "Tales from the Crypt" a few issues later.  Mr. Feldstein did a great job and it was a honour to talk with him when setting up this commission.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bret Herholz

1) The Detective, 2) The Hound, and 3) The Cast

Bret Herholz is an illustrator, scriptwriter and art instructor in Massachusetts. He's written and drawn a number of different books including "Diary of the Black Widow", his latest "Memento Mori" written by his wife Sydney, and my favourite "Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner" (adapted from William Gillette's play).  He's also been a contributing artist for the web series "Cracked: After Hours". 

I actually came across Bret's work on eBay a few years ago.  His Edward Gorey-esq style really caught my eye.  While I lost out on the first auction, I did manage to win this great rendition of the classic Sherlock along with a copy of his book.  We emailed back and forth a little and I commissioned him for the second and third pieces above.  "The Hound" is based on a Sydney Paget illustration and Bret did a simply amazing job.  The eerie-ness of the piece is wonderful and I love the red eyes on the hound.  For "The Cast" piece, I was interested in getting something with not just Holmes and Watson, but with a couple of the other characters like Prof. Moriarty and Irene Adler.  Bret ended up doing this family portrait style piece featuring many of the major characters from the stories.  I was stunned when I saw the final piece.  He went above and beyond on this one especially with some of the smaller details like needles on the end table, the picture on the wall, etc... 

On a side note, Bret does some amazing pieces with other literary characters like Alice (in Wonderland), Winnie the Pooh, etc...  But aside from his Sherlock pieces, his Doctor Who ones are my favourites.  I highly recommend looking him up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ralph Steadman

Sherlock Holmes

Ralph Steadman is a renowned British artist best known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson.  Providing illustrations for Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" and "The Curse of Lono" to name a few, he has also illustrated such classics as "Alice in Wonderland", "Treasure Island" and "Animal Farm" in addition to his own books.  His artwork can be found on everything from posters and album covers, to phone covers adn wine bottles.  He is truely an amazing artist.

I've been a huge fan of Mr. Steadman's work since first reading "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" in high school.  I just love the look and feel of his work and find it timeless.  I contacted him a few years ago and told him about my collection and he did this wonderful drawing for me of Sherlock Holmes.  At the time I believe this was the first time he had drawn Sherlock Holmes.    

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jeff Lemire

Holmes & Watson
Jeff Lemire is a very talented artist and writer here in Toronto.  His "Essex County Trilogy" was nominated for both a Harvey and Eisner award.  In 2008 he won both a Doug Wright and a Joe Shuster award.  The DC comics imprint Vertigo published his "The Nobody" graphic novel and his ongoing series "Sweet Tooth".  He has continued to work with DC on a number of other titles including a series of Atom adventures in "Adventure Comics", "Superboy", "Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.", "Animal Man",  and is now working on the "Justice League Dark" title.  He also has an upcoming story in Vertigo's "Ghosts" one-shot called "Ghost for Hire" with Geoff Johns. 
I contacted Jeff through his blog after I read the first volume of the Essex County Trilogy.  It is a great story and if you haven't read it I highly recommend it.  Growing up just outside of Toronto I thought the story was great and I love Jeff's artwork.  He hadn't done Sherlock before so he was excited to do the piece, and I was excited to see what he would do.  When I picked up the piece I was thrilled.  It is one of my favourite pieces and is one of the first pieces you see where I have them displayed. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dean Motter

1) The Martian Invasion, and 2) Evolution of the Detective
Dean Motter started in the comic industry in the late 70's here in Canada.  He has written and drawn a variety of comic titles including Batman, Superman, Star Wars, Grendel and Hellblazer.  But my absolute favourites were "Terminal City", "Electropolis" and especially "Mister X" (in my mind a very under rated series).  In addition to his comic work, Mr. Motter also worked for CBS Records Canada, and later his own studio, as an album graphics designer in which he was nominated for a number of Juno's and won.
When I contacted Mr. Motter about a Holmes commission he had a number of different ideas.  One was the first piece above hitting on the "War of the World's" theme.  He mentioned this idea of Holmes investigating the attack, and it sounded too good to pass up on.  Being a HUGE Mister X fan I was really interested in something with Holmes and Mister X together.  He came back with a couple of ideas, but this one with the other private eyes from his comics - Philip Marlow, Mister X and Menlo Park - sounded very cool.  Both pieces are stunning and did not disappoint.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sam Agro

1) The Band, 2) The Detective, and 3) The Fall
Sam Agro is a jack of all trades - writer, teacher, performer and most of all a GREAT artist.  He has done storyboard work for hundreds of animated shows including the Star Wars cartoons "Ewoks" and "Droids", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and one of my favourites "The Ripping Friends".  His comic book work includes DC's "Looney Tunes", the Cartoon Network's "Bloc Party" comics, and "Revolution of the Planet of the Apes". 
Sam did this great rendition of Holmes and the Speckled Band for me at a local convention back in 2004.  I would check in with Sam at the shows to see how things were going and a few years later he did this wonderful portrait of Holmes at 221b for me.  The time and detail he put into the piece is clearly shown.  And finally, about a year ago I had mentioned to Sam that I really didn't have anything with Moriarty, so he did this stunning scene from "The Final Problem".  It is the largest of the three and I'm sorry but the scan does not do it justice.