The 2011 Boston Comic Con was earlier this month and I was lucky enough to get several commissions for my collection. This Matt Wagner commission might be the steal of the weekend for me.
With the recent kerfluffle over commissions, I have to say that my sketch books are really a treasured part of my comic collection. Once I ran out of space on my basement wall, I switched to gathering commissions in a sketch books. I have 2 books running, just a way to let me get multiple commissions at the same time. Approaching the artists, chatting with them about their work, and getting a commission is so cool for an aging fanboy like me. Now I sometimes happily thumb through my books looking at all the sketches I've obtained. It is pretty clear when I go to an artist for a sketch that I am not going to turn around a sell the commission. They have my collection literally in their hands.
As I have said before, I have three categories of artists that I try to get commissions from for my collection. The first is anyone who has some meaningful history with Supergirl (such as Jim Mooney, Jamal Igle, Eric Jones, or Rich Buckler). The second is anyone who I think has a unique style of art that might not usually be associated with Supergirl (like Sean Phillips or Alex Maleev). Lastly, of course, I am to get commissions from artists whose work I really love (just about everybody in my collection). You can imagine that many artists fall into more than one category. I love Jamal Igle's work and he has a Supergirl connection.
Matt Wagner falls into the third category. I am not only a fan of his art but also his writing. Sandman Mystery Theater and Madame Xanadu were all great series Wagner has written. And sometimes Wagner does both the writing and the art on a series such as Mage, Grendel, Faces from Legends of the Dark Knight, and Trinity. I have always thought his style is just a solid, telling the story efficiently with a retro-sort of feel.
So on the first day I approached Wagner and he put me on his list for Sunday. I was dumb-founded when he handed me this sketch back. It is just awesome. Action poses are pretty rare in my collection (I leave the pose up to the artist) and this is just classic Wagner so it is just special. Add the layers of gray tones and the red and you have a perfect commission. It is pieces like this that make me continue to get commissions. Hopefully I thanked him enough in person. But if not ... thank you Matt Wagner.
I have to say that it was Wagner's treatment on Wonder Woman in the excellent Trinity mini-series ( and elsewhere that made me confident that he would do a great Supergirl. I loved his Wonder Woman throughout this book.
I always find it hard to 'rank' my commissions but this one is definitely in the upper echelon. Just spectacular.