Saturday, May 5, 2012

Boston Comic Con 2012: Francis Manapul Commission

Behold this Francis Manapul commission of Supergirl from last month's Boston Comic Con. What a great piece, done in 30 minutes as I watched and waited, done entirely with paintbrush and water color. Unbelievable.

My initial plan to get a Manapul commission seemed derailed early on when a large crowd congregated at his table awaiting his arrival early on the first morning. At the time, I thought Manapul would take a list of commissions to do over the course of the day and given the crowd I thought I had no chance.

And each time I walked by his table, he was mobbed. So I kept waiting and waiting.

Late on Saturday, with about 2 hours left in the show, the crowd thinned out such that I could actually catch sight of Manapul at his table (painting away) and I decided that now was the time to get my comics signed and meet him. It turns out that Manapul does commissions as he goes, meaning he doesn't take a list. He simply paints as he goes. He asked me if I wanted a commission and stunned, I said yes. He handed me a 'Last in line' sign! Talk about lucky.

Francis Manapul is one of the nicest creators I have met. As I waited, I watched him paint 2 unbelievable commissions: The Pied Piper and the current t-shirted Action Comics Superman. These were big pieces, unbelievably detailed, fantastic. And while painting, he talked to the fans at length about anything and everything - the Flash, the rogues, the NBA, the NHL, the Detroit Lions, his approach to art -everything.

With the clock ticking, I finally got to the head of the line and he started this piece. And while Manapul painted, I talked with him mostly about the Legion, his run with Jim Shooter, and what he would do if he was on the book again.

And 30 minutes later I had this fantastic piece in my sketchbook.As he put the brush down, the convention organizers announced the doors were closing. I barely had time to thank Manapul for this great great piece of a beautiful Supergirl flying with the doves over Metropolis. I loved Manapul's idyllic art on the Superboy issues of Adventure Comics and this commission evokes that same clarity and purity.

I feel lucky and happy to have this piece in my collection!

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