My Favorite Comic Art of Last Year*
*Not that I read or helped create, just that I "collected." I'm awful.
Happy Friday, you.
Brian here, wondering if your January has been as relentless as mine? I’m not sure if it’s the looming possibility of a strike by WGA writers, but it feels like everyone out here is trying to get as much done as quickly as possible this year.
But here at Exploding Giraffe, I thought we’d slow things down just a bit, and take time to savor some quality artwork from a few of the finest creators in comics with another edition of…
Come Up and See My Etchings
In previous installments of this look inside my increasingly deranged collection of original comic book art, I’ve shown off work by industry legends (who happen to be women), a crazy amount of comics made by and about people from Cleveland, and still our most popular dispatch to date: NUDES! NUDES! NUDES!
Last year, I was fortunate enough to add a few new pieces to my walls, and I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you generous paid subscribers in The Tower. As thanks for indulging this somewhat troubling display, I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Pride of Baghdad: The Deluxe Edition to a randomly selected commenter on this lucky Friday the 13th.
It’s just signed by me, sadly, but if you’d like to own something signed by Pride co-creator Niko Henrichon (and start your own addictive hobby), gorgeous one-of-a-kind pages like this one are available to purchase directly from Niko’s representative at Essential Sequential:
And you Tower types are automatically entered in a chance to win a hand-painted page of Spectators art every month, so thanks again for being here, and for helping to underwrite our werid-ass graphic novel.
For the longest time, I was “living with bare walls, like I’m an assassin” to steal a great line from Shang Wang, but now that I’m in my extreme middle age, I suddenly love to stare at beautiful shit all day.
I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful than comic-book (or comic-adjacent) art, and in 2022, I “acquired” several new examples, including small ones like this haunting Post-It note by former Y: The Last Man cover artist Aron Wiesenfeld…
…and larger ones, like this absurdly detailed creation by Nick Pitarra for his upcoming creator-owned book Ax-Wielder Jon, a single page made by stitching together FOUR oversized comic art boards:
My most precious pages are always those gifted to me by friends and/or collaborators, but I’ll keep those private for the moment, and instead flaunt my TOP FIVE favorite pieces of comic art I got in 2022 the old-fashioned way (purchased with ill-gotten Hollywood blood money):
#5 - Crime SuspenStories #5 by Graham Ingels
Before Seduction of the Innocent ruined everything for a generation of mature readers, there was Crime SuspenStories.
You can probably figure out why I love this lusciously inked page from the story “Partially Dissolved” by “Ghastly” Graham Ingels (a native of Cincinnati, not Cleveland).
#4 - Action Comics #481 by Curt Swan and Frank Chiaramonte
First appearance of the Supermobile! And Curt Swan is my (everyone’s?) definitive Superman artist.
The issue’s writer Cary Bates was apparently forced to shoehorn this ludicrous invention into the story (which he did quite brilliantly) in order to promote the Corgi toy, which is not quite my Rosebud, but nonetheless a valued piece of my childhood…
…one lovingly recreated by McFarlane Toys a few years ago:
Uh-oh, adult man amassing toys alert!
Never fear, along with that signed Pride of Baghdad, I’ll also be giving away this nostalgic beauty (the McFarlane toy, not my sacred art) to one of you sophisticated commenters in this weekend’s Tower-only chat.
But first, another bit of comic-book history, and perhaps the most valuable image of a superhero ever drawn by a six-year-old child…
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