Friday, September 9, 2016

2014 Green Lantern Guy Gardner Comicpalooza convention sketch by Oliver Banks

Here's another entry from the "I'm A Terrible Art Patron" series. When I first started doing jams at Comicpalooza two years ago, it was a total free for all where I was running multiple boards all over the floor without much forethought. I wanted to do something with Justice League International, so when the artist Oliver Banks said he only did full figure commissions, I figured he should just go ahead and start his own board. Since this would be a central figure and Banks had a cartoony style, it seemed a safe bet to get my favorite JLI member (though I hasten to add not my favorite hero who was a JLI member, an important distinction.) During my big plunge into DC Comics around the Zero Hour event, I got really into the Warrior series by Beau Smith & Mitch Byrd, making once and future GL corpsman Guy Gardner my favorite super-hero for, eh, four to six months there. The worm turned once Byrd left the book and a rotating selection of artists finally settled on Marc Campos (and a Jack Burton meets Indiana Jones vibe settled on "what if Ben Grimm got the Venom symbiote." Which sounds better than it played out.)

Anyway, I think Banks did a great job capturing the character and launching the jam, but promptly misplaced his business card and forgot his name. Heck, I'm not even 100% sure I got the piece at Comicpalooza, since Space City & Amazing Con followed in quick secession to form a blur in my zeal. I could probably triangulate by date, since a scan simply titled "guy" has sat in a folder on a thumb drive since Saturday ‎May ‎31st of ‎2014 ‏‎at 2:32:44 A.M. I kind of wish I'd done another scan to make the blacks richer, but instead of second guessing my self of 2014, I'm going to assume contrasting would have washed out the gray tones too much. When I finally unveil the completed jam on the projected schedule of 2027 A.D. based on my established pace, I'll work that out.

Moving along to the following year, I ran into the Bankses (his delightful wife accompanies him at shows) and got a new card, which I did nothing with for yet another year. As both sit in front of me now, I have to repect his progress from a simple Spider-Man silhouette and a single piece of contact information to a two-sided full color work featuring the iconic shot of (Banks as) Finn from The Force Awakens removing his stormtrooper helmet under the desert sun, plus seven separate contact resources. It's among the best of the stack of business cards I've now bundled together to try (sometimes still in vain) not to lose track of who did what on art pieces I haven't effectively promoted. Plus I've got a whole other jam piece by Banks that I still need to run. That's why I stuck with the Aliens 30th Anniversary single artist commissions this year, so I can stop sucking at giving these excellent artists a more proper (and timely) forum!

Oliver Banks

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