But is it Art?

Hell yes it is! Here's a shot of my birthday gift to myself from last year...a page of original art by Darwyn Cooke from his phenomenal comic book DC: THE NEW FRONTIER (page 354 in you Absolute Edition, keeds!). If I had to make a list of my top favorite comics of all time, NEW FRONTIER would rank somewhere in the top five...and Darwyn Cooke would warrant a similar placement on a list of my favorite creators. All of which makes me pretty thrilled to own this piece. I don't buy a ton of original art...wall space in the house is pretty limited, and, well, I'm cheap. But I figured if I was ever going to bite the bullet and lay out some cash, this was the time to do it.

A few notes about the presentation...the piece arrived unlettered, but I really wanted to have the word balloons filled if it was going to hang on the wall. I initially wanted to place a clear sheet of acetate with just the lettering printed on it above the art inside the frame, but my printer didn't have any transparent sheets large enough to cover the entire image. I briefly considered lettering it myself (a discipline at which I'm at least fairly adept), but quickly came to my senses. Finally, I decided to print the words within the balloons onto a separate sheet of paper, cut them out, and affix them with just the slightest amount of archival adhesive. I can almost hear the tightening of fanboys sphincters everywhere...including my own. Still, it looks good now...I suppose time will tell if I made the right choice.

Had it framed at Michael's for just under a hundred bucks...UV protected, glare-free glass, which makes a bigger difference than I thought it would. Happy birthday to me!


Anonymous said...

That is pretty awesome Rob. I always avoid buying things like that because I know once I give in I'm screwed. I will point out the only prints I've ever even purchase are Rob Ullman originals!

Also, I think it would have been awesome if you lettered it yourself. I mean who did you buy it for and why? It surely would not have devalued it to me.

Neil said...

You've gone and done it now. One piece it all it takes to start a full-on addiction. I know. :)

Good thinking on not doing your own lettering. Your solution was a much better alternative. Another option is to dry-mount the page from the comic book and frame it along with the original. That way, you get the words, colors, sound effects, etc. Here's one that I did that way.


Kris Black said...

That's awesome. I like the lettering on it. It makes it more enjoyable.

If you really want it lettered you could get John Workman to do it on the artwork if he's at Heroes Con next year. Just a thought.

Hell, you could go as far as getting Laura Martin to color it with colored pencils too.

Percy Trout said...

Yow! If I can be nosey... how much did something like this set you back?

Keath said...

An awesome gift my man! My wife graciously allowed me to treat myself to an original Phil Noto painting this year. It makes an interesting contrast to the old Bill Vigoda Archie pages I have on my wall :)

Robert Ullman said...

"Yow! If I can be nosey... how much did something like this set you back?"

No problem, man...it was $275, and I bought it from Albert Moy's website. I found the service to be a little...frosty...but there's a ton of great art available over there, and it's definitely worth checking out.

Percy Trout said...

$275. That seems quite reasonable.

Michael Dooney said...

Nice, I miss the "lettering on the page" days of original art myself.
I've seen a lot of Moy's New Frontier pages at cons and am always tempted. A couple are fascinating in that Cooke printed out actual photos of some things in blue right on the board and then inked them Cooke-style so it looks like he drew them from scratch. I remember a White House crowd scene in particular was done that way.

Shon Richards said...

That is a beautiful piece. Congratulations on it. Nice job on the lettering too, I wouldn't have noticed it was yours if you hadn't mentioned it.

Ben D said...

Have you had much framed at Michael's? I usually use our local frame shop, but they're and arm and a leg, especially with the UV Glass, etc. I've been tempted to try Michael's but have always been leery of leaving a one of a kind at a chain store.

Robert Ullman said...

Michael: I've actually used that technique myself a few times in my day...an artist muc better thn I once told me "never draw what you can trace from a photo"!

Shon: In the interest of full discosure, it's not my lettering, but the computer font that was used in the actual book. I made sure the line breaks, kerning, etc. was dead-on, but I don't think anyone's gonna be mistaking me for Todd Klein anytime soon!

Ben: Yeah, I usually try to support the local guys too, but with something like framing, where the difference is 60-80 bucks...I'm just too weak to resist! To their credit, Michael's usually does a really good job, and according to someone I once knew who worked in the framing dept., they pay okay, so I can justify it to myself!