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Topic: The Brand You Trust - 04.07.2016 Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 7:36am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

11" x 17" illustration of Deadman with a cemetery background.  The details are:

- Neal Adams version of Deadman

- please display a tombstone with the name "Boston Brand"

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Dan Marcoux
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Wha’ Happened?

Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 7:38am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

In the Gallery, here:
http://www.artofjohnbyrne.com/gallery/commissions/commission s-
standard/
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Ari Shapiro
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Joined: 21 December 2009
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

That face....that face....pure gold! DC really has such a treasure trove of characters that they simply don't know how or are unwilling to utilize
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 8:47am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

DEADMAN is a no-brainer for a TV series…. love the concept… and I really wish JB had taken a shot at a monthly series featuring Boston Brand.

Congrats to the owner of this piece!

-C!
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 8:52am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I've wanted to see DEADMAN as a TV series since I read the comics in the Seventies. THE FUGITIVE with a twist!

Unfortunately, these days that twist -- soap opera stories with Boston Brand inhabiting the bodies of different people -- might remind viewers too much of QUANTUM LEAP.

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Marc Cheek
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Joined: 18 June 2014
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 9:04am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Nice!
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 9:08am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Hoo boy... the cemetery maintenance crew has gotten behind and I love the result.   So powerful and creepy.  Is that Gerry Conway's name in the upper left?  If so, it looks like he's gotten loose from his crypt (I didn't even know he worked on Deadman)!!  Maybe it's Steinway. 

Love the old tree on the right.   Your backgrounds have been particularly great lately.
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Brian Miller
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Joined: 28 July 2004
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'm quite surprised we've not seen him yet on one of the DC tv shows.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 9:24am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Those hands are damn near perfect. Ol' big John Buscema would have a hard time doing better than those!
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

No, I haven't offed Gerry Conway in this piece. That half hidden name is a very, very subtle in joke. My piano is a SteiNWAY, from their Boston Brand.

I kid you not!

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Sean Watson
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Joined: 24 June 2012
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 9:52am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

WOW!!!!

I agree with Ari that face is amazing. This is incredible!

Congrats to the commissioner.
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Steve Gumm
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Joined: 10 May 2004
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 10:35am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

WOW!!! indeed Sean!

Very strong piece!
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Tim O'Neill
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 10:49am | IP Logged | 13 post reply



Excellent, JB!


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Petter Myhr Ness
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Joined: 02 July 2009
Location: Norway
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 10:59am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Very nice!
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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Third post in- DC bash. Well, at least things here remain consistent...

In this case, however, I tend to agree insofar as the recent series have shown no understanding or insight into the character of Boston Brand. As originally written by Arnold Drake, he was a fully-fleshed out character; a good man doing the hard work of keeping the circus he's in alive. It's been left in the hands of the woman he loves and she's doing the best she can, but she's not nearly corrupt enough to command the respect of the roustabouts and criminals in her employ. Boston sees to it that everyone knows that they'll answer to him for any transgressions against the community outside of their petty, expected acts of larceny. He's arrogant as hell about his abilities and he's clearly hooked on the adulation of the crowd, but the circus does need him to be that good and to bring in the rubes. He's hard-edged and cynical about what he's doing, but he is doing it for everyone's benefit, most especially the woman he loves and largely keeps at arm's length for her own good.

Somehow, in the recent Brightest Day comics and his own title, that translated to the writers as him being a self-involved naif with no understanding of the world except that he's really good on the trapeze. Somehow the fine-tuning of his being a hard man in a truly corrupt world became him simply being a jerk and a half with everything to learn; A less worthwhile Firestorm with Rama Kushna as his Martin Stein.

The original Deadman suffered greatly for his supposed faults and questioned his fate of becoming a tool in the hands of a capricious diety to work her will upon the Earth, because through it all, he really had lived as a good man. And Rama knew it, yet did this to him anyway. This new version, not so much so. He's just a dim-witted punk. What the hell?

He's hardly been underutilized in the past ten years. Brightest Day relied heavily upon the character, getting it wrong throughout. Once again, I'm left wondering if it isn't the whole shared universe trope dragging everyone down again. In his own book or in his adventures alongside the Batman, Deadman could play the full, broad range of emotion available to a tragic hero. Now, he's just one guy in a crowd of dozens, with a few tin-eared character notes to play.

The evocative and effective portrait of Deadman JB's shared with us here makes me ache inside a little for what we've lost in the passage of time with these characters. They used to be the centers of fascinating, imaginative worlds and not simply costume designs in a field of similar costume designs. Deadman worked well alongside the Batman. Both were tinged with darkness and similar film-noir sensibilities. Batman's world was broad enough to allow for ghost stories, and Deadman's certainly respected men of tremendous athletic accomplishment set by tragic forces outside their control upon missions of righteousness. Even there, a little went a long way. There were ill-considered attempts to shoehorn Deadman into various series here and there such as the Challengers, the Forever People, and the Phantom Stranger reportedly because Carmine Infantino, who originated the character with Drake, knew he had something good here if he could just get the readers to see it. Those were some unfortunate comics, but they didn't ruin the character. Rewriting his history with the first Deadman mini-series didn't either since it kept every bit of the original, seeking to eliminate everything after and replace it with, well, some amazing Garcia-Lopez art and a backdated, Black Adam-style continuity-implant. Eh. Nothing much. 

Since then, we've had a Bruce Jones series that tried to give us an entirely new origin and identity; a Deadman in appearance only, a well-intentioned short-lived solo book, and a mini-series that tried to tie him even more closely to the larger DCU, taking its cue from a brief off-model guest-appearance in Moore's Swamp Thing that set him up as a guide through the afterlife for wayward souls. The Nu52 version is a know-nothing putz who completely has a miserable afterlife coming to him. 

It's not that DC doesn't try to bring back Deadman. It's that he's an awkward fit in a super-heroic context. Left to his own devices in stories all his own, he's among the best concepts modern comics have given us. As one more suit in a field of suits, he's literally insubstantial and a discordant ghost of what he once was.

I do love this drawing of him... It's like seeing an old friend, back from the dead. :-)


Edited by Brian Hague on 07 April 2016 at 11:48am
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I miss you most of all my darling when awesome leaves start to fall.... To misquote the song. But awesome leaves!

And an awesome graveyard to go with them. Very atmospheric piece.
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Andrew Bitner
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Joined: 01 June 2004
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 1:04pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

There are few places sadder than an untended and forgotten graveyard. "A fine and private place," indeed. Great image, JB!
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Joe Smith
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Joined: 29 August 2004
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 1:10pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I love JB's Deadman:
he's not a skinny vulture.
his costume,
the eyes....
I could go on ad infinitum.

No one, however, no one draws a graveyard like JB.
Ever since AF 13, sniff, sniff.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 107413
Posted: 07 April 2016 at 1:15pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

There are few places sadder than an untended and forgotten graveyard. "A fine and private place," indeed. Great image, JB!

••

When I was around five years old my parents decided to take me to the grave of my great grandfather (I don't know which) in a cemetery not far from where we lived in West Bromwich. It was broad daylight and not at all scary, but the place was long unattended and overgrown. I suspect I take much of my graveyard-scaping from that, even all these years later.

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Brad Hague
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 1:54pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

This is both brilliant and magnificent.
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 2:16pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Wow... that's very cool, JB. Clearly it left a very strong impression. Makes me think a bit of Neil Gaiman's THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, in its description of a very old and physically isolated graveyard that is neglected but not especially frightful. Just a quiet and overgrown place with quite a few funny-shaped stones nearly upright.

Seems like a fitting place for Boston Brand.
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Ryan Maxwell
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 4:43pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

JB, you are an absolute master of establishing mood in a single drawing, and you are a hell of an artist, too.  This would fit right in with Clint's collection, and I was surprised to not see a dedication to him.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 5:14pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Masterful!
Love the viewpoint.
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Rich Marzullo
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Joined: 13 January 2011
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Posts: 2071
Posted: 07 April 2016 at 6:06pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

That is amazing!
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 07 April 2016 at 8:18pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Deadman looks great, but that background is oo la la!
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