Saturday, November 27, 2010

Package from New York 2!


, everyone still has plenty of turkey leftovers to enjoy. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I even got married around this time of year. In fact my wife and I just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary last Sunday. We were still in school (her 1st year grad and me last year under grad) at the time and got married at the beginning of the week-long break. Well, I've been itching to tell you about my latest package from New York for two weeks now and I thought this would be a fine time to celebrate (Plus, I really had to put out that Spider-Girl review last week as quickly as possible).

If you recall my last package from New York was from the legendary Herb Trimpe and that original artwork was funded by my Amazing Spider-man sale to Ted Levine of Superworld Comics at the Baltimore Comic-Con. Well after the influx of cash, one of the first things I like to do is troll the internet for affordable original artwork. Since I already had two great Trimpe commissions I was specifically looking for some original comic art from Herb and I stumbled across a site (sorry no link -- it's closed now) that showed the cover to Godzilla #17 redone by the legendary Fred Hembeck. I then jumped to Fred's site and discovered his amazingly reasonable rates (only $150 each + shipping) for classic cover redos.

Now, the tough part. What should I ask him to do? It had to be a piece he'd never done before (he redoes pieces but I wanted something unique). Unfortunately, my first two choices he'd already drawn: Avengers #181 and Journey into Mystery #108. Well, my main familiarity with Fred's work was the Fantastic Four Roast from 1982 and Fred Hembeck Destroy's the Marvel Universe. I really wanted to get the most characters on the cover as possible in case I only ended up getting one, so I decided on Fantastic Four #242.
This was a nostalgic pick for me as it was the very first John Byrne FF I bought. I remember someone showing me the scene where the Thing punches Terrax through several buildings at the Comic Book Club in middle school when I was in the sixth grade.

That's me on the far right at age 11. The girl Kim Lewey died after 7th grade. Check out the book the girl in the middle is holding: Bah, Hembeck! -- talk about coincidences...

I had just started going to a comic book store (to pick up the now direct only Micronauts) not too long before. I got #242 at a 7-11 most likely, but when I next went to the comic store (Nostalgia Plus) I got #243 AND Fantastic Four Roast. (Here's a funny redo of Fred's cover to that issue.) One of the neat things that Fred does is draw something special in the UPC box and I asked for him to show Willie Lumpkins with Reed's brain device, since #242 came out the same month as the Roast. Fred even did one better by making all of the guest stars on the bottom of the cover smiling, because you know they're thinking about the jokes their going to tell at the Roast. Here below is my original (I scanned it myself this time) and Fred's awesome redo.

(Click on the image to see it in detail.)

In order to save on shipping, I had asked Fred to send me a scan of FF#242 before he mailed it in case I wanted to commission another piece. After seeing this masterpiece, of course I ordered another one. Again I went for a nostalgic pick, selecting Star Wars #3. I bought this issue soon after seeing the movie at the 7-11 across from Petersburg General Hospital back in the spring of 1977. Boy, did I love that book (this was before videos folks and it was the best way to relive the movie). That cover still thrills me to this day. I asked Fred to highlight the joys of 7-11 and 1977 in the UPC box.

Fred didn't send me a scan ahead of time, which was great, because when I opened the package I couldn't stop smiling. Have you ever had the sensation where you can feel your mouth curling up at the corners even when you're not trying -- that's what was going on. I told Fred I was beaming!!! And after the week I had had that was quite an accomplishment. (The Lord's timing is perfect). Here below (again) is my original and Fred's fantastic redo.

(Click on the image to see it in detail.)

My wife innocently said that my two oldest daughters could do that. Ouch! I don't think she appreciates how much work it is to have your own style like that.

Not shown in the scans is Fred's signature, which is in a really classy style,
where he references the original artists and the date of the cover. The only problem was that his artwork wouldn't fit into my polyglass sleeves of my original art binder. I guess I'll have to buy frames for them -- they certainly need to be hung on the wall. I've already ordered a third piece, which I'm really excited about. I figure one day I'll have a whole gallery of Hembeck redos. Man, talk about cool.

Fred also included in his packaging a signed Mid-Ohio Comic-con poster that he did of Secret Wars #1 and a really nifty note.

I also purchased the THE NEARLY COMPLETE ESSENTIAL HEMBECK ARCHIVES OMNIBUS, which runs over 900 pages (only $20 + shipping).

I'm just over a third of the way through this massive tome and I LOVE IT!!! Fred is like the original comic blogger only he hand writes his commentary and draws it too! It's really outstanding and deserves a post of it's own to praise it. (You should have it for your private reading room Lee.)

Got a favorite comic cover? Can't afford the thousands to ten-thousands of dollars to buy the original artwork. Well a Hembeck Classic Cover Redo will suffice just as well! Get in line and go order one today -- my next one is on the docket already.


1 comment:

  1. Matthew-

    It has been in the private reading room (now called long term storage) since it's release!

    There was no way I was gonna miss this.