For those who’ve never been to a comic book convention, one of the coolest hobbies you can pick up while attending them is getting yourself a sketchbook, bringing it around to a multitude of artists and having them draw their takes on some hero, character or theme. During my time at Wizard, I had a chance to ogle some of the coolest sketchbooks one could ever hope to view. Dave Paggi’s Lockjaw and Calvin and Hobbes sketchbooks were the collections of con doodles that first made me drool enviously and laugh hysterically. Matt Powell’s Saturday Morning’s Awesome sketchbook and Sean Collins’ “I wish I’d had a chance to see it in person” David Bowie sketchbook helped convince me that I had to get one of my own going.
I played around with a few ideas before settling on a sketchbook theme that I was really in love with—a series of art pieces I’d happily invest a few piles of cash on. However, the idea would likely call for a bit of extra work on each piece that would put it in the range of full-on commissioned art, potentially outside the “free-to-cheap” or even “moderately priced” range that most sketchbook illustrations fall into. So it was that my “Me eating food with comic characters” series of commissioned art (which I’m tentatively entitling “A Meal with Comics”) was put on hold. I was going to need a bit of a kick in the pants to start laying down dough on this collecting/commissioning project.
My metaphorical pants-kicking came when Dan Hipp, who’s recently been posting a series of brilliant and awesome pieces of art on his blog that I’ve been passing around via e-mail and Twitter to a series of people, advertised that he’d be taking on commissions for relatively cheap. I dropped Mr. Hipp a line with my commission idea and he kindly took on the project. The result was better than I could have hoped for and I’m calling it “A Pancake Dinner with Hellboy.” Bon appetit!
Pretty awesome, right?! The addition of Abe was all Dan, as was young Hellboy (Dan asked if “pancakes with Hellboy” should be with the young or old version of Mike Mignola’s paranormal investigator. I thought aged Hellboy would be funnier, but Dan tossed in Young Hellboy as well—I can only presume because he is far more rad than I expected.) and my Hulk shirt (A nod to another commission idea I initially put out there… stay tuned!)—simply, I’m amazingly happy with the piece. Thanks much, Dan, this is an above-and-beyond first entry to the series—you’re a hero, sir!
Folks, you can head to Mr. Hipp’s blog if you are interested in supporting this skilled artist. In short, this commission was a huge success. Huge.
Note: I messed with the contrast of the piece in Photoshop a bit to compensate for my mediocre scanner and, hopefully, to ensure the full and awesome effect of seeing this commission is achieved. Safe to say, the piece itself is far greater than my scanner can capture.
ALSO: Comics Alliance mentioned the piece in their link-compiling daily column. Huzzah!