Waaaaay back in 1966, Donruss put out a set of Marvel Comics superhero cards featuring art from the comics with snappy new captions. Some are very funny, some are very stupid, and some make no sense because they were birthed in ’66 and it is now 2008 (translation: they’re dated).
I came across them by accident some time ago while surfing the interweb for Spider-collectibles. I thought they were fun, not too expensive, and small enough to hide from my wife. I have a couple and I’m looking to pick up a couple more.
After a while, I got the idea that these vintage images would make for some nifty Marvel swag. A line of high-end posters or prints based on ‘classic’ artwork. And not covers, either, something from the inside of a book. I think comic-sized prints might do very well, if they picked the right characters and the right images. A nice Kirby Captain America or Hulk or Thor or Fantastic Four or X-Men or Galactus or Silver Surfer…or you get the point, Kirby is a god. If Kirby’s not your cup of tea, I’d like to suggest a Ditko Spiderman or something from DC.
The fact that they haven’t done it yet tells me that somewhere at Marvel is a whole stack of focus group data demonstrating that I’m the only person who likes this idea.
At least that’s what I thought until Wizard World Texas.
One of the artists at WWTX was a guy named Jonathon Kimbrell. He was exhibiting some very cool, very large paintings of vintage comic characters in a pop/Warhol style. I like the images he’s chosen to work with on the superhero stuff, and I really dig the retro, screen print look of his work, which is something I find funny, because it was a very avant-garde presentation when Warhol did it back in the 60’s. They’re big graphics, 2ft x 2ft, which really makes a statement, mainly, that you like Spider-Man, or Captain America, or whomever you hang on your walls.
You can check out his work at www.jonathonkimbrell.com. (Google search: Jonathon Kimbrell or Napkin Art Studios) He has other pieces on his website and his blog and they’re pretty cool, too. I find I’m more attracted to his ‘collage’ type images than I am the paintings of rock (pop) stars. I think he’d be fun to watch mature as an artist and a printmaker.
Anyway, I’m posting a couple of images from his website here. All images copyright their respective owners and all.
Maybe I was wrong about there not being a market for the vintage prints.