Framed

As English majors with creative writing backgrounds, Kelly and I are obviously fond of the written word, but our fondness for the visual arts doesn't always get as much attention. This is partly because it is often a bit more expensive to display one's fondness for a particular drawing, painting, or photograph than it is to do the same for a piece of text. Buying an original work of art can set one back quite a bit; prints and other replications are a good bit cheaper, but one still has to find the money to put it on display properly, whether by paying for framing, dry-mounting, or just the hardware to hang it on the wall. (We'll consider paying for the wall space a given.) 

Still, we're both longtime fans of one particular visual artform that we feel often gets short shrift: comics. Despite having collected a fair amount of comics-related art over the years of our marriage, we kept a lot of it in storage because of those added expenses for display. With the move to a new place, however, we decided it was time to invest a little cash, if only because we were really tired of looking at blank white walls. Here, then, is your look at some of the items we've hung up:

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This is a print of a sketch by Erika Moen and Steve Lieber, an homage to the famous woodcut by the Japanese artist Hokusai, "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife." Moen is the author of DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary , a fantastic comics memoir, and this print came as a bonus when I ordered the two volumes of DAR from her online store. (She's also the creator of the web's most refreshingly open, informative, and positive comic about sexual matters: Oh Joy Sex Toy. If there's anything you've ever wondered about sex--how to maintain a long-distance relationship, whether there's a better way to deal with menstruation than standard tampons, which vibrator packs the most bang for the buck, etc.--there's a decent chance OJST has dealt with it in at least some fashion, and that it's been dealt with in a manner that is frank, non-judgmental, and thoughtful.) We knew from the moment we saw this image that we wanted it in our bedroom, but not until we found the perfect dark-grey matting and simple black frame did we know exactly how to display it. Unfortunately, Movable Type seems determined to show it to you in the wrong orientation; the woman's head belongs at the lower left. If you click on the image, however, you'll be able to see it properly--and very close up.)

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A rather less daring picture is this, an original work by Thom Zahler, author of what is probably the only superhero-romance-sitcom comic on the market, the delightful Love and Capes. Like Kelly, Zahler is a fan of the 1990s TV show Due South, which put frontier-bred RCMP officer Benton Fraser (played by Paul Gross) in a police procedural with a bunch of streetwise Chicago cops. When our friend Carrie met him at a convention and asked for a sketch for Kelly, he pencilled, inked, and colored this beautiful sketch of Fraser and his lupine companion Diefenbaker, apparently from memory. And again, orientation is apparently something of an issue here. Click on the image and enjoy it as it's intended to be seen.

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Here we have a pair by the ridiculously talented Ursula Vernon, author of a myriad of comics and books ranging from the Hugo-winning Digger to the hugely popular Dragonbreath books to our household's recent favorite, Castle Hangnail. Knowing how much I love Ursula's artwork, Kelly bought a couple of pieces as a birthday present for me, but they were complex enough to make us despair about framing them. How can you find a frame to match images of lavender birds on a blue background chased with golden circuit diagrams? Well, as it happens, we stumbled across a pair of gold-colored frames with texturing that can only be described as baroque... and to everyone's surprise, they worked. (Also, to my surprise, these are oriented correctly.)

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Finally, there's this one: the first piece of art we ever got framed, side-by-side portraits of Edsel and Mirth from Matt Wagner's series Mage: The Hero Discovered. It has been on the wall of our bedroom since we got married, and it consists of two sketches Kelly got from Wagner when he visited Chapel Hill's Heroes Aren't Hard to Find comics shop. Mage was an important part of our early relationship, and not just because I kind of had the haircut worn by Mirth. Back when we were first dating, both Kelly and I were buying the series, so when she visited my apartment and accidentally spilled coffee on my copy of issue #6, she knew exactly what she'd done. She apologized profusely, but was expecting me to blow my top at this horrific violation of the collector's responsibility to another's collection. Instead, I calmly assured her that this was nothing to panic about, and I refused her offer to supply me with her copy. It was at that point, apparently, that she decided I might be a keeper.

So. Welcome to our walls. Try not to get a crick in your neck.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on October 3, 2015 4:38 PM.

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