Friday, December 31, 2010

Marion Sitton : The Commissions

Over the years, Marion had done a handful of art commissions for me. It began back in 1998 when I initially sent him a photocopy collection of every comic book story he had ever done that I could locate. Marion had lost most of his existing copies of his work in a fire long ago, and during the discussions we had about his crime comics, I mentioned that it was a shame that the originals for his work didn't exist any longer, as I'd love to be able to see and own one myself. Marion wondered if Marvel, the company that Timely and Atlas eventually became, would have any of it and I explained that among the perhaps untold tens of thousands of pages produced for the company in the 1940's and 1950's, 99.5% of it was long ago destroyed, with a tiny handful surviving by virtue of accident or foresight on the part of an artist or worker. 

In a moment of inspiration, Marion told me he could re-do something for me easily. I immediately knew which it would be, choosing a splash page that had a great image in the first panel. This was the result. My apologies for any warpage or bright areas as they were taken with a digital camera:

#8085 Crime Exposed #4 p.1

Following the publication of Marion's interview in 2008, he again felt like doing some work and looking over his stories thought this would make a great page, and it did!

#7922 Amazing Detective Cases #5 (Mar51)

Followed by this:

#9920 Western Outlaws and Sheriffs #73

Then in early 2009 Michael Finn, a fan who had read Marion's interview in Alter Ego, contacted me and asked whether I thought Marion would do a "themed" commission for an idea he had in mind. This fan had a collection of artist commissions based on the idea that the image would be "one minute later" than the image on the original comic cover. Michael asked whether Marion could do one based on the Jack Kirby cover to RAWHIDE KID #20. Marion spent about 3 weeks mulling it over and came up with this, which actually takes place 5 seconds after the original cover scene:

RAWHIDE KID #20 (one minute later) [From the collection of Michael Finn]

Here are the two side by side for comparison:

On left: RAWHIDE KID #20 by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers; On right, "one minute later" by Marion Sitton

Seeing how well that turned out gave me an idea. Marion was still eager to work and I had run out of good splash images of his stories to recreate. I asked whether he'd consider recreating some other covers for me, in the manner of the Rawhide Kid cover, although they would be "straight" recreations.  Marion thought this fine and we decided the manner of the recreation would be not trying to exactly copy the original artist in question line for line, but instead treat it as if Marion was "inking" the work in his own style over the other artist's pencils.  With this idea set, Marion set out to work. I chose some of my favorite cover images and at the age of 89, Marion produced these:

HORRIFIC #3 (after Don Heck)

MISTER MYSTERY #12 (after Bernard Baily)

After completing those two above I then considered three of my favorite covers by my favorite Atlas artist:

UNCANNY TALES #26 (after Joe Maneely)

SIX-GUN WESTERN #2 (after Joe Maneely)

And one of my favorite covers of all time:

ASTONISHING #30 (after Joe Maneely)

And just for good measure, this eerie favorite:


To be continued.........

1 comment:

  1. WOW Doc! Great Commissions! Very impressed!
    (disregard the email address...I had to use a google account I had handy to post)