Tag Archive: Donato Giancola

The producers of the Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art series of books will be holding a three-day convention in Kansas City in May, featuring some of the top American and international fantasy artists.

“Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” will showcase 200 exhibitor booths featuring leading painters, sculptors, and digital illustrators, ongoing live art demonstrations, educational panels, guest interviews, a documentary film program, and portfolio reviews by art directors for Tor Books, DC Comics, Blizzard Entertainment, and other firms who will be scouting for new talent.

The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess

The five headliners for the show are Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy), Andrew Jones (Industrial Light and Magic, Nintendo), Ian McCaig (designer for Star Wars: Episode 1, Terminator 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Brom (World of Warcraft, Van Helsing, Galaxy Quest), and Phil Hale (world-renowned fine artist).

This is a rare opportunity for burgeoning artists and fans of fantasy art to interract with successful artists, illustrators and creators, including some of the people who have brought Batman, Harry Potter, Darth Maul, Conan the Barbarian, Alien, and John Carter of Mars to life on book covers, in comics, video games, and on TV and film.

Obi-Wan Kenobi by Dave Dorman

By advance sign-up, artists will be having portfolio reviews by talent scouts from various publishers, including Mark Chiarello (DC Comics), Irene Gallo (Tor Books), Jeremy Cranford (Blizzard Entertainment), Jon Schindehette (Wizards of the Coast), Lauren Panepinto (Orbit Books), Daren Bader (Rockstar Games), Zoë Robinson (Fantasy Flight Games), Sarah Robinson (Paizo Publishing), and Dawn Rivera-Ernster (Walt Disney Animation Studio).

Joan of Arc by Donato Giancola

The list of artists selected to appear in Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Volume 19 will be announced at the awards ceremony at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri on May 19th, 2012 as part of the show, the first time.

Memberships are $20 for one day and $40 for all three days.  The event is focused on adult audiences, including artists and art retailers and distributors, however, anyone may attend the show, including panel discussions by the featured artists listed above, as well as Charles Vess, Gregory Manchess, and James Gurney.  Several films will screen during the event, including including Doctor Rossum’s Prodigal Son, the directorial debut of artist Frank Cho, who has work featured in the new Spectrum 19 book.  Artists selling works at the show include Donato Giancola (myriad works), Dave Dorman (Dark Empire), Julie Bell (Conan), and Craig Elliott (Hercules, Mulan) (all featured in the new Spectrum 19 book), as well as Boris Vallejo (myriad works), Mark Schultz (Xenozoic Tales), Gary Gianni (Batman: Black and White), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jason Palmer (Star Trek, Lost in Space), and hundreds more.

C.J. Bunce



Thinking about yesterday’s release of the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey prompted me to pull off the shelf one of the best book adaptations I have read.  And so we’ll start with a year-long series on Hobbit-y things to do while waiting for next December’s film release.

For starters, reading the original J.R.R. Tolkien books of The Hobbit and the three The Lord of the Rings books would be a good plan.

Absent that, The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic, is a stunning graphic novel book, both for conquering such a large volume of story and for creating some of the best fantasy art to appear in any work.  The book was adapted by Charles Dixon with Sean Deming, but the notable effort is from illustrator David Wenzel.  Originally published by Eclipse Books in three volumes in 1989 and 1990, years before Peter Jackson’s movies, The Hobbit graphic novel is a stunningly well-done companion to the Lord of the Rings films, even if Jackson hadn’t moved forward with the new Hobbit movie.

The Lord of the Rings has never otherwise been adapted in comic book form, and so it is a rare pleasure to encounter a visual adaptation of The Hobbit that is known for being so faithful to the original novel.  The current softcover printing was created by painter Donato Giancola, who we met this year at Comic-Con in San Diego:

Donato Giancola showing us a print of his cover for The Hobbit graphic novel at Comic-Con in July 2011

There is probably not a better way than this graphic novel to get “reluctant readers” excited about reading, and to get them to delve into the world of the Tolkien stories.

Considering this following page is probably the “least” of the offerings in the book…

Why the “least”?  Only because there is so much content to cram into this 134 page edition, even though every major plot point is deftly handled, much is left to be told to us, as opposed to being shown to us–this page is one of the few left to pile in a lot of information.  But compare that to more sweeping visual treats such as this:

… or this:

Not unexpectedly, several scenes in the new trailer appear to come straight from this adaptation (although there are only so many ways to visually depict some of the classic scenes from the original work).

Compared to other storytellings out there this work is worth reading–I have bought it as a gift for relatives over the years who like both high fantasy and comics.

Check out artist David Wenzel’s website to purchase prints of selected scenes from the graphic novel.

To learn more about professor and artist Donato Giancola, check out his website here.

C.J. Bunce



Starting Monday, September 12, Heritage Auctions will be holding an auction in Beverly Hills, from the estate of comic art and rare book collector Jerry Weist, who passed away on Jan. 7 of this year.  Weist published the Comic Art Price Guides discussed here earlier.

The sale includes science fiction and fantasy art, rare first-edition books, movie posters, fanzines, pulp magazines, and comic books, many in high grades.  Weist was known as a collector with access to writers and artists and he was able to amass a unique collection of rarities.  His collection was formed by replacing prior copies of works with better condition copies, resulting in some very fine examples of first edition genre books.

Included are one of a kind artworks by Frank Frazetta, J. Allen St. John, Frank R. Paul, Wally Wood, Virgil Finlay, Alex Schomburg, Chesley Bonestell, Richard Powers, Frank Kelly Freas, Donato Giancola, and many more paintings by top genre artists.

The featured art includes this 1996 Frank Frazetta work that was used as a cover to a paperback Ray Bradbury short story collection.  Titled Tomorrow Midnight, it is estimated to sell between $40-60,000.

At the top of this article is Donato Giancola’s Stars Blue Yonder, a paperback cover painting, expected to sell for $4,000-6,000.

Vincent di Fate’s Future at War, also used for a paperback book, is another stunning piece being auctioned.

The original cover art to Weird Fantasy #17, drawn by Al Feldstein, is expected to sell for more than $18,000, and is a pristine example of early 1950s comic art.

The volume of key science fiction and fantasy books include many first editions, inscribed copies by major authors, including H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Connie Willis, and Philip K Dick.

Also for sale are pulp magazines, comic books, 1950s science-fiction movie posters, and fanzines.

The auction will be held at Heritage’s Beverly Hills offices on Sept. 12.  See this link to Heritage Auctions for more details.

C.J. Bunce



The last day at Comic-Con!  What’s that mean?  Making sure you get to every last booth and panel you want to see, buying that last comic book or art page, getting that last autograph, and more great costumes.

I collect comic book sketches and it wouldn’t be a con without adding a new one.  This year Patrick Scullin sketched me this great classic Green Arrow.  Thanks, Patrick!


Donato Giancola, fantasy artist extraordinaire, was selling limited edition compilations of his work and beautiful prints.  You probably know him best from his painting that was used as the cover of The Hobbit graphic novel–the only Tolkien illustrated adaptation out there.  Great stuff and a great guy!

Everyone’s favorite wookiee attended the convention this year again–Peter Mayhew was signing autographs at his booth.

Superb comic artist Frank Cho (University squared, Liberty Meadows, Marvel, etc.) and Joe Keatinge (background) unveiled their new series coming in 2012–Brutal

Check out that punch, and that’s no guy’s arm!  They actually showed me the details Friday but I swore not to post until the public unveiling.  Promise kept!  Cho walked me through some original pages and cover art going to France for a gallery sale.  Stunning pieces.  But no Brandy art for sale–he’s keeping those (wouldn’t you?).  The REALLY big news?  Frank said the rights to Liberty Meadows reverted to him!  So if he can just get through all his other projects we may see Liberty Meadows start up again someday.

Note to self:  When I get older and gray(er), keep coming to Comic-Con!  Check out this great Ben Kenobi:

And Comic-Con is not just for adults.  These kids at the DC Comics booth had great outfits.  That Speedy outfit looks like he came out of the classic Neal Adams series.

And you might be saying “enough Green Arrow already” but here’s a great Smallville Green Arrow costume.  This guy made it by hand in three weeks.  Nice work!

Here, Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: TNG’s Counselor Deanna Troi) appears to be sizing up Rod Roddenberry at the Lightspeed booth.

And one last pilgramage to flip through the stunning original art of the late, great Michael Turner at the Aspen booth:

I also got to meet comic book writer Jai Nitz, who has written for Marvel, DC Comics, Image, Disney and Dynamite, including Kato Origins, Green Hornet:  Parallel Lives, and Tron: The Betrayal.  With all the comic book artists at Comic-Con, you don’t see all that many writers at this venue.  So great to meet up with Jai!

More news from Comic-Con coming this week.

C.J. Bunce



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