NYCC 2022: Leaving The Con With Some New Batman Art

by Tom Smithyman

Going to a comic book convention – for me at least – is an exercise in finding original art. Published pages or covers, or even commissions, get me going and line the wall of my home office as well as the one I maintain for my day job. They’re a great conversation starter, but that’s not why I get them. I get them because they give me immense joy. (Sorry Marie Kondo!)

The first piece of original art I ever commissioned was from George Perez at the old Pittsburgh Comicon. I asked for a Batman because … well George Perez. Since then, nearly every piece I have has Batman on it somewhere, whether as the focus or somewhere in the background.

So at nearly every con I attend, I seek to add to my collection. (Much to the chagrin of my patient and understanding wife.) With such a wealth of amazing artists attending this year’s New York Comic Con, I tried to make the most of the weekend to expand my collection. I picked up a couple of published pages, but I will stick to the commissions here.

First and foremost, I was fortunate enough – with the help of the good folks at Cadence Comic Art – to get onto Werther Dell’Edera’s list for cover quality commissions. The artist known for Something is Killing the Children only took three for the weekend, so this was a huge score. I always let the artist choose the specific Batman costume and any other elements, but I thought that the Joker would make a great subject for Dell’Edera to include. He didn’t disappoint.

The Cadence Team also hooked me up with commissions from Marco Rudy and Francesco Manna. Manna chose to do a classic Batman standing on a gargoyle from hell. Rudy took inspiration from the opening credits of Batman: The Animated Series as the Caped Crusader is chasing down two villains.

Next was Miguel Mendonça, whom I knew of from his work on Justice League: Last Ride. He depicted a menacing figure diving into the rain.

I nearly missed out on Brian Level’s commission list. Luckily, the Silk Hills and Chained to the Grave artist was able to accommodate a last-minute request and deliver a scary Bats inspired by Kelley Jones, among others.

The last piece I was expecting to pick up was actually the first piece of this batch I commissioned – all the way back at NYCC ’21. Reilly Brown of Batman/Fortnight: Zero Point renown wasn’t able to finish the commission at last year’s show. But he threw in some extras, including great shading, which makes the whole piece pop.

Nick Dragotta, who drew East of West, was offering bust commissions on 4×6 paper for those who showed up early to his booth. He created a simple but ominous-looking Dark Knight.

Finally, as I was waiting for some interviews, I looked at some artwork from Emiliano Urdinola. I wasn’t familiar with the work from the Crossed and Deathrage artist, but was impressed enough to ask for a commission. He chose a classic blue costume – including the blue briefs – along with an eight-pack that would put any bodybuilder to shame.

Whew! Now I need to start saving for the next con!

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