Friday, September 14, 2007

Communication from Earth Brennert

I think it’s fair to say that when I first posted this splash page from the Australian edition Batman #2 I had no inkling I’d be upstaging myself by posting a signed copy from Brave and the Bold #182 within a few months - but then again, I also didn’t expect to receive an email with the subject heading “Communication From Earth Brennert” from none other Alan Brennert himself!

No doubt about it - the biggest fanboy moment of the year in the junkyard!

Alan happened across my blog and sent me a short note expressing thanks for the kind words, and that he was flattered to have his work compared favourably with Alan Moore, and that “Interlude on Earth-Two’ was due to be re-published in a new trade paperback (Batman: Secrets Of The Batcave, which has just been published a week or so ago). He also mentioned he’d keep an eye out for the Australian editions.

I was so chuffed to hear from Alan that I made a mental note to look out for a copy of Batman #2 as I did my usual rounds of scrapping through junkyards, defiling crypts and rummaging through dead letter offices - and sure enough I chanced upon a cheap copy soon afterwards. I was happy to pick it up and send it off to Alan, and he very kindly offered to send me a signed comic in return.

You never know what you’re going to get with a signature - I’ve seen plenty of neat and tidy dedications, but have also cringed at off-the-cuff scribbles and indecipherable smudges, or worse, thick texta marks indiscriminately placed over an image – in other words, I’ve seen plenty of covers disfigured by rushed and ill-considered signatures.

Of course, Alan was all class! As you can see above, signing the splash page (one of my favourite Jim Aparo splash pages!) on the panel border makes it a great piece of work to look at, and it now holds pride of place in my little burgeoning gallery of Fanboy Artifacts.

Compared to other collectors I have very few such pieces of signed or original comics-related mementoes – a couple of personally-signed comics by Grant Morrison and Warren Ellis; an original Batman page by Jim Aparo; a Love and Rockets lithograph signed by Gilbert Hernandez; a signed Sheldon Moldoff illustration of the Golden Age Batman; and a sketch from Michael Gilbert would be the highlights.

Naturally I wasted little time in emailing a scan to a few friends to bask in the glorious warmth of their envy… reckon I got sunburnt by a few of them…

Alan also sent me a hardcover UK Batman Annual which reprinted some of his work, and I’ll detail that one in a later blog.

Coda: A few evenings ago I met up with a local KGManiac for our semi-regular dinner and exchange of comics. On the back of my recommendation on the blog this fine fellow exercised good judgement and tracked down a copy of Brave and the Bold #182 for himself, and brought along his copy to show me. Unaware he was doing so, I had also brought along my newly-signed copy… Talk about one-upmanship! The irony was even more acute when we inspected his copy and found it came complete with indiscriminate pen scribbles in the margins of the first page…

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