Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

John Alvin exhibit at ArtInsights

This just came in from Leslie. ArtInsights is a nice gallery out in Reston - they've got a lot of cool things on the wall. For example, last time when I was reviewing Chiarello's Negro Leagues show, I saw an original Snow White cel. Cool stuff.

In addition to the following PR, Leslie writes that she's put some video interview footage on the web as well:

Here are the links to the 4 segments of the John Alvin interview:

and I think they got a young hipster to set up a myspace page.


December 10th, 2008

Leslie Combemale


Reston, VA - ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery, one of the only three galleries worldwide to represent original art of top cinema artist John Alvin, has curated a show of original art highlighting the career of the famed illustrator, who died unexpectedly on February 6th of this year. The art is representative of his estate, and includes graphite concept and mixed media originals, as well as limited editions and interpretive works from a variety from the over 200 movie campaigns on which he worked. In addition to Star Wars, art from Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, The Lion King, Blade Runner, Darkman, Mulan, Dragonheart, Band of Brothers, and other film campaigns he influenced, on will be in the show. There will be art available for purchase. The exhibit will be on display through February 6th.

John Alvin is responsible for some of the most famous movie posters from the last 30 years, including E.T., Blade Runner, The Lion King, and Young Frankenstein, as well as more than 130 other films. He created art for numerous Star Wars film promotions and events. "The sale of art by John Alvin has very much effected the popularity of celebrity and film inspired art in the fine art market. John's career has influenced many of the illustrators and cinema artists working today, as they themselves will tell you", says Michael Barry, co-owner of ArtInsights. "He was collected by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Mel Brooks from the beginning of his career." His partner, Leslie Combemale, adds, "In the years we worked with John, we became close friends, but our respect for his place in film art history also continued to grow. We are sad for his loss as a friend, and as an artist. We are so proud and honored to have this retrospective of his career in our gallery." As part of the tribute, there is also an interview conducted by Leslie Combemale filmed in 2007 that is being released for the first time. Ms. Combemale says, "I never thought it would be the last interview he would do. John and I just did it for fun. We are putting the interview on YouTube so the greatest number of fans and film lovers can see it."

John Alvin worked as an illustrative artist in the film industry for over 35 years. He came into prominence by creating the art for the poster for Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles in 1974. He went on to design art for many films including E.T, which won the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards grand prize, and is the only movie art honored with the Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films. He has created more images for Spielberg films than any other single artist, including the poster art for "Empire of the Sun", "The Color Purple", "Always", "Jurassic Park", and, of course, "E.T". He also created a lot of specialized work for George Lucas and the "Star Wars" saga. Mr. Alvin's "Star Wars Concert" and "Star Wars Tenth Anniversary" posters are among the most collectible Star Wars art on the market today. Additionally, the Smithsonian Museum exhibited Alvin's "The Phantom of the Paradise" as one of the best posters of the 20th century. Later in his life he created exclusive images of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Alien, and Predator, among others, that were used for limited editions. John Alvin's name belongs to a short list of cinema art masters whose works have become icons in Hollywood's history.


ArtInsights, established in 1994, is a privately owned gallery located in Reston Town Center, in Virginia. With their collaboration with John Alvin, they added the art of the cinema to their specialization of creating and developing collections of animation art from Disney, Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbera, and all other major studios. With more than 30 combined years of experience in the animation art field, owners Michael Barry and Leslie Combemale work closely with individuals and corporations to ensure the integrity of their collections. ArtInsights is Virginia's only animation gallery and is the only gallery in the Washington Metropolitan area authorized to represent Warner Bros. and Hanna Barbera animation art to the public. They also have exclusive rights to sell original illustrative art by Harry Potter book cover artist Mary GrandPre, Heroes of the Negro Leagues artist and DC Comics art director Mark Chiarello, and Marguerite Henry and Phantom Stallion book cover artist John Rowe.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Zadzooks on Star Wars video game

Zadzooks seems to be bouncing all over the Times lately so I keep missing it. Here's the latest which is videogame animation and the adaption into a comic book - "ZADZOOKS: Star Wars, The Force Unleashed review," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Monday, September 15, 2008.

Online is "Bennett's Best for the week of September 14," By Greg Bennett, Zadzooks blog September 18 2008 in which the Big Planet owner recommends two comics, one of which I've never heard of and the other is a cheap attempt to cash in on current events that DC should be commended for. Like Dell in the 1960s - give the people what they want, even if it is Gunsmoke adaptations!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Zadzooks on videogame with minor comics tie-in and ill-fitting Star Wars characters

For info on some videogame called Soulcatcher IV, the DC comic book that comes with it, and the weird fact that you can have Darth Vader in your game, see "ZADZOOKS: Swords cast world into strife," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Thursday, August 28, 2008.

We also have Bennett's Best online - I looked at the Superman 3-D Final Crisis and put it back. If I made a mistake, somebody let me know.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday's papers

The NY Times continues to be the paper of comic art, with at least four new articles:

"From Trash to Auction, Faster Than a Speeding ...Well, You Know," By GEORGE GENE GUSTINES, New York Times June 30, 2008 is on collecting original comic book art.

"In China, Jeers and Cheers for ‘Kung Fu Panda’," By DAVID BARBOZA, New York Times June 30, 2008.

"Free to Follow His Heart Right Back to 'Star Wars'," By DAVE ITZKOFF, New York Times June 29, 2008 on the coming Clone Wars cartoon movie.

"Google and Creator of 'Family Guy' Strike a Deal," By BROOKS BARNES, New York Times June 30, 2008.

and a local article, "DVD Review: 'Futurama: Beast With a Billion Backs'," by Rudi Greenberg, Express June 30 2008

Friday, September 21, 2007

Geppi's Entertainment Museum news

The Star Wars exhibit is extended until early October - GEM reports, "The Force™ is with Us: 30 Years of Star Wars® opened June 23 and will run through October 7, 2007 due to overwhelming response. Geppi’s Entertainment Museum at Camden Yards is located at 301 W. Camden St., Baltimore, MD 21201. For additional details log on to or call 410-625-7060. Group tours are welcome, and admission is free to museum members."

Remember, they're having the launch of Arnold Blumberg's zombie book soon too. Everyone who reads this blog semi-regularly or more should visit this museum.

Also, they've made a promotion from within, which I reprint without comment:


Date of release: Sept. 17, 2007

Melissa Bowersox named executive VP at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum

BALTIMORE – Melissa Geppi Bowersox has been appointed executive vice president at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum at Camden Yards (a k a “GEM”). Previously, Bowersox served as director of Events & Special Promotions for the 17,000-square-foot pop culture mecca, providing critical expertise during the museum’s pre-launch and first year of operation.

In her new role, Bowersox will lead a team of experienced professionals in developing new programs and special events while at the same time overseeing both permanent and changing exhibits. Bowersox said an important goal is spreading the word to civic groups, schools and the travel and tourism industry that Baltimore has added yet another world-class museum to its atmospheric landscape – one that appeals to all ages.

“We have the location, the exhibits and the support of the community,” Bowersox said. “My goal is to raise GEM’s profile so it is recognized not only locally, but also on a national and international level as an outstanding destination for families, students and tour groups.”

Bowersox has had a lifelong passion for pop culture and her native Baltimore. The daughter of GEM’s founder and CEO, Stephen A. Geppi, she began working in the “family business” at age six. “In the early days, my dad had a comic book shop in the basement of a TV repair shop in one of the city’s suburbs,” Bowersox said. “I would go in on weekends, sweep up or count comic book bags, which used to sell for 100 for a dollar – someone had to count the bags. Even as I got older, I continued to work at his retail shops, eventually being ‘promoted’ to working behind the counter, handling subscription orders and assisting the customers.”

As her father’s commercial ventures grew and prospered, Bowersox was always there to pitch in and do her part, whether it was working summers in the back of the warehouse, collating orders for Geppi’s Diamond Comics, or later working as a receptionist for another Geppi firm, Diamond International Galleries.

Bowersox is particularly proud that she represents the first of the Geppi children to join her father’s businesses in an executive capacity. “I know that it was always my dad’s fondest wish that one of his children would want to be involved in his businesses, but he would not have thrust it upon anybody,” Bowersox said. “He wanted us to come to him and let him know if we were interested.” Bowersox recalled that the right moment came in February when she represented the Geppi companies at a major comic book industry event, the New York Comic-Con. “I saw all the people I recognized from my youth when I was working for my dad. I saw the excitement in their faces when they realized that a younger Geppi was involved now, and I realized the timing was perfect. I invited my dad to lunch and told him what I wanted to do, and he said, ‘This is what I’ve been waiting to hear. You’ve just made my day.’”

Steve Geppi remarked, “We are very pleased to have Melissa taking on these new duties at GEM. We look forward to her continued enthusiastic efforts to get the word out about the museum, its facilities, and what we have to offer.”

GEM’s president, John K. Snyder Jr., praised the patient, lifelong course Bowersox has followed en route to her new position with the museum. “Melissa has spent years studying the whole foundation of collecting, interacting with the people who collect and learning how the element of emotion fits into the hobby,” Snyder said. “She’s an idea person, very much like her father. She has taken the knowledge she acquired during the time she spent working in the gallery and watching how her father does things, and is now eminently capable of moving into this high-level position. She spent her time in the arena of learning – it was a baptism of fire, so to speak. Now she’s getting her chance and bringing in a fresh approach that we all wholeheartedly welcome.”

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is located at Baltimore’s world-famous Camden Yards, immediately adjacent to Oriole Park and across the street from the Baltimore Convention Center. Its displays are arranged in a timeline fashion, incorporating pop-culture memorabilia from the late 18th century through contemporary times. Among the many characters permanently “residing” at GEM are Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Howdy Doody, Betty Boop, Hopalong Cassidy, Elvis Presley and the original hand-made prototype of G.I. Joe.

To learn more about GEM, log on to Tel. 410-625-7060 or

Friday, June 22, 2007

Star Wars exhibit opens at Geppi's Entertainment Museum

A few days ago I was lucky enough to attend the opening of a Star Wars toys exhibit at Geppi's museum in Baltimore. I'm not a Star Wars aficianado although I'm the right age to be one, but it was fun to see Thomas Atkinson's collection and hear about how he turned his whole house into a museum. I was hoping to get a few pics up, but my friend who accompanied me still has them. You can see some pics and get some details at the Scoop site here and here.

Geppi's museum is awesome. There's a fantastic selection of material on display. Original comic strips, movie posters, a whole room devoted to comics and Big Little Books, a ton of historic comic memorabilia from the Yellow Kid, Buster Brown and others... it's well worth seeing.