Last week a Detective Comics No.27, in good condition, published in 1939 sold at auction for $1,075,500.00. The reason the price was so astronomical? Detective Comics No. 27 was the first appearance of Batman.
As high as that number is, Batman is worth much more than that to me. Batman gave me a career.
The first thing my parents remember me drawing was Batman, the first thing I remember drawing was Batman. If you went to grade school with me, the first thing you probably remember me drawing was Batman.
I got caught up in comics and superheroes because of the Caped Crusader. The mixture of line, color and splashes of type fascinated me. The design of how a page flowed, the use of different fonts, the mix of visuals and the printed word had a profound impact on how I saw things graphically.
Then, I thought it was just cool. I learned all the artists by name: Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Wally Wood, Gil Kane, Gene Colan and too many more to mention. I could, and still can, tell you not only who drew the art, but who inked , colored and lettered the comic just by seeing just one panel of it. Later my tastes grew to include Rembrandt, Leonardo, Durer and others as my favorite artists.
I knew I wanted to be an artist very early on, I also knew that being a comic book artist wasn’t for me. Why? I can’t draw vehicles, not great with machinery rendering, had no problem drawing Batman, the Batmobile is a different story.
So illustration and graphic design became my passion in college. I could still use my skill as an artist but also use my love of type and layout and how it communicates to an audience. Don’t get me wrong, I still had the burning desire to paint and live at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City and eventually get discovered by some snooty gallery and become famous… but hey, I’m a Greene, I gotta eat.
So this year marks my 30th year in business as Stilson Greene Graphic Design & Illustration, I look back and forward and am thankful for my family, friends and clients who believed and still believe in me. I do continue to paint and do art for myself, and am fortunate to have a gallery that shows my work, but my CAREER is using images and type and layout to communicate messages and feelings, and to that, all I can say is…”Thanks Batman.”