Original Art: Powers

Word came down yesterday that “Powers” is done with PlayStation after two seasons.

I know how disappointing this must be to Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, who spent so much time over the last, what, decade (?) to get this thing on TV. It was often a long uphill struggle. I admit to being snarky at times about how I never ever thought it would make it to air.  I was only partially right, in that the FX Network didn’t pick it up.  Sony did, though, and that still counts.

Yes, there’s two seasons’ worth of shows that weren’t there before, and a lot of new relationships behind the scenes that I’m sure everyone will be happy to have.  But, still, it has to hurt to have your show canceled.

Bendis and Oeming promise that this won’t affect production on the comic book.  I stifled a soft laugh when I read that.  I was a big “Powers” fans in its early days, but once the scheduling went off the rails, I fell off.  That was around the time it moved from Image to Icon, but I didn’t follow it for long after.  (2009’s “Powers” series took two and a half years for 11 issues to be released The 2015 run at the series didn’t do much better: 6 issues in a year and five months.)

Oni Color Powers

 

In 2001, though, I bought a page of original art that included Powers characters.  This is a page from the “Oni Press Color Special.”  Oni didn’t do color books back in those days, but they did these one-off specials from 2000 – 2002. (“Barry Ween” and “Whiteout” had featured the year before.)  The book featured a host of creator-owned characters, including this crossover page between “Powers” and “Red Star.”

“Red Star,” for those of you who weren’t around in the early naughts, was a comic that featured a lot of computer generated background art.  It was created by Christian Gossett, whose claim to fame was designing the double bladed light-sabre that Darth Maul used.

Without further ado, here’s the page, drawn by Oeming alone, autographed by Bendis and Oeming:

 

Powers original art page by Michael Avon Oeming

Buying this page fit into my standard procedure of looking for representative panel pages from my favorite comics at low prices. I got this “Powers” page here for $40. The big open area in the middle was filled in the final comic with some CGI imagery from the “Red Star” team, as I recall.  I’m pretty sure I bought this directly from Oeming at the Pittsburgh Con in April 2001, when Bendis was behind a table just across the aisle from him.

The paper this is drawn on is not your standard heavy Marvel/DC grade comic paper.  It’s much flimsier, but still heavier than copy paper.  It looks like the black borders were done with a wide Sharpie marker.  I’m slightly surprised I don’t see more signs of the marker breaking down over time on the page, to be honest.  And you can still see some pencils on the page, but only on the first panel, to be honest.  Oeming either erased the page pretty well or lightboxed the rest of the page.

Powers art by Michael Avon Oeming detail

It’s hard to see it in this scan, but the pencil lines are there. Look at Walker’s chest and around Pilgrim’s eye and hair.

P.S.  “Powers” was ahead of its time.  In 2001, they produced a “Powers Coloring Book,” nearly 15 years before it was trendy.

powers_coloring_book

 

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