Friday, January 27, 2006

Who's next?

Today's Comic Art Friday is dedicated to the memory of the astronauts of Space Shuttle Challenger, who lost their lives in horrifyingly spectacular fashion 20 years ago tomorrow. We still remember.

Many years ago, Dave Marsh's entertaining tome entitled The Book of Rock Lists included a catalog of performers who had been dubbed, at one point in their careers, "the next Bob Dylan." (Several of the names on the list were actually Dylan's own, thanks to his many reinventions and recreations of himself.) The point of the exercise is that one of the worst things that can happen to anyone's career is an unrealistic comparison.

Take, for example, the case of baseball player Chili Davis. When Davis, then a flashy young Jamaican-born outfielder for the San Francisco Giants, began his major league career in the spring of 1981, he was immediately dubbed by some in the sportswriting community, "the next Willie Mays." The reality quickly set in that Chili was not, in fact, the next Willie Mays. When you get right down to it, Willie Mays was a unique entity unto himself, with a singular assemblage of skills that may never be recreated in another baseball player. Thus, there likely will never be another Willie Mays. What got lost in the furor was the fact that, although he was not the next Willie Mays, Chili Davis turned out to be a pretty darn good Chili Davis.

Which brings us to Ty Romsa, whom some call "the next Adam Hughes."

Frankly, I don't believe Ty Romsa is the next Adam Hughes. But then, I don't think any of the dozen other guys being touted in various corners as "the next Adam Hughes" are the next Adam Hughes either. I'm not sure we need a next Adam Hughes. The current Adam Hughes is doing just fine, thank you very much.

I do, however, think that Ty Romsa is turning into a pretty darn good Ty Romsa.

And that, really, should be enough for anyone.

Including Ty Romsa.

(Indeed, my interaction with Ty during the creation of the art on display here revealed him to be a very modest, unpretentious, down-to-earth young man. I know he doesn't consider himself the next Adam Hughes. I don't even believe he wants to be.)


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