Friday, December 08, 2006

The mysterious M.C. Wyman

It's a dark and stormy Comic Art Friday. So let's dive right in, what say?

The comic book industry is one of those fields, like many creative ventures, that tends toward transience in personnel. For every Jack Kirby or Jim Mooney whose work graces the field for decade after decade, there are dozens of artists and writers who make a brief splash, then vanish into the ether, never to be heard from again.

I like to think of M.C. Wyman as the J.D. Salinger of comics. That's probably a tad extreme, given that Salinger's impact on American prose is far greater than Wyman's on American superhero comics. But then, I'm prone to hyperbole. Humor me.

For a couple of years in the early 1990s, M.C. Wyman was a mainstay artist at Marvel Comics. He was most closely associated with The Mighty Thor, drawing about 20 issues of that title between 1992 and 1995, but he also had regular assignments on such series as Daredevil, Silver Surfer, The Avengers, and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Then around 1995, Wyman just sort of disappeared from comics. I'd hear mention of him here and there from other fans, but no one seemed to know where he was or what he was doing these days. At one point a couple of years ago, I connected with the guy who had been Wyman's art sales representative for a while — even he hadn't heard from the mysterious Mr. Wyman for some time.

I never even met anyone who knew what the "M.C." stood for.

During his brief stint in mainstream comics, I always admired Wyman's work because he reminded me of my favorite Marvel artist from the Silver Age: John Buscema. Wyman had the same combination of power and elegance that Buscema's pencils epitomized, and I always wanted to ask him whether, in fact, Buscema had been a significant influence as he developed his style.

To date, I've never had the chance.

Recently, I've heard rumors that the great Wyman is back in the comics game, at least to the degree that he's drawing commissioned work again for his fans. I hope it's true. My early comic art resolution for 2007 is to obtain at least one new artwork from M.C. Wyman — specifically, a piece I have in mind for my Common Elements gallery that would be perfect for Wyman's style.

Wish me luck.

And so, friend reader, that's your Comic Art Friday.


3 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger djschim offered these pearls of wisdom...

my favorite mc wyman cover is
Avengers 354 -- the hand with fingers with eyes...can't see the images you have posted but would like to see new work if you ever track it down

2:50 AM  
Blogger Nick Ahlhelm offered these pearls of wisdom...

I just picked up an issue of The Shroud with Wyman art and went "Whatever happened to this guy?" And for once, the internet fails me.

I too appreciated his work, especially on Thor with Roy Thomas and the USAgent mini.

I kind of wonder if Mr. Wyman might be an alias of an older Marvel artist, working under a more modernized style. I started thinking, "are there any creators with the initials MC in their name, but couldn't come up with anything. But it's a thought.

Did anyone ever meet the mysterious Mr. Wyman?

12:15 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Nick: Wyman's a real guy, all right, and so far as I know, that's his real name. (No idea what the initials stand for, though.)

He's back in the public eye since I wrote this post. I've commissioned several pieces from him directly, and he still has the chops. He sells new pinups on eBay almost every week, and even has his own Web site. Check him out if you're interested.

1:09 PM  

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