Despite doing such a large quantity of high profile work, we are still a small business, and this important project can’t continue unless we get enough support, so please, if you’ve been on the fence about purchasing a set of prints, do it right now, and if you haven’t considered it at all, still please buy a copy from our store.
So, let me tell you why the Masters Series is important...
You may or may not know about The National Film Preservation Foundation and The National Film Registry. These are organizations that years ago realized that some films are gone... the just don't exist anymore. For various reasons the negatives and copies of the films didn’t survive. Film gets old and decays... old film may have been destroyed to make room for new inventory... or they are simply just lost. So the NFPF took on the task of finding rare and/ or damaged films, and preserving them. They transfer the film to an archival media, and in some cases restore the images to make the video look as clean and true as possible.
They not only rescue films that are in danger of decaying into a literal pile of dust, they choose a few films every year, find the best source material, usually the original cut or negatives of the film, then they restore it so that generations to come will have near-perfect copies of the movie to enjoy in all of its intended glory. Apocolypse Now, The Godfather, BLazzing Saddles, Vertigo, Pulp Fiction and the Zapruder Film are just some of the hundreds of films that The Film Registry have preserved.
My great grand children won’t be subjected to scratchy, dull, grainy copies of these films as I was back in the 1980’s... Well, Pulp Fiction was from the 90’s, but you get what I’m talking about.
So, after years of restoring the work of Marvel Comics, Gold Key, Archie, ACG, Warren, and lots of other publishers, it was easily clear that a lot... no, not just a lot... MOST original art for comic books is just gone... film for these books... gone... all we are left with are inferior, if not downright horrible, copies of the printed comics. To revisit the comparison to film, the quality of the art in a printed comic is comparable to bootleg films from the 1990’s? You know, when someone would somehow sneak a VHS video camera into a theater, video tape it from the left side of the back row, then sell it to impatient movie fans who didn’t want to wait to rent the tape in 9 months... the video was blurry, the audio was horrendous and you could hear and see extraneous stuff that was going on in the theater? That is the perfect comparison for what printed comics were relative to the original art.
Now, sadly, people like me grew up not knowing any better. We assumed that comic books were SUPPOSED to look like that... We thought the colors were printed outside of the lines on purpose... hell, even cartoons in the 50’s and 60’s started knocking colors outside of the lines in the backgrounds, adding to the idea that it was intentional in comic books. We looked at it as a style instead of the crappy quality that it really was.
Fast forward to the year 2015. We are seeing a HUGE, and I mean HUGE number of collected editions that are simply scanning these terribly printed books, and regurgitating them to the public with either little, no, or worse, unskilled restoration. And the fans seem to be eating it up, and I believe its because they don’t know better... ‘I’ didn’t know better.
And thats why I think the Masters Series is so important. We are going beyond the ‘lets make a buck’ mentality and saying ‘Lets FIX this!’ Lets give these artists, and their work, the respect that they really deserve.
When I fond out that there was a small amount of LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND original art left in the world, that became my focus. McCay is not only the Grandfather of animation, he literally laid the groundwork for comic strip, and comic book, artists. His craftsman ship wasn’t just incredible for his day... it is simply incredible. If he drew those strips today, one hundred and ten years later, they would still be heralded as masterpieces. So that is where we’ve started... a couple of Little Nemo strips. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to expand into restoring the work of other artists and characters, but we’ll need a lot of help with that. The up front costs of licensing some the work we want to restore is astronomical.
So, I’m asking... hell, I’m even begging on behalf of the spirits of artists long past... spread the word, shout it from the mountain tops... this artwork deserves to be preserved... it deserves to be properly restored... YOU DESERVE to see this art presented properly.
And don’t for a second think... I’ll skip Little Nemo because other people will buy them and then I’ll just pick up the ones that I want. First... if you don’t buy these, we won’t get the strips that you want, and second... You WANT these Little Nemo strips! You may not know it yet, but once you have it in your hands, well, assuming that you truly care about comics and comic art, you will know that you wanted these.
It costs us a small fortune to restore this work correctly, so please, go to our store... purchase a set of Masters Series prints, and know that you are not only getting some incredible art, you are supporting an incredibly important project.