The Crow: James O'Barr

The Original Crow
Before Brandon Lee became the Crow on film the character existed only in the comic books and illustrations created by James O'Barr, an exceptionally talented artist. Here is an example of his art to show how the character was originally depicted.... 
 
I was quite surprised when I first saw O'Barr's version of the character. I think it's awesome, though there's definitely some degree of glam rock influence going on here. Quite frankly, I was taken back by the blatant homoerotic aspect to the character which is emphasized by the poses that O'Barr chooses for many of his Crow illustrations. The fact that the character is shirtless ninety-nine percent of the time, and just happens to have a perfectly fit body, also makes this incarnation of the Crow quite gay friendly in my view. Not to mention how extremely handsome O'Barr has made the Crow's face, with a smooth, almost boyish jaw line. I'm certainly not complaining, a gay Crow suits me just fine! It's just that I find this quite odd as the character in the movie isn't the least bit gay. In fact the whole reason Eric Draven becomes the Crow is to avenge the death of his girlfriend.

Many sources have stated that the Crow character and the story developed from O'Barr's own personal loss when his fiancée was killed by a drunk driver. So we know that the artist isn't gay either otherwise the Crow wouldn't even exist. Various online sites claim that the poses and the oversized eyes with eye shadow, which O'Barr has given his Crow illustrations, are meant to emphasize the romantic element of the story as well as the character's loneliness and anguish... and they certainly do accomplish that. But what's the deal with the unzipped pants in the above image? Is O'Barr targeting female and gay male readers for his comics? Would a heterosexual guy who is a Crow fan admire this Image? I'm gay and think this picture is awesome! Yet, oddly enough I don't actually own any of the original Crow comics which is something that I've been meaning to change for many years. Just haven't gotten around to it yet... shame on me!
 
Here's more awesome James O'Barr artwork....

This image was found on the official James O'Barr website:
http://jamesobarr.typepad.com/ What an awesome work of art!!!
 

James O'Barr's Crow is totally ripped!!!
 


 
Meeting James O'Barr at Comic Con
In May 2016 James O'Barr visited Ottawa for the first time to participate in the three day Ottawa Comic Con event. This allowed me the most amazing opportunity to meet Mr. O'Barr, which I did on Saturday May 14, the second day of Comic Con. He was such a kind person and very relaxed. I didn't get any impression of an "I'm a famous person" ego that you might expect from a celebrity. Just a very down to earth guy. He had some original artwork available for sale as well as some prints, and after some debate I chose to buy an amazingly awesome original piece of art featuring the Crow.
 
The drawing shows the Crow standing almost at a side view, facing to the right of the image with his right arm bent in front of him held up as a perch for his feathered namesake. His head is tilted down as he's looking at the bird, which is looking back up at him. There is a window behind him to the right, and the image is coloured by hand as well. The piece was drawn with black marker and coloured with shades of aqua and violet to create an amazing lighting effect and shadowing. In fact the way Mr. O'Barr coloured the image with the marker is such an amazing effect that it looks like pastel or a painting. It's truly a stunning work of art and I'm still in a bit of disbelief that I actually own it! Unfortunately I forgot to ask Mr. O'Barr if he would mind if I put a picture of it online, so I don't think it would be proper for me to do so without his consent. Yet, I wanted to at least describe it for Crow fans who adore James O'Barr's work. He signed the bottom for me too! Very awesome to have met Mr. O'Barr!!! Hope he comes back to Ottawa again soon!
 
This link will take you back to the Home Page of this blog:
 
This link will take you to the next page of this blog "The Crow: Dolls and Collectables":
 
Text © Mike Artelle, Dec, 2013
Images found everywhere online or on Pinterest or at the links provided. 

No comments:

Post a Comment