Heroes by John-Mark Gleadow
"The genesis of “Heroes” came as I did research for a classic comic book painting. I had a series of some of the classic comics with the highest value – and the original Batman cover did make it in to “Heroes” – but I felt that the piece would be stronger using the more iconic elements of the comic book genre. The inclusion of Star Wars in the painting was partly due to what I would call a “Comic-Con influence” and partly due to my desire to do an entire painting devoted to Star Wars because of its impact on my childhood and beyond. I collaborated with several friends and enthusiasts much more knowledgeable about this genre than myself, and I suppose the inclusion of “The Watchmen” is due almost entirely to their thoughts. Incredibly, I originally had Wonder Woman as the sixth book (l-r). I’m frequently concerned about my paintings being too male dominated and “The Justice League” was one of the cartoons I watched most as a child and so she has a lot of relevance for me. But the proponents of the inclusion of “The Watchmen” were so adamant that as I researched the subject I came to find that they were correct and that the piece would be stronger if I took their advice. I also have to mention the central placement of Superman, as he is so critical to the painting. Superman and Star Wars would be in a tie for the most important elements of the painting to me. I’ve always identified Christopher Reeve as Superman, personally, due to the fact that movies have been much more important in my life than comics have been. But once again, those with whom I collaborated insisted that one of Alex Ross’ depictions of the Man of Steel would have the most impact and I would have to say that again, they were correct. I think the end result is a painting that resonates, is balanced and flows nicely.