For Comic Con attendees, it’s a can’t-miss side trip: the once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to not only view but purchase original comic art by the master painter Simone Bianchi from Italy—art soon to be immortalized in the upcoming Marvel Masterpieces 2018 trading card collection.
Metropolis Gallery will host the Bianchi exhibit, which opens on Friday, October 5 and runs through the end of December. The trading cards, published by Upper Deck, will also be released in October.
One of the most renowned comic artists working today, Bianchi is best known in the U.S. for his work in X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, Thanos, Wolverine and Star Wars comics, as well as his signature watercolor and ink wash style.
“Simone brings a certain aesthetic to everything he does,” says Metropolis Gallery curator and owner, Vincent Zurzolo. “It’s distinctly European, filled with dynamic tension and a distinct mood that in-and-of-itself can only be described as Simone Bianchi.”
The Metropolis exhibit will feature more than 50 paintings from the Marvel Masterpieces 135-piece set—all on sale, with prices ranging from $2,500-$14,000. The rest of the collection will be exhibited simultaneously in Bianchi’s hometown of Lucca, Italy.
From 1992 to 2008, release of a Marvel Masterpieces card set was a highly-anticipated comic art event that showcased the work of greats such as Greg and Tim Hildebrandt. In 2016, Marvel revived the tradition—now biennial—with a new, 100-piece card set created by Joe Jusko, who also painted the original 1992 set.
The opening reception will be held Friday, October 5 from 6-9 pm. It is open to the public.
Thereafter, the exhibit is open Tuesday-Friday, 11 am-5 pm through the end of December. As always, the gallery’s permanent exhibit also will be available for viewing, featuring art by iconic artists such as Kirby, Ditko, Frazetta, Gil Kane and Neal Adams, among others.
“Think about it,” says Zurzolo. ““Here’s a rare chance to own an original piece of art featuring your favorite Marvel hero or villain—and it’s also a trading card, too.”
“I’ve long been a fan of the contemporary Italian comic painters. The chance to represent Simone’s work is quite a thrill for me on a personal and professional level.”
Metropolis Gallery is located at 36 West 37th Street, 6th Floor, a 10-minute stroll from the Javits Center and Comic Con.
Metropolis Gallery (MetropolisGalleryNYC.com) is the creation of Metropolis Collectibles, the world’s largest vintage comic collectibles dealer. Together with its online auction house, ComicConnect.com, it has an evolving inventory of more than 150,000 collectibles and holds five Guinness World Records.