Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Michael Netzer: The Art of Responsibility and the Responsibility of Art
I've been staring at a blank sheet of blog space thinking about how to announce that I am now representing artist Michael Netzer. And then the title of this post came to me and I realized that if you know anything about Michael then you know everything about him--what he represents and how extraordinary he is.
A fan of Michael's as a boy, I had occasion to meet him once at a New York convention where he drew Batman for me. It was a prized addition to my collection. My generation regarded Michael Nasser (as he was known then) as the ultimate Neal Adams protege until he began morphing into someone wholly Michael, a unique artist who lived the ideals he put forth in his comics work; a creator who cared more about art than money, and more about people than art. His personal quests for enlightenment have kept fans and friends (and family, too, I suspect) often enthralled and sometimes frustrated, asking themselves and each other, "Where is Michael now?" His writings, when he writes, are equally enchanting, dangerously truthful, and uncommonly wise.
Michael and I have been friends for many years now, since first working as colleagues on ill-fated IDT Entertainment films. We rarely see each other these days as Michael resides on a settlement in Israel and I remain in the ruins of New Jersey, but I've picked up the phone when I needed the harmony that Michael restores to unbalanced moments; and offered him illustration and cover work as an editor when I sought someone who could deliver his unique blend of Continuity-trained, Silver-Age sensibility to a post-Digital, hyper-amped, seen-it-all-so-what-can-you-show-me-now audience.
I was pleased and proud when Michael Netzer recently approached me and asked me to represent his art. The invitation came out of nowhere and made all the sense in the world. He joins Gene Colan and the Dave Cockrum Estate as part of a creative portfolio that is frankly less a client list and more of a fraternity.