by Carl R. Jansson
So, you love comics, science fiction, and all of that other stuff that people like us are into. You want your house to show this, so when friends come over they can see your love for all things geeky, or perhaps you just want some conversation starters, or hey, maybe you just want cool artwork adorning your walls. But where do you start? Original comic art is expensive, prints are slightly less so, but framing isn’t cheap either. I have a few ideas, just some things I’ve done around my house to make it more art friendly on a budget. I‘m going to share one of those ideas with you today.
I’m sure you have old Wizard magazines lying around somewhere, or maybe some Comic Artist or Draw magazines hidden away in the bottom of your closet. Maybe even some >GASP< old comic books that are dog-eared and torn, languishing away in a long forgotten drawer, just taking up space. Well, dig them out! We’re going to work.
For my examples I used an old Comic Artist Magazine featuring some great black & white work by the brilliant Mike Mignola. I took an old mat board from an 8 1/2″ x 11″ frame that I had lying around, with a center box of 5″ x 7″, and one night while half-watching a movie I took that matting, and as I flipped through the pages I would place it on top of various pictures, trying to get an idea of what would look cool in a frame. There were quite a few really good ones, some of which were just small portions of larger pieces, cropped at weird angles, but man they looked cool!
Next step: Head over to my neighborhood 99 Cent Store and check out the frames for sale. If you don’t have one of these stores nearby I’m sure there is something at least a bit like it, or maybe check local thrift stores. I found a bunch of cool looking, black plastic, wood simulating frames, for less than a dollar a piece. I grabbed some 5″ x 7″ and 4″ x 6″ frames, costing me about six dollars all together.
I came home and got busy. I had marked the pages I was interested in previously, so I knew where to start. I grabbed an X-Acto knife, but scissors work just as well, and cut the pieces slightly bigger than I actually needed. Next up I took the cardboard backing out, placed the cut-out pieces where they needed to be, and taped them down from the back.
Being Mignola pieces, they ended up looking like really cool, creepy portraits, so much so that even my non-comic fan roommate was super into them. I reserved a Batman and an Abe Sapien piece for my bedroom, choosing the less comic book-ish pieces for the hallway. And let me tell you, they really came out fantastic! I love that they all share a similar theme, but yours don’t have to.
All in all I took an old magazine that was just sitting in a stack of other old magazines, and for less than six bucks I ended up with some really cool pieces featuring one of my favorite artists! I have even framed whole comics a couple of times, and they look great on my wall!
You can really use just about anything, whatever it is you’re into. Old High Fructose magazines, Wizard Magazine, old Comic Shop News papers, comic character trading cards, those flyers that Marvel loves sending stacks of to your local shop, or anything else that catches your eye. Hell, print out pieces by your favorite artists you find on the internet. There is potential art everywhere! It’s your abode, make it so!
I’d love to see what you do with this idea, or any other DIY decorating on a budget ideas you might have. Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments. Remember, sharing is caring!