- from Plastic Man #10 (vol. 4)
- Kyle Baker, artist/writer
Every now and then someone will send a message my way — sometimes to share tips about latest appearances, or to talk about a particular Plastic Man story, most often to just say they’re fans of Plas, too.
But, once in a while, I’ll hear from somebody who is super-enthusiastic, somebody who loves Plas with such depth that it almost makes me feel like an imposter.
That somebody is Kempo Cornelius.
To be honest, Kempo is enthusiastic about a lot of things, but her devotion to Plastic Man can’t be denied. I give you Exhibit A — a really dynamic illustration of Plas making what looks like a dashing exit. (Has Plas gone back to his Eel-like ways? I’d like to think he’s just snatching it from some would-be crooks.)
What most impresses me about this drawing is the way every inch of the character has a sense of being in motion. Many artists will show Plas stretching, but a lot of times it’s limited to his limbs, or a particular shape-change. This, on the other hand, reflects Plastic Man’s personality by putting his entire body on the move, from the bend in his toes to the twist in his chest. It’s one of those images I like the more I look at it.
A well-thought-out illustration would be one thing, but Kempo’s cosplay is on point, too. Exhibit B:
I’m always a fan of good Plastic Man cosplay, and I think Kempo pretty much nails it. (I won’t even quibble about the belt. Because what sort of nerd would even bring something like that up?! Er …)
Ramona Fradon — well-known Aquaman artist, co-creator of Metamorpho, and, of course, a celebrated illustrator of Plastic Man — turns 90 today!
Fradon left an undeniable and indelible mark on Plas (and a ton of other characters), and is still doing it today as a working artist available for commissions. It’s no wonder her work remains popular: Not only does she have an appealingly old-school, clean-line style, but she continues to refine her art with an expressive sophistication and deceptive detail that always impresses.
Still, it’s her Bronze Age Plastic Man work that’s my favorite, so let’s celebrate Ramona Fradon’s birthday by giving ourselves the gift of this uncolored splash page from Plastic Man #16!
What a great page from a great artist! Happy birthday, Ramona Fradon!