Note that we limited these choices to canon Relativity art. There were just so many amazing pieces we got for cross-overs and collabs, it would have been too much to pick from.
The black-and-white teaser project started this year, and since it was so important to the series, I decided I would pick my favorite of the bunch as one of the top-10 picks. We had so many amazing pieces, and it awes me how much an artist can convey with simple sketches. But, at the end of the day, this one by lostie815 just stood out. The expressions are hysterical. You don't need to know what is going on in the scene to figure out what is happening. Just a great piece.
One of the core elements of Relativity is the father-son legacy of the Black Torrent persona. Of course, we see so much of Michael in the costume, but the fact that Yule wore the suit originally (and filled out it so impressively) is sometimes lost. This piece by shamserg shows Matthew Bruce in all of his glory. Seeing this picture always brings a smile to my face, which is why it has a firm place on this list.
This year I was lucky. I got both my favorite picture of Dark Flame and Sara Wolff. This piece by SirTiefling was won through a lottery. While the outfit is the artist's take on her uniform and hair, it still tops my list (I admit, I tend to get picky about that). There is something about the pose and the general air of the character which I feel captures her perfectly.
And on to my favorite Sara picture. I love to get themed pictures of the crew by the same artist. The "sexy pose" series created by CristianaLeone has been a lot of fun. This picture of Sara captures her so perfectly: a little bit sexy, a little bit shy, and generally sweet. Cru is one of my top-3 artists for drawing Sara-- she just nailed her looks and personality so much in this.
This year we made a big effort to get more art of the villains. I mean, what are the heroes without their antagonists? Smoludozerka drew quite a few for us, but this picture of Master Blankard tops my faves. The character is a suave gentlemen who also happens to be a criminal mastermind. Smo just nailed his looks. That "Snidely Whiplash" mustache and expression are perfect.
Artist, LiberLibelula did a huge amount of art for Relativity this past year. Her portraits defined many of the characters who have yet to be seen (as well as quite a few cross-over characters). Of all of her portraits, this one of Trevor Sinclaire is my favorite. Certainly a future picture--as Trevor is now only 2 years old in the current storyline--it showcases the character perfectly. The looks, the expression. We tend to do a lot of future plotting so we can tie things into current stories. This picture alone has led to quite a few of my favorite scenes.
This year in the stories saw the first ripples of real tension between Michael and Sara. In a recent poll, our fans voted that they were the most interesting relationship in the series. This picture conveys that -- the growing friction between siblings who are normally very close. The emotions KaelaCroftArt managed to convey here are palpable. While I love to see our characters happy, reality is that things are never smooth sailing, and this shows that the Bruce siblings have their shares of conflicts, too.
When I commissioned FranciscoETCHART to do a in-and-out of costume portrait of the Team Torrent, it was my plan to eventually get a picture featuring the group's Rogue's Gallery in a similar pose. ekkimu was lovely and took on the task, creating a fun piece that works as a great mirror to the heroes. The poses are great, the looks spot on, and the general foreboding feeling is perfect. I hope to get another picture featuring a different set of core-villains in 2014.
One of the things we were looking forward to in commissions in 2013 was getting portrait versions of the heroes by ThreshTheSky. While we love all of the heroes in Thresh's style, the portrait of Overcast simply blew us away, and pretty much everyone else. Most people I have talked to have picked it as their favorite portrait of the quartet, and many say it's their favorite Thresh-Relativity portrait ever. Not to mention our kids have given it their stamp of approval. Seeing this, it's no wonder the character is a fan favorite.
We were so lucky to have gotten two cover-arts from FranciscoETCHART. Since we could only pick one, it was a difficult choice. Even though we love the cover from "Heroes & Villians", this one just stood out. There are so many of our favorite scenes here. The picture of Melody and Ravenswood's wedding is amazing. That car chase...OMG, perfect. Cricket commanding those bees. Babs cowering in fear at the mercy of a serial killer. And that kiss! Not to mention the Bruce clan in the middle. This piece just screams Relativity, and tops our list for 2013.
I was determined not to cheat and go over 10 picks this year. But both Jim and I felt that this piece deserved a special spot on our list, apart from the others. Technically it's art, but it's also a collab -- a visual Relativity episode in comic form. aimee5 did an amazing job with the art and transformed our story into something wonderful. Seriously, it's almost not fair to have this on the bottom of the list as it holds such a special place in our heart. Definitely one of our favorite arts, and experiences, of 2013.
Some pieces that just missed making the cut (from me and Jim). Love these all so much.
Since we have such varying tastes, Ravenswd insisted on picking his faves this year, too. Though he just does 5 -- because the other 5 would be ones I already picked.
In no particular order...
One of my favorites, and literally it popped up in our in-box when we were writing this article! I like this picture because it shows Melody and Ravenswood out of costume, doing something other than crimefighting. They're just having fun, cosplaying as pirates at a convention. I love all of the little details the artist, M-I-D-S put into this: The skull-and-crossbones necklace, the plushie parrot... and those feathers look incredible.
This is one of my favorite scenes - although story-wise it hasn't happened yet. Sara hasn't told Greg she's a superhero, so she needs to sneak out when he's asleep... but I don't need to tell you that, because Velnna's artwork is so expressive you can tell that's exactly what's going on. The picture does a wonderful job of telling the story by itself. This was actually part of a larger sketch sheet, which you can see here: [link]
Michelle is always coming up to me saying, "should we get a commission from this artist?" It's fun to see who she finds and see the art that comes out of it. I wasn't sure how our characters would look in meago's anime style, but they turned out great. True to the characters and the costumes, but still fun and a bit cartoony. It was also great fun to read the comments the deviation got. "Noir City of Heroes" was one of our favorites.
An excellent portrait of Zephyra by the talented SirTiefling. I especially like all of the little details: the wrinkles in the leather, her hair blowing in the breeze, the city lights in the background. Of course, part of the fun of this piece is the backstory--winning a contest creating a supervillain persona for an OC of the artist. Great fun entering the contest and cool art as a prize. Who can ask for more than that.
This picture by Thiefoworld is just too adorable for words. I mean, can you die of cuteness? And the whole scene works, even on a serious level. Everyone has a different facial expression and they're spot-on for the characters. Even the cat is emotive--kind of confused by this bizarre rescue attempt. But the best part is Overcast's hat-tip. Relativity at it's cute perfection.
See the top picks for 2012 ---> [link]