This is the nicest thing a stranger ever did for me.
In 2004, I was working at the Jim Hanley’s Universe comic book store in Manhattan. I had been dating my girlfriend Lexi for several a few years and was ready to propose. I had a beautiful, old engagement ring that had its own romantic story attached to it, but I needed something to make the moment more memorable.
Then, my friend Vito Delsante showed me a small sketch Cliff Chiang had drawn for him of Black Canary, Lexi’s favorite comic book character (besides maybe Streaky the Supercat). It was gorgeous, solid, clean art. I decided to commission a sketch from Cliff of Black Canary’s longtime love interest Green Arrow proposing to her. I wrote to him eight years ago today. It was the holiday season and only one week until I was going back to Pennsylvania for Christmas, so I told him not to worry about timing, but he said he’d have it ready for me anyway so as not to hold up my proposal.
I asked him how much the commission would be, ready to pay whatever he asked.
“My only request is that you name your first child ‘Black Canary,’” he wrote. “Happy Holidays!”
Not only did Cliff not charge me for the amazing piece above, he inked it and hand-delivered it to me at the store - when it was busy and I barely was able to show the depth of my appreciation.
I had intended to wait until New Year’s Eve to ask Lexi to marry me, hoping to ask for her parents’ blessing in the meantime. On December 28, we arrived back in Astoria, and I unpacked a new set of pots and pans to cook us dinner. I joked that having these essential, adult items was the beginning of my life.
Lexi made an offhand joke from the living room about how it was the beginning of our lives. I just looked at her. I stopped washing the pot I had in my hand, standing in the kitchen staring at her. “What?” she asked. “Why are you looking at me like that?” And I couldn’t say anything. I went into my room and got the sketch.
“Here’s a Christmas present I forgot to tell you about.” Shaking, I pulled it out of the bag and sat down at her feet. ”Oh, and here’s something else,” and I showed her the ring. Then we made a bunch of phone calls for some reason.
Years later, Cliff was the artist on the Green Arrow and Black Canary series after the two characters married in the comics in 2007. It made the sketch all the more special.
Cliff is an amazing artist, and you would do yourself a great favor if you checked out some of his work. His bibliography is located here. I would recommend his Wonder Woman, Spectre, Human Target, Detective Comics, Batman: Golden Streets of Gotham, and Doctor 13 work.
Besides producing work that I find breathtaking, Cliff Chiang is a wonderful human being whose kindness I will always remember.
As if I didn’t already love Cliff Chiang ENOUGH.
What a beautiful story!
» Vote for Dinah «
In the New 52, the Black Canary is all Dinah Lance except in name. It is revealed that one of the founders of the new Birds of Prey and owner of the Canary Cry now belongs to Golden Age B.C. Dinah Drake. Cast your vote for Dinah Lance, former chairperson of JLA, one of the greatest martial artists in the world, and mother figure & mentor to many heroes, to show that beloved characters are not interchangeable.
A vote for Dinah is also a vote for Barbara. Send a message that we do not condone the questionable move of removing one of the most prominent disabled characters in comics. We do not agree with the regression of Barbara to a mantle she had outgrown. Let it be known that we lament the erasure of Oracle, a mantle who is on Justice League-level, who did more good to more people than Batgirl ever did.
When I was little, I used to think, of the three, Ollie was the toughest. I was wrong. - Roy Harper
I don’t care who else writes her or where else she appears or what media she’s in or what color her hair is.
Dinah will always be my girl to me.
Dinah: What do you think everyone will think?
Oliver: They’ve known us a long time. How can they be anything but happy for us?
(Green Arrow/Black Canary: Wedding Special)
For my best friend, Shelby.
Today I thought, “I wonder why I don’t see this on tumblr more.” And then I thought I’d be the change I’d like to see in the world.
Context: Dinah is captured by a gang, and told that she should be making their dinner “naked.” She responds.
I waited a long time to make those sentences credible. I love Dinah, I wanted it so that when she said this, everyone fucking believed it.
“Tonight, I am the BLACK CANARY. And I take shit from precisely NO ONE.”
MINE MINE MINE! My latest commission, this time from the talented Aaron Lopresti. The lovely and magnificent DCWKA picked it up for me at NYCC because she is AWESOME and I love her. \o/
Damn. That is one beautiful Dinah!