Sunday, August 2, 2015

Collectible Time #33: (Historic Inspirations): Jonathan Myers' Rogers' Rangers/Solider Prints; plus Cleopatra/Marc Antony Statue

Not many fantasy buffs have the sense to acknowledge the historical influence in what they enjoy, but the roots of adventurous fun, whether in John Carter, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, or even a little offshoot called "Star Wars", are firmly entrenched in real-life foundations, not to mention a slew of time-travel tales. As such, I'm using this "Collectible Time" to spotlight several items I recently obtained, which stem from factual sources.

Jonathan Myers (the fine artist showcased in "Collectible Time 25: May '15, for his striking Bilbo Baggins print) is also a connoisseur of American history, and his "Rogers' Rangers" (8.6" x 11", including border) is proof of such, as you can very well see from the above Fife&Drum site sample. 

The French and Indian War (aka, the Seven Years' War: 1756 - 63) was crucial in impacting American design. British Major Robert Rogers' legendary reconnaissance group had no equal in its resourcefulness and stealth when tracking (and in opposition to) French forces. (Many of you may recall Spencer Tracy's depiction of Roberts' exploits in "Northwest Passage", based on Kenneth Roberts' book of the same name.

The war's dynamics are a basis for any number of fictional conflicts. It's really not hard to replace the principles with Klingons, Romulans, Cylons and factions of the Empire and Rebel Alliance. The intense spirit of the French/Indian War can also be found (albeit indirectly) in various literary adventures, including those of Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells and J.R.R. Tolkien, but historical fact has no match, and Myers' scenic "Rogers' Rangers" tribute is a sterling example of hitting the bull's-eye through artistic accuracy.

In addition to the "Rogers' Rangers" print, I obtained (thanks to Mr. Myers' supreme generosity), a wondrous (8" x 10", with border) "Soldier Study", depicting the type of  man who participated in Rogers' extraordinary band of adventurers. The soldier's detail is gritty and layered with stoic character: the precise, hard-edge specimen who set the standard for any number of exotic fighters featured in either historic and/or imaginative fiction. (Incidentally, as with the "Rogers' Rangers" print, I'm most fortunate to possess 1/100 in these precious runs.)

I salute Mr. Myers for his artistic endeavors and caring enough to remember the past when focusing on the present seems too often the rage these woeful days...


Also during a recent saunter at Quaker Bridge Mall, Lawrenceville, NJ, I discovered a colorful Cleopatra and Marc Antony resin sculpture (6.5" x 7.5") at the eclectically cool store, East Meets West. 

Let's face it, folks: the epic love affair of this true-life couple existed centuries before Buck/Wilma, Flash/Dale or Han/Leia ever entered our interstellar imaginations. 

However, the circumstance behind the 41 BC merger is what makes this piece so special: that two staggering entities from the world's most powerful cultures teamed is nothing short of earth-shaking.  

Truly, Cleo and Marc are the stuff of legend, of high-spirited daydreams and cinematic splendor. Few fictional characters can make that claim. I must admit (and without an iota of apology), to have a sculpture capturing the tragic, love-struck duo is rather special to me. 

(Incidentally, I'm currently uncertain of the company that produces this piece, but evidently it offers a line of similar Egyptian inspired items, with similar styles/looks. In addition to being accessible through East Meets West, one can find the products listed through Amazon and Ebay. You'll know them when you see them, after making a general search.)

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