Winged Beauties

Rebirth of Reason

Winged BeautiesWinged Beauties
George Pérez

I'm using two beautiful works to start a more general thread about winged humans (or, as in science fiction, humanoids) in art, my own strong passion for nearly 40 years.

At left is new art for a comics cover (click for 800-px-wide version). At the end of this comment is a favorite painting by Boris Vallejo.

I've long tried to examine my interest in such winged art, going into and beyond my own sense-of-life response of pleasure. It probably has to do, most of all, with the experience and metaphor of feeling liberated — going beyond the bounds of Earth and those who want to hold down or limit one's spirit and achievements.

It's a this-worldly, or above-this-world, pleasure for me. That is why I've consistently responded most strongly to winged-human art which goes, to borrow from two guided tours I've
set up at Elfwood, "beyond fae and angels." Wings that could be borne, with imaginative physiology (and much genetic engineering), by humans living within this world are what appeal to me. Not the well-hidden miniature denizens of a meadow or forest, and not the messengers of gods that aren't really in the firmament above us.

Yes, the physiology and "gengineering" are daunting, and probably impossible under any circumstances for animals of our size. Yet those who bear wings under recognizably this-worldly conditions awaken my own spirit, as if the brush of their feathers lead to a metaphorical freedom that I can touch ... and that is almost too far away, in most ways, in the world we must deal with each day.

The untitled painting at the top of this comment, with pencils by George Pérez and colors by Nei Ruffino, will appear on the cover to Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, issue 5, due in March 2009. It features a favorite character of mine, Dawnstar of DC Comics' 31st-Century Legion of Super-Heroes.

In addition to the links above, I have available for those interested:

~ A Yahoo! Group for pteraphiles ("wing-lovers"), with a mailing list and visual and prose collections.
~ A YouTube video slideshow of many of my favorite winged works (and some showing "me," Greybird, Dawnstar's brother) out of my collection of thousands.
~ Two more static galleries of visual winged favorites, one about Dawnstar and one more generally, with yet more links, at my ComicSpace page.
~ A personal page at deviantART with some of my prose, along with links under "News" to showcases of more winged art at that huge site.

I'll close with another special favorite, linked directly: Boris Vallejo's "Showing Her the Way." We should all aspire to feeling and being this free in guiding the coming generations.

(Added by Steve Reed on 1/02, 4:08pm)

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