The Artist Who’s Combining Retro Sports and Comic Books
Daniel Horine’s superhero-themed prints may be the ultimate combination of two nostalgia-driven obsessions.
Over the past two years or so, some very cool artwork has been showing up in my social media feeds, and maybe in yours too. The artwork is part retro sports and part retro comic books, like something that might have happened if Marvel and DC had licensing deals with pro sports leagues back in the 1970s. As you can see in the examples shown above, some of the “cover designs” even have corner folds, wear marks, and other signs of aging, to enhance the nostalgic effect.
This artwork comes our way from the Pop Fly Pop Shop, which is the brainchild of a California-based artist named Daniel Horine. Every week he releases a limited-edition print — usually baseball-themed, although he’s recently branched out into football as well. Although Pop Fly only launched in 2020 and didn’t become Horine’s full-time gig until 2021, it’s quickly become a sensation. Nine of Horine’s prints are in the collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Topps selected him as one of the 20 contributing artists to their Project100 card series.
I don’t read comic books anymore, but I read a lot of them when I was a kid growing up in the 1970s. In fact, I routinely spent most of my allowance on comic books and baseball cards, so you can imagine how I felt when I first saw Horine’s prints — it was like rediscovering the best parts of my childhood. I also liked that Horine didn’t just mimic superhero comic books but also drew inspiration from 1950s horror/fantasy comics and even old-fashioned romance comics — and in each case, he totally nailed the style.
In short, this is my kind of art project, so I decided it was time (or, really, long past time) for me to get acquainted with Daniel Horine. Here’s a transcript of a recent Zoom call we had, edited for length and clarity.