1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and University of Missouri-Columbia, earning an English degree with a Fine Art minor. After graduation I taught English in Niigata, Japan. After that I did graphic design in Bangkok, Thailand. Returning to the USA, I found a job doing web development and programming, before getting hired at Heritage Auctions as a cataloger and consignment director. Now I work at Matt Nelson's comic book restoration lab, Classics Incorporated.
2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
Going Steady with Peggy. Early "Good Girl" artwork by Al Feldstein, and it's his very first work for EC! A fantastic piece of comic history, and something I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to own.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
In 1989, while in college, I self-published a comic book called "Harlequin". At one time I dreamed of becoming a professional comic book artist, but failing in that I found collecting artwork to be a rewarding pursuit. EBay was instrumental in making comic art collecting possible for me; I began buying art regularly around 2000 or so.
4. How do you store and/or showcase your collection at home?
I keep a lot of stories in the Heritage 16" x 24" bags-n-boards that they came in. Of course I use mylars for my best stories. I generally keep my art stacked in closets and random piles, but things are always getting moved around as I "play with" and admire various stories. Most paintings are framed and on the wall in my office at work. A few selected pieces of comic art go up on the wall at home, for temporary display.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
John Byrne/Terry Austin's X-Men 141 cover
Frank Miller's Wolverine Limited Series 2 cover
Bernard Baily's Mister Mystery 12 cover
Johnny Craig's Crime Suspenstories 22 cover
L.B. Cole's Thrilling Crime Cases 49 cover (or if we can venture into the pulp realm, virtually any H.J. Ward Spicy Mystery cover painting!)
View Ben Samuels's Gallery