|1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a comedy writer and director. I got my start as a writer at Saturday Night Live, and followed that up with three years at Seinfeld where I wrote lots of superhero jokes and the Bizarro Jerry episode. Since Seinfeld I have mostly been working on movies. I co-wrote and co-directed Eurotrip and have done lots of uncredited rewriting on too many movies to mention. The last couple of years I have been writing and directing on Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David. I am also a big movie prop collector - especially super hero movies and Star Wars. Toys too. Based on all these collections, I am lucky to be married to a woman who puts up with all of it.
2. Which is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
Dave Cockrum Ad piece: I have told this story before, but basically, when I first read the X-Men as a kid, I picked up some of the reprints in Amazing Adventures. I was reading all the old Kirby Stone stories, and loving them. All of a sudden I saw this ad one day, and there was this entirely different team of X-Men and they were scary looking. That's when I figured out I was reading reprints and went out to find this other book, Uncanny X-Men. Needless to say I was hooked, and this piece represents all that.
Frank Miller Daredevil #181: Miller's Daredevil was the be-all-end-all book of my early early teen years. Just an incredible read - film noir, super powers, ninjas. And then all of a sudden they killed Elektra; I was stunned.
Giant Size X-Men #1: Can't have a list without this.
Oh wait, is this not supposed to be a list. Whoops. I was about to name a few more.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I saw my first piece of original art back when I was living in New York City in ‘93 at a convention at the Javits Center. I had collected comics a little bit as a kid, but it always seemed like no matter how much money I had in my pocket, Giant Size X-Men #1 cost a little bit more. Plus it always bothered me that no matter how good a copy of a comic book I might have, there was someone out there with the same or better. I loved the idea that when you had a piece of art it is the one and only, but I was too unsure to buy anything at that convention. I finally bought my first piece after I moved to Los Angeles and was able to attend my first San Diego Comic-con. Back then, before eBay and dealer web sites, San Diego was the BIG con for art. Dealers would hold pieces back to premiere them at that show. I started buying at the ‘95 Comic-Con, and haven't stopped. Ironically, I later found out that some of the biggest guys and dealers in the hobby used to hang out at the comic book store I shopped in all my life, but I never met them and there was no art on the walls.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I have the walls filled to the gills with framed pieces, but unfortunately I have run out of walls. Everything else is split up - regular size piece in Itoya folders, twice up pieces in large portfolios, and really large piece in two different flat files.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
1. A great Little Nemo by Winsor McCay: Something wild and filled with imagination.
2. Keith Giffen Legion of Super-Heroes poster: It had EVERY character ever from the Legion. I would kill someone to get the original to this piece.
3. Curt Swan 60s Action Comics cover with Bizarro Superman on it - at Seinfeld, I wrote the Bizarro Jerry episode, and have collected Bizarro art ever since. This would be the dream especially if the cover was from the Bizarro War story.
4. George Perez Justice League #195, #196 and #197: The League vs. the Secret Society of Super-villains. I am desperate to find these covers. Come on, somebody help me.
5. Star Wars #7 Cover: The first Marvel issue after the adaptation, it featured the adventures of Han and Chewie, just like the stuff my friends and I used to make up in the playground.
5 1/2. Uncanny X-Men #141 Days of Future Past cover: My all time favorite Byrne/Austin cover; a man can dream, can't he?
View David Mandel's Gallery