1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am afraid this is going to sound like bragging; instead I mean to share life experiences in a paragraph. I have traveled the United States and parts of the world. I have run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain (blame it on Hemingway), climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, SCUBA dove in Belize, visited Stonehenge in the UK, spent hours at the Louvre Museum in Paris, gone marlin fishing in Mexico, relaxed on the powder white beaches of Zanzibar, and gone white water rafting in Costa Rica... can you guess I don’t have children? At least not yet; my wife, a firefighter/paramedic, and I are currently trying. Wish us luck. I know, the traveling will be end once the kids arrive.
I own a company called Visual Matter. We have been in business since 1997. We create online (internet based) training and marketing for companies such as Toyota, Six Flags Amusement Parks, and the Denver Broncos to name a few. We create the online universities for Kenwood and Sirius Satellite Radio. We have created online training for Apple Computer, marketing for HP and Oracle, etc... it’s definitely fun work that allows me to be creative in a high technology field. But the job also keeps me busy!
2. Which is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
I enjoy all of the many pieces of art in my collection so to choose one piece I literally closed my eyes and selected... my David Finch Tomb Raider cover! The image of Lara Croft and the historical elements of the design all defined with the detail and sense of design that has made Finch a fan favorite... what’s not to like? But I also consider myself lucky to own the first three pages to Savage Sword of Conan #3... Buscema and Marcos at their best! Then there is the Marie Severin Kull page drawn during her time on the Kull title and printed as a back cover to F.O.O.M (you gotta be old to know F.O.O.M). Then there is the double page spread by Kayanan, it’s said it took Kayanan a month to ink this spread. So many favorites.... I also love my pencil drawing by Joe Sinnott, my Jeffery Jones samurai, and my Mike Ploog Kull #11 page (some say Werewolf is Ploog’s definitive work, I think it’s his first issue of Kull). Hard to choose “your favorite” isn’t it?
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
Gil Kane, Big John Buscema, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and many more that I grew up with are gone but never forgotten. All are men I would have loved to have at least told them how much their art had both a professional and personal influence on me. I, we, my friends and I, used to redraw covers and scenes drawn by Buscema and Kane: Conan, Silver Surfer, the others... Then we found Neal Adams by reading his run on X-Men, and then Barry Smith with his run in Conan (both via back issues from our local comic shop, before that we only had access to newer comics from the rack).
I started reading and drawing comics when I was a kid (my mom said my drawings were the best she had ever seen). My best friend and I we were five years-old when we met, we lived across the street from each other and used to read his older brother’s comics. We both still read comics but don’t collect them. Collecting art? I remember when I was about 14 years-old and an older kid took me and another friend to a comic con in Berkley. Howard the Duck #1 had just come out and it was the “big” comic to buy, there were stacks everywhere! I remember that Con had an auction and this older kid bid a $100 for a Neal Adam’s title splash page from Amazing Adventures; you probably know this page, the Inhumans’ Triton crawling right at you onto a pier from the ocean with water dripping off him... a sweet page! I remember when this older kid bid $100 dollars the crowd went “Ohhhh!!” and he won that art with that $100 bid. I remember checking it out, in the back of the car, on the way home. It was at that time that I realized “I can buy the art!” I often wonder what happen to that piece of art.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
My collection is stashed away in binders. I have very few pieces on display. That will change as I now have many pieces that I consider “grail” pieces. I want to view and share these hard sought and thoroughly enjoyable pieces of art as often as possible, so some custom art framer is about to make some good money.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
In no particular order:
1) A John Buscema/Alfredo Alcala Savage Sword of Conan page from the early issues of that team up.
2) A Marie and John Severin page from their time on Kull.
3) A Barry Windsor Smith page from his run on Conan.
4) For my random want... Supernatural Thrillers, Valley of the Worm by Gil Kane. I think the art in that book is classic Kane.
5) A page from the comic books series Okko (either series)... what an amazing series!
A quick shout out to the great people that make collecting comic art such a joy! I have “talked” to a lot of CAF members for information, thoughts, ideas, directions, and yes, bought and sold from them over the years. I want to say, thank you all. It has been enjoyable and now I look forward to years of collecting fun.
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