1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 34 year-old Electrical Engineer turned software weenie. I live in Brookline, Massachusetts and work nearby. I am an amateur builder and completely rebuilt my own house from the studs in. I have a wonderful wife who supports my art addiction, mainly because it has paid for most of the house renovations, especially her lovely kitchen. Anyone who's been to my CAF gallery knows, I have two cuter than cute boys who are the lights of my life! And I'm also a comic art addict; Bill when are you going to make a "Comic Art Addicts Anonymous" website and forum?
2. Which is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
Wow, the answer to that question changes day to day. Right now I'd say there's a representative batch of "Favorites" that I cycle through in my featured pieces area of CAF. But if I had to narrow it down to one piece I'd say that my WildCATs Vol. 2 issue #5 painted cover by Travis Charest is my #1 - sell everything but this- piece. The detail is just ridiculous. I've never seen another artist who can get the level of detail that Travis gets. It's amazing in person.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
Typical story, I was collecting comics for about 15 years and had moved on from general collecting to collecting CGC graded X-Men above 9.4. One day, in 2001, I was doing a search on eBay for "X-Men" in the collectibles category and I stumbled upon an auction for a Leinil Yu X-Men cover. I thought, "You can buy that?!" I've barely bought a comic since then. Had I known how the market was going to take off for artwork I would have bought any and all covers avail at the time. I think the Yu ended around $300, a steal in today's prices
It helps that at the time, through volleyball, I knew Bechara, one of the best dealers in the biz. I got in touch with him again and he's been my pusher ever since. We've become close friends and his wife, who is a doula, even helped deliver my two boys.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Unfortunately for my collection I don't have enough wall space to frame and hang any of my artwork. So for right now all of my stuff is in Itoyas. I take it back, I have one Ziggy daily framed and hanging inside my front door. That being said, artwork is constantly floating around the house, so much that my kids now ask, "Daddy got a package, is it artwork?"
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
This is the hardest question to answer in all of collecting, because I want it all! Since you're forcing me to make a list:
1. All eight Travis Charest New Horizons covers; putting these together would complete two aspects of my collecting. First is that Travis is my favorite artist, second is that I love interlocking covers.
2. Jim Lee X-Men cover or splash with Wolverine (I know, I know, who doesn't want this?) and a WildCATs cover by Jim.
3. Rick Leonardi X-Men cover or splash
4. Marc Silvestri X-Men cover or splash from the Fall of the Mutants or Inferno storylines and a Cyberforce cover
5. Barry Windsor-Smith and Sam Keith and Mike Mignola Wolverines, Barry Windsor-Smith and Rob Liefeld New Mutants covers, Todd McFarlane Spidey double page spread or splash, Larry Stroman and Joe Quesada X-Factor covers and splashes and on and on and on.
View Ben Bressel's Gallery