1.Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a thirty four year old Englishman who's spent less than half his life in England. Firstly due to my father's work I have lived in Saudi Arabia, America and Korea. Since I turned 19 I've been working as a Cost Engineer for several major oil companies and contractors and in these last fifteen years I've spent time living in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the UAE, Germany and currently Thailand.
2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
I'm going to have to go with the Dave Gibbons Rorschach Western commission. It's mainly because of the history. I'd recently begun collecting commissions with a Western theme and was part of a forum that Dave happened to post a reply to. I simply emailed him asking if he did commissions. He politely replied that he didn't. So I wrote back to thank him and I also just mentioned what my idea for a commission was.
To my surprise he wrote back a little while later saying that he had completed a long project and had another in front of him but he wanted a break. He liked my idea and agreed to do a small convention type sketch. When he hand delivered the piece to me later that year it had turned out he had enjoyed himself so much that he hand coloured it which was something he hadn't done in 10 years.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I can't remember the year but it was the early 90's when I had pretty much completed collecting the Uncanny X-Men. I was wondering if/what I should target next when I attended a comic convention in Alexandria Palace, London. While there I met a dealer who was selling all this original art. I didn't have the money to buy much but as it was the end of the first day so he offered to gamble with me. Heads I get the page free, tails I pay double. I couldn't afford to lose so we halved it. $40 if I lose $20 if I win. I won and got a Dwayne Turner Wolverine page.
The next day I won an auction set by Jim Lee for a big marker sketch of Storm. After these two pieces it was a slippery slope, especially when I found Mitch Itkowitz's phone number and he sent me a catalogue. The rest they say is history.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Originally I tried to get everything framed and on display but due to never being in one location long enough all my art is now in portfolio's under my best friends bed. He has assured me that when the time comes he will frame them and display them for me. I think this is because he has sold all of my collection and replaced them with high quality photocopies.....
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
1 - Brian Bolland - Killing Joke
2 - Arthur Adams - Asgardian Wars (Annual 9 pages)
3 - Alan Davis - Uncanny X-Men 213 cover
4 - John Buscema - Wolverine 8 cover
5 - John Romita Jr. - Uncanny X-Men 183 cover
View John Bamber's Gallery