1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Denmark in 1948, a Scorpio. Graduated from Medical School in 1974 and have for the past 25 years worked as an orthopedic surgeon in Sweden. Married to a nurse, of course, with whom I have 2 girls, age 10 and 12.
2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
Without doubt "Big If!" by Harvey Kurtzman. This story simply has everything, both art- and storywise, and transcends the comics medium. World Class and worthy of The Louvre.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
Collecting original comic art is really like buying a piece of your childhood. I have read and collected comics as long as I can remember, but to understand my collecting habits you must bear in mind that I grew up in the l950s, when wholesome comics only were allowed into most households. That restricted my reading to Classics Illustrated, Disney comics ( where one quickly learned to turn directly to the Carl Barks stories ), and magazines devoted to reprints of American newspaper strips, such as Prince Valiant, Popeye, Tarzan and Wilson McCoy´s Phantom. In my teens I stopped reading comics, but when a fellow student at Medical School showed me a handful of Danish Marvel Comics in glorious black and white with Wallace Woods´s Daredevil and Jack Kirby´s Fantastic Four, I was hooked again.
During a stint as a house surgeon in New Zealand from 1975-77 I bought my first Marvel Comic directly off the news stand, DD #132 by Bob Brown and Klaus Janson by the way, and that was a turning point for me. In 1980 I attended the San Diego Comics Con, where Wallace Wood was guest of honour, and it was here that I saw my first glimpse of original art. Unfortunately, I wasn´t quite ready yet and used all my traveller´s cheques to fill the many holes in my comic collection. However, I also bought my first volume of Russ Cochran´s EC library, the Wallace Wood stuffed Weird Science, and it was then only a matter of time before I realized that Russ was auctioning off original EC art. In 1983 I attended my second San Diego Con and on my way home I met up with Russ at the Chicago Con to receive my first wins, among them "Spawn of Mars", by Wood of course. I also spotted a large art page from FF #58 for sale and quickly picked that one up.
Still, living in Sweden made it difficult to collect original art and I mainly concentrated on the Cochran auctions for material. After buying 27 complete EC stories and a Graham Ingels painting I called it a day in 1992. Due to other commitments my collection lay dormant for the next 10 years, and it was really first with the discovery of Ebay that I realized the wealth of art available. A stroke of luck brought me together with fellow CAF premium member Lee Benaka in 2003 and he has been a major force in my original art collecting ever since. Having contact with fellow collectors in other countries is probably the most gratifying part of this hobby and my sincere thanks goes out to Bill Cox for giving us this unique opportunity.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Since my wife has restricted display to my own quarters, I have only framed 30 pieces or so, mainly EC, Harvey and CI covers and splashes and a variety of panel pages, which I can rotate thanks to special gold metal frames, that can easily be taken apart.
One example of permanent framing is the "Doctor of Horror" splash by Graham Ingels in my CAF gallery. The rest of my original art collection I keep in Mylars in a big cabinet with flat drawers. Living in a cold climate is very beneficial to the preservation of original art!
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
1. Wallace Wood : " My World " (EC), another Louvre candidate.
2. Carl Barks : A cover or halfpage splash from one of his epic Duck stories.
3. Hal Foster : The Prince Valiant Sunday page with the famous fight on the bridge.
4. Will Eisner : A classic Spirit splash page.
5. Jim Steranko : Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. cover,
preferably the surrealistic #7 (1968).
View Lars Teglbjaerg's Gallery