1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Biology Librarian at the University of California. I have two kids ages 16 and 13 so we are in the clutches of the terrible teens. I started out as a Biologist studying fish physiology and then worked in the aquaculture industry raising abalones. I have been a librarian for 20 years now and enjoy knowing a little bit about a lot of things. With the rise of the World Wide Web there is so much information out there that people get lost. My job is to serve as a “jungle guide” to get people to the right resources and explain how they work
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
Favorites are hard because a collector is in love a little with all of his art. If I had to pick it would be the Dr. Strange #1 page 26 by Frank Brunner. I found it at the San Diego Comic Con the second year I was collecting. I had already spent my budget for that year when I saw this on the wall of a dealer. I immediately negotiated with my wife for a chance to buy this beauty. I have been a lifelong fan of Alice in Wonderland and remember this page fondly. At the time I never imagined that such a Dr. Strange icon would ever be for sale. In the spirit of some recent discussions on CAF, I also note that the sight of it strikes people dumb since it has over 1,900 views and no one has ever left a comment.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I have been collecting art since 1991. I have collected comics since I was about 8 and at the time was finishing my collection of issues of Strange Tales #110-169. At a local comic convention I found a page for sale and the rest is history. It has been sort of like putting money aside for retirement. My wife approves of collecting original art over comics because she can appreciate the craftsmanship it takes to create a page. For many years I had a limited budget and would buy only the best three to five pages I could afford every year when I went to SDCC. I tried to collect only published Dr. Strange art. Since Doctor Strange has stories spanning the 1963-present, I have always been able to get my fix even when money was tight.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Most of my art is in portfolios but I do have a couple of my favorites framed. My solution to not having enough wall space is my “Book of Strange.” It is a notebook with copies of all my art arranged in chronological order. I still get a thrill when I can add a key page from the past to my book. And yes I do “read” the book like it was a extremely thick comic book, happily paging through events from the life of Doctor Strange.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
No surprises here, I want the best of Doctor Strange art:
Steve Ditko’s cover from Strange Tales #146
Cover to Doctor Strange #183 owned by Tom Horvitz
Doctor Strange pin-up owned by David Mandel
Marvel Treasury Edition #6 Pg. 56 owned by Stephen Solomon
A P. Craig Russell page from his one-shot “Doctor Strange: What is it that disturbs you Stephen?”
View John Sisson's Gallery