1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Will Barton, I'm 21 and reside in Saskatoon, Canada. I have worked at Amazing Stories, a local comic shop, for the past four years and just started collecting art. I'm a huge Robin fan (especially Tim Drake and Damian) as I can actually relate to them and they represent that one doesn't need powers to be a hero. I'm also quite the Batman fan but read many genres from Marvel to DC to independents. I've been blessed to work (and become friends) with many exceptional people these past four years and wouldn't be writing this today if it were not for them. I believe in staying fit and living a happy, healthy lifestyle. I don't drink or smoke, in the summer I run five kilometers every day, work out twice a week, swim, and stay active. I've recently begun learning parkour or free-running in the past year (I'm no superhero but can do some flips and vaults) which is about as close to being a superhero as I'll ever be. I'm currently a university student majoring in Psychology, eventually working towards the field of human resources.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
A favorite piece is hard to single out. Each piece I own says something different and each has its own special story behind it. One of my favorites (and before you say it's not comic related, IDW put out some issues of 24 so it is comic related) is my Jack Bauer by Don Sparrow. Don is a co-worker/artist/good friend of mine who did this for me as a birthday present. It was the third piece in my collection and made even more special as I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Keifer Sutherland just this year. After shaking this man's hand, getting a picture with him, and listening to him talk, this piece just brings back all those memories for me as if it were yesterday. Most people wait their whole lives and never meet their hero. I had the chance to meet mine and remember it all when I see this piece hanging in my room each morning.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I started collecting art quite recently actually. My boss brought me back two pieces as gifts from C2E2 and the Calgary Comic Entertainment Expo last summer. After having these two pieces, I felt it was time to experience a con first hand. I've had the pleasure of knowing Byron Hamm, who has a brilliant collection of pieces, and he was more than happy to offer words of wisdom and advice, helping me take my first steps into the world of comic art. My first con was Toronto Fan Expo 2010 and it was a experience I will never forget. I had the opportunity and privilege to meet so many acclaimed artists such as Gary Frank and Darwyn Cooke, as well as up-and-coming talent such as Cannan Grall. The entire experience left me (and my wallet) drained, but enthusiastic and thrilled! It's only been a short journey for me, but its only just begun and I'm quite thankful for all the art I've had the privilege of proudly owning/displaying and friendships I've made along the way.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
When going to cons my art is kept in an acid free 11x14 folder, which houses most of my art. Before any picture is framed it is documented and uploaded onto Comic Art Fans for all to enjoy and see. Once that's done, I take the piece to get framed. Smaller sizes I usually frame myself while bigger pieces I have professionally done. If you've ever had a piece framed you know how expensive it can get. While at home my art is displayed in my room and primarily downstairs, for all to see and enjoy. I feel art is something that one should share and show others. I keep anywhere from 8-10 framed pieces in my basement and 4-6 in my room at all times. While this may seem a lot or little to some, I like to change pieces every couple of months to have something new to show others and bask in. After a piece has been up from anywhere 2-3 months it's rotated with another piece until it comes back into rotation. This allows me to do each piece justice and share all the fond memories and unique stories behind them.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
We all have those 'holy grail' pieces we yearn and search tirelessly for. These would have to be my five:
#5 - Wolverine "Old Man Logan" #72 page 13 by Steve McNiven - Hope, and the will to fight and never give up
#4 - Red Robin #17 page 20 by Marcus To - Because we sometimes everyone needs a hug, even superheroes.
#3 - Cover to Robin #129 by Dustin Nguyen - Brilliant piece as it shows the human and regular teenage side of Robin, just a regular boy in a costume.
#2 - All Star Batman And Robin #9 page 22 by Jim Lee - It shows Batman's compassionate side and shows us how life is precious.
#1 - Superman: Secret Origin #1 page 40 by Gary Frank - Putting the costume on for the first time, Clark's expression is priceless
View Will Barton's Gallery