1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am Belgian, 46 years old, married, and have two children (ages 18 and 15). Freelance consultant by profession, comic art collector and organizer of comic art exhibitions as a hobby. The key focus of my collection is direct color and mixed media pieces bordering the fine art painters which brings me to Kent Williams and George Pratt, but also more modern artists like James Jean, Joshua Hagler, and Dave McKean. For me all of them go back to the genius of Barron Storey, who remains my absolute hero and a personal friend. Since Kent and George were also inspired by Barron, but also by the Studio artists, I also learned to appreciate Jeff Jones and Mike Kaluta.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
Without a doubt the Toymaker by James Jean. I especially flew over from Europe to New York to see and buy this piece. Knowing that Susan Sarandon also wanted this piece still put a grin on my face. Toymaker is the central piece of our living room and a daily pleasure to look at.
(editor's note the picture featured is entitled Vertigo Wrap cover by Brian Bolland due to space concerns)
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
In 2003 I went to see the Narcolepsi exhibition of Dave McKean in Brussels. I was blown away by the originals. Till that point I never realized the existence of the original art behind the comics I loved to read. At that point I started searching for originals, mainly by contacting the artists directly. Two pages from Metamorphosis by David Mack started off my collection. In the beginning I collected mainly painted and mixed media pages by Kent Williams, George Pratt, JJ Muth, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Dave McKean which ultimately made me discover Barron Storey. In 2006 I organized my first transatlantic exhibition here in Belgium with Barron Storey, Kent Williams, George Pratt, David Mack, and Ted McKeever; it was a first attempt to introduce the European public to the art of these American artists. A direct result of this show was the publication of Barron Storey's "Life After Black" journal about a year later. Since then I've been organizing comic art shows roughly once a year, including a show with Belgian artists in New York (summer 2008). Let's see what the future brings.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Roughly 20% of my collection is at the walls of my house. Most of the comic page have standard mattes, allowing me to change them regularly with the standard black frames. The rest is stored in art folders in the attic of my house, which is rapidly filling up.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
1. Lord of the flies cover by Barron Storey
2. Frankenstein plate by Bernie Wrightson
3. Little Nemo page by Winsor McCay
4. Arzach page by Moebius
5. Lady in blue page by Enki Bilal
View Carl Wyckaert's Gallery