1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I live in the Chicago suburbs with my wife, two great Danes, a mini-pinscher, and an iguana. You know, the average American household. When I'm not busy collecting comic art, I am an avid scuba diver and shark enthusiast (ok, I like pretty much any underwater critter, but sharks are really special animals). Unfortunately shark populations are being decimated and fished to near extinction of some species due to the demand for shark fins for shark fin soup. So please don't eat shark fin soup. If anyone really wants to know more about me, I was profiled in Steven Alan Payne's book Grail Pages published by TwoMorrows. Or shoot me an email through CAF and we can talk! I enjoy geeking out over comic art.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
Wow, this is a tough question because I don't have a large collection, and every piece I own has a significant sentimental tie-in to my life-long comic reading and collecting obsession. But my top five would have to be the Fin Fang Foom image in my Strange Tales #89 splash (the ultimate pre-hero monster), the Kirby pencil recreation of the Tales of Suspense #39 cover, the Journey Into Mystery #125 splash (I love the dynamic Thor image), the Avengers #3 page (it miraculously survived a house fire), and last, my run of battle pages from Fantastic Four #40. Obviously I'm a big Jack Kirby fan.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I bought my first page of original art from John Romita, Jr. in the early 1990s. At the time I was a poor grad student and couldn't afford much, but eventually I began to piece together some nice pages from the Silver Age, Bronze Age, and modern artists whose work and styles I really enjoy and admire.
I started collecting art because I realized how much cooler it was to have a hand-drawn page by an artist I admire, rather than a mass-printed comic book. I collected comics my entire life since I began to read (reading comics, of course!). Then once the art bug bit me, it was all over. I sold all my comics and began to buy art.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Almost every page I own is framed, and I rotate them around my house and I have some in my office at work. They make great conversation starters! I believe art should be viewed, appreciated, and enjoyed by everyone. That's one of the reasons I love Comic Art Fans. And no, Bill Cox didn't prompt me for that statement. I just enjoy sharing and seeing what other people have. It's inspiring to see so much art being shared by so many people.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Well, it's no secret that I am trying to put together the 6-page battle sequence between the Thing and Dr. Doom from Fantastic Four #40, and I'm still missing one page. So, here are my top wants, feel free to contact me if you have any of these for sale... :
5. The cover to Fantastic Four #39. I love that cover.
4. A page from the battle of Thor vs. Hulk from Journey Into Mystery #112.
3. A Steve Ditko Dr. Strange page.
2. A Ditko Spider-Man page. Ideally a page featuring Spidey battling Dr. Octopus from Amazing Spider-Man #32, or a page from Amazing Spider-Man #21 of Spidey battling the Beetle.
1. Fantastic Four #40, page 19. If you are reading this and own this page or know who does, please email me through CAF. Even if it's not for sale, I would at least like to know where it is.
View Steve Welch's Gallery