1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 34 year-old resident of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I am happily married to my wife Carrie for some ten years now, with two wonderful children: Cassidy (5) and Alex (4). In my professional life I hold a Bachelor's of Science in Agriculture, majoring in Agronomy. I have spent almost my entire professional career in the organic food industry. I started as a field inspector during my college years and over time have moved on to Certification Manager for Pro-Cert Organic Systems; a family owned organic certification body. As such I spend much of my day dealing with state/provincial, national and international regulations and implementing and enforcing the same.
Personally, I have been a comic book fan since my very early days, as I grew into high school I became a major fan of the Star Wars Universe. I enjoy visiting with friends and family, a good game of pool, swimming, exploring new places, and airbrushing among other things. Recently I have also expended my list of activities to include art rep. As of January this year I began representing Tom Grummett for art sales and commissions. At the time of writing this is still fairly new, but a whole lot of fun! Looking forward to seeing where this takes me.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
I am sure it has been said before, but this feels a little like picking which child you love most. You really can't, but I will try. I have many favorites for many different reasons (as I am sure many of us do). But I think my all time favorite still has to go back to the JSA Sourcebook Cover by Tom Grummett. This piece was a grail piece for me. I have long been a fan of the Justice Society. As a child I knew of the Justice League and then as I got deeper into the DC Universe there was this whole other generation of heroes, the ones who inspired the Justice League. Growing up I think one of the most memorable books I read was the 10-issue Justice Society of America series drawn by Mike Parobeck. Anyways, this cover came to me at the first Free Comic Book Day. I saw it and in the crowd of people looking through Tom's art I tried to get my hands on it. I missed. I was completely bummed out. At that point FCBD sucked in my books. But later the same day I found out that the piece was purchased by a friend and neighbor. I pleaded my case to my friend and explained how much the JSA meant to me and how I had been looking for this cover from Tom for some time. He was gracious enough to sell it to me for what he had in it. My heartfelt thanks go out to him again. I love the detail found in this piece, the range of characters, the WWII setting, the iconic flag raising and so, so much more.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I've probably been collecting comic art actively for a little over ten years now. I've had the pleasure of growing up in a town with a well known comic artist and had the chance to get some sketch pieces over the years from him. Getting a peek behind the curtain as it were, and seeing how easy some artists make such complicated pieces look. I just loving watching the art come together. Then I discovered the internet and the endless possibilities for art available to me online. From there I started arranging work trips such that I could be in or near cities when conventions were around and got into the convention scene. I have dabbled in art myself and now I am content to find that my strengths lie in colors. I have a small airbrush studio set up in front of my wife's car in the garage and paint when I can. In recent years I have come to realize that collecting, viewing, creating, and other wise enjoying comic art is a fantastic release from the tensions of the regulatory world I live in. It’s a very nice balance for my right and left brain!
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Like most, I use portfolios to store most of my art. I have a nice stack of Itoya portfolios in my collection room and I take great pleasure in browsing through them on a regular basis. I just recently took to framing a couple of pieces and may have caught that bug. The only problem being, that I have limited wall space available to me to display art. I am currently working to further indoctrinate my wife and kids into the joy of comic art. Not only so that they may share my passion, but also with the side benefit of potentially some additional wall space!
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Again, as with many this is a hard one. There are a number of things that are on my want list, however that list shortens if I am thinking of those things I believe will make my gallery complete. Okay here we go…
5. Justice Society of America Double Page Splash by Jim Lee; seen this bounce around a few dealers though well out of my price range. One day…
4. A Lee Bermejo Batman page or possibly a commission
3. Mike Parobeck Justice Society of America Cover or Splash; I know where the cover for #1 and #8 are, they are just out of my price right now.
2. A Cover or Splash by Grant Miehm from The Shield, published under DC's short lived Impact line
1. Adam Hughes Commission - Batgirl or Slave Leia.
I've been on Adam's list nine times now over the last five or six years. I've had a great time talking with both Adam and Allison over the years and always seem to get along well with them. I understand why Adam's con list is managed the way it is, but Adam, if you are reading this - I'm begging man! I guarantee I will never sell the piece. I just want a little Adam Hughes treasure in my gallery.
View Byron Hamm's Gallery