Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dear Comic Art Fans,

For the first Sketchbook Theme of 2008 we're going with the classic American genre: the Western. With the recent resurgence in Western themed books like Jonah Hex, The Lone Ranger, and Loveless there must be plenty of great cowboy art out there. So saddle up and herd them dogies out.

See you next week, pardners!!

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Premium Member of the Week :: Daniel Best

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I first started reading comics books at a very early age and was entranced by the colour of them.  Later I discovered black and white line art via Australian reprints, which were almost always B&W and featured several stories per issue.  I then discovered books on a whole and discovered that I can both read rapidly and retain what I've read, skills which come in very handy.  I'm a journalist and part time Government worker in here downtown Adelaide, South Australia (the finest place on the planet).  In my time I've worked for the ABC here in Australia, plus some TV work (Channel 9 amongst others) and have written for a number of magazines over the years, mainly for music magazines.  In 2002 I decided that I wanted a career change and turned my skills towards writing about comic books and creators.  I started my web-site,, with an interview with Gene Colan and haven't looked back since.  Since then I've interviewed a number of famous and not so famous comic book creators, written a number of articles and have managed to get a few books out in between.  I now write on both my main site and my blog ( and I don't shy away from controversy, as evidenced by my recent Ageism In Comic Books article and the excellent Vinnie Colletta interview that was handed to me for transcribing, editing and posting.  My first full book (as opposed to helping people with research and uncredited writing) was the Andru & Esposito: Partners For Life book, my second is the currently unpublished biography of Jim Mooney.  I'm currently finishing up another book and '08 will see me knock out at least two more, if not more.  Art wise I'm a big collector of Norm Breyfogle's art as it speaks to me.  I can't get enough Breyfogle art and am always in the market for it. 

2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?

Tricky - they're ALL my favourites.  If I had to narrow it down it'd be a race between four pieces: my birthday card as drawn by Alan Weiss, the Superman/Phantom commission by Paul Ryan, Superman/Hulk by Herb Trimpe and my Danger's Dozen pin-up by Alan Weiss and Norm Breyfogle.

3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?

Blame Mike Zeck.  I contacted Mike in 2001 to buy some signed comic books and he threw in a Captain America convention style head sketch.  I got it professionally framed and haven't looked back since.  Mike is one of the genuine nice guys and one day I hope to be able to buy a Zeck splash, pin-up or cover.

4. How do you display/store your collection at home?

Mostly we pick the best pieces and my lovely wife then professional frames and arranges them on the walls - she's very talented.  It's a great delight when people pop over and see original art on the walls.  My wife has said she'd rather original art up on the walls over shoddy, trendy prints.

5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?

Top five?  Only five?  Tricky...

1] Alan Weiss: Avengers 215 or 216 - anything!
2] Norm Breyfogle: Detective Comics #603 or 606 covers - any such cover
3] Alan Kupperberg: Marvel's Greatest Comics #81 cover or the Comic Book Artist back cover that Alan did that featured the Atlas/Seaboard characters.
4] Bob Budiansky - any Ghost Rider splash, pin-up or cover - I had a chance to own the Freaks cover a few years back but couldn't afford it, is a different kettle of fish.
5]  Ross Andru: any cover - out of my price range, as they should be.

View Daniel Best's Gallery

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