1. Please tell us a little about yourself
I'm a 40 year-old who grew up reading Bronze Age comics and enjoying the black-and-white comics boom of the 80s. I spent most of my childhood in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY when there were newsstands and comic book shops all over the place. I live in Los Angeles now. I've been in the civil litigation field for the last 15 years, ten of which as a research attorney (a.k.a. law clerk) to judges. I'm a proud daddy of two beautiful little girls and two German Shepherds.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite and why?
I know this will sound trite, but that really is like asking someone to pick their favorite child. Among my favorite pieces, every piece is special in its own way. Still, if there were a piece I'd want buried with me, it's p. 6 of Graham Ingels's EC masterpiece, "Collection Completed." It's not the most valuable piece in my collection dollar-wise; nor is it the most commented-on piece, by a long-shot. But to me, it's an object of sheer artistic beauty and wonder. It's a real showcase of Ingels's mastery of textures, shadows, and light, and it features the Old Witch! It's one of the few pieces I have in a permanent (as opposed to changeable) frame, and I have it displayed in a hallway where I can look at it all the time - and do. If I could take two pieces to the grave with me, the second would be Wrightson's Ingels/EC homage in my "Wrightson: Vintage" gallery. It's a fun piece and is chock full of Wrightson's lush, exquisite inking. And it contains an Old Witch-like horror host!
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I started dabbling in original art when I was 13 or so, after years of reading comics. I just thought original art was special and different; there was something so cool about owning a unique piece which came right from the artist's hand. My first original was either a Conan sketch done by Evan Dorkin at a local convention (he used to clerk at my favorite comic shop), or a Tim Conrad pencil prelim I purchased for a then-whopping $40. I can't remember which came first, but I still have the Dorkin Conan sketch - folds, thumbtack holes, and all! By the time I was 15 I was a huge Wrightson fan, and at 16 I acquired my first original Wrightson, from Wally Harrington. Unfortunately, I didn't buy a lot of original art when it was still "cheap," I just didn't have the disposable income (or the foresight). It wasn't until 2000 or so that I started really obsessing with original art. By 2004 or so I was deeply into EC art (which I traced back through Wrightson), and that was it for me. Collecting original EC, EC-related, and Wrightson original art has been a tireless pursuit since then. I do wish I had broader tastes though, as the type of art I collect is hard to find and quite expensive.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I keep as many pieces as possible on the walls where I can enjoy them (much to my girlfriend's chagrin, although she's gotten more used to it over the years). Numerous Wrightsons, ECs, and other pieces of framed art (including numerous animation background color keys) are spread throughout the house. Most of the art is kept in changeable frames so I can rotate through my collection and enjoy different pieces at different times. Because my daughters are young and have made unhappy comments about how "scary" some of the art is, and out of respect for my girlfriend, I have refrained from displaying the more macabre pieces of art and those showing people in distress, getting hurt, etc. Pieces which are not on display are kept in large portfolios.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Well, if I were a multi-millionaire, a classic Frank Frazetta painting or 50s sci-fi cover or two, and the Frankenstein "I Shall Be With You on Your Wedding Night" two-page plate, would be on this list! But within the realm of eventual possibility:
1. A Frankenstein plate
2. A Graham Ingels Haunt of Fear cover
3. A detailed Wrightson Uncle Creepy frontispiece
4. A Wally Wood EC sci-fi splash or cover or Spirit in Space page featuring a rocket exterior and/or exterior, glass, and a moonscape or planet, with zip-a-tone and/or craftint effects
5. Practically any of the EC or Wrightson art in my two CAF "Favorites" galleries!
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