1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Born in 1974, I didn't start to get into comics until 1987. In the 25 years since then, my passion for comics has remained strong even as the quality of the product has slowly declined. From a letter hack to a reviewer, to working in retail stores and then art repping for artists, I've done just about all a person can do to be a part of this industry, without actually making the comics themselves. I am a walking encylopedia of comic knowledge, which has amazed and unnerved many folks. I even met the woman who is now my wife, in a comic book chat room online. Comics have almost become another extension of myself, just as much as my arms, legs, and irreverent sense of humor are.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
Having to choose just one piece (which is never an easy task), I'd have to go with the cover to Spectacular Spider-Man #139. Sal Buscema is probably one of the most prolific artists in comic history. There are few who can boast a body of work as large as his, nor the long-standing runs he's been a part of. Yet, in spite of such a long and storied career, I find him to be overlooked by a lot of fans who go in for the flashier and hyper-detailed styles of some of the popular modern-day artists. But Sal's work is much more detailed than most give him credit for, as well as showcasing a clean and crisp storytelling ability, as well. It also just amazes me just how powerful an image an artist can create, yet have drawn very little art to do so. Here you have no Spider-Man; no action; no backgrounds to speak of, just the well-dressed villain standing amid the results of his work. And yet, the impact of the image is unquestionably significant and immediately draws your attention in. I just think it gets to the heart about the kind of emotional response superhero comics are meant to stir in us. This speaks to me in a way few other pieces ever could and if that isn't what a cover image is supposed to do, than I don't know what is.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
My first piece of original art was obtained in 1995, due to a letter I had published in a comic. But it wasn't until a few years later, in 2000, where the disrespectful comments of a certain popular artist, about one of my favorite comic characters and their creator, prompted me to start going to shows and requesting sketches of that character, from as many artists as I could get. Since that time, I've grown from being a mere "sketch hound," to moving into published works from some of my favorite comics and creators.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Well, aside from a couple of choice pieces that I've had framed, I keep my artwork in 13 x 19 in Itoya Portfolios. It provides solid protection for the art, as well as easy accessability for me to page through and enjoy my growing collection.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
My top 5 most wanted pieces (in no special order):
1. Cover to Adventures of Superman #427
2. Cover to Batman #419
3. Cover to Iron Man #230
4. Cover to The Mighty Thor #392
5. Cover to Web of Spider-Man #38
View James Meeley's Gallery