1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a registered nurse in the Dallas (Texas) area. I've spent my entire career in the Emergency Room but recently took a management position within the large medical organization where I work. It has definitely been a challenge; really a second career even though it is certainly a related field. I’m happily married to my loving wife, Marie; we have no children except our small dog and my comic art! I turn the big “4-0” in March of this year so… yeah… really looking forward to that!
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
This is the question I always dreaded being asked if I were ever picked for this feature. I’d have to say it’s my Mark Brooks Poison Ivy. Not because it’s the “best” or most expensive piece of art I own, but because of the way I got it.
Mark was doing a convention in Dallas and it was only a moderately busy show with not a lot of other guests. I spent some time with Mark before hanging out and chatting at various conventions. Mark invited me to sit with him behind his table and we spent the whole day talking while other fans came to get autographs and chat. It was great fun and I got to see literally every stroke of the pencil and marker as this piece was created.
I had a similar experience with Adam Hughes at the infamous “con of the dead” here in Dallas. It was an inaugural show and Adam was the only comic guest. Literally four people got sketches from Adam that weekend – that was EVERY person who asked for one! I probably would have made my Gandalf sketch from this con a favorite but it’s kind of NSFW.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I’ve been going to comic cons since 1992. I always saw guys getting sketches and I kept thinking, “Man, I should do that.” Flash forward 10 years and I went to my first San Diego Comic Con. I decided this would be the con when I finally got a sketch! The show is much bigger now than it was then but it was still pretty overwhelming. However, I did manage to get several sketches in my sketchbook, including one from Michael Kaluta. Being able to get a personal drawing from one of my absolute heroes did it for me; I was hooked!
If you look through my gallery you will see my collection consists mostly of sketches. When I started in this hobby it was, by far, the most affordable way to collect art. That’s not really true as much anymore. You will find more and more published stuff in my collection these days.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
The ubiquitous Itoya portfolio is my primary means. I keep looking for an affordable flat (architectural) file cabinet but that has, so far, eluded me. I do have several things framed with two frames where I rotate standard sized comic art.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
1. The page 1 splash to Uncanny X-Men #268. I’ll never be able to afford this. but I remember the first time I read this book and how I got chills when I saw that splash of Captain America literally leaping off the page. I had not been collecting comics for a few years when I picked that book up and I was immediately back in. This splash was the catalyst for relaunching my passion for comics in early adulthood. I had drifted away from the hobby as a teen when I discovered something called “girls.”
2. An Adam Hughes copic marker piece. I have several pieces from Adam, an example from what I consider every major “period” of Adams sketches (my own classification system of course, I don’t speak for Adam), with two exceptions: The first is his latest iteration with the amazing use of copic markers, and I want one badly! The second is from his very first con sketch phase where he stilled signed his name, “Adam T Hughes," and he worked mostly in pen and ink. I might actually be able to afford one of these older sketches; I’m keeping my eyes open.
3. Any Frazetta work where he inked himself. I was hoping to get a daily from Johnny Comet but those spiraled out of my reach, price wise, years ago.
4. Barry Windsor-Smith: Again, pretty much anything where he inked himself. He has such a unique style and command of anatomy.
5. Travis Charest: I’ve been on his sketch list probably six times but have always come away empty handed. I’d buy the right published page, certainly, but have you seen the prices?
View Brian Tidwell's Gallery