1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Sure. I make my living as a private investor specializing in equities in the Metals and Mining sector. I have a great wife and beautiful little girl turning three in July. I remember first taking notice of art at the age of six, when my dad used to take me to the barbershop to get my hair cut and I'd flip through the magazines they had on hand while I waited for my turn in the chair. As most people have probably experienced, there's something that many barber shops, dentists and other doctors’ offices often have in common; the waiting room magazines tend to have been there for the past 20 years! So during the 70s, I was being exposed to illustration art in various magazines from the 50s and 60s and I remember loving the look of all the ads. Right around that same time, my mom began helping me collect dinosaur stickers that went into a sticker album made by Panini. Like most young children, I was fascinated by dinosaurs and this Panini dinosaur sticker collection was made up of beautifully painted dinosaurs. That was the very first thing I ever collected. I started collecting comics in 1982 because I was immediately captivated by the art of storytelling and the different styles used. Unlike so many of my fellow collectors who admit to not even thinking about the idea that those pictures were actually drawn by human hands, let alone those who did but who still couldn't tell the difference between John and Sal Buscema's art for example, I already had a fairly well trained eye and could immediately tell which artist drew what book and which inker likely inked any given penciller. I think it's because of this that my interest in comics was always predominantly motivated by the love of enjoying the art form itself and not so much for the stories, even though I still did read them.
I soon thereafter got interested in fine art as well, though retained illustration as my favored type of art even though I got into the Fine Arts program in college, which I soon realized wasn't for me. But I always continued to study illustration throughout my life and insofar as collecting is concerned, my tastes are ever constantly changing and although I started out collecting nothing but mainstream comic book art, I now only pick up pieces on rare occasions and usually from currently working artist friends who are solid illustrators as opposed to just good comic book artists. For the past 12 years I've been collecting newspaper strip art, but with a specific focus on trying to acquire the very best examples I can find (according to my own person set of parameters which I look for in the various different strips), but of what have been historically considered to be "secondary" tier strips and artists. As my buddy Roger Clark recently pointed out to me in conversation, as long as you have the money, it's pretty easy to go spend a lot of it on beautiful art by the big names, but it's a lot harder and in many ways more rewarding to find the killer examples of the lesser strips. So that's what I've been focusing on and I'm quite happy with how it's been going, but I also still love the top strip artists and try to find an example or two from those as well.
I also have been collecting non-comic/strip illustration art for the past three years or so, mainly vintage paperback covers, and that is the hobby I'm actually most passionate about right now. I display all that stuff separately in my other CAF gallery though.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
Sorry, but I've never understood how people can truly have an absolute favorite of anything, be a favorite color, food, musical artist, song, etc. I've never experienced that feeling personally, therefore I don't have a favorite piece in my gallery. I certainly can relate to the feeling that you have a CURRENT favorite, which may last hours, days or weeks, but then something else moves up on the interest scale and surpasses the previous "current" favorite and becomes the new one. In any case, I have several current favorite examples of strip art, but haven't yet uploaded them to my gallery and since you're not able to link to "wide" pieces of art in any case, why don't we just go with my Hulk #181 p.1 Splash homage from What If #31!
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
The answer to this question has already been pretty well covered in my reply to your first question, but the long and short of it is "well over 15 years now."
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I have all my comic book art in portfolios. Since I don't have much strip art (because I've been very disciplined in focusing on quality and fighting off the desire for quantity!) it is all piled carefully on top of each other and sitting on a bookshelf until either someone produces portfolios which fit strip art so they can be nicely displayed, or more likely until I change homes and have the wall space to frame much of it. I only currently have six pieces framed and hanging on the walls and those are all vintage paperback/magazine/pinup paintings.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Well in all honesty they would all be vintage paperback covers, but since we're doing this primarily for comic art fans I've chosen three comic related items and only two paperback covers. In no particular order, they currently are....
1. Hulk #272 - Complete Interior Story by Sal Buscema
2. The Sad-Eyed Seductress cover (Signet 2023) by Robert McGinnis
3. True Son of the Beast cover (Signet P4268) by Robert McGinnis
4. A great Terry & the Pirates strip with Dragon Lady
5. Flash Gordon Sunday by Alex Raymond
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