1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 35 year-old married father of three; a 16 year-old daughter, a 10 year-old son, and a three year-old son. So as you can imagine, with all their extracurriculars from karate to sports to gymnastics to plays, life is pretty busy.
I have an AA degree in Television Production and a BA in Film/Cinematography, but don't actually do either. I currently work as a Director in high-end hotel AV, which basically means that I run the AV department that handles all the projection, sound, lighting, and scenic for all events large and small that come into the hotel. It's very fast paced work in an extremely high expectation environment, and clients and events range from meetings and seminars to concerts, roller derby, televised events and everything in between.
I always wanted to write and draw my own comics, but unfortunately I just can't draw well enough. But I have always been a writer with a love of telling stories. As a teen I wrote and created some comics that were to be published by a local comic shop owner who considered himself an "independent publisher," but with artist issues on my end (couldn't find one who could finish an issue, they were just other teens, after all) and the "publisher" giving it up, it never really happened. So after that I went into Film where I could have complete control over my stories and didn't need to depend on an artist, or anyone else, to tell my stories. But along the way I wrote for some local TV shows, wrote a bunch of short films I produced and generally also shot and directed/edited, and wrote some feature length screenplays. Coming back full circle, I have my first comic book coming soon, hopefully at the end of this year or early next year, that will be the same creator-owned project I almost published in back in '93. The artist is currently drawing it and I am talking to publishers, but may just self publish, which is a much easier thing to do in this digital age.
I also act as the official Artist Rep for several artist friends. I started with my younger brother, illustrator/inker Andrew Mangum, then illustrators Matt Martin and Rob Doria followed. I used to sell for some other artists too, but as they come and go I haven't really looked into building up the roster. It's more just for fun and to help them than it is a career for me. I honestly just enjoy dealing with other collectors and "wheeling and dealing" as the saying goes.
People who know me by my collection on CAF know me as "the swimsuit pinup guy" or as one of the '90s Image/Wildstorm nuts, as Jim Lee's arm of Image was my favorite. My collection is primarily '90s based, with an emphasis on Image/Wildstorm, Published Swimsuit pieces, and trading card art.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
That is always such a hard question to answer. I think every piece I have has been a favorite at some point and I'm tempted to just list one of my largest/most valuable pieces, but that feels a little like cheating and not picking one, so I have to choose something. Currently, I think my Wolverine #53 page 13 by Simone Bianchi is my favorite but tomorrow it will be something else, I'm sure. It is just a simple panel page, not even a splash or cover, but it is one of my rare framed pieces on my bedroom wall and every time I walk past it every day, I stop and appreciate it. I truly love a great panel page, and that one is beautiful.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
Back in '91-'94 as a teen, I worked in two of the three comic shops that existed in my hometown. During that time I came across some original art, and the owner of one of the shops even self published some books himself, so I had some experience with comic art and what it looked like. I still have tons of sketches and pages from those days, all unpublished art from local artists and friends. But even still I never gave it much thought as far as collecting the published art, thinking it would probably be too expensive a hobby anyway, boy, was I right. But in the early 2000s, between the massive explosion of comic art on eBay and going to San Diego Comic Con for the first time, I was hooked! Then it was a lot of trial and error that many newbies go through as you learn the ropes. I didn't have friends in the hobby, just me by myself and the artists I met. But slowly I discovered CAF and other resources, and then built up a network of like minded collectors. We help each other find art and are there for support, second opinions, value estimates for deals, etc. I love this hobby and the art community by and large. People help each other just for the sake of helping, and that's rare in any hobby.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Most of the paintings I have are all framed and hung in my hallway and family room, largely because I can put them in "cheapie" frames and not worry as much about fading/yellowing from light. I also have a few of the standard pen and ink pieces framed and up, but fear of fading/yellowing keeps most of those in portfolios. The ones that are up have the gallery glass, which is expensive, and I would rather use that money for more art.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
That's almost as tough as "what piece is your favorite?" above. But as a collector of '90s art, I'll keep it somewhat realistic but vague and go with the big dogs:
1) Jim Lee X-Men page
2) Todd McFarlane Spider-Man page
3) Jim Lee swimsuit piece (Marvel, Homage, or Wildstorm)
4) J. Scott Campbell Danger Girl page
5) Adam Hughes swimsuit piece (Marvel or Wildstorm)
View Dave Kopecki's Gallery