1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm originally from Utica, NY located a few hours away from New York City. As a kid growing up I always liked drawing even though I wasn't a great artist myself. I started collecting comics at about age 14 mainly because of the artwork. If an artist was really good and stood out to me I would have to buy the comic. Back then I was collecting mostly Image and Valiant titles. I later started collecting small press stuff like Bone, Cerebus, and Madman as well as mainstream books like X-Men and Batman. Today I'm more interested in original artwork from the 70s - 90s more than the comic books. Owning a published page from a comic by your favorite artist from a issue you actually read when you were a kid is a great feeling. I still get that feeling every time I purchase a new page of art.
Today I live in Denver, CO with my girlfriend Kristina. I co-own a debt settlement company with my brother Jason and also run my own indie music label. One day I plan on opening a online original comic art store but for now I'm okay with just being a collector.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
My favorite piece of artwork would have to be my Marvel Comics Presents: Weapon X #84 p.4 by Barry Windsor-Smith. The reason being that BWS is my absolute favorite artist and second that Wolverine is my favorite character. I consider the Weapon X storyline a masterpiece and is one of the best if not THE best trade paperback Marvel has ever published.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I have been collecting comic art on and off for nearly 20 years; I started at a early age probably around 14 or 15 years old. I would go to conventions and get a sketch from every artist I liked, usually on a standard comic book backboard. I still have a bunch of these sketches; all my favorite ones are posted in my gallery here on CAF.
About a year later when I was 16, I wrote a letter to Ted Halsted who was drawing Eternal Warrior for Valiant comics at the time and he sent me my first real piece of art. When I say real I mean he sent me a 11x17 piece of art featuring the Eternal Warrior on Valiant stock. I was hooked the day the page arrived in my mailbox and more artwork soon followed.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
All my choice art is professionally framed to museum standards and displayed in my home. The rest I store in a dark room inside a wooden crate. All the art is tucked inside protective acid free mylars with heavy backboards from blueline pro.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions
5. Neal Adams - Tarzan, Batman or anything visually appealing to me.
4. Joe Quesada - A Solar cover would be my dream page or anything he did for Valiant.
3. Russ Manning - A Magnus Robot Fighter page.
2. Joe Jusko - I would like one of his Marvel Masterpiece cards or a Conan/Tarzan painting.
1. Burne Hogarth - A Hogarth Tarzan piece is on the very top of my want list.
View Justin Belmont's Gallery