1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm an "over 21" year-old, lifelong comic fan from northwest Washington state. I'm married to the most wonderful and understanding (of my hobby) wife that anyone could ask for. I guess my collecting habits I can blame on my uncle. Growing up, I remember he had dozens of apple crates filled with 60s and 70s Marvel and DC books. He used to pick me up from school and buy me my own comics at the local Thriftway grocery store. After grade school my comic collection took a long nap until 1986 when Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns came out. I was back in the game and never looked back.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
I could easily go with the Jim Lee "Trinity" piece as it was my first major art purchase, but my heart has to go with the Detective Comics #828 cover by Simone Bianchi. When I first saw that cover I was in awe. It was (and still is) my favorite image of the Dark Knight. It's just a terrific image of Bruce, holding his cowl, slumped in his massive chair in the Batcave as if he has been out patrolling all night and is now contemplating the night's events. The composition of the figure and the lighting that Simone used in this piece are just astounding. I had the pleasure of meeting Simone at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con and told him how much I loved that cover. He told me that it was available and he walked me from his table over to his then art rep, Sal Abbinanti, and showed me the piece. We talked it over for a while and came to an agreed price for the piece and I took it home with the biggest smile on my face. I have gotten to know Simone more over the years, and acquiring a few more of his pieces for my collection, I can recommend to anyone to go see him if he ever makes it to a con near them.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
It's funny how one's collection can evolve over the years. First it was comic books, that gave way to action figures of my favorite comic characters, then to sculptures like those from Bowen Designs and Sideshow. I did start to collect some sketches in the early 90s at some comics shows in Seattle and Tacoma, most notably from John Romita and John Romita Jr. Then in 2004 I made the leap into serious original art with my purchase of the "Trinity" by Jim Lee at the 2004 SDCC Art Auction. It's been a fun (and expensive) ride ever since.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I have many of my pieces professionally framed and proudly displayed around my home. Many other pieces (waiting to be framed) are safely tucked away in Itoya portfolios. I have a fair number of prints framed as well but since starting to collect original art, I've stopped buying prints and will probably have to cycle out the framed prints to make room for more originals on the walls.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
All of these of course are pipe dreams, but here's my list.
A. Jim Lee/Scott Williams Justice League Vs. The Avengers commission. This would kick all sorts of butt... as well as probably bankrupt me.
B. David Mazzucchelli Batman commission. His work in Batman: Year One has always been a favorite of mine.
C. Cover to Amazing Spider-Man #135. In grade school I had a three-ring binder with this image on it. I loved that thing till it completely fell apart. That cover still sticks with me to this day.
D. Cover to Superman #233 by Neal Adams. Kryptonite Nevermore! Incredible and timeless.
E. Frank Miller DKR commission. And not in his "Sin City/300" newer style, it's gotta be old school 80s style of work.
View Chris Nordeen's Gallery