1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
A little about myself? Really? O.K. I’m a teacher by profession – this is my tenth year in the classroom, and I like, apart from collecting art, watching movies, listening to music, and reading books. Yes. I know, the last three are quite banal – who does not like watching movies, listening to music, and reading books? Anyway, I also collect
art prints, Sideshow and Gentle Giant collectibles, art of books, and movie posters. I know this sounds like a lot, and it is, but trust me, if you lived in the part of Texas that I’m from, the part that is devoid of a vibrant cultural life, you’d find many avenues to pass away the time and sublimate the frustration one has to deal with when confronted with the reality of living in such a place – but if you love to drink liquor (which I don’t), 100 + degree weather the majority of the year (which I do not), and Mexican food (which I do): then this is the place for you!
2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
My favorite piece in my collection—we’ll all of them really, but if I were to state which has the most meaning to me personally, I would have to say the work entitled "Anakin and Shmi", by Tommy Lee Edwards is the most profound. I do have other more “impressive” pieces, but to me this piece resonates the most in my imagination, and if I were to choose a piece that reveals the most about me as a person, then this one is it: I am by nature quite sentimental, and the scene illustrated is one that everyone can relate to: a mother and her child caught in a tender
moment, a private moment -- a scene that once contrasted with the entirety of the Anakin's arc within the saga -- is achingly poignant and bittersweet to say the least.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I started, quite by accident, collecting art in May of 2002. I was attending STAR WARS CELEBRATION II in Indianapolis, Indiana and I had the good fortune of meeting artists Dave Dorman and Iain McCaig – not being one to be content with the “exclusives” offered at the show – I asked both gentlemen if they would be kind enough to draw sketches in my copy of the limited edition of the novelization to STAR WARS EPISODE II: THE ATTACK OF THE CLONES. They both rendered illustrations, headshots, of Padme. By the end of 2002, I had my first “study” by Drew Struzan – the Slave Leia piece posted in my gallery, and had begun making contact with a number of artists in hopes of securing their services. I’m happy to say that these pursuits have proven fruitful – the proof is in the
pudding — just look at my collection!
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Most of my pieces, those I’ve commissioned, those rendered on tone paper, are matted and framed — art should be seen! Most of those pieces are rendered on sheets of 19” X 24” paper; thus, as far as I’m concerned, it would be a shame not to display them – the smaller pieces are in either portfolios, flat files, sketchbooks, or top loaders. I do also display my art in display cases alongside my other collectibles — they’re loaded into top loaders, placed on small display easels, and put next to a statue, or a model, or a toy. It looks quite nice if I do say so myself.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Only five? Come on! Well if I have to, with respect to original pages, I would love a splash page featuring Kate Bishop / Hawkeye from the Young Avengers, Jim Cheung and John Dell does it get any better? I would also
love to have a splash page featuring Barry Kitson’s rendition of Phantom Girl from The Legion of Superheroes! Barry is a phenomenal talent, and his run on the Legion – pure eye candy as far as I’m concerned – if Barry draws it, I’ll read it. He never disappoints! Finally, I would also love to get my hands on some of Humberto Ramos’ work on New X-Men. He draws an absolutely devastating X-23! Laura never looked so ferocious as she did in a recent issue where she went up against Lady Deathstrike!
Regarding commissions — gee, they’re so many ideas I could see any number of artist’s doing a wonderful job on, but at the moment, I’d love to have a Chris Bachalo original! I love his Psylocke! Anyone who knows me, those who attend the Wednesday night chats hosted by the site, can attest to the fact that I’ve been aching for, and no I’m not lying when I say aching, a commission piece by Mr. Bachalo: I want a PSYLOCKE piece by CHRIS BACHALO!
Another artist I’d love to commission would be Juan Gimenez – originally from Argentina, Senor Gimenez now resides in Spain — and is primarily know in the states for his efforts within the pages of Heavy Metal magazine. I would ask Senor Gimenez to begin my new theme: Wings of the Empire / Rebellion: landscape oriented portraits of characters from the Star Wars universe with their ships / fighters. I would ask him to render an illustration featuring Luke Skywalker and his X-Wing . . . something akin to the Jason Palmer illustration in my gallery, the one
of Apollo and his Viper on Galactica’s flight deck.
Finally, and yes I know this makes six, but let me just say that I, like most others in the hobby, would love a piece by ADAM HUGHES! Tell me, who wouldn’t? You’d be crazy if you didn’t! And yes, I know I already have a Hughes illustration, but who can blame me for wanting another one?
Take care everyone! May The Good Lord Bless you and yours – see you all sometime at a show.
Anyone going to HEROES?
View J. J. Torres's Gallery