1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Hi. My name is Ivan Freitas da Costa, I am 40 years old and I'm a Marketing and Corporate Development Director at an university in my hometown in São Paulo, Brazil. But I have a pretty cool secret identity as I'm part of the organization team for the International Comic Book Festival in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, a great event that had 148,000 visitors in 2011.
I'm also a comic art collector with over 800 items in my collection. For the FIQ festival among other responsibilities I put together a massive comic art exhibition based on my own collection. For each of my most recent exhibitions - "Batman 70th Anniversary" (FIQ 2009) and "Creating Comics: from the idea to the printed page" (FIQ 2011) - I had over 200 original art pieces and rare items on display and for both of them I received an award for Best Comics Exhibition. You can check pics of those exhibitions here.
Meaning I have a pretty good excuse to keep buying original art.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
I have to say it is Batman #3 variant cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado (published version colored by Rod Reis). And for several reasons: Batman is my favorite character, that's a great cover for a key book of the New 52 but mostly because Ivan, Joe and Rod are very close friends of mine. I'm really excited to see them working on Justice League after an amazing run on Aquaman, another favorite of mine. Talking about that I have quite a collection of items from this great art team, including the covers for Aquaman #1, The Flash #1 (variant), Superman #7, Justice League #0, Justice League #15, Earth Two #4, Brightest Day #4 (variant) and far more pages and prelims that I can even remember and hopefully I’ll have more items from their upcoming books – I can’t get enough of their work and I’m pretty sure they will be remember as one of the best comic art teams in the comic book history.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
In 1997, I sent a letter to Chris Bachalo (c/o DC Comics) with a Brazilian edition of Death: The High Cost of Living and telling how much I loved his work. A couple of months later I was surprised to receive a letter from him thanking for the Brazilian comic and he was kind enough to send a Death sketch on a comic book back board (also on my CAF gallery). I was hooked. Since then I’ve been attending (and organizing!) conventions regularly and buying art straight from artists, from art dealers and collectors here on CAF.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
It’s pretty tricky to collect items on paper when you live in the humid tropics. When I get a new item I have it scanned in high res, registered with all the information (book, page, artists, art technique, size, who I bought it from, price etc.) and stored inside a mylite plastic bag that then goes inside portfolio cases classified as “Batman original art,” “Prelims,” “DC pages,” and such so they can be easily recovered when I’m putting together a new exhibition. The portfolios are kept in metal files with anti-humidity products. Yeah, it’s a lot of work. Besides from posters the only item I have on display is a Batman As The Crow Flies pinup by Dustin Nguyen hanging in my room – it’s the very first thing I see in the morning.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Ah, the wish list! The heart of a collector is never at ease, isn’t it?
1. Superman: Peace on Earth pages 28-29 by Alex Ross. It has Superman flying over Rio de Janeiro and I’ve tried to buy this double page when it was auctioned to benefit UNICEF in the 90s. I couldn’t buy it at that time and as a consolation prize Alex gave me the prelims for that page as a gift (on my CAF gallery). I’ve not seen that page in the market ever since and I don’t know if it will ever come up. Definitely a wish list item.
2. Crisis on Infinite Earths page. Love George Pérez work and I’m still looking for the perfect page.
3. Batman: Hush page by Jim Lee. Batman + Jim Lee is a no-brainer for me.
4. Hellboy cover by Mike Mignola. His sense of design has no match.
5. JLA Secret Origins cover by Alex Ross. For me it is the best JLA piece ever. I have a signed and dedicated poster framed and hanging on the wall but we all know it is never the same as the original art!
View Ivan Costa's Gallery