1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in 1960 and spent my influential teens in Dayton, Ohio. I received my Electronic Engineering Technology degree from ITT in 1983 and was fortunate enough to enter the computer applications field at the advent of home computers. After completing school I moved to Wichita, KS and live there still. I work for a major data storage company, with my primary function being to support our Contract Manufacturer, currently in Memphis, TN.
The pride and joy of my life is my 12 year old son who I simply adore and have done my best to make sure we are not only Father and Son, but also friends. Being he's 12 now, I realize his wings are going to begin to spread and he'll fly off on his own adventures someday soon, but I'm hoping he'll always fondly remember all the fun and experiences we've shared and not fly too far!
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
My favorite piece of art? Wow, that's a tough one. But, to pick a piece for this article (Wrightson - Frankenstein - Alive, Alive - Issue 1 - Page 15).
After purchasing much of my art from eBay and dealers, I was fortunate enough over time to develop a friendly business relationship with Liz Wrightson over the course of several purchases. Then, out of the blue, she provides me a personal email asking if I'd be interested in purchasing one of the FAA pieces from the first comic. Well, this was not artwork I knew Bernie and Liz still possessed or were willing to sell. So after receiving pictures of the half-dozen pages they were going to make available, I chose the only full page splash as I felt it would best represent my interest in framing and matting for presentation.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
After moving to Dayton, OH in 1970, I met a friend who was interested not only in reading comics, but the artists behind them. As with a lot of young boys, I loved to read comics but I'd never been looking for the depth of a story or the artists behind them. I was just interested in the quick read and animated story. But, after reading several of the comics/artist he recommended (Conan, Kull, Swamp Thing, etc...) I became in awe of Berni Wrightson’s detailed work in comics. So for the next several years I bought everything I could find which Bernie Wrightson had done to date, but not original art. I was only 13-17 during my first interest in art, so original art was well beyond what I could afford.
Then for the next 35 years I set my interest in art aside and tried to grow up, paying off my bills and getting myself established. Then in later 2012 for no apparent reason, I put Bernie Wrightson's name in eBay and stumbled across "Stormy." This was my first original art purchase, and I'd finally found an avenue of interest which fit many needs for myself. I am skeptical about the stock markets, banks, 401K's, and our countries overall financial health. So, with one avenue I now have an investment I truly appreciate and admire, but one I also feel will hold its value (and maybe grow) over time. Plus the framing and matting has become a fun/savvy way for me to spend what little idle time I have.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
When I purchased Stormy and received my first piece of original art, I had no idea what to do with it. All I knew was I did not want to spend another $200+ to get it framed, so I found a frame with a similar sized print, removed the old print and placed in Stormy. Then after purchasing a few more pieces, I became interested in learning to frame and mat, and beyond this, how to preserve pieces while still offering them for viewing. Unfortunately, having a smaller home, I will probably never be able to display all the pieces I've acquired, so most are in poly-bags and backed by blank acid-free comic book boards in a variety of portfolios. But every now and then when time permits and just for the fun of it, I take a piece out to frame and mat. It's a great hobby and I've also done a few frame and matting projects for friends and family.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Keeping my life (and wallet) in perspective, I only dream about "most wanted", but for the sake of this article I'd have to say:
1. Commissioning a personal piece from Bernie Wrightson.
2. An original early Wrightson Frankenstein plate.
3. A Wrightson Swamp Thing page.
4. A detailed Frank Frazetta piece.
5. A colored Cheech Wizard piece from Vaughn Bode.
In closing, I spend several hours every week here on CAF and really enjoy browsing the new additions, learning about new artists, and all the great references found with just a few clicks of a button. Thanks for this chance to be a part of the CAF community.
View Joseph Vaughn's Gallery