1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 35 year-old Interface Developer, I work for one of the largest hospital networks in NJ. I live down in the "Jersey Shore" with my wife and one year-old daughter.
I started collecting comics when I was about seven or eight until I was 15. My main comics were the typical 90s fair. Uncanny X-Men, Spider-Man (Black Costume and McSpidey!), and Guardians of the Galaxy where my main loves. Then in my late 20s I was introduced to Sandman and the Vertigo line and fell in love with comics all over again. The second phase of my comic love has been highlighted by many of Grant Morrison's stories, especially The Invisibles, which I consider one of the great complex stories of all time, Brian Michael Bendis' Powers and Mark Millar's Superman: Red Son. Of the comics coming out today Mind MGMT, Saga, and Morning Glories top my list.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
For me, it's pretty easy to pick out my favorite page: Fantastic Four #347, page 27.
When I was 13 Art Adams, along with Louise and Walt Simonson, did a signing at my local comic shop in Nanuet, NY to promote their new run on Fantastic Four. If there's such a thing as a nostalgic sweet spot, this is it. Art Adams pencils and a fun, light-hearted story featuring all my favorite characters as a kid. That signing and short run are etched into my memory forever. And to have, in my opinion, one of the top interiors from that run is just takes my breath away.
It also holds a special place for me, because it was the first interior to the run I was able to obtain and it was quite the quest to get it. It took the assistance of a few friends, and close to nine months to complete the deal.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I still consider myself a new collector, learning more about this hobby every day. I purchased my first page in 2010, but did not start collecting until mid-2011.
When I was getting married, I decided that I wanted to get a unique, one of a kind gift for each of my groomsmen. Being that most of us are comic book and gaming fans, I eventually found my way to original comic art. For my best man I purchased one of the splash pages from A Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones and comic original art, talk about a sweet spot) and for another of my groomsmen I was able to find two paintings for the Shadowrun CCG that we all played together for a few years.
Once I found out I could own the originals for all these comics and games an obsession began. And here we are today.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Most of my collection is stored in Itoya Portfolios with about a half dozen or so items framed and up on the wall of my office.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Top five wants that I will never find and if I do probably couldn't pry loose (or afford):
1 - Any Frank Quietly page from The Invisibles, but if I had to pick one, the final page of the series.
2 - Art Adams’s amazing cover to Fantastic Four #347.
3 - Sean Philips’s cover to The Invisibles #1.
4 - Any of Jim Lee's covers to Uncanny X-Men but #268 and the Tri-Fold #275 are the tops for me.
5 - Larry Elmore's iconic painting for the cover of The Crystal Shard.
View Pete Marino's Gallery