1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Akoni Kaholo and currently as I am typing this I am sitting in my makeshift shack of a room out of Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan where I am currently located until this coming November when I can finally come home and go back to hopefully something that resembles a 9 to 5 job. This is my fifth time deployed to this part of the world with three year-ish tours to Iraq and two year-ish tours of Afghanistan. I have been serving my country for almost 14 years now and hopefully this will be my last tour over here with all things considered. I have an amazingly strong and understanding wife and two kids ages 10 and 2 that honestly mean the world to me and which I am Facetiming with while I type this.
I originally started my love for comics when I was a child and once I joined the Army seem to have left most of this at home in my old room. It wasn't until the coming birth of my son that the passion I once felt for comics was reignited. At this point I dabbled a little into CGC where I was then pointed in this direction by fellow CAF member David DeGarmo who probably had no idea what he was getting me into. What started as a "let me just throw this bid in on ebay” has truly expanded into a labor of love. I have been able to meet some amazing artists; Scot Eaton, Neal Adams, Adelso Corona, Jamie Biggs, Danny Cruz, Chadwick Haverland, and the list goes on, as well as some amazing sellers, Michael of MGA and Tom Fleming of fanfare-se.
For now I stick to the Modern era, it’s what I can afford and what I currently enjoy to read. If one day I get a better paying job i may jump at a piece here or there but like us all we collect what we love.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
This one is actually extremely difficult for me. Avengers vs. X-Men was my first jump into collecting original art but my favorite current series is All New X-Men. The other hard part about it was my favorite character versus a much more personal issue. In stating that I had to lean to the more personal side and say that my prized piece is AvX: Consequences #3 Page #1. It’s a depiction of Iron Man and The Thunderer Lei Kung with a child sitting on his shoulders, overlooking the rebuilding of the sacred city of K'un Lun.
The story behind its acquisition was what makes it mean so much to me. Having acquired my first piece of Original Art on ebay through Claudette Eaton I saw this one put on and immediately fell in love. I place a bid as high as I could possibly go and won it out right... not much of a story yet... right. So after I talked to Mrs. Eaton through ebay and told her how much I appreciated winning this one and holding onto the other piece until the end of this auction. We spoke of other original art her husband had there and somehow during our conversation we came upon the topic of my employment and current location over here. Her generosity led me to a few other pages that I still have not yet seen currently being held onto by my wife but only as described as amazing and through her description of what I believe is Doctor Doom. Anyway to show my gratitude my unit and I took a flag out on a mission and once returned had the flag flown on the base and then folded and sent to her and Mr. Eaton with all of my sincerest gratitude. Time will pass, bills may become hard, times may get rough, but this one page will remain in my collection and be passed on to my children along with the story of their generosity.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
Almost a full year now... I know I'm new but what I lack in time I think i more than make up for it in passion. As for what got me started, two amazing people as described above. Mrs. Claudette Eaton and Mr. David DeGarmo. If it had not been for them I may have never have par-taken in this truly amazing group.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
For now, they are all being held in my man cave closet, a true travesty I know. Once I return from here though I will hug the wife, kiss the kids, and head to either Hobby Lobby or the closest frame store so as to have both my favorite along with five others framed with their original page and a CGC copy of the comic they came from.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
1) The piece of all pieces would be the cover to Wolverine #33 by Marc Silvestri and Dan Green. As a comic this was the first comic that got me into comics, and when I returned to comics the one comic that truly brought me back into it. I have since had both Mr. Silvestri and Mr. Hama sign my original Cheeto-stained comic which if acquired will be framed alongside it.
2) Avengers vs. X-Men #11 page 30 & 31. The double page splash of Cyclops having gone Dark Phoenix.
3) An 11 x 17 recreation of Neal Adam's Batman #232 the first appearance of Ra's al Ghul. After getting a commission from him almost two years ago I almost couldn't stop listening to him talk so highly of this cover / comic that it truly inspired me.
4) Avengers vs. X-Men #6 page 5 featuring Colossus and Magik in their Phoenixed up glory.
5) Anything from Avengers vs. X-Men #0 having been done by Mr. Frank Cho. Aside from his posts I have never seen anything else from that series and truly would love to own anything from it.
View Akoni Kaholo's Gallery