1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am 36 and live in San Antonio, TX with my girlfriend. She doesn't exactly "get" my fascination with original art, but she is fairly supportive of the obsession. After many years of thinking about it I've started my own dealership website (shameless plug: artaddicts.us). I know it won't ever make me rich, but if I can connect a few people with pieces or artists they enjoy it'll be worth it. I currently represent Ryan Sook (I've been managing his website for a decade or so) and I'm in "negotiations" with a few other artists. The thing I love the most about this "hobby" (other than the art) is the connections you make along the way. I'd have to say that 99.9% of the people I've interacted with in the 15 years I've been collecting have been genuinely great people.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
This is a fairly easy question; I have many pieces that I love, but the one that makes me the happiest each time I look at it is page 5 from Hellboy: Dr. Carp's Experiment. After getting up early and waiting in line for several hours this was the first page I bought at San Diego Comic Con 2007. Even though I was 10+ people back in Mike's line I was delighted to see this still available when I got to his table. It has everything you'd want from a Mignola page: arcane symbols, creepy sound effects, plenty of black, and a nice face shot of Hellboy. Having said that, right now I'm also very fond of the Death commission I just got from Chris Bachalo.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
It's a tale as old as time (or at least as long as the CAF newsletter has been around). I got my start in 1998 with an eBay purchase of a Joe Madureira page from Uncanny X-Men. I think the next piece I got was a Hellboy sketch I purchased from Mignola at a show in 1999 which is still hanging over my desk. As a kid I loved comics, but I never realized that you could actually buy the art used to produce them until I stumbled across a few pages on eBay. As a matter of fact, when I was nine or ten I wrote to Marvel and asked if somebody could draw Wolverine for me. I believe it was Frank Miller's cover for Wolverine #1. No surprise, but I never received a response…
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Itoyas and CAF. I have a few smaller Mignola pieces framed, but I'm one of the guys that would rather spend the extra money on more art instead of a frame. I usually go through the portfolios every couple of weeks and of course I'll look at my own gallery on CAF. I try to have scanned and uploaded as quickly as possible. Off the top of my head I think I only have two pieces that aren't on CAF and that's only because the artist requested that they not be displayed. Nothing wrong with having a little mystery right?
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
No particular order here, but if you've read my previous answers the first guy is no surprise.
-Mike Mignola. Anything and everything. The guy is an absolute master who has basically done everything is his career his way. If there's one particular piece it'd be the "watch & gallows" page from The Corpse, but I'm pretty sure the artist that owns it has no intention of selling it. Still, it's my favorite page from my favorite story.
-A John Byrne/Terry Austin X-Men page. This was the run (via Classic X-Men) that really got me hooked on comics. I'd love to have a page with either a fastball special or one with Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Kitty.
-Gary Gianni's cover for the Hellboy Christmas Special.
-An Adam Hughes commission. I was SO close to getting one but I had to ask for a character that Adam said was too sexy to "tart up" (Dr. Mrs. The Monarch) even after he sketched five different preliminary poses.
-There are so many different people I could list for the #5 spot (realistic or not), but I think I'd have to go with a painting by Phil Noto. He draws the best women in comics today hands down. Disagree? Message me. I love talking about art.
View Nick Warmack's Gallery