1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am 41 years old and have been reading comics since before I was in first grade. I grew up in Ohio and south Florida and have spent much of my adult life in New York City and Washington, DC. I'm an American on assignment in London, England with wife and kids (I'm a lawyer). When I moved here, I posted online that I was new in London and didn't have any comic friends and, lo and behold, I soon became quite friendly with fellow CAF-ers Malcolm Bourne and Joseph Melchior, great guys both.
My special theme is the One Minute Later commission in which I ask artists to redraw a published comic book cover but to have the action take place one minute later. I've had really nice reaction to my collection and I've been lucky to meet many artists and fans through this hobby.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite and why?
My favorite piece is my Gene Colan Invaders commission. A few years before my grandmother Pearl Franklin passed away, she gave a small gift to each of her grandchildren, asking us to buy something that we would always cherish and which would remind us of her love. I chose to commission Gene Colan for an Invaders v. Red Skull piece which hangs proudly in my study to this day. Grandma Pearl lived to see my commission and knew how special it was to me, both because it was from her and because it contained my favorite characters by one of my favorite artists. Every day when I see it, I thank Gene and think of my grandmother. As an aside, Roy Thomas liked it so much, he chose it as the cover to Alter Ego #70.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I have been collecting comic art since 2001, but really began in earnest in 2004. I had pretty much completed my collection of every Silver Age Marvel comic and couldn't figure out what to do. I loved the Gene Colan commission I had and decided that rather than collection golden age comics, I would get into comic book art. That decision, in turn, resulted in the following:
First, there are so many covers and comic books that I loved that it pretty quickly became clear that I could not afford them. I commissioned a few cover recreations but there was not enough originality for me – they were beautiful to be sure. Through CAF, I became aware of Brian Sagar (the famous MTIO 76 theme collector) and Chris Caira (the brilliant Trophy Wall), Damon Owens (the Brotherhood) and others. I wanted a theme of my own and after much thought, I came up with One Minute Later, the theme for which I'm best known. I also collected the bulk of sketches for the Hero Initiative's 3-Minute Sketchbook, so I'm also known as the "3 Minute Guy."
Second, I fell in love with the original art market. Invaders pages, Cap pages, Spider-Man, etc., etc. So my beloved comic collection which took me 30+ years to acquire has been sold chunk by chunk to purchase artwork. Heck, I even traded away my autographed Dan Marino football as part of a deal for a Gene Colan splash.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
The bulk of my collection is stored in Itoyas. At the moment, we are living in London on assignment and the pieces on the wall here are a Neal Adams Captain America, Invaders #6 by Jack Kirby, a Cap and Bucky signed print by Jack, my Gene Colan Invaders commission, a Gene Colan commission of Daredevil v. Gladiator, a Sal Buscema commission of Cap and Bucky v. Red Skull, a huge painted recreation of Avengers #4 by Garry Leach, a painted recreation of Captain America Comics #76 by JK Snyder III, a Joe Kubert Enemy Ace sketch, a painting by Andrew Sheppard of the Invaders v. the Red Skull, the splash page to The Twelve #1 by Chris Weston and Garry Leach featuring the WWII Timely Heroes storming the Brandenburg Gate, and Barry Kitson's cover to The Order #4.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
(1) Sal Buscema - any bronze age Captain America or Sub-Mariner cover or splash. Sal was the Captain America and Sub-Mariner artist of my youth and nobody does those characters better (for me at least). I would love to own a bronze age cover from Sal Buscema.
(2) Mike Zeck - a One Minute Later Commission of Fantastic Four Annual #11 – the Invaders v. The Fantastic Four (a dream OML for me)
(3) Neal Adams – a One Minute Later of Avengers #97 with the Golden Age heroes battling Skrulls (another dream in which Neal pencils and Tom Palmer then inks)
(4) Joe Sinnott – A One Minute Later of any Fantastic Four Cover (...must wake up)
(5) Barry Windsor Smith - A Conan One Minute Later
(6) John Romita – A One Minute Later of any Spider-Man cover
View Michael One Minute Later 's Gallery