1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Dino Mauricio and I’m 45 years old, live in Westport, CT and work as an M&A advisor and Merger Integration specialist at Brock Capital, a boutique investment bank in NYC. I’m Filipino but I often use my Italian-sounding name to get choice reservations at Italian restaurants when I travel, which is fairly often. Actually, my parents named me after Dean Martin, not the purple dinosaur on The Flintstones.
I grew up in Nashville, TN and began reading comics in 1975 (8 years old) when I bought Marvel Team-Up Annual #1 with Spider-man and X-Men-- absolutely loved the story and I’m proud to own the splash from this issue-- and Conan #57 (anyone want to sell me this cover?). Captivating stories, quarter-bin buys at my local comic shop, and trading with my friends hooked me on comic collecting. Soon, I was spending all my allowance and birthday money on my favorite super-heroes and artists-- which explains why my original art preference is Bronze Age titles.
After college, with more discretionary funds and no mortgage, I jumped into collecting Golden Age comics and built a huge collection of classic GA covers, most of which I still own today. These days, however, I’m exclusively focused on original art and primarily seeking “full figure” Bronze covers and splashes.
Surprisingly, I believe part of my success in presentations, deal communications and consulting work derives from my appreciation for original art. My presentations and communication skills conceptually utilize splash pages, sequential storytelling and cliff-hangers to enhance audience engagement. Similarly, my consulting work is tailored to client needs…whether it’s Reed Richard’s brain, Wolverine’s voracity, Batman’s deductive skills, Captain America’s leadership or even spider-sensing dangers ahead, I think of myself as a “super-hero for hire.”
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite and why?
Like many collectors, I’ve grown attached to a handful of cherished pieces, especially those on my walls that I can see and appreciate everyday. If I had to pick one, however, it would be my Wolverine mini-series #3 end-page splash by Frank Miller now framed in my study. This page never ceases to bring me great pride and joy. Simply put, it’s my “trifecta” piece…my favorite image of my favorite character by my favorite artist. To me, it's a character-defining portrait (as only Frank Miller could do) and a pivotal moment for Wolverine (“I’m a man…not a beast!”) as echoed in the latest Wolverine movie. Absolutely thrilled to own this page and quite possibly the last piece I’d ever sell.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
Collecting GA comics exclusively for 10+ years, I soon began to miss the great storylines and panels that I enjoyed when reading Bronze Age comics. CGC encapsulation made it even more difficult to enjoy the comics beyond the Four Color cover. The scarcity factor and “thrill of the hunt” remained addicting, but original art could satisfy (if not exceed) both counts…so my collecting turned to original art and I’ve never looked back. Except to sell a few comics to buy more art!
In 2003, I purchased my first piece of original art, the splash page from What If? #27 with an incredible, full-bleed Phoenix image (in all her firebird splendor!), along with the entire X-Men team and The Watcher. I love the composition and awesome lines by Jerry Bingham—and still own it! This page introduced me to the joys of original art, the beauty of 11x17 black and white, and sharing my passion with fellow collectors on CAF. Still one of my favorite X-Men images of all time. I’m thankful knowing if John Byrne had drawn that page, it would have been beyond my budget, and I probably wouldn’t be enjoying this great hobby today.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I believe art is best when viewed and shared, so I have select pieces framed on walls in my home and office, and constantly switch-out frames with new acquisitions— thanks to my gracious framer who appreciates art with me. For the rest, I use Itoya leather binders and oversize portfolios for twice-up/larger pieces, stored in my comics vault along with my GA comics, the entrance heralded by my framed Arkham Asylum page by Dave McKean.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Dozen of pieces on CAF have caught my eye over the years, including some truly museum-class pieces that I could never afford. My current wantlist would include:
1) Dark Knight Returns page, Batman in costume (Frank Miller)
2) Iron Fist cover (any) or splash (John Byrne)
3) Amazing Spider-Man splash (John Romita, Todd McFarlane)
4) Fantastic Four cover (George Perez, Gil Kane), esp with Galactus
5) X-Men page (John Byrne) with Wolverine
View Dino Mauricio's Gallery