1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Erik Merkel. I am 44 and have been collecting and reading comics my whole life. As a kid my parents had a difficult time getting me to read so my mom bought me a comic. I was enthralled by the fantastic otherworldly art and the heroic superheroes. My dad, and bless him for his superhuman patience, would stop by the local comic shop each week and wait while I read almost every new comic and bought my favorites.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
Which is my favorite? That's like choosing which kid is your favorite! I would have to say that "Thanos Quest #2 Page 18" by Ron Lim is my favorite piece. I loved reading Thanos Quest and promised myself that if that page ever came up for sale I would purchase it no matter what. And when I was able to purchase it I was ecstatic. Of all my collecting that was my favorite moment when the seller said "Ok."
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I have been collecting comic art since 1999. In the fall of 1998 my house flooded and I lost everything. After six months my house was fixed and I thought about replacing the comics but then I had an opportunity to go to a comic convention where I met some of the artist of my favorite books and either purchased some sketches or original pages from them.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I have long since ran out of wall space to hang the art so I store my commissions and pages that are not on my walls in something called "Art-Folio" by Global Art. These are black plastic portfolios (and they come in various sizes) that are archival quality and acid free. Plus you can flip through them like a book when you want to show your art. My favorite pieces are displayed all over my walls (my house looks like an art gallery) framed and under UV protected glass unless they are oils.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
My most wanted pages or commissions would have to be these:
1) a commission from Adam Hughes
2) Any X-Men page that features the Dark Phoenix with art by John Byrne
3) "Bearing and Hourglass" book cover art by Michael Whelan
4) Another commission from Mark Texeira
5) and another commission from Mitch Breitweiser. He did a Dark Phoenix for me and someday he is going to do a companion piece but with good Phoenix.
View Erik Merkel's Gallery