1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm 34 years old and I've been reading/buying comics since I was five. I grew up and still live in Leuven, a town close to Brussels (Belgium), where I live with my girlfriend and our 5 year old son.
I'm the head of Account Management in the Middle Office of a Belgian bank, and I specialize in the Bond and Money Markets, as well as in the processing of Derivatives.
I mainly collect lower and middle end comic art pieces of superhero related comics from the likes of Byrne, Sal Buscema, Ivan Reis... I've also got a special fondness for older series like Casper, Felix the Cat, Flintstones, Jetsons...
2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
That would have to be my Gil Kane DC Comics Presents #56 cover. I remember seeing this powerful image of Superman holding a seemingly dead Power Girl in her arms as a kid. Although there are some other Kane covers I like even more (early GL), I'm really proud to have this one in my collection. I have to thank fellow collector Patrice from France who made it happen for me.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
Although my heart and early childhood memories remain with the likes of Franquin, Hergé, Vandersteen... I got into contact with US comics at the age of 12 through dutch issues of Fantastic Four (John Byrne stories & art) and Spidey by Sal Buscema. I started collecting original art a bit less than a decade ago.
I was already collecting lithos of artists like Manara but never thought of owning an original (as I knew the prices for some European comic art where quite high), until I accidentally stumbled on Jim Warden's site. Bought 2 Byrne pages (one of which is still in my collection (FF #278), learned about comicart-L and Ebay and the rest is history.
I still prefer quantity over quality, but I'm trying to focus a bit more nowadays in order to acquire some nicer pieces of art instead of amassing a huge collection. But I love the eclectic aspect of my collection, alternating between cover and low end panel pages.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I've got around 80 pieces on my walls (have a look at my photo gallery) and the rest (guess it must be around 4-500 pieces, maybe more) are in portfolios, on my desk or just literally lying around....
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
I can't narrow it down to less than six, but I'll try to keep it real:
A Sienkiewicz Elektra cover or any other Elektra/New Mutants painting
An Enric Vampirella
A nice futuristic piece by Moebius
FF # 280 cover by Byrne
A Kirby FF page (can still kick myself for selling the only one I ever had) or a Kamandi cover
A Conan cover by John Buscema
My goal for this year is at least one of the above (I've got no illusions on the FF cover though ) :).
View Thomas Vanderstappen's Gallery