Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dear Comic Art Fan,

Comics lost another icon with this week's passing of Will Elder. His most important contribution to comics was the creation of MAD magazine with frequent collaborator, Harvey Kurtzman. Mr. Elder is best known for his hyper-detailed style and elaborate backgrounds, which had little to do with the actual storyline of the comic. The broad humor and biting satire of MAD would ultimately influence the comedy of legends like Monty Python, Saturday Night Live, and the Simpsons. Mr. Elder also co-created with Kurtzman the comic Little Annie Fanny for the pages of Playboy. His passing is much lamented in both the comic book and comedy communities. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family.

See you next week.

Premium Member of the Week :: Mike Rice

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I see CAF has run out of "real" collectors to spotlight - but I'm honored none the less. I'm the design director at a daily newspaper in Arizona – so my day is filled with a little bit of design, a little bit of art direction, a little bit of IT support, a little bit of planning and a LOT of e-mail. I'm mid-30s, married to the coolest wife ever (she supports and even contributes to my habit), father of one, a life-long MAC user who is obsessed with movies, comics and video games. (Basically, I refuse to grow up.)

2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?

I'm a huge fan of Chris Bachalo's artwork – so it's probably no surprise that I'd choose something by him. (Though my Adam Hughes pinup comes in a close, close second.) I've got to go with the splash from Generation Next #1 revealing the Age of Apocalypse version of Colossus. I always loved that character design – and when I started collecting original art that page was at the TOP of my wish list. I found it after losing an eBay auction to a collector in France... but it took me years of e-mail to finally get him to sell it to me. Now it's on my wall – and there it will stay.

3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?

I picked up my first piece of art at the Wizard World Chicago show in 2003 – a Wolverine: Netsuke by George Pratt. It's long gone – but that's where the addiction started. From there I started collecting newspaper pages (anything with the Daily Bugle or JJJ), anything by Chris Bachalo and whatever else I liked. And don't forget the sketches... I love meeting the artists in person and getting something drawn specifically for me.

4. How do you display/store your collection at home?

My collection is mostly stored in Itoya portfolios – but the best of the best is framed on the walls. I'd frame more – but that would just eat into my art budget. (And I'm running out of walls.)

5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?

1. Choice prelims / sketches / panel pages / splashes / covers by Chris Bachalo. Preferably his early Marvel (Generation X) or Vertigo work. Who am I kidding? I like the modern Bachalo work too. Always open to trades!

2. JJJ / Daily Bugle pages. I like these cause they tie into my job - and since they usually don't involve "men in tights" I can get them pretty cheap.

3. The FPS of WWII Captain America by Bryan Hitch from The Ultimates #1. It's popped up on eBay a couple of times... very tempting, but just a hair out of my price range these days.

4. Splashy pages by Tim Sale. Something with Batman and Catwoman from The Long Halloween would be nice ... but I'll also settle for a nice battle page from his upcoming Captain America book.

5. The rest of the Sabretooth / Archangel fight sequence from X-Factor #52 by Scott Shoemaker. (And if I could find the cover - that would be a great bonus. It's got to be the only Rob Liefeld art I covet.) It's one of my favorite books - I must have re-read that comic hundreds of times.

View Mike Rice's Gallery

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