Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dear Comic Art Fan,

Although this is old news at this point, many of you may be surprised to learn that a huge grail piece of comic art has been permanently taken off the market. The original Spider-Man story from Amazing Fantasy #15 has been donated to the Library of Congress in its entirety. This incredible act of generosity was done by an anonymous donor who even declined to have the artwork appraised. Now that the pages have become the property of the United States government, private viewings can be scheduled through the Library. Considering what a noted comic geek is Nicholas Cage, could this be the plot of the next National Treasure?

See you next week!


Premium Member of the Week :: Kevin A. Boyd
1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm from Toronto, Canada and I have been a comic book reader and collector all of my life, having started when I looked at my older brother's comics as a toddler. At one point I had aspirations of becoming a professional creator and for a few years produced some mini-comics with friends under the Black Light Comics imprint. As I continued into university I became more of a dealer/collector at local shows, and became friends with the people that produced these events. I've been working on cancer research projects since graduating from university and over the last seven years I've been working on various comics related projects.
In 2001 I was introduced to the guys at CGC, Steve Borock, Paul Litch and Harshen Patel. Along with Paradise Comics owner Peter Dixon, I started working with CGC on developing the Signature Series imprint and promoting it at shows. Years of groundwork paid off and the label has really started to become more and more popular with fans, as they like the idea of getting their comics signed and graded by their favorite creators. We talked about my joining them in Florida, but in 2005 I began to work for them directly as their Signature Series coordinator, and I travel to shows all over North America answering questions, working with approved Witnesses and getting books signed for fans and collectors.
I also developed and founded the annual Toronto Comicon with Toronto store Paradise Comics. Between 2003 and 2007 I organized and coordinated five annual events with Paradise and several smaller one-day events. As fun as doing these were initially, they are a lot of work and are very politically charged, especially in the Toronto comics scene, and I opted to end my association with Paradise in 2007. Shortly afterwards I took a lesser position with the other Toronto promoter, coordinating guests and developing programming for their events, such as the massive Fan Expo Canada. 
The following year I helped to found the Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards, along with former Orb publisher and writer James Waley. We're just about to hold our fourth awards ceremony this June, and we're doing it independently of the local convention scene as the culmination of a day of free programming and an original art exhibit entitled "Visions of an Icon" where over 50 different Canadian artists have done their own take on the Man of Steel to celebrate his 70th anniversary in print.
2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why? 
My favorite piece in my gallery has to be the Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus painting that Tony Harris did for the first Toronto Comicon program cover. When he had completed the piece, he sent us a video that detailed his entire creative process (time-lapsed) and it was fascinating to watch one of the "modern masters" at work. Obviously I have a personal connection to the piece as it was from the first large convention that I organized and it is one of the few items I have to show for the five years I worked on the Paradise conventions. It's one of the few pieces in my collection that I've promised never to sell.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I started collecting comic art casually in the late 1990's when I purchased a Kevin Maguire page from Justice League #1 from my local shop and began to pick up the occasional page here and there at shows. As a former artist, looking at the originals is interesting to me --- I like to see the techniques applied in the creation of each piece. Many of my friends (Yoram Matzkin, Steve Borock, Jeff Singh, Robert Haines) are also original art collectors, and I enjoy showing my collection to them and seeing the new pieces they add to theirs and talking about the market and personal stories about obtaining pieces and meeting creators. As many people reading this will attest, once you get the original art bug it's hard to stop, and as I've been doing more work within the comics community and with the comic book industry, I've had many opportunities to obtain pieces and meet creators. I would say that while I do read a lot of new books and follow the work of many creators, my collecting bug is now entirely centered on original art.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I have a handful of my painted items custom-framed for protection and display, such as my Comolo Galactus, Sim Cerebus #56 recreation and the Tony Harris Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus. As I don't have a lot of display space at home, the majority of my other pieces are stored in portfolios of various sizes.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Tough question! On the commission side of things, I'd like something from Adam Hughes and Brian Bolland to add to my collection, and I'll be trying when they appear at Fan Expo Canada this year in late August. On the wish list side I must confess I've always been overwhelmed by Dave Sim and Gerhard's massive covers for the Cerebus phone books, particularly the one for High Society. I've had the pleasure of seeing it up close at the Aardvark-Vanaheim office, and it's one of the single most impressive pieces I've encountered in my years of collecting. Chance of me owning that? Zilch. I'd love to get one of the covers to the Pacific Elric of Melnibone series by P. Craig Russell and Michael T. Gilbert, #6 in particular. Finally, I'd love to own a Ditko Spider-Man page or cover, I just can't afford one!

View Kevin A. Boyd's Gallery

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