1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 60s kid, raised during the Apollo moon missions. As such, I developed a keen interest in science and science fiction at an early age. I also have a love of art and photography. It made perfect sense then that I would combine this love of science and art into a career as a filmmaker, focusing especially on writing/directing/producing for computer animated feature films and TV shows. In addition to filmmaking, I nurtured another art/science interest -- astrophotography and astronomy. Of course, my great love of science fiction & art also lead to collecting SF illustration art.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
While it is really hard to choose a favorite piece in my collection, I suppose I would select "Tomorrow's Gift" by Richard Powers. The art of Richard Powers represents the core of our collection. It is Powers' surrealist abstract covers from the 50s and 60s that really imprinted on my brain as a young nerdy lad when I first discovered science-fiction on the bookshelves at my local library in the early 70s. Especially intriguing were Powers' Ballantine covers from the 50s. Those original 50s Ballantine cover illustrations are hard to find (and some no longer exist). When they are found, they tend to be exquisite but small little paintings (not much larger than the book itself)! But "Tomorrow's Gift" is a rarity indeed -- it is a 50s Ballantine cover, but is also much larger than Powers' typical work of that time. It is also gorgeous and has to be seen in person to truly appreciate. It is nearly impossible to walk down the hall without stopping to look at it, even though I have had it for several years.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I developed an interest in collecting SF/Fantasy illustration art back in 2000. I attended the Worldcon in Chicago that year (primarily to meet some artists I was working with at the time). At the show, there was an incredible exhibit of vintage SF art featuring artists such as Richard Powers, Ed Emshwiller, Paul Lehr, John Schoenherr, Jack Gaughan, Virgil Finlay, Valigursky, etc. It was sensational! It was also kind of a revelation... I had no idea these original covers could be bought and collected. About a year later, the book "The Art of Richard Powers" by Jane Frank was released. That was the last straw. I had to find some of these paintings for myself (years later I was able to buy the cover art used for Jane's Powers art book, taken from the book cover of "The Shadow of Alpha").
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I frame and hang everything I buy. I do not store art. I use wallspace as the "limiting factor" for my collection (okay, wallspace AND money). If I can't hang it I don't buy it, unless I sell something. We recently moved into a smaller house, so I may have to rethink that though.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Top five wanted pieces? Hmmm....
"Shape Changer" by Richard Powers
Any 50s Ballantine or Dell covers by Richard Powers
"Intrusion, An Unpleasant Visitor" by John Berkey
"The Weapon Makers" by Bruce Pennington
Any Dune cover by Schoenherr
View John Davis's Gallery