1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and live in Singapore, but spent some time studying in the UK and the US. While I am a "Geek of All Trades," in my heart of hearts I'm a comic book guy above all else. I'm a little more familiar with Fantasy/Sci-Fi art, being one of the regular volunteer organizers of the World Science Fiction Convention and can usually be found in the Art Show during the con, although I have also been known to help manage the social media feeds as well.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
My favorite piece varies greatly and it's always hard to choose just one, but I tend to favor commissions where I've interacted with the artist on the final image - such as the Snow White/Rose Red double by Gene Ha or the (shown above) Mouse Guard style Monty Python and the Holy Grail scene by David Petersen. I try not to micro manage, which does lend a little risk to the endeavor, but if you do your research and choose a subject you know the artist can handle you can get some great results.
In David's case, I had met him at Fabletown and Beyond, the Fables convention, a few years prior where he was selling a print re-interpreting the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the Knights of the Round Table run away from the Vorpal Bunny - except the Knights were done in his Mouse Guard style while the rabbit loomed large over them. I thought it was hilarious so when I realized I could get a friend to pick up a commission at Boston Comic Con last year, I got in touch asking if he cared to re-visit those designs. He wrote a little blog post about it here.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
Sadly my first purchase of original comic art went missing when the framer I was having re-mount it closed up shop and moved out of state unexpectedly. It was a page from the Death Manga by Jill Thompson I had purchased at a charity auction during Fiddler's Green, the Sandman Convention, in support of the CBLDF.
More recently, I've been participating in the Singapore Comics Community Facebook Group which organizes semi-regular meetups. I met several like-minded individuals there - including a fella who it turns out I used to play Magic the Gathering with 20+ years ago. He was kind enough to show off some of his impressive Comic Art collection and start me down the path of acquiring my own pieces. The locals joke that Weng Keong is the Sith Lord (of Comic Art) and I am his apprentice, but there's definitely a grain of truth in that - he's become a valued friend and often gives me good advice on acquisitions.
Blame it on the lack of quality conventions in Asia, but it hadn't really occurred to me that I could own art from the stories that shaped my childhood and continue to affect me today! Most of my collection is more modern, mainly because of my budget, but I'm keeping an eye on the market and I'll break my piggy bank if the right piece(s) come along!
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
The humidity in Singapore makes long term storage challenging - I definitely frame many of my pieces since I purchase for my own tastes rather than any investment purposes. I've had to "train" a local framer to get gallery level archival standards at a reasonable price - full archival is very expensive here as one company holds the exclusive import on full UV glass. My overflow goes into Itoya Archival Portfolios and I keep a dehumidifier running in the same room for the better part of the day.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Top of the list is Stan Sakai - Usagi Yojimbo is a long running favorite and while I'm limited by the fact I can't attend the same conventions he does, with his new website and the help of some friends, I should be able to scratch this itch pretty soon!
Growing up in the UK, I'm partial to British superheroes, so a Captain Britain piece or page by Alan Davis would be great.
Similarly, a Jenny Sparks page from Bryan Hitch's run on The Authority would be highly desirable!
I tend to prefer modern artists, but I'd probably sell an organ or three for a cosmic Jack Kirby page.
And what got me started - Sandman. I'm always on the lookout for good pages/pin-ups from the whole Sandman oeuvre, but I tend to be quite picky, especially when it comes to the value for money since there are so many dedicated Neil Gaiman fans out there.
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