1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I enjoy being a Comic Art Fans member because I find the hobby quite addictive and CAF is just a really nice interactive space for collectors to share. Personally, as a collector, I tend to be interested less in extravagantly costumed “superheroes” or big teams of heroes. There are of course exceptions to anything and I enjoy FF art for example. Characters like Conan, Captain America, Nick Fury, and Shang Chi, are some of my favorites. For the most part, I would say that bronze age Marvel art is probably my home base though I also enjoy lots of the DC war genre and the horror stuff, both DC and Marvel. My favorite artists are Ernie Chan and Earl Norem.
There are so many artists that I really enjoy and would love to own some of their work including: Dick Ayers, Jack Kirby, Gene Colan, John and Sal Buscema, Russ Heath, Bob Brown, Gil Kane, Everett, Marie Severin, George Tuska, Jack Abel, Don Heck, Don Perlin, Mike Ploog, Trimpe, Syd Shores, Steranko, Gene Day, E.R. Cruz, Brunner, Joe Kubert, Jim Starlin, Al Williamson, Bernie Wrightson, Earl Norem, John Romita, and the list just goes on and on and is impossible to compile without leaving out someone completely great. Maybe that is part of what makes this hobby so darn addictive!
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
The El Borak Painting by Mark E. Rogers is my favorite piece in the gallery. It hangs on the wall in my office and I just love the color it adds to the room, especially on winter days in Montana.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
Like many collectors, I began collecting comic books. I actually first learned what the "original art" was at a relatively early date for me, maybe around 1990. The man who ran the a local comic shop in Ocala was very nice and he told me what it was. It was several more years before I ever bought any. Sadly, the direction I chose in collecting and the number of pieces I picked up did not result in a very robust collection. I found a few pieces at a comic con once and I mostly focused on buying pages that had “hot chicks” in body suits and spandex and such.
When the internet came around, every few years I would search for art on eBay. This involved searching for my favorite artist, Jim Steranko. So I would type in "Steranko art," never find any, and pick up a hot chick art page here and there. This added up to about thirteen pages of art total. I didn’t realize that Steranko’s art is rare as hen’s teeth, so my searching never went anywhere. My only lucky break, from a value and significance standpoint was when I found page two from Amazing Spider-Man #194; the first appearance of Black Cat by Keith Pollard. This happened to fit into my hot chick category as it had Black Cat in every panel and I did, of course, realize that it was from the first appearance.
That was the only piece of art I ever bought that had any real value for me to work from to build a collection later when prices sky-rocketed. My collection sat in the basement for about twenty years until I went down looking for it. After looking in several different places, I found it, all safe and sound. In those intervening years, the market had exploded, without my knowledge. Though I certainly should have kept the Black Cat page, the collecting bug hit me and I liquidated it so I could start a collection. Some lucky dog has that Cat page, and I now have a small collection.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I store the art in an acid free portfolio. I do have the El Borak painting by Rogers on my office wall.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
A Conan cover by Ernie Chan or John Buscema, a Star Wars page by Carmine Infantino, Master of Kung Fu cover, a Captain America or Fury page by Jack Kirby, and a Nick Fury page or cover by Jim Steranko.
View August Uhl's Gallery