1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm the Chief Creative Officer at IDW Publishing, the 4th-largest comic publisher in the US. I've been here for 13 years now, originally starting as the company's EIC before becoming CCO. I originally dabbled in original art with acquiring pieces from comics I've written but, as always seems to happen, have moved on to a bigger and bigger wish list.
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
This is the prize of my collection. It's a jam piece that was worked on by many of the best artists of the 1980s and took about a decade to complete. It includes many of my all-time favorite artists and characters all in one.
I'd say my favorite vertical piece is this George Perez/Joe Sinnott page from Fantastic Four #164. I adore both artists, the Fantastic Four was the first comic I ever read and FF 164 in particular was one of the very earliest comics I owned, so this page would mean a lot even if it wasn't such a great page.
But it's hard to pick now, since I finally managed to get a couple beloved Kirby pages; have quite a few Rom pieces, and Rom was always a favorite title as a kid and again now that I'm writing the new comic. Plus many of the pieces have very personal significance, as they always do, so picking a single favorite isn't really totally applicable since I love so many of them for different reasons.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I primarily started when I joined IDW and began working with a wide array of talents. I’m sure I had a few small pieces prior but it’s only been in the past 12+ years at IDW that the collection has exploded out in all directions. As a comic collector, you tend to grow from a collector of the comics you buy to more rare or special comics to the ultimate rarities, original art. And even more so when the piece or the artist has special significance. So my collection is pretty much built on either pieces from stories and artists I loved as a kid or pages and covers from artists I’ve personally collaborated with. It really does become a consuming passion, original art, one that requires some restraint. But there’s always that *next* piece you can’t live without or have to hang on your wall, right?
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Luckily, I have a large office at IDW with ample wall space so it's just covered with framed art. Art I'm constantly rotating. And again at home, I've got numerous pieces displayed on as many walls and places as my wife will tolerate. It's invigorating to work on comics with the art from so many wonderful talents staring at me and serving as constant inspiration.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
It always comes down to that arcane combination of artist and issue. So for me, that'd be someday acquiring a Byrne/Austin X-Men page and/or a Byrne FF page. I've got a decent amount of Byrne art from things we've done together but it's those childhood favorites that always loom large. Same with my need for a Frank Miller Daredevil page (I'd settle for a Ronin, too); a Perez Titans page (ideally from issue 39, where he inked himself); and a Paul Smith X-Men page. But, like for so many, the mountaintop page is a Kirby/Sinnott FF page someday. And a Simonson Thor; and Golden Micronauts; Giffen/Mahlstedt-era Legion; a Mort Drucker Mad page (a "Bats-Man" page would be the dream); and so, so many more... that's why I like trading more than outright selling, I love rotating and freshening the collection, even though many of my untouchables seem to be the ones that get the most interest in that regard.
View Chris Ryall's Gallery