1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Rob Pistella. I am a 48 year old businessman living in Richmond Va., though I was born, and I lived in New York for the first thirty-two years of my life.I am happily married and I have three beautiful children. I worked in the film industry when I was younger and I've been around the world several times, notably Italy and France where I learned that art is part of life.
2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
It is hard to say, but I'd go with this 1960s Canaveral ink drawing by Frank Frazetta. I think the art really captures what Frazetta was all about--it is pure creative energy... a visceral, perfect explosive moment caught on paper.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I've been collecting since I was a kid. I've been active in comic fandom since 1973, when I published several issues of my own dittoed crudzine, Comic Fandom Monthly at age 13. I quickly began to sell comics at the 1970s monthly Phil Seuling New York City comic shows. Artists like the Studio quartet and all the big talent from Marvel and DC who were at their peak appeared at the New York cons. You'd regularly see talents like Neal Adams, Barry (not yet Windsor-)Smith, Jeff Jones, and pony tailed Kaluta doing drawings for fans. A fandom friend showed me some pro pen and ink drawings for publication in his real (i.e. photo offset) fanzine and I was hooked on comic art forever. I used to collect many fine artists, but I began to concentrate on art (solely) by Alex Raymond, Frank Frazetta, Barry Windsor-Smith, George Herriman, Jeffrey Jones, and Berni Wrightson.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Most of my art is on the walls, framed. I've been blessed to have a huge home, and 90% of my collection is on display. I only collect art by a select group of artists, that is, I collect deep, not wide. I really think that several pieces by the same artist displayed together is aesthetically appealing. It also allows me to collect drawings, sketches, unfinished works, and finished works, all of which have their own special charms...I have pictures of my framed art in my CAF gallery. The other 10% I have in portfolios.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
That's hard to say. I don't go after 'grails' usually. I see what's available and I make a decision to go after it, or not. I collect six artists, and If money was NOT an issue, I'd want another 1935-1936 Alex Raymond Flash Gordon, a Frazetta Famous Funnies cover, a Barry Windsor-Smith Conan cover, a Wrightson Swamp Thing cover, the Age of Innocence painting by Jeffrey Jones, and a hand colored George Herriman Krazy Kat Sunday. Since all these pieces combined would cost perhaps more than $500,000, for now they are but dreams. But... you never know!!
View Rob Pistella's Gallery