Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dear Comic Art Fan,

The Western was once a staple of American comics but was lost in the superhero revolution of the 60s. Today the industry is seeing a revival of the genre with the success of books like Jonah Hex, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, and even the adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. In light of this new popularity, pieces with a western theme are featured this month's Sketchbook. As always, you have to post some art in order to vote for next month's theme.

See you next week.

Colin Solan <BR>CAF Assistant

Premium Member of the Week :: Miguel Marques

1. Please tell us a little about yourself. 
So, I'm a 32 year old Portuguese guy, currently doing his PhD. studies in chemistry at a local university, here in Portugal. I've been involved comics for as long as I can remember, as it was common here to read them as children. As many of my generation, I've started with more child-friendly ones, such as Monica and the Disney characters and then just went along for the ride, reading everything i could get my hands on. Time passed and tasted changed, but there was always a comic at my bedside.
2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
In all the pieces i was able to get, there are a number of favorites, for different reasons. The quiet mood of the Cages page of the Wolverine: The Killing, page with the old woman and the rose. Ted McKeever's Hellraiser page. Totleben and Woodring are also very high in my esteem. But probably, my most favorite piece, in the sense that I could stare at it for hours and not be bored, is the P. Craig Russell Sandman page. I got introduced to Sandman in at very early stage, but it was always a series that even when I couldn't get the literary/mythological/ whatever references it would grab me for its stories and, in some cases, its images. In particular, if there was an issue that worked for me it was issue #50, with art by Russell. Everything just worked for me there. Then the page came to ebay and I was outbid by a fellow CAF member. A few months later, he decided to sell it and this time, I manageed to secure it. There's no Sandman in it, granted, but it's one of those pages where everything just works perfectly. The layout, the little storie it contains, the drawings... Just couldn't be happier. 

3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I've started collecting just three years ago, and every day I kick myself for starting so late, as there is lots of material I really would have liked to have that were available and more affordable just two or three years before. That said, I had very big doubts in the beginning. Sure, I liked comics. Sure, it would be nice to see and hold and even have the original art to some of the works that I enjoyed. But at the time, and even though I would get the occasional sketch, it never clicked. Then, I bought my first page of ebay. A John Buscema Savage Sword of Conan page that I stumbled upon and never quite left my mind. And then, after a few months, came another. And then another and another. It was something that just naturally grew on me with time.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
Most of the collection's tightly secured on Itoyas in a drawer. As I'm relatively new to the field, there are still some hits and misses and I'm still figuring out what I want to have. A few of them, already in the "never sell it to have a new kidneys and lungs and everything else list" have been professionally framed and are hanging throughout the house.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?

Hmm... ask any collector his favorite piece and he'll give you five. Ask him his five favorite wants and he'll give you ten. Always from the top of his hat. In my case, I'm mainly interested in published panel pages, as I think that what is really interesting (and unique to comic art) is not seeing some cover or splash, but how does an artist arrange the page in order to tell you a story. Splashes and covers are ok and i certainly wouldn't mind having 1 or 2 McKean/James Jean/Sienkiewicz covers/splashes. That said, and since the sky's the limit, here goes:
1. A nice Peanuts strip. I've been rediscovering the Peanuts comics with the Fantagraphics reprints and it really is something special
2. A nice Will Eisner Spirit page. Eisner was a great master. Great storytelling. Human characters, the works. There was always something interesting happening in his work. And the Spirit's a classic.
3. Swamp Thing #60. As of now, I've managed to get 2 pages, with the second arriving anyday now. It would be nice to be able to complete the book.
4. A published Steranko page. ANY published Steranko page would do.
5. These days, there are a great deal of work done by many talented european artists that really shows what this media is capable of. So, any nice page from the likes of Dave McKean, Tardi, Mattotti, among others, is always welcome.

View Miguel Marques's Gallery

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