Monday, September 29, 2008

Dear Comic Art Fan,

The launch of Neil Gaiman's epic Sandman series was a watershed moment in the history of comics. It established that comic books are a medium that could be successfully marketed to mature, intellectual, and female audiences and garnered widespread critical acclaim. The cult status Sandman acheived became the rallying point around which the Vertigo imprint was created and its influence still reverberates through the industry to this day. 

In honor of the upcoming 20th anniversary of SandmanGallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA hosts a commemorative exhibition of works depicting the Endless. Entitled "Endless Reflections," the show opens this weekend on October 4th. Contributors include CAF members such as Colleen Doran, Ted McKeeverJohn Watkiss, and Ashley Wood.

See you next week.

Colin Solan
CAF Assistant


THURSDAY, OCT 2nd, 12pm!

Profiles in History is proud and excited to offer approximately 100 amazing pieces this time around. We can not over-emphasize how terrific this collection is. We guarantee you will not be disappointed. We will be accepting orders promptly at 12pm, on a first-come first-served basis, although we will be available to answer any questions prior to that time.

Here are just some of the highlights:

-A STUNNING 1970s Amazing Spiderman cover by Gil Kane and John Romita
-One of the most KEY pages from Alan Moore's MIRACLEMAN #1 (featuring Kid Miracleman)
-A Steve Bissette Swamp Thing page from Alan Moore's classic run
-Multiple Gene Colan 1970s Howard the Duck covers
-Multiple vintage Dave Cockrum X-Men pages
-A beautiful Ross Andru Spiderman page (with 10 images of Spidey on it)
-A 1970s Mike Kaluta Lord of the Rings PAINTING
-One of the BEST Brian Bolland splash pages from Camelot 3000
-A 1970s Jerry Grandanetti/Joe Simon PAINTED COVER
-Eric Powell art, both from his critically acclaimed Action Comics "Bizarro World" storyline (written by Richard Donner) AND art from his popular series THE GOON
-A David Mazzuchelli cover from a CLASSIC issue of DAREDEVIL
-An Eduardo Risso PAINTED COVER
-Vintage 1970s George Perez X-Men page (and a Perez Avengers page too!)
-An Ed McGuinness double-page BATTLE spread from the new HULK series
-A stunning vintage piece of Jim Lee X-Men art featuring the whole team
-A beautiful 1950s Lee Elias Black Cat page

...and many, many more vintage pages and covers by Sal Buscema, Dale Keown, Jerry Grandanetti, Mark Silvestri, Joe Sinnott, George Tuska, Gil Kane, Jack Kamen, Dick Dillin, Jeff Darrow, Vaughn Bode, Jack Abel and many others!
There will be NO PREVIEWS on this sale, and all art will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The art will be available for sale and to view at at exactly 12pm PDT (3pm EDT) on Thursday, October 2nd.

Call (800) 942-8856 and ask for Fong Sam to place your order!!

Premium Member of the Week :: Tom Coker
1. Please tell us a little about yourself.  
I have been a comic fan since before I can remember.  I still have a coverless copy of Amazing Spider-Man #97 that proves it.  My dad bought that one for me off the newsstand when I was three, and although it is worse for wear and tear, I can still vividly picture the cover scene with Spidey and the Green Goblin grappling in mid air.  I was the kind of kid who would regularly wander the neighborhood looking for Coke bottles that I could return to the 7-Eleven convenience store for the cash refund so I could then blow my proceeds on Wacky Packages and Marvel super hero comics right off the spinner rack.  I have been a collector and aficionado of comics ever since.  After high school in Texas, I went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and was a sea-going officer in the US Navy for a few years.  Nowadays I am involved in residential construction.  I have a lovely wife and two great kids.  Life goes on and so does my passion for comics and comic art.
2. Which is your favorite piece in your gallery and why? 
I would have to say that my Wally Wood EC cover from Incredible Science Fiction #33 is my favorite. It is significant in that it is EC's last published comic book comic before changing to the magazine format.  It seems very appropriate that Wood's last EC Sci-Fi cover ended a splendid era.  To me, Woody has always been as good as comic art gets!  I discovered Wood's art when I was about 12.  I remember sending S.A.S.E.s off to various comics dealers I found in the backs of the X-Men, Iron Man and other Marvel comics I read and later in the pages of the Overstreet Guide.  I loved to get their lists.  I poured over them and highlighted them.  The sales lists and Overstreet had intriguing annotations such as "GGA" and they also listed the key artists.  When it came down to if for me, I always collected comics to scour the art and soak it in because I loved to draw.  It was very obvious that EC comics were prized and highly revered by serious collectors who came before me - they seemed to have the most notes "used in SOTI, POP, etc.".  Also, there were serious articles written about them.  I decided to send away for a couple of them from Ed Sobolak and see what the fuss was all about.  I got a copy of Haunt of Fear and a copy of Weird Science #16.  I was hooked immediately.  Wally Wood's cover for that issue transported me to another world!  It became my obsession to obtain every EC issue with his covers and stories (I have since put together a complete EC comic collection). I still have a list I made back in high school ranking his EC covers.  I never dreamed I'd one day own the original art to one of my very top favorites!
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I think, like a lot of folks, collecting the original artwork was a logical progression.  Considering myself a logical guy, I wonder why I didn't get serious about the original art much sooner!  I started buying some originals around 1982.  A Cerebus page by Dave Sim.  A Wally Wood page from "A Gobl is Knog's Best Friend" from Weird Science which I bought from a CBG ad in 1984.  Some sketches at conventions by folks like Paul Smith, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Sim, Butch Guice, and others.  I got a sketch from Dave Stevens at a show in Houston and I have idolized him ever since!  What a nice guy!  Like most fans though, I was still spending most all of my money on old comic books and passing up the tables with pile after pile of $25-50 pages of comic art laying there for the taking.  Aaahh, hind-sight!  After a bit of a hiatus in comic collecting due to college and the Navy, I got back to it in the early nineties about the time the Sotheby's auctions started up.  I have to say my conscious decision to collect comic art really came from an obsession to own a page from John Byrne's X-Men run - that's what really got me collecting officially.  The Claremont/Byrne X-Men run got me hooked on comics in the first place, so I made it a goal to obtain a great X-Men page by him and boy I got a great one from Uncanny X-Men #137 featuring Wolverine.  Since then I have made it a goal to get the very best examples by a handful of my favorite artists.  I'm still on the prowl!
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?  
I like to frame the art and hang it on the walls, not at home, but in my office.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions? 
My collection focuses primarily on 10 artists:  Wood, Frazetta, Kirby, Ditko, Adams, Wrightson, Stevens, Byrne, Miller, and Bolland.  Right now my 5 most wanted pieces would have to be: a Ditko Dr. Strange page; a Kirby Fantastic Four page featuring Thing, Silver Surfer, or whole team or, of course, an FF cover; a Michael Golden Dr. Strange cover or portfolio piece;  a Neal Adams Batman, Superman or Deadman cover or one of his painted magazine covers; and a Wolverton "Wolvertoon" crazy illustration like the Plop covers. 

View Tom Coker's Gallery

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