1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is John Cogan and I am an accountant by day and an avid comic book, comic art and comic collectibles collector by night. I have been a life-long comic collector since a very early age, so early that I don't even remember which the first comic I ever read was. I grew up in Montreal, Canada for the first 12 years of my life before my parents moved my family to Los Angeles. My parents used to buy my brother and me comic books to keep us quiet during those long winter months before Cable TV, video games, and the Internet came along. I was hooked. Then, when I was a teenager and was starting to out-grow comics, comic books themselves grew up with more sophisticated storylines in books like the New Teen Titans, Daredevil, and X-Men as well as more mature reading like American Flagg, Nexus, Miracleman, The Dark Knight, and of course, Watchmen.
2. Which is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
While I don't have any children yet, I feel that this question would be a lot like asking one which is their favorite child. I didn't create any of the pieces, but having been a fan of the medium for so long I feel very fortunate to have some of the pieces that I do by some of my favorite creators. Choosing a favorite is very tough but I feel especially lucky to have gotten the Dave Gibbons Watchmen team illustration in my sketchbook from Dave back in 2003.
Like every comic fan out there, I am anxiously awaiting the opening of the Watchmen movie and can't wait to see this masterpiece translated into what appears to be an amazing movie. My wife and I already have our tickets to see it. This excitement has me looking at my Gibbons commission frequently. Dave was as pleasure to deal with and was nice enough to even give me all of the pencil prelims he did to create my piece.
Some pieces, like the Watchmen commission, the Alex Ross Batman Family commission and other commissions, which are in one of my sketchbooks, have added value to me because I feel very fortunate to have been lucky to get some exceptionally talented artists to do a piece in my sketchbook.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
As I mentioned before, I've been a life-long comic collector and after moving to Los Angeles, I quickly discovered local comic book conventions, including the San Diego comic convention, which always coincided with family visits to my grandfather, who moved to San Diego, for his birthday back when the con was always the first weekend in August. I initially started getting con sketches at the early comic conventions I went to. I also originally collected animation art from superhero cartoons and during this time I bought my first piece of original art, an Alex Toth model sheet for the Scarecrow from the Challenge of the Super Friends, which I still have. Another early purchase of original art was a George Perez New Teen Titans page from issue #1 with the every character on the page when George did a store signing at the Golden Apple Comics in Northridge, CA. I still kick myself because I didn't have the $200 for the cover to New Teen Titans #38, which was a painted mixed media piece George had done for the "Who is Donna Troy" issue. Those were the days.
It actually wasn't until 1993, when I was working for Image Comics as their Corporate Controller, did I come to truly appreciate the beauty of a finished page of original art and the amount of work the artist put into it. At the time I had the pleasure of being able to look through the private collections of Rob Liefeld and Eric Stephenson and that's when I got hooked. At the SDCC in 1993 I bought an unused Alan Davis Batman: Year Two cover (or only used in Europe) and a Matt Wagner Robin cover and my life has never been the same since! LOL!
4. How did you get involved with Meltdown's Physical Nostalgia art show?
Actually, the person who organizes and promotes these shows, Marz Richards, is a friend I met during the year I worked for Image Comics so he just called me up and asked if I would be willing to help him out. Of course I said yes. They will have my Dave Gibbons Nite Owl sketch from the 1986 San Diego Comic Con Art Auction on display there.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
1. A nice Jack Kirby Mr. Miracle, Demon, or Ka-Zar vs. Kraven page from his Astonishing Tales issues
2. A George Perez Teen Titans cover or pin-up
3. A nice Neal Adams Batman page
4. A Brian Bolland Black Canary commission
5. An Adam Hughes Black Canary commission... Adam has had one of my sketchbooks since 1993 so hopefully good things come to those who wait.
View John Cogan's Gallery