|1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm 26 years old and I live on Long Island in New York. I've been here my whole life. I've loosely followed comics since I was a kid, but was never allowed to get an abundance of them. I mostly read Superman and X-Men. We moved from Queens to Long Island when I was in the fifth grade, so the turmoil there and the shock of being in new surroundings distracted me from reading. By the time I got to high school, my interest had dissipated. I still loved the characters and mythologies, but I wasn't reading comics anymore. I graduated high school and went through college, and started to pick up interest again when the comic book movies started coming out. I was familiar with source material enough that a lot of the changes being made for the movies made me want to go back and read the comics again. About a year and a half ago I really got serious about it when I started digitally coloring a piece of line art I had found online. Shortly after, while looking for more line art to color, I discovered the website I bought my first piece from and also discovered Comicartfans.com. I continued doing the digital coloring thing, learning through practice and talking with some of the pros. I hope that someday soon I can actually start doing it for a living, but I've still got some practice to do. Some of the pieces I've colored are in my CAF Gallery, and I do offer digital coloring commissions for anyone interested. I also have a deviantART page loaded with my work.
2. Which is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
My favorite piece is one I acquired about eight or nine months ago. It's the cover to Emma Frost #5 by Greg Horn. I am a tremendous Emma Frost fan. She is hands down my favorite character in any of the comic universes. The cover to issue #5 is, in my opinion, the best cover Greg Horn has ever done, the best solo Emma Frost cover ever, and is one of the most striking covers I have ever seen. Emma's not even in the costume I prefer to see her in (the White Queen Hellfire Club costume is my favorite) but it doesn't matter here. The attention to detail, the perspective and the composition on this piece are fantastic. Even the colored final version is outstanding. I knew that Greg worked digitally, so I had never realized that there was original art for this piece. I had figured that it was just a quick loose sketch or something to get him started. Then I saw this on CAF. It was in another collector's gallery and wasn't for sale. I was really disappointed that it wasn't available, but I posted a comment saying if he ever wants to sell it, please keep me in mind. Then I wrote it off, just put it out of my mind. About two months later I got an email from the owner asking if I was still interested in it. Of course I was! We talked and agreed on a price and added this to my collection. Even still this is my favorite piece of original art, period. I have no intention of letting it go before I die.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I started collecting original art in September 2007, so I'm relatively new to the game. I went through a short phase that I was just buying because I could, with no real focus. I picked up my first piece (and a number of others) from Comiconart.com. I don't have any of those pieces anymore though. After I had gained focus and slowed down my buying, I sold them so I could acquire more pieces that I actually wanted instead of impulse buys. I started collecting because I love the work these artists do. These people take simple tools, and what they do with them is nothing short of magic. Seeing the work is a big inspiration to me (and owning it is actually even more inspiring) and motivates me to do my own work. I've had hobbies before, but none of them has brought me the kind of joy or continued excitement that collecting original art does.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I have a couple pieces framed, and I intend to frame more, but I spend my allotted funds for art, on art itself before I ever get to the framing. The majority of my collection is stored in Itoya Art portfolios which I take out on a semi-regular basis to browse through and admire.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
There's so much I want, but the absolute most wanted pieces are:
1) An Emma Frost Commission by Adam Hughes, in her classic White Queen costume. I'd love it if Adam went to town on this piece and did one with a full background and everything. I never get to see him at conventions, and the ONE time I did, I missed out.
2) An Emma Frost Commission by J. Scott Campbell.
3) Astonishing X-Men #4, Page 21 by John Cassaday. My favorite from the entire Whedon/Cassaday run on the book. The shock on Kitty's face when she discovers that Colossus is still alive and he runs through her to pummel his captors is beautiful. If I can only own one page from the series, this is the one I want.
4) Astonishing X-Men #23, Pages 20-23 by John Cassaday. This two-page spread is my second favorite scene from the entire series.
5) Astonishing X-Men #21 Emma Frost Variant Cover by John Cassaday. Cassaday does, hands down, one of my favorite renditions of Emma, and this cover is simply spectacular.
I also want a bunch of commissions to add to my Pirate Character theme that I've got going. This is just my most wanted stuff right now, as soon as I can knock these off my list, I've already got stuff to fill the slots back up again. I just wish I could make more money, faster. Thanks for reading!
View Chris Shields's Gallery