Collector Spotlight – Iñigo

Hi all, for this inaugural collector spotlight please welcome CBSI’s administrator & editor extraordinaire, Iñigo! I’d like to start by thanking Iñigo for his enthusiastic help and support in producing this OA column. Iñigo’s passion for the comic book medium and OA really shines through in his article, and I’m sure he inspires many of us to reach for greater collecting heights! Iñigo’s thoughtful insights and wise advice are also valuable to both collectors old and new. Without further ado, let’s all dive in and enjoy Iñigo’s fascinating tale!

My OA collection is pretty much a reflection of my comic collection: it doesn’t make a lot of sense but it makes me happy … and that’s all it’s supposed to do, really. I mean, I guess some people might be into comics (and even OA) for the money, but the rest of us just love comics and I find collecting OA to be a logical next step in this love (and hate) relationship with comics. It all starts by turning a page and finding a certain drawing amazing and we’re off!!!

In my case, it all started innocently enough … I found some pages by Keith Giffen that were cheap, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Well, a few years and around 80 pages later (not even going to bother mentioning commissions) I only have one complaint: I should have started doing it sooner! Prices have gone up in the craziest way in the last 15 years, but that’s a direct consequence of the Internet making everything easier to find and our generation getting their hands on money, I guess. Everytime I think about the deals I didn’t go for and what they would cost now …

No regrets!!! If you’re going to take this OA collecting seriously, better learn that nothing is destroyed, everything will eventually be back and there’s new art being created all the time: everything will be OK.

Why get into OA then? Well, there’s a number of reasons to buy art, here are a few that will allow me to take you through parts of my collection:

You love an artist’s work

This is the most basic of reasons and probably where we all start. It also explains my 10 pages of Keith Giffen (Hex, Dr Fate, Starbrand, Victory, Book of Fate, …), but he’s so good and he keeps changing his style so that kinda justifies it in my head. I went a bit OCD while I was at this stage, looking for good deals of artists I liked no matter what page it was. I really wanted to see how they put the pages together, if that makes any sense.

A good example of this would be this Phantom Stranger page by Mike Mignola and P. Craig Russell, because two geniuses working together at a reasonable price was impossible to pass up:

Or this Daredevil page by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti (which came with a full size photocopy of the pencils and is signed by Quesada, Palmiotti and Kevin Smith):

Or this coloring art (not linework, just the colors) for an unpublished Jason Pearson cover for Penthouse’s Thunder Agents revival:

Once the initial thirst has been quenched and the ropes have been learnt, you will probably switch to the next level of enlightenment …

You love a creative team’s run

Not saying this is the higher state for OA collectors, but it’s where I am right now … Before reaching this stage I would buy anything for the right price, now I only look for stuff that’s (a) pretty, (b) part of something I really liked and (c) not terribly expensive.

Allow me to digress for a bit … Yes (c) is pretty important when it comes to OA. If you don’t have money coming out of your ears, draw a line in the sand early on. As Dick has mentioned in the past, you can get art for anything between $10 to several hundred thousand dollars, and though most of the times nice pieces are pricey (+$500), you can get good stuff for cheap too. I personally set myself a tight budget because I want to keep reading comics and eating and all that nonsense. Guess what I am saying is don’t lose your head, it’s just paper with drawings on it, beautiful, but still …

Rafael Albuquerque’s page from Uncanny X-Force #5.1 scratched the itch of Opeña not selling any of the art. Beautiful page in any case, love Albuquerque and the inkwash is amazing:

I really liked the Sandman when it came out so it quickly became one of my targets in the OA world until I saw the pricetags! A page from Death: Time of Your Life #2 by Mark Buckingham? Not so expensive, but equally enjoyable!!!

Big fan of Giffen’s run on the Justice League but pages from Maguire or Hughes have elluded me (no regrets!!!), so when Wolverine and the X-Men came around and it gave me the same vibe, I jumped on the chance to get the very first page of the book!I think Deadpool when written well (not that often unfortunately) can be really good … I always thought Fred Van Lente would have been a really good choice to write him too, so when he did a story for Deadpool #900 with killer mimes with art by Dalibor Talajic, I went right for it:
That’s an important part of OA collecting these days: you have to be fast! Find out who’s representing your favorite artists and figure out when they update their sites (some of them will have the art on sale the day after the comic hits, for example). Some pieces will fly really quick, so the more homework you do in advance the better. But the most important thing to know is: no regrets! Don’t go crazy!

I used to keep a list of all the art sites and art reps with links to the pages I was thinking about buying and it was growing out of proportion. Funnily enough, at that point I moved to a different flat and decided to hang some of the art on the walls and magically the URGE was gone, the mission was accomplished. I still buy pieces here and there but I have relaxed a lot, because it never ends and I don’t have the time. It’s the perfect addiction to complement comic collecting, isn’t it?

You love a character

I don’t need to say much about this, having had Dick talk about Thanos for weeks 😉 I tend to combine it with the previous point.

Black Talon, Deadpool, Joe Kelly and Pete Woods? Yes, please:

I like Thanos as much as the next person, but I prefer Adam Warlock as a character. Jim Starlin doing both Adam Warlock and Galactus had to come home: The Orb!!! I was traumatized after reading the Ghost Rider issue where we see the Orb’s messed up face, so having a page from Jason Aaron and Tan Eng Huat’s run heavily featuring him was a no-brainer:

You love comics being crazy (details from other pages)

Those are a few of the reasons for me at least, but I guess everybody has theirs. I will leave you with my last acquisition, which would be in the 2nd category … A page from Secret Avengers by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera (vampire Wolverine being one of my favorite character versions ever):

Here’s some more detail for the Wolverine / Beast fight … EPIC!!!

If you are wondering, and even if you are not, here are a few of the pieces I have hanging from the walls:

HULK (2016) #1

Siya Oum Shared Retailer Cover 1/3000

NM+ 9.6 … $10.00

BLACK (2016) #1

NM 9.4 … $5.00

CIVIL WAR II (2016) #1

Kim Jung Ji B/W ‘Virgin’ Variant

NM+ 9.6 … $5.00

BATMAN (1940) #654

NM+ 9.6 … $2.99

10 comments

  • jason jones

    Cool read. Other than a few sketches I got at a con years ago, I don’t venture into OA. Lack of display space (no man cave) and price has kept me out.

    But I will acquire some at some point.

  • Amazing collection man. I’ve been getting into original sketches lately myself, hopefully one day I can start collecting original comic pages. Keep up the great work!

  • UltraMaximus

    Nothing better than seeing someone that collects what he loves, and loves what he collects. Right on IÑIGO!

  • I love hearing about how others get into this hobby. Very true that you need to act FAST. I just started collecting and I’m already bummed out about missing out on a piece. My advice is that if you truly want a specific piece of art then contact the artist or rep before it even goes on sale. Most of the dealers are very nice and set reasonable prices. You just gotta know who to trust.

  • Really digging these OA articles.

    Congrats on a great collection Inigo!

    From a collecting stand point this looks like moving from booze to heroin.

  • Skot Whitman

    Beautiful collection my friend! I’m not sure what i’m more jealous of, the Frank Teran Hellblazer #140 page or the Jason Pearson unused color cover.

    • Iñigo

      I was totally thinking of you as I was taking the pic of the Pearson. Of course you are a Teran fan, makes sense. I spared you from my Superpatriot: Liberty & Justice page, didn’t want to break your heart 😀

  • Ben C

    Albuquerque… Holy shit that page. I need to step my art game up, this was a great read/viewing. Thanks fellas!

  • Zack Gauthier

    Wow that’s some nice pieces in that collection – thanks for sharing.

  • Powaman

    Solid article! Your passion is quite tangeable Iñigo.

Leave a Reply