Collector Spotlight – Stephen Yarish

Hi all, please join me today in welcoming Steve, another huge Hulk collector! Steve's Hulk-a-mania is readily apparent from both his blog and powerful OA collection below!

My Story

Hi, I'm Steve – 47 years young and living in Apex, North Carolina, the peak of good living! I work for Epic Games, Inc as their Purchasing Manager (we made the first three Gears of War games for Xbox). I started collecting comic books when I was a wee lad – still remember borrowing a nickel from my mom when I was five and going to the neighbor's garage sale, where I bought a copy of Incredible Hulk #170. And that was all it took! I loved the Hulk character and really associated with him, as I was extremely shy when I was young and just wanted to be left alone like the Hulk.

I still buy comic books but not so many a month anymore. While I have bought some DC books over the years, proud to say I am and will always be, a Marvel Zombie! Just love the way Marvel handles their characters (for the most part).

Collecting Journey

OA is an underappreciated art form that only a few understand, it seems. I love getting a page of original art and seeing all the work, detail and even mistakes that the penciler and inker put into that piece of comic art. Seeing a page of art from a story that I loved is an amazing feeling!

My first page of OA was a Trimpe Hulk page I bought over 20 years ago. Back before the internet, you would get these small paper catalogs in the mail from dealers showing what they had and you actually had time to buy pages, as opposed to nowadays where sometimes a page can be gone in a second. I wish I knew then what I know now and bought more pages, ugh, what pages were going for in those days is crazy! I wasn't a big collector back then, just starting out plus with a wife and young kids, my funds weren't exactly overflowing.

The thing about this hobby is you meet some really great people and friends. We are all in this hobby to have fun and enjoy artwork and I get just as excited when I see a friend get a cool piece of artwork that I might have wanted, because I know they will appreciate it just as much as I would. Part of the fun of going to comic book conventions is meeting other OA and commission collectors and seeing pieces of their collection in person (come on out to HeroesCon, best con there is)!

Collecting Focus

I focus on collecting only the green goliath, the one and only Incredible Hulk! I've bought pieces from eBay, auction houses, dealers, directly from the artists, and other collectors. You just never know where and when a good opportunity might come from.

I'm always on the lookout for early Buscema pages (issue 240 and earlier), which is when Sal had the best look for Hulk. As a young boy, I'd ride my bike about 4 miles to the convenience store looking forward to the next issue of the Hulk comic book coming out; seeing artwork from that period reminds me of being a small kid and the awe and wonder of reading comics! I'm also looking for Hulk covers that I can afford (not too many of those nowadays).

My grail piece is page 1 from issue 206. If I can get the OA page for that, everything else would just be gravy. When I see that page, that IS the Incredible Hulk. Someday……someday…….

Favorite Pieces

My favorite Hulk artist is and will always be Sal Buscema! When I think of the Hulk, I think of how he drew him. Sal was able to show the immense size of the Hulk and still portray emotions. My favorite page I currently own by him is page 2 from issue 214, a great representation of the Hulk changing to Bruce Banner.

I was lucky enough to get a classic image of the Hulk from Dale Keown showing Hulk in bunny slippers! Love Dale's artwork so I am proud to own this page. This was a right place at the right time situation – it came up on eBay shortly before SDCC so not a lot of people were spending money before the con. I put a bid on it that I knew would be outbid, but then I ended up winning!

Paul Pelletier is another artist who was really great at showing the intensity of the Hulk and his emotions. He had a great run on the series and I wish he'd come back! When I first saw the cover for the last issue Paul was going to be on, I knew I had to have it. Another one of those right time, right place situations.

The Planet Hulk/WWH storylines really brought Hulk back to greatest in the comic scene! It was nice to see people excited about Hulk books and everyone talking about the event. I loved it and knew I HAD to have a great page from the series. It took a while, but I was finally able to get this very cool splash from Andrea DiVito from the WWH: X-Men mini-series.

You can view the rest of Steve’s collection here in his CAF gallery; and do check out his Hulk blog – The Incredible Hulk: Engine of Destruction!

 

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