Collector Spotlight – Jon Blackwell
Hi everyone, please join me in welcoming Jon Blackwell, an avid OA collector who hails from the United Kingdom! I got to know Jon through email exchanges, where we discussed a variety of OA-related topics including potential acquisitions, pricing, and of course, sharing new pickups. In addition to being a friendly and passionate OA fan, Jon is focused and disciplined in his collecting, as evidenced by his well curated, high quality collection (really like that complete interior to SSM #138)!
Hi, I’m a relatively new collector to the original art world, having been collecting OA for about 6 years. I’ve been lucky enough to come into contact with some really nice, kind collectors along the way, making the hobby even more enjoyable!
Like most OA collectors, I started by collecting comic books, but one day discovered that you could actually buy the original art from the comics! Wow! I always imagined that the original art would be locked away in a big Marvel vault or museum forever! The thought that you can own a real piece of history and it’s the only one that exists in the world, just blew my mind!
I’m from the UK, so unlike the US, comic books didn’t really play any significant role in most kids’ culture growing up. But I personally always found the Marvel Universe exciting, fun and full of endlessly intriguing characters! Who wouldn’t want to climb and swing across rooftops like Spider-Man, or hold power like the Hulk?
Original Art Collecting Journey
The first piece of original art I bought was from Spectacular Spider-Man #75 with Spider-Man and Black Cat by Jim Mooney. I still remember receiving it in the post and couldn’t quite believe what I was holding! For me, it didn’t matter what comic this was from. I just loved the last 4 panels and how Jim worked his magic! Like most of the art I buy, I really just go for the impact and content within the page, not the significance of a particular issue.
I slowly started to pick up pieces, and I’ve been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to grab some really nice art! Most of the art I buy is from online auctions, dealers and occasionally from collectors on CAF, which is great! I hope one day to go to a US comic con and meet some of the artists and fellow collectors. But like with most hobbies, I’ve discovered there are some great dealers to work with and there are some real scum bags who just rip you off! (I won’t say any names.)
When I was growing up there was a 90’s comic called The Exploits of Spider-Man, each comic had 4 reprints of US comics within it and some issues even had Spidey classics by Ditko and Romita. I really enjoyed these because of the variety of artists and storylines. I always remember one issue had the Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5, the story of Peter’s parents, followed by a Buscema Spectacular Spider-Man issue and Saviuk Web of Spider-Man with Spidey battling the Hobgoblin. It was awesome!
My main focus would be Spidey and Star Wars. Mainly Amazing Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel Comics Star Wars. But I’ve always loved Cosmic art too. I bought The Infinity Gauntlet complete book when I was young. It has all 6 issues and it’s just an incredible series. I must have read that book a 100 times! I would love to own a page one day!
Here are the main pages that I look out for:
- Star Wars (Marvel Comics) – Al Williamson, Ron Frenz
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – Al Williamson
- Amazing Spider-Man – Any page that I can afford!
- Spectacular Spider-Man – #1 to #200
- Infinity Gauntlet – George Perez, Ron Lim
- Silver Surfer – Ron Lim
- Captain America – Kieron Dwyer, Ron Lim, Rik Levins
My favourite artist would be Al Williamson. I believe he was born to do Star Wars, incredible! I also enjoy Ron Lim, Sal Buscema, John Romita Jr. and Jim Mooney.
You can view the rest of Jon’s collection here in his CAF gallery.