Collector Spotlight – Dick O.

 

Welcome everyone, to the final weekly instalment of OA Aficionado! Thank you to all readers, contributors and guests for your invaluable support – you’ve enabled us to publish articles for 83 consecutive weeks! Just because this is the last weekly piece doesn’t mean it’s the end of the column though, we’ll still periodically publish the reports and features that you’ve come to know and (hopefully) love.

My zeal for original comic art burns hotter than ever, as I turn my focus to other OA-related endeavours. I’ll still be deeply involved in the hobby, and look forward to interacting with all of you for decades to come!

When planning today’s article, I realized I’d never talked about my own artwork, even in the introduction. Well, to rectify that and do some showing-off, today I’ll chronicle my collecting journey through the lens of my collection.

 

Thanos with Infinity Gauntlet illustration by Jim Starlin

This was the very first piece of comic artwork that I bought, aside from convention sketches. After learning about OA by following message boards and online sales for a few months, I finally took the plunge and ordered two pieces from a dealer in 2011 (the other was a Juggernaut X-Men #160 page by Salvador Larroca). This perfectly proportioned full-figure image of Thanos wielding the fabled Gauntlet, by his legendary creator, was the ideal way to start a collection!

 

Thanos Imperative #5 (2010), pages 7 & 8 DPS by Miguel Sepulveda

Over the next year, I continued familiarizing myself with the OA market, but nothing struck my fancy enough to pull the trigger on. Then one day this monstrous double-page splash showed up on a dealer’s site, and after some intense negotiations, I managed to haul it home! Sepulveda’s detailing here is staggering, particularly his ultra-fine hatching and cross-hatching around the Galactus Engine’s eyes and helmet.

With that, a switch seemed to flip, and I began actively approaching collectors on ComicArtFans about selling their Thanos artwork. At the time, Marvel Cosmic wasn’t the hot property it is today, and there was virtually nothing for sale or at auction. So I had to do some serious legwork!

 

Thanos #5 (2004), pages 4 & 5 DPS by Jim Starlin & Al Milgrom

Fortunately, OA collectors are a friendly bunch and supportive of others who share their passions. An experienced collector kindly agreed to sell me his Thanos vs Galactus DPS, which had been seared into my brain ever since first reading the comic. I was over the moon about my first “big” purchase – something I’d never imagined owning in my wildest dreams!

 

Silver Surfer #55 (1991), page 10 by Ron Lim & Tom Christopher

Of course, life comes at you in bunches, and just five days later the deal for this astonishing half-page splash was sealed with a big Silver Surfer fan. To this day, it remains the largest full-body Thanos with Infinity Gauntlet depiction that I can recall, by cosmic master Ron Lim no less!

 

Warlock Chronicles #2 (1993), page 6 by Tom Raney & Keith Williams

To illustrate just how underappreciated Marvel Cosmic was 5 years ago, I managed to snag this jaw-dropping Eternity page by the underrated Raney/Williams combo for less than $300 on (the usually pricey) Heritage Auctions. It’s probably the single greatest Eternity image ever produced (in my humble opinion), and is a piece I’ll likely never part with.

 

Infinity Gauntlet #2 (1991), page 11 by George Perez & Joe Rubinstein

Here’s my first “stretch” buy: I entered a maximum bid in the eBay auction over four times more than I’d spent on any OA item to that point. I knew it was one of those gloves-off situations – a unique opportunity to obtain perhaps the finest Infinity Gauntlet piece in existence – and threw all my resources at it. The week leading up to, and especially the seconds right before the auction ended, are still the most anxious I’d ever been about winning a piece of art!

 

Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #6 (1993), cover by Ken Steacy & Adam Kubert

My all-time favourite comic book cover! When I first saw this issue on the rack, I was convinced it was a computer enhanced image… the eerie lighting and three-dimensional texturing were simply breathtaking. Even today looking at the painting in hand, it's hard to tell that it's handcrafted with acrylic and gouache – Ken's exquisite use of airbrush and brush to blend colours truly culminated in a masterpiece of lighting and textures.

 

X-Force #4 (1991), pages 2 & 3 DPS by Rob Liefeld

Quality Juggernaut artwork is very thin on the ground, so owning this iconic Juggy image is something I still pinch myself over! The double-page layout gave Liefeld sufficient space to properly convey the sheer mass of Cain Marko, and Rob’s use of Zipatone on the helmet is a particularly neat touch.

There’s still a ton of pieces I’d love to talk about, but that’ll have to wait for another day, as I’ve rambled on too long already. To end off, in honour of Avengers: Infinity War crossing $2 billion in box office earnings, I’d like to showcase this gem:

Iron Man #55 (1973), page 9 by Jim Starlin & Mike Esposito

As an unabashed Thanos/Marvel Cosmic fan, Iron Man #55 page 9 holds a special place in my heart: it unveils Thanos’ origin and marks the first time we ever see his face! This page also features the first appearance of Kronos, second time we see Mentor, and Drax’s origin in the bottom three panels. Interestingly, each star in the backgrounds consists of a glob of white paint rather than a flat white dot, giving the page a funky three-dimensional nature.

Until next time, happy collecting!

 

Here’s Part 1 & Part 2 of the guide to collecting original comic art; and my CAF gallery.

 

Original Art Aficionado archive

 

8 comments

  • Ben Steiniger

    We do love it. This is a great column and I am sad to see it not be weekly anymore, but I realize how much time/effort is required to do it. Salud!

  • Deno Pappas

    That Thanos Imperative OA is amazing. I wouldn’t part with it either. I am totally jealous.

    Great Article!!!

  • Ben C

    Can not express how grateful I am for these pieces Dick.

    Your time and effort is truly appreciated as well as your knowledge in this space!

    Will look forward to the next article when ever it comes in. In the meantime I will just say thanks again for everything you have done, I am positive you have turned a LOT of members on to OA.

    Really cool to get a look into your art PC.

  • Awesome post as usual, my favorite section!

  • Thank you sincerely for all the effort you have put in to all the articles you have done, and hopefully will do. I’m incredibly jealous of the collection, all of my favorite artists represented over some amazing pieces.

    Some day, hopefully soon, I will finally make my first OA purchase…

  • misfit138

    Great column!! You have gotten me into OA!! I just bought a Jim Lee Suicide Squad page this week. I now have 3 pages, a Tony Moore finished piece he made into prints, a Parrillo and Kirkham preliminary sketch and a handful of sketch commissions. I started getting the sketch covers before this column, but didn’t have any real OA, pages from comics, until I read these articles. Thank you for the kick in the tail and the influence! My bank account has dwindled a lot this past 2 weeks spending nearly a grand on 2 pieces but it’s a good feeling to have having a Moore and a Lee! Buy what you like!

  • Dick O.

    Thanks for all the kind words and support everyone! It’s been a blast being able to share in this wonderful hobby with you 🙂

    Going forward, feel free to get in touch with me via CAF or the CGC Forums!

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