Collecting Crossover

Experienced or hardened comic readers and collectors see the word crossover and experience a cold shudder or at a minimum a slight frown. We’ve all followed a story arc from one book to the next, only to be disappointed by this rabbit trail. Luckily that’s not what I’m talking about today; this time around crossover refers to your love of comics crossing over to other collecting areas.

I read comics for twenty-two years before my future wife bought me my first comic statue for my birthday: Bowen’s Iron Man in original gold costume. I loved it and very slowly acquired one or two more every year, until somehow I have about 55 statues and busts. After the move I could display ten full size statues and ten small statues maximum, which I proudly have around my office while another pile of statues sits in my crawlspace, unseen and unloved.

It was around that same time I attended my first comic convention and the original art bug bit. It started with a bang: Tony Harris had an awesome DC Legends painted cover for sale and it seemed a crazy bargain at $400 so I picked it up. At first I wasn’t interested in sketches: I only wanted published art from comics. A few years later this got too expensive and I shifted to sketches and commissions; now I’ll pick up a deal but only get one or two items per show. Again when things started it was an item here or there, but now I have five portfolios filled with art and seven paintings hanging in my smallish office.

A collector mentality is great if you can afford it and you have the space. It becomes an issue when it crosses over into more and more: if you can’t enjoy the fruit of your passion then it’s gone too far. Right now I can look around my office and see the statues I have out, reflecting on each and really getting a kick out of having them. Same goes for the artwork on the walls: I like to stop and examine them as I walk by, and it always brings a smile. The statues in the crawl space and the art in the portfolios on the shelf doesn’t get a first glance let along a second look.

There’s no regret on my part with my comic interest crossing over from books to other areas: the regret comes from allowing my collector mentality to make that same crossover.

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Scott VanderPloeg
Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at AE Index and eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans.
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