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.

Scott VanderPloeg
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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