Congratulations to our winner Ryan Harrison!
Epic Games has quite a few comic book and toy collectors. While Cliff Bleszinki’s toys and action figures have been seen before, there are quite a few others that have pretty impressive collections as well. To celebrate Comic-Con week, we asked some of the guys here about their comic book collections.
How long have you been collecting?
What is your most prized comic book?
Which comic book series is your favorite?
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your collection?
We are giving away a complete set of Gears of War comic books to one lucky person. Tell us about your comic book collection in the comments below. We will choose a winner at random this Friday, from the comments. Good luck!
Senior Programmer Eric Newman:
I’ve been collecting since I was a kid, starting with Amazing Spider-man.
Not a single book, but my collection of Excalibur’s entire original run.
Chew – it’s a very funny off-the-wall series, with pictures of readers’ cats in the letters column.
Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead, Invincible) is the best, his work got me back into comics over the past few years.
I started reading Walking Dead at Issue #5 and loved it. I wanted to buy 1-4 but couldn’t find them in stores. Being lazy, I bought the trade paperback instead of hunting copies down online. I checked recently and it now costs around $1,000 for those four comics. Doh!
Senior Environment Artist Kevin Johnstone:
I’ve been collecting (intentionally) since 1982, though I’d been reading them for a couple of years. I was always looking at the bright flashy covers when waiting in stores with my parents, they always seemed like the most interesting thing in each store.
Probably the first issue of Secret Wars as it was the first series I collected all the way through, it introduced me to all the Marvel characters and the challenge of the Beyonder was a pretty cool idea for a 9yr old to read. Another year and I will have had that comic for 30 years, I like that I can reread them or just look at the cover and get flashback to when I first read them or where I bought them.
Maybe the Sandman or Hellboy or the Invisibles . I like that they jump around all kinds of mythology, fairytales, occult, and classic literature, there’s a ton of stuff in there that point to other good things to read. There’s a great depth to these stories and they hold up well when re-read over the years as I mature, as my worldview changes so does my appreciation for another facet of the writing.
Although I was drawn in by the flashy colors, it was the stories that kept me reading. I’ve followed a handful of great writers since I realized there was someone writing the comics I liked more. People like Moore, Gaiman, Morrison, Miller, Millar, Carey, Ellis, Ennis, Busiek have kept me entertained since I was a teenager. I think that comics, more than any other medium is responsible for a large part of my imagination, those stories still provide inspiration for me.
Lead Level Designer Jim Brown:
I don’t really collect, but I do read, mostly off suggestions from people here in the office. I read comics voraciously as a kid (I used to trace the art and re-write my own stories!), and have payed attention off and on ever since.
Selfishly, I would say the Gears stuff, just because I’m so connected to it.
The Walking Dead. It’s been a continual reference point for years now, and I get rabid waiting for the new ones to come out. I love that it’s not about super heroes, or magic powers, it’s just about people. Real(istic) people. Yes, there are zombies (and I’m a sucker for that), but with The Walking Dead that’s always been a wrapper, and the good stuff is the characters. The art is great, the writing is unbeatable.
Engine Tester Terry Gilland (Terry owns the collection to the left.)
I’ve been a fan of comics since I was little, but only in the last couple of years have I started collecting. I started going to the comic shop with a couple of people from work, and my wallet has thanked them ever since.
I don’t think I could pick one, but I have some old Deadpool that are definitely favorites. I really like the Lady Mechanika series, too. I have multiple covers for each one and keep them in a notebook one of the guys here gave me.
Which comic book series is your favorite?
The X-Men have always been a favorite. I still remember walking into the local comic shop when I was little and seeing this picture of Wolverine. I was all “Coooooool” and it’s been him and the X-Men ever since. I didn’t know how bad it was until the movies started coming out and I’m that guy leaning over to my friends going “Oh that’s [enter obscure character name here] and they do this and this and this.” Then I get the looks.
I’m just a huge fan of the style and the talent it takes. It’s just great to see so much told in limited space. You can get so much story from just one panel. I think it translates well into the game design world, where you have to be aware of time and space, so you try and tell so much in a single moment or try to tell a story with just the design of the level surrounding the characters. I love spending time designing levels on the side, just as a hobby, and I have the best reference material surrounding me in these books.
I’ve been collecting since age 7. I mostly collected Uncanny X-Men, and I have all the secret wars and all the secret wars tie-ins. I’d say my most prized is Uncanny X-Men 17, which isn’t a particularly important issue, but it’s one my dad gave me as a birthday present many years ago.
And of course, my prized collectible (and prized piece of art, period) is the original art for the Gears #9 that Jim Lee did for me. It’s absolutely insane that for my first comic issue I ever wrote, I had the most famous cover artist in the world provide the art… and even more insane that he gave me the original for my birthday and it’s now sitting on my wall.
Game Tester Alex Conner:
I’ve always read comics either while in the shop or at a friend’s house but I started really collecting about 7 years ago. A lot of my collection is fairly newer stuff but I do have some older issues that were given to me or I found.
My most prized is probably a collection of issues and is still fairly new. The Batman Hush storyline is something that I can read over and over. I also have a few single issues that have covers that I adore and they are prized to me just because of that J.
I’m a big DC Comics fan and I absolutely love Batman. So if I’m being honest then my favorite series is Batman in any of his incarnations. It doesn’t really matter what writer takes the helm the character is so good that the stories are always interesting. Of course there are some writers that have done better than others but Batman is a constant awesome in the Comic Book world. For me he also has some of the best stories. A story arc can last for 10 issues or 1 and I’m still sucked in till the very end. The current incarnation, after DC’s new 52, is the first series to have a big story line with multiple tie in issues. And Batman has a lot of family to tie story lines into haha.
I am also a big fan of The Walking Dead. I own all of books digitally simply because that is how I choose to read them. In fact they were the first thing I purchased after buying an iPad haha. The story that is being told is really, really good and you never really know what is going to happen either. The biggest thing about reading through the series that no matter how much you get invested in a character or like a character they aren’t going to live forever J. Anyone and everyone is fair game when it comes to “being written out” and unlike other publishers, if you die in The Walking Dead there is no coming back.
I both collect hard copies and digital issues of comics. I don’t do multiples though. I only buy certain digital comics, mostly ones that I couldn’t get otherwise or don’t feel the need to buy the hard copies. In fact the only non-DC comics that I own are digital haha.
Until recently I wasn’t completely sure how many books I owned. I purchase a software program to help me sort them all and calm my comic OCD J. The program lets you find multiple issues and add them to your “collection” at one time. There is a large database that it pulls from which is updated every Wednesday. You get the cover of the book, the issue number, writers and artists, a short description and a list of the characters in the issue. It is so detailed that you can find the exact version of the issue that you have (variant cover, # of print, hard cover or trade paperback, etc.). Then there is an iPad accompanying App that I use with it. You can export your entire collection to the iPad app so that at a glance you can scroll through all of them and look at all of the information listed above or view a large version of the cover to show a friend and “go see I told you this cover was awesome!”. You also have a “Wish List” where you can add comics you are looking for or missing then export that to your iPad or print it out, which makes it very easy to go to the comic shop and go “This is what I’m looking for”. If that wasn’t enough features the program will also calculate how much your collection is worth based on cover price of the issues. So it’s not accurate for what a particular issue is worth but at least you can see how much you have spent haha.
My collection will go with me everywhere and I hope to pass it on to my kids one day so they can read through, what will then be old issues, and go see Batman.