March 8th, 2017

Ask A Cartoonist: Collection Connection!

by Tea

Comics and collecting have always gone hand in hand– many cartoonists are also comics’ biggest fans, so it’s no surprise that many cartoonists have amazing collections, of things both comics-related and not. This week, I asked our cartoonists to share neat things they’ve collected, or comics about collecting. Let’s take a peek into the weird and wonderful collections of King Features cartoonists!

John Rose, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith:

In my studio, I have quite a collection of Snuffy Smith memorabilia that I have found on eBay or at antique malls over the years. One item that I particularly like is this 1940’s Snuffy Smith planter that I have repurposed to hold some of my drawing pens. My wife, Karen, gave it to me one year for Christmas and I use it daily! Thank you, Karen and thank you, Snuffy!

Brian Walker, Hi & Lois:

I have a huge collection of cartoon figurines. This is a picture of an old antique case in my studio that is filled with an assortment of these colorful characters. Although I collect many different types of figures, I specialize in PVCs which are small figures made of plastic (poly-vinyl chloride). Rather than seek out multiple examples of the same character, I try to represent as many different characters as I can find. My main criteria is that the character is “on model,” meaning that it is represented in three-dimensions the way it should look, even if it is adapted from a two-dimensional source such as a comic strip or comic book. People often wonder why I collect these little plastic people. I don’t really have an answer, other than just for the fun of it.


Ron Ferdinand, Dennis the Menace:

It’s a good thing those 78’s were nice and THICK!

Jim Keefe, Sally Forth & Flash Gordon:

My favorite thing to collect is original art. Because it’s so expensive I usually do so by trading art instead of buying it (one of the perks of creating art). For original art that’s out of my price range, I rely on the Artist’s Editions that IDW publishing puts out. Shot from the originals and printed full size, they’re the only way to see the work of the comic book masters in all their glory. The pic attached is of the John Romita Volume 2 Artist’s Edition. They’re pricey ($100 and up) but the books are wonderfully designed (by Randall Dahlk) and the print quality is phenomenal – Highly recommend! For more info go to

James Allen, Mark Trail:

I collect a couple of things. Any info (books, magazines, card sets, etc.) I can find on the original 1933 version of King Kong (I even have one of those limited edition official casts of the Kong puppet armature that Sideshow put out a few years back)! I also collect anything I can find by comics legend Richard Corben! I got hooked on his art when I was a kid in the Warren magazines like Creepy, Eerie and 1984, not to mention his work in Heavy Metal magazine! I hope to own some of his original art someday!

Terry Beatty, The Phantom & Rex Morgan, MD:

I collect a variety of pop culture items — many of them comics related. I collect vintage “Big Little Books” and most anything to do with my favorite cartoonists. Here are a few displays from my studio shelves.

Part of my Big Little Book collection. Note the 1950’s vintage PRINCE VALIANT plastic figures on the bottom shelf.


Milt Caniff is one of my cartooning heroes. All of these items are Caniff-related. Oddest item? A pair of kid-size STEVE CANYON pajamas!

I was part of the BATMAN ADVENTURES crew at DC Comics for over a decade. Here’s a mix of vintage and modern BATMAN items.


Al Capp’s LI’L ABNER.




Unlock 250,000+ comics.

Terms apply. Converts to Continuous Service Subscription. Cancel Anytime.

Get Premium Access.

Unlock 250,000+ comics.


Terms Apply. Converts to Continuous Service Subscription. Cancel Anytime.