“It’s a small world.” How often have you heard that cliche and thought, it’s really not that small?
In the late 70’s up until 1983, I collected and dealt in original comic art. I had an inside track to quite a few artists since John Beatty [who was working in the business] and I had been friends since junior high. My favorite artist at the time was Paul Gulacy [a very talented and very nice guy] who pencilled and sometimes inked a series called “Master of Kung Fu” [written by the equally talented and nice, Doug Moench].
I was fortunate enough to eventually meet both of these guys and even commission some art from Paul… but I digress. Long before I ever met Paul, I was able to get one of my favorite MOKF pages [a panel from it is posted above]. It practically fell into my lap for a great trade. I couldn’t believe my luck! I had one of my favorite pages from the series and I had been collecting / dealing in art in less than a year.
Fast forward less than a year. I placed an ad for art that I was selling and offering for trades. A guy called up and wanted to purchase the Gulacy page. Well, at this point I owned other Gulacy pages and was even speaking to Paul via phone on a fairly regular basis so I sold the page.
Fast forward to 1983. I was getting ready to graduate college and get a “real job.” I decided to sell off my entire art collection [except for a Stallone piece by Paul – which I still own, thank you very much!] Over the years, I’ve thought about all of the art I’ve owned [and that included pieces by Steranko, Byrne, Miller, Zeck, etc.], but it’s that MOKF page that I’ve missed the most.
Fast forward to last week [we’re moving through time at a breakneck pace, aren’t we?]. Comic art collector Mike Shields posted up some of the art from his collection and guess what page he has in it? “Wow!, [said in a Bill Black-like voice] that’s right, Mike Shields now owns the very same Paul Gulacy page!”
I sent him an e-mail telling him how I came to own in back in 1979 and that I had sold it in 1980. In closing I said that I was glad that it had ended up with a big Gulacy fan and that I wondered how many people it had gone through since I had sold it to end up with him.
Mike wrote me back and told me that he checked his records on how he came to purchase it. Seems he saw an ad in 1980 from a guy with the initials CZ! Yep! Mike purchased the piece from me 22 years ago and has had it in his collection ever since! How cool is that?
Sometimes it DOES seem like it’s a small world after all!