Joe Quesada is looking for help recovering roughly 185 pieces of artwork stolen from his home last year. The art was subsequently resold at auction by a trusted friend, scattering valuable and personally important comics art across New York City and beyond. Quesada broke down the multi-year ordeal in a Facebook post last night.
According to Quesada, the art was stolen by a personal friend and contractor, Francesco Bove, who the Marvel Comics chief creative officer employed for residential work. Quesada contacted Bove in 2014 to help with repairs after a water pipe broke in his home. Quesada gave Bove the security codes to his home to help expedite repairs.
In 2015, Bove experienced what Quesada called a “horrific incident that left him hospitalized for some time.” In the post, Quesada says he and his wife attempted to help Bove in his recovery, offering him smaller jobs and loaning him money through lean times. Their relationship changed dramatically in 2016, when Quesada and his family were on vacation:
“In July of 2016 my family and I were out of town when a family friend had asked if they could spend the weekend at my NJ home. When we went to remotely turn on the home’s AC unit via our security app we noticed that it was already on, the alarm system disarmed and all of the interior security cameras were obstructed. The outdoor cameras showed opened gates and used towels, as well as wine glasses strewn about. Mr. Bove was contacted immediately but denied having been at the house. Sensing something off we let him know that we’d be notifying the police of a break-in, at which point Mr. Bove came clean and confessed that he was in fact staying there.”
Quesada demanded Bove leave his home, but the story only gets more complicated from there. Apparently, while squatting at Quesada’s house, Bove was able to steal over 185 pieces of artwork from Quesada’s personal collection -- artwork which was then sold at auction. The stolen art consists of Archie comics illustrated by the likes of Stan Goldberg, Harry Lucey, Sam Schwartz and Dan DeCarlo. The stolen collection also includes pieces like Laugh Comics pages by Bill Woggon, The Adventures of Pipsqueak by Walt Lardner and Pat the Brat and Shrimpy by Joe Harold, among others.
Quesada is now calling for leads because Bove was recently arrested while reentering the country after spending time abroad in Italy. Quesada is now hopeful that at least some of the artwork can be recovered.
Anyone with information regarding Quesada’s stolen and auctioned artwork should contact Detective Jeffrey McCarrick at the Sparta New Jersey Police Department at 973-726-4072, or Quesada himself through the Facebook link embedded above.