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Shelf Porn | Smithsonian meets Chuck-E-Cheese in Sean’s Man Cave

by  in Comic News Comment
Shelf Porn | Smithsonian meets Chuck-E-Cheese in Sean’s Man Cave

Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn! Today’s collection comes from Sean Rutan, whose goals is to acquire “every major comic character as drawn by his/her original creator.” And he’s off to a good start! Also be sure to check out his custom arcade cabinets.

If you’d like to see your collection featured here you can find instructions on how to do so at the end of this post.

And now here’s Sean:

*****

Ever since I was a wee lad of 3, way back in 1980, I’ve been a comic book collector. I remember seeing Captain America #252 on the spinner rack at Lawson’s in Akron, Ohio and begging my grandpa to buy it for me. He invested the 50 cents and Cap has been my favorite character ever since. I’m still looking for a page of original art from Cap #252, but that Stern/Byrne run has proven to be elusive among art collectors, as everybody wants some and there’s just not much to go around.

As a child of the late 70s and 80s, I was raised on all things Superfriends, Underoos, Amazing Friends, Thundarr the Barbarian, and toy commercials disguised as cartoons. GI Joe was my favorite, though He-Man and MASK had a spot at the table. Transformers was a great show but I always found the toys to be stiff and brittle for my rough brand of playtime.

A little over 2 years ago, I really decided to amp up my collecting efforts after meeting Mike Burkey, one of the largest art dealers/collectors on the planet and who coincidentally happened to live only 20 minutes from my home. In all my years of collecting, I never even thought about the process of how comic books were created and that, due to this process, there would be one-of-a-kind original artwork that had been created by talented artists……the creative masters who had defined my childhood. So that is the general scope of my collection; specifically, I collect creator/creation art, with the goal of acquiring every major comic character as drawn by his/her original creator. Some pieces, like a Jack Cole Plastic Man or a Joe Certa Martian Manhunter might be impossible to find, and with the price of original artwork always climbing, this will definitely be a lifelong goal.

Another facet that was important to my Nerd Cave was HOW the art would be enjoyed. I didn’t want it to be static and solemn, like a library or a den. Instead, my goal is to have a rec room that looks like the Smithsonian and Chuck-E-Cheese had a love child. I grew up in a fantastic era for superheroes and toys and I hope to pass on some of that appreciation to the next generation. We’ve got a bar-size pool table, air hockey, 2 arcade cabinets that I built with custom comic artwork that play 4000 games each, a dart board, and a fold-out arcade basketball hoop. On my retro-fitted TGI Friday’s table there is a fully functioning Chutes Away game from 1979, which was easily one of my favorite games as a kid. Behind the bar, in the place of the normal bottles of booze, I created a mini library with a collection of comic books and TPBs. I want it to be – above all else – a FUN place to spend time with family.

Hope you enjoy it!
Sean Rutan

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