I love how the term "Grail" has become accepted within the original art world as a way to signify a piece that has become the top of the heap, the summit of your art collection, the quest for which you would sacrifice any number of Knights of the Round Table. Of course, having just seen Spamalot, it still has a tendancy to make me laugh just a little bit, but I'm aware of being in a situation that I'm not sure other collectors are willing to address: I've collected myself into a corner with regards to original art.
The brutal reality: I cannot afford to get the art that I would need or want to add to my collection anymore. Its simply too expensive. I'm afflicted with the curse of not wanting to part with any of the art that I've collected so far, and now find little that I can actually get! Partly because art prices have gone up so much, and partly because the stuff that I want is almost impossible to get.
Should ComicArtFans ever decide to do one of their weekly interviews of me, here are the pieces that I'd list as my 5 most desired pieces of artwork:
1: A Marshall Roger/Terry Austin page from Detective Comics #471-476 Doesn't even matter which page, this is simply the best Batman ever. Sharp incisive inks, Rogers at his innovative best, Englehart writing a compelling story that established the best Joker ever as well.
2: A Bissette/Totleben Swamp Thing page from the Demon trilogy (Swamp Thing #24-26). Alan Moore at his innovative best as well, and Bissette and Totleben really finding their feet on the series. Extra points for a page with Etrigan on it.
3: A Dave McKean Cages page from issue #4, with the artist and his neighbor talking all night while the Angel plays. Alan Siegel has been jacking the prices up on the cages pages over the last 3 years and it really annoys the hell out of me. Makes me sorry that I ever bought my other Mckean work from him back in the day.
4: A John Totleben page from Miracleman #15. Do a search on my blog for my post on that issue. Devastating work. Don't care that it took a year to do. Fine. Worth every second.
5: The cover or splash to Captain Marvel #29 I've met the person who has these, and while I'm very glad that they exist, and, in fact, that I've at least had the good fortune to see the splash in the flesh so to speak, i'm also sure that they're not going to change hands for less than $8K, and I'll never have that money, so there you go. Two of the most formative pieces of Bristol board there, and I'll never get my hands on them. Ah well. At least they're safe.