COLLECTORS INTERVIEW: Vikas Singh
Profession: Brand Marketing professional
What do you collect? How long have you been collecting? How did you get into it?
I collect Tintin comics and Tintin memorabilia. Currently, I have one of the largest multilingual collection of Tintin comics- 102 languages. I hold Limca Book record for this. Besides the comics, I also collect Tintin magazines, newspapers in which Tintin strips were first published (Le soir, Le Vingtième Siècle) stamps, coins, postcards, figurines, sculptures and other ephimera connected with Tintin.
I am a certified Tintinologist and done Tintin trails in Brussels, Paris, Cheverny, Blois, Colombo, and Leh. Videos of these trails can be seen at
I have given illustrated talks and written about these trails in various publications.
I have now been collecting Tintin comics and memorabilia for more than twenty years now. I used to read Tintin comics while in school and the world of Tintin created by Herge used to fascinate me a lot. When I got into university I started researching into Herge’s work, made friends with fellow Tintin fans in Europe and got into the serious business of being a hardcore collector.
What is the holy grail of your collection?
The holy grail would be three pieces in my collection- First issue of Tintin magazine dated 26 Sep, 1946. The second would be 5 March 1983 edition of Liberation newspaper that was published two days after Herge died, And the third would be the Tintin comic in Wallon d’Ottignies language of which only 500 copies were printed.
What is the most surprising or outrageous collecting story you have heard?
Every collector is unique and that collections get built over time. That is what makes it such a fine art. Therefore for me, every collection is a showcase of fan’s passion and dedication. An outrageous collecting story I read some time back was a boy who collects Barbie dolls!
If you could pick one item from your collection to keep, what would it be? And why?
Difficult to say because each item is unique and I can relate to it at deep personal level because it took so much of research and effort to get it. Tintin is not so well known in the US and you hardly have a thriving comic memorabilia market in India. So I had to depend on a lot of European countries which speak French and languages other than English. So it made the task that much more difficult and collecting that much more interesting.
If you could have one item out of someone else’s collection, what would that be?
One of the original drawings by Herge. Once in a while, you have these come in the auction market but the bids are so high (in crores) that they remain out of grasp.
How has the collecting scene changed in the last 5 years? Do you like that or not?
The collecting scene has definitely picked up in last few years. As our economy grows and disposable income increases we will see more and more collectors. However, the mindset needs to change. The first question people ask me about my collection- “how much did you invest? Is it going to be a profitable investment”? People need to understand that for collectors it is work of love and joy, much beyond any monetary value.
How do you see, or hope to see the scene changing in 5 years time?
It is definitely going to improve. Jatin Verma is doing a great job with Comic con. The Jaipur literature festival this year had a session with graphic artists. You now have shops in metros selling comic related merchandise. There are now dedicated auction sites from where one can bid and buy. The Internet too is playing a big role here.
What advice would you give a new collector starting out today?
Research, research, and research. Rather than just spending big bucks in building up your collection, be choosy and pick up stuff after adequate research. And secondly, have patience. That is what adds so much fun to the fine art of collecting.
DISCLAIMER: ALL THE IMAGES SHOWCASED HERE BELONGS SOLELY TO THE ARTIST MENTIONED ABOVE. IT HAS BEEN PUT UP WITH THEIR PERMISSION AND MEN OF COMICS HOLDS NO RIGHTS OVER IT.