Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Eight Rules for collecting...

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! I can't believe it's already the end of 2010 and here comes 2011.

Came across this interesting article from that talks about the "Eight rules to remember about memorabilia". While original comic book art might not exactly fit into the category of memorabilia, many of these "rules" may apply to those of us that collect original comic book art, especially if you are treating the original art as an investment. Regardless lessons can be learned if you are in it strictly for the love of the art, too!

1. Don't fall in love with your investments.
This is especially true if you are treating your artwork like an investment. However, it's probably exactly the opposite if you are a collector. But I always remind those new to collecting art to love what you want to buy and buy it because you love it, not because it will go up in value.

2. Go with the tried and the true.
There probably is truth to this if you are investing as the more people that the art may appeal to, then it may be easier to sell/trade it later on. However, that doesn't mean you should completely skip stuff not mainstream. Again, acquire pieces that appeal to you individually, that has meaning to you. Then again, if it's not mainstream, good chance it will be easier to acquire and maybe at a price point that fits your budget. It could also increase in value later on.

3. The law of supply and demand is in effect.
While all original art is one of a kind, "supply and demand" still does come into play esp if an artist is more prolific in getting out quality pieces. Take for instance Jim Lee. Does he ever stop drawing or sketching for his fans?? There is a lot of his art out there but does his demand ever really slow down? Perhaps it may fluctuate some over the course of a year but his stuff is still very sought after.

4. To get top dollar, it has to be pristine or museum quality.
Perhaps in theory, but again all original art is one of a kind. Buy it if it appeals to you. Will that older Neal Adams, John Byrne, Dave Cockrum or Jim Lee Uncanny X-Men cover art that has yellowed over time be worth less than a pristine white cover from a current issue of X-Men?

5. The market is fragmented.
There is truth to this in that big auction houses are not the only game in town. eBay, comic book conventions, smaller auction houses, other collectors, art dealers, even some comic book shops have come into the game and make art more widely available.

6. No matter whom you deal with, make sure they are reputable.
This is so important and I can't emphasize this item more. There are many dealers that are flaky, unreliable, and often try to get the best out of any deal. Trust me, I have met quite a few and have had unsuccessful transactions which have not been fun to sort out. Find fellow collectors that you can trust, meet them in person at conventions, talk to dealers at shows and on the phone, etc. While email, websites and the internet make things easier, don't think you are exempt from getting scammed just because you have their email address. Making a few friends in the hobby will go a long way, in comparing experiences, sharing stories, and getting tips on best ways to make sure you don't get cheated. Great to have a knowledgeable friend who can help you value a piece of art you want to get. :)

7. Prices fluctuate.
Yes they do. This then leads us to the question, what exactly is current market value? Is this solely based on sales numbers within the past 3-6 months for equivalent pieces? Related to trends for similar artists/art from the past years? What the seller wants to sell it for? All of the above and or none of the above? :)

8. There's no accepting for taste.
Great point. What I may collect does not mean everyone loves it. Stick to things you enjoy if you are collecting. If you are in it for investing, go with mainstream and things that you think would appeal to most others if you want to later move that piece. The more obscure may be more difficult to move.

I'd love to hear your feedback and opinions on what you think are your rules for collecting original comic book art.

Here's a link to the CNBC article.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Amazing Spider-Man 252 original comic book art sells for close to $5k

Just wanted to note that 2 pages of original comic book art from Amazing Spider-Man 252 sold for close to $5000 each page today. They were pages 6 and 22. Of course this issue is the first appearance of the black costume which then later led to Venom. These pages are of historical significance in the Marvel Universe and an important time in Spider-Man.

Amazing Spider-Man 252 page 6 sold for $4919.69
Amazing Spider-Man 252 page 22 sold for $4600 even.

Congrats to the winner of these original pieces of comic book history. With comic books become more and more mainstream, original comic book artwork seems to be poised for more recognition as well as "historical" significance to those following pop culture.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

1983 Byrne Wolverine and Sasquatch pencil sketch

Was just watching this auction end and it sold for about what I thought it would, although it did more than double in the last 10 seconds. :)

Here's a great Wolverine and Sasquatch (of Alpha Flight) pencil sketch from John Byrne done up around 1983 time frame. If my memory serves me right, this is around the time Byrne was working on the Alpha Flight title. This sketch looks highly detailed and in decent shape for a piece of art from that many years ago. Wolverine in the front is 3/4 full-body sketch and with his claws out. Sasquatch takes up all of the background, and looks great. The detail on his hair looks sweet.

Seems like higher quality pieces like this are slowly coming out of the closet and being offered for sale. The realized price seems quite healthy considering we are still in an economic downtime. Don't tell that to the winner of the auction though. Congrats on a stellar piece of original art.

This sold for $2313.88.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cockrum Uncanny X-Men 164 page 1 Title Splash For Sale

In gearing up for the big San Diego Comic-Con comic book convention coming up next month, I've got a small update to the original art for sale section. Added a few pages for sale and lowered some prices. Sorry been away from the site for so long, just busy with work and all that comes with work.

Email me if you have any questions, want to hold something, or ready to buy. Also I take time payments as well. My email address is

You can see it all here:
  • Dave Cockrum Uncanny X-Men 164 page 1
  • 2 Jim Lee Uncanny X-Men pages
  • Mike Mayhew pencil sketches and cover prelims
  • Mike McKone "Teen Titans and The Outsiders Secret Files" cover
  • George Perez "Teen Titans Archives 1" cover featuring the entire NTT team!
  • Whilce Portacio Uncanny X-Men page
  • New lower price for a John Byrne Wolverine 23 page with a large panel of Wolverine
  • A Dave Cockrum Uncannny X-Men 150 page feature Professor X
  • Lower prices on 2 Paul Smith sketches
  • and much more...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Drew Struzan Indiana Jones drawing auction

Lots of great art was auctioned off this past Sunday, Father's Day, all for a great cause. Pres Romanillos is a long time animator had a relapse in leukemia, so his great friends put together a fundraiser auction to help cut some of the big medical bills.

Among the many wonderful pieces auctioned include this niiiice Drew Struzan Indiana Jones drawing inside the Drew Struzan book Oeuvre. Bidding was fast and furious and this finally settled in at $2000.00 before it was all over. You don't see Struzan pieces for sale very often, and when you do, they sell fast.

Here's a link to the Pres-Aid site. Please donate to this worthy cause by clicking the link and then following the link for "Donate".

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


OK I know what you must be thinking. Why would anyone spend this much money on a freaking baseball card and on an unproven new player at that? Well, it's speculation for potential appreciation, its the rareness of the item, and it could be a great investment in the long run and maybe short run. Potentially this could be a steal in the long term.

So I present to you, and up on eBay, the super rare 2010 Bowman Chrome Superfractor Stephen Strausburg baseball card. It's 1 of 1. Not only are the Superfractor cards highly sought after, but it is the only one of it's kind, and it's for kid phenom flame thrower from the Washington Nationals Stephen Strausburg. This kid can throw some zingers and break some lumber, maybe crack some skulls along the way. This kid will be a star someday soon, right?

Current price with 4 days to go, a cool $14,099.99.

Would you spend $20k+ on this investment?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jack Kirby Captain America 6 page 8 original comic book art

Lots of Kirby pages for sale recently but this one clearly stands out... Jack Kirby Captain America 6 page 8, Timely Comics, 1941.

From the original auction:

This auction is for nothing less than the most significant piece of Jack Kirby Original Art to reach the market in at least 20 years. From the pages of Captain America #6, Timely Comics, 1941, this very recently discovered lost Kirby Original is Page 8, the penultimate page from "Meet The Fang - Arch Fiend of the Orient". To call the action on this page spectacular would be understating it. Cap and Bucky are both nearly beheaded. But they recover and turn the tables, in action that can't be contained by the panels, with arms and legs spilling into 2 panels, almost 3. This story was reprinted in the easy to find Fantasy Masterpieces #6. We will include a free copy of that issue as a bonus. In searching through auction archives to find something to compare this to, we came up empty. We didn't find a single Kirby Timely page. The only thing we saw of a similar magnitude was a Bill Everett Sub-Mariner page from Marvel Comics #1, 1939 which sold for over $86,000 5 years ago. All the significant reports we saw of Kirby Originals were from the Silver Age: a splash page from Tales to Astonish #27 sold for $65,000 in 2002. An interior page from X-men #1 went for $54,000 in 2008. Even Fantastic Four pages from the late 60's sold for big prices - a page from FF 63 sold for $23,000, and a page from FF 55 sold for$39,000. We normally list auctions with no Reserve Price, but for this very special item we have set a very reasonable, modest Reserve. This Reserve Price will NOT be revealed, the auction will NOT be ended early, and it will NOT be sold off ebay. If the Reserve Price is not met, it is likely we will relist this page at some future date with No Reserve. But don't wait, get it now.

Just a few words on where this piece came from. In 1941, a young man worked at Lewis Artists' Materials, a store in Manhattan about 3 blocks from the Timely Studios. Part of his job was to make regular deliveries of illustration boards and other Art supplies to the Timely Studios. He did this at least once a week, possibly more often. The people at Timely got to know him and apparently liked him. At some point they asked him if he would like to have 2 pages of Captain America Original art. He gladly accepted, but didn't think it a big deal. 69 years later, his grandson was helping him clean out his home in upstate New York. He had long since forgotten that he had the 2 Kirby pages, and when the grandson found them, he gave them to the grandson as a gift. Neither realized exactly what they were or who the artist was. That brings us to this auction. The back of the other Kirby page that's up for auction now, ending 5 minutes before this page, shows the Lewis Artists' Materials store logo on the back of the illustration board. The back of both boards also shows the Timely Comics, inc. stamp.

We couldn't find a definitive answer on who inked this page. The possibilities are Syd Shores, Al Avison, Al Gabriele, or Kirby himself. We saw reports which said that Kirby's normal procedure was to give the pencilled pages to one of those 3, then apply finishing touches or make corrections himself. Perhaps some of you will know just by looking. Any comments from experts will be appreciated.

Below are a large number of scans and photographs, of various sizes. There are probably more than necessary, but we thought we'd show them all anyway. Take your time. Overall, this page is in excellent condition - only minor blunting at the corners but no creases and no marks to the image area other than those made by Kirby or the Timely production staff. The color is excellent, only very minor soiling near the edges. Check the scans below. The board measures a huge 15" X 20", the image area measures 13 1/2" X 18 1/2".

Bidding is currently at $30,200.00 with 49 bids. Any guesses at where it will end up?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

John Romita and Mike Esposito Amazing Spider-Man 52 original comic book art title splash! 1967!

Here's an early Amazing Spider-Man 52 original comic book art page with art by John Romita Sr and inks by Mike Esposito (penname Mickey Demeo). This is from September 1967. The page features Spider-man and JJ Jameson taken prisoner by the Kingpin. This title splash is from the issue "To Die A Hero!".

This is truly an amazing piece of artwork. Currently at $28,988 with reserve currently not met. We'll see about that in the coming week. :)

Neal Adams X-Men 61 original comic book art page

Doesn't get much more rare than a Neal Adams X-Men page, and no less than from issue 61! X-Men 61 page 18. This page feaures Sauron battling the X-Men team including Cyclops, Iceman, Beast and Marvel Girl!

This auction completed and the original artwork sold for $8,000.00 with 38 bids.

Charles Schulz Peanuts Strip Original Art - Charlie Brown

I've been away for a bit but no time like the present to come back and post a quick note.

Here's a great looking Peanuts strip original art piece for sale with a few hours remaining. This strip features Charlie Brown. Currently at $10,000.00

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cockrum/Layton The X-Men 105 page 30 original art

Here's a sweet page from The X-Men 105 page 30 (before they became Uncanny) with art from Dave Cockrum and Bob Layton. Great looking artwork with large panels featuring the entire team including Phoenix prominently in the center. You even get Wolverine in a pane down below! Signed by Layton.

This piece looks to be very representative of that time. Don't forget pages from this early Cockrum run don't come out for sale publicly very often. From June 1977.

Currently at $6500 (13 bids) with 9 hours to go. Anyone betting on this one doubling before it's done??

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy 2010 !! Darwyn Cooke Justice League New Frontier original art

Happy 2010 Everyone!! Can't believe 2010 is already here --I coulda swore it was only 2008 like last week. Oh man where have I been? ;)

In the 2010 art front, there were a couple nice LARGE Darwyn Cooke style Justice League New Frontier original art pieces that sold on eBay recently. These were 14" x 18" ink and water color on bristol of various characters from that popular GN (and DVD) several years back, all done by Darwyn Cooke himself. The pieces I saw looked fabulous and hopefully there will be more coming and more being auctioned off. Also some other smaller and prelim Cooke artwork sold around this same period.
I'm looking foward to seeing more of these gems from Darwyn Cookie in the coming weeks/months. Stay tuned here for more details as they come in. :)


2010 San Diego Comic Con Update: Did you get your 2010 San Diego Comic-Con tickets yet? I know the 4 and 5 day (preview night) passes are long gone as in SOLD OUT, and Saturday individual tickets are sold out as well. I think this will be a good year to check out the show as I believe there will be a healthy selection of quality original artwork for sale. Of course the big summer movie marketing machine will be at full power during the show too, and who knows which premium movie star will attend to promote their films. Can you say Twilight boys and girls? Whoa that Ashely Greene sobe painted swimsuit was uh fascinating.. ;)

All the big name comic book artists will be at the show as well. What better way to beat the crummy economy than by attending a 4-5 day comic book convention this summer in sunny and warm San Diego. Think vacation. Don't forget your swim suits kids! Party responsibly. :)