Sunday, August 5, 2012

McFarlane's Amazing Spider-Man 328 cover original comic book artwork sells for $657,250.00 record price.

Before this becomes old news, the original comic book artwork for Todd McFarlane's Amazing Spider-Man 328 cover sold recently for a $657,250.00.  The original comic book artwork for Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man 1 sold for a surprisingly low (at least it was to me) $358,500.00.

Oh man, I remember when these books were so popular when they came out in 1990.  I remember rushing to the  comic book shop (sorry, nothing was available online back then) and buying multiple copies of the books.  I was fortunate to get copies of all the bagged and unbagged versions of the #1 issue.  Was so excited back then.  Alas, I still have them in some random closet , never read, still bagged and boarded (rebagged/reboarded since).  One of these days I will pull them out and reminisce over them.  Until then, I will enjoy looking at the original comic book artwork of the covers from these books.  :-)

While the Spider-Man 1 cover may be more iconic, could it be the ASM 328 cover is more noteworthy because it features not only Spidey but also Hulk?  And of course, Amazing Spider-Man is the grand-daddy of Spiderman comic titles, and I'm sure collectors place a premium on original artwork from this title.  Regardless, the ASM 328 cover artwork came at the peak time of McFarlane's run at Marvel.  Or could it have been that most collector's figured the cover for SM 1 was going to hit a higher realized value, and as such, didn't want to get into a bidding war with other high rollers.  Maybe Todd himself?  There was a lot of talk about the SM 1 cover hitting a million dollars weeks leading up to the auction.

As an original comic book artwork collector, I think this was a good thing for the hobby but not a great thing, at least I'm not sure if it is great yet.  It does make non-comic book art collectors take notice that this is a growing segment for the art collector niche.  I think it opens more eyes just for the fact this sold for as much as it did when the economy really isn't doing great still.  Judging from comments I read online at sites such as Yahoo, CBS and other "mainstream" non-comic/non-art, most people think this was a waste of money.  I think this may have been a shrewd investment as I can foresee original art continue to grow in the short and long term.  However my concern is if these high priced public transactions have pushed the smaller low budget collectors out of the hobby or have they separated them even more from the mid/high end art collector.  It already requires a substantial cash investment to get started in this hobby for those new to collecting original comic book art.  It will only get more pricey in the years to come.

Would love to hear your take on these record setting transactions of original comic book artwork.

Link to press release on the ASM 328 cover original comic book artwork record breaking auction.

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