Thursday, March 20, 2008

Is original comic book art recession proof?

With all indicators pointing to the United States being in a economic recession, it's time to tighten your belt and start pinching pennies says traditional logic. But with original comic book art still flying off eBay at skyrocketing prices, maybe this is a sign we are already there. Don't agree? Hear me out.

When the Fed lowers key interest rates, they want us to spend more money. This subtle push is to keep the economy running, get people out buying and using they cash rather than investing it in a bank (and get some interest from it). Money stops circulating otherwise. But non-traditional investments, including collectibles such as comics, sport cards, original art, even movie memorabilia, tend to appreciate more during these times due to the high amount of quality items on the market (ie. those trying to sell to raise more cash) and so bargains can be had. I don't know off hand how many Kirby pieces were sold in the last month or two, but those blue-chip type pieces sold easily and often, and raised a lot of $$$ for their previous owners. It also made for great investments for those seeking an "in" to sought-after and rare gems of the original comic book underground. We can't forget that investing in original art also still probably has a higher rate of return than many domestic funds, and actually are relatively low risk, unless you buy something you don't like in the first place (Buy art you love).

It's not uncommon to see more than 20 bids and realized prices more than $4k for original artwork from the 70s-80s-90s, including gems from BWS, Romita, Miller, Byrne, McFarlane, and others. But I don't recall in recent history many Jim Lee (90s, early 2000s) hitting above that number. But did you catch that Hush splash selling for $6500.00 the other day? And I thought those art prices were artificially inflated when they first were sold into the market. Maybe the hype has caught up with the (limited) supply, and demand is finally coming around. Or people like that art more than their run on All-Star B&R. With that in mind, I still think Lee/Williams Uncanny X-Men have room to appreciate in my opinion. That time in X-history was significant, and really hooked many folks onto comics (including me), maybe starting to cement comics as a legit medium for story-telling as well. And then others will say that Image and the multiple cover syndrome killed any momentum it had. But you gotta admit that there have been many many comic book related movies since those 90s. I can't think of any core titles that hasn't had a movie yet, other than Justice League, and that's coming soon.

If we are in a recession, will you buy more original comic book art, OR are you selling?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kirby FF 63

Jack Kirby Fantastic Four 63 page 14. Another great page from the King, featuring Ben, Johnny, Crystal, and others. From 1967. Currently at $7287.00 and rising.

Wolverine vs Thanos

Did anyone else watch the Infinity Gauntlet 4 page 17 sell earlier this week? The page features Wolverine throughout and face-to-face with Thanos. Sold for $2025.00 with 22 bids. Actually much more than I was expecting, however there is some significance to this page, as well as the splashy-ness of the art. Artwork by Ron Lim of Silver Surfer fame.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Frank Miller - Daredevil 182 page 25

Not sure if you saw this page sell off eBay recently (image left). Daredevil 182 page 25 featuring Punisher in all 6 classic Miller-esque horizontal panels. A cool $1499.00.

Also recently sold on eBay this nice original art, Daredevil 171 page 2. This one sold for $1875.00 with art by Frank Miller --Daredevil and Kingpin.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Amazing Spider-man 36 page 3 Steve Ditko

Yet another grail-type piece shows up on Ebay. Twice-up Amazing Spiderman 36 page 3 with art by Steve Ditko. This page recounts the origin of Looter.

I'll update the realized price and bids shortly.

UPDATE $12,677.77 from 21 bids.

Daredevil 182 page 19 (Miller/Jansen)

Another awesome page shows up on Ebay. Damn.

Daredevil 182 page 19 by Frank Miller with inks by Klaus Janson.

Uncanny X-Men 137 page 10

Here's a great looking page from one of the most significant comics in the Marvel Universe. Uncanny X-Men 137 page 10 featuring Nightcrawler throughout in the Danger Room, and Angel in the last 2 panels.

These pages don't come up for sale often. If I were to offer a guess on value, I'd put this one at between $4500.00-$6500.00, maybe more for art from this issue.

1) Nightcrawler feature prominently throughout the page.
2) Art from a highly sought after issue (story and art).
3) Classic classic 80s Uncanny X-Men artwork.
4) Byrne, Austin, Claremont. Nuff said.

Get ready to see some all-out bidding in the coming days. Or last 2 minutes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rare Batman #11 CGC 9.4 book

This appears to be the highest CGC graded Batman #11 comic out there, CGC 9.4. Sold for $36,800.00 over 4 years ago. Currently on eBay for $25,100.00 with almost 4 days to go. This will go in the $40k+ range.

The original art to this cover sold for almost $200,000.00 in 2005. Comics, especially high grade condition items, seem to be making a comeback with investors, and appear to be nice underrated collectible investment. With the Batman franchise doing as well as it has been past 5 years, and with more Batman movies coming out in the near future with better stories lined up, the potential for this investment seems solid.

Check out for more rare and sought after collectible items including one of a kind posters, movie memorabilia, comic book related artwork and CGC books, high grade sport cards, fine art, paintings, watches and much more.

UPDATE $28,100.00, reserve not met.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

X-Men 53 page 4 - Barry Windsor-Smith

It must be comic book convention season as things are heating up on eBay's original comic book art category. ;) This week, X-Men 53 page 4 by Barry Smith (BWS) from one of his earliest works (1969). You don't see early BWS original art for sale very often. This is before his work on Conan and when he was just getting his start at Marvel from Roy Thomas.

This page features images of the entire team in all the panels. And underneath panel 1 has original uninked Barry Smith pencils due to a late editorial change where they pasted over new art.

Currently at $1500 with a week to go. Stay tuned.

UPDATE $4050.00 from 26 bids.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Amazing Spider-Man 51 page 5 - 1967 John Romita Sr.

Early John Romita Sr Amazing Spider-Man original art. Amazing Spider-Man 51 page 5 Romita Sr with Mickey Demeo inks. Currently at $3301 with a few hours to go. I'll update this auction with realized price.

UPDATE This auction ended at $9,900.00 with 35 total bids.

Fantastic Four 40 page 15 - 1965 Kirby Colletta

This one is worth watching. Early Doom verses Thing page. Fantastic Four 40 page 15 Kirby with inks by Colletta. Currently at $7301.00 with couple hours to go. Ebay. I'll update this page after the auction concludes with realized price.

UPDATE This auction ended at $10,099.00 with 29 bids.