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?