Todd McFarlane Spider-Man cover sells for $675,250 — and that's just the start

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201207270133 Todd McFarlane Spider Man cover sells for $675,250    and that's just the start
If you were to look at this Todd McFarlane cover for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #328, you would probably not guess that it is the most valuable piece of American comic book art.

But at Heritage auctions yesterday it sold for a record $675,250. Not as valuable as McFarlane’s balls, but not shabby either. The price shattered the old record, for a page of Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT. (The world record is $1.6 million for the cover to TINTIN IN AMERICA by Hergé.)

It was but one pricy piece of McFarlane art. In the same auction yesterday his cover to the arguably much more iconic SPIDER-MAN #1 sold for a mere $358,500.

While some might look at these prices as the end of comics as we know it, we would rather suggest that this is the beginning of something that could become incredibly important to the American comics industry.

You see, despite the worldwide recession and economic gloom, one area of investment has been positively soaring of late: the art world has seen record prices in recent years.

“Art has become a real asset class, because people are now recognizing what art is worth as an investment, and they are seeing the appreciation,” said Steven Halliwell, managing director at The Collectors Fund LLC, which manages portfolios of private art investors.

Mr. Halliwell said that while only about a third of all art sales take place at public auctions, the high-priced deals are helping to fuel a growing appetite for investments in art.


It seems the 1%ers out there, rather than taking their billions and burrowing through them like a gopher, are investing in something that looks snappy and erudite hanging on the wall. A little Cezanne here, a little Munch there. And the value shows no sign of slowing. Art is actually performing better than the stock market.

Comics original art remains incredibly underpriced. For a few hundred dollars you can still buy a piece of iconic art by a future hall of fame artist. For a bit more you can own something by a grand master.
201207270146 Todd McFarlane Spider Man cover sells for $675,250    and that's just the start
This page by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott from a 1978 Silver Surfer graphic novel sold for a mere $10,157 at the same auction. Chump change. Other Kirby pages go for much more of course…but not as high as they will soon be going for.

Poke around on Comic Art Fans…you’ll see lots of bargains.

With the stature of comics still growing in the pop culture world, I’d expect to see prices for premium art pages soaring. And not just Golden Agers, either. Right now, you can buy a page of original art from Scott Pilgrim for $500.

$500! The price of a few dinners. Ridiculously cheap.

That level of pricing is going to change in the near future. Mark my words.

Comments

  1. Please provide an update on Pogs while you’re at it…

    Okay, this is news. But still… Ew.

  2. Please provide an update on Pogs while you’re at it…

    Okay, this is news. But still… Ew.

  3. “Art is actually performing better than the stock market.”

    You should provide a source for that statement because I don’t believe it.

    Notwithstanding the perversity of a McFarlane original going for $675K, a healthy market for original comic art is good for two reasons. First, it can provide income for cartoonists. If an artist can sell his pages for a decent price (not $250 or whatever he can get at a con), that can go a long way towards having a decent standard of living, cushioning slow periods, helping with retirement. Second, well-to-do collectors are the people who found museums(in the U.S.)–real museums with actual buildings and endowments.

    I collect comic art–mostly old comic strips like Pogo, Dick Tracy, the Bungle Family, etc., along with a certain number of pages by living artists. I am continually shocked by how cheap this work is. Particularly old comic strips, which are part of America’s heritage. My worry is that their cheapness will mean that the collections of them aren’t taken care of–they won’t be insured properly; they won’t get proper conservation; etc. If a piece of art is valuable in the market, the owners will take very good care of it.

  4. “Art is actually performing better than the stock market.”

    You should provide a source for that statement because I don’t believe it.

    Notwithstanding the perversity of a McFarlane original going for $675K, a healthy market for original comic art is good for two reasons. First, it can provide income for cartoonists. If an artist can sell his pages for a decent price (not $250 or whatever he can get at a con), that can go a long way towards having a decent standard of living, cushioning slow periods, helping with retirement. Second, well-to-do collectors are the people who found museums(in the U.S.)–real museums with actual buildings and endowments.

    I collect comic art–mostly old comic strips like Pogo, Dick Tracy, the Bungle Family, etc., along with a certain number of pages by living artists. I am continually shocked by how cheap this work is. Particularly old comic strips, which are part of America’s heritage. My worry is that their cheapness will mean that the collections of them aren’t taken care of–they won’t be insured properly; they won’t get proper conservation; etc. If a piece of art is valuable in the market, the owners will take very good care of it.

  5. Brian Doherty says:

    Worth pointing out that most Kirby pages–that aren’t 60s Marvel ones–still go for much, much LESS. That’s the highest I’ve seen for a post-60s Kirby by FAR. By far. As recently as five years ago, 70s Kirby pages that weren’t Fourth world were all under 1,000. Yes, UNDER one thousand. For people who spend anytime at all in big city art galleries and see what even the most obscure “real gallery art” art goes for, that’s staggeringly absurd. Though I don’t know how I feel about seeing it change.

  6. Brian Doherty says:

    Worth pointing out that most Kirby pages–that aren’t 60s Marvel ones–still go for much, much LESS. That’s the highest I’ve seen for a post-60s Kirby by FAR. By far. As recently as five years ago, 70s Kirby pages that weren’t Fourth world were all under 1,000. Yes, UNDER one thousand. For people who spend anytime at all in big city art galleries and see what even the most obscure “real gallery art” art goes for, that’s staggeringly absurd. Though I don’t know how I feel about seeing it change.

  7. jaroslav hasek says:

    you know, i was thinking of what i was going to do with all this millios i got laying around. if i can get a brian lee o’malley for the price of a few measly, $150 dinners, i may go ahead and buy every available page for the price of a few measly BMWs.

    plus it sounds like a great revenue producing investment vehicle as well. a sound financial investment and a hip conversation piece by a grand master: time to deploy those millios!

  8. jaroslav hasek says:

    you know, i was thinking of what i was going to do with all this millios i got laying around. if i can get a brian lee o’malley for the price of a few measly, $150 dinners, i may go ahead and buy every available page for the price of a few measly BMWs.

    plus it sounds like a great revenue producing investment vehicle as well. a sound financial investment and a hip conversation piece by a grand master: time to deploy those millios!

  9. Brian Doherty says:

    yeah, in that same auction two different Forever People pages went for just barely above a grand—a price that surprised me with how low it is (though would not have surprised me three years ago). I’m not an experienced analyst of collectible markets, but it seems clear to me this explosion predicted—and it makes sense to believe it will come, I grant—is still not here, and that a key thing, I think, is the usually insanely SMALL number of people actually doing the bidding, especially the high bidding. That Kirby FP pages are this month going for only slightly more than a K makes I think Kirby’s higher prices more the whims of a small, small handful of wealthy people than a wide recognition on the part of “art markets” that Kirby is a genius grand master whose originals ought to be highly valued. We’ll see.

  10. Brian Doherty says:

    yeah, in that same auction two different Forever People pages went for just barely above a grand—a price that surprised me with how low it is (though would not have surprised me three years ago). I’m not an experienced analyst of collectible markets, but it seems clear to me this explosion predicted—and it makes sense to believe it will come, I grant—is still not here, and that a key thing, I think, is the usually insanely SMALL number of people actually doing the bidding, especially the high bidding. That Kirby FP pages are this month going for only slightly more than a K makes I think Kirby’s higher prices more the whims of a small, small handful of wealthy people than a wide recognition on the part of “art markets” that Kirby is a genius grand master whose originals ought to be highly valued. We’ll see.

  11. Original art will always be worth something on some level because there is only one of them. With half of the artists I know going digital, there is even less art available these days.

    I have collected original comic art since I was 14 and have got a pretty cool collection. When Amanda and I wanted to move out of our small apartment to an actual house, we took some of the more expensive pieces I owned and sold them and never looked back.

    To give an example of how much certain art went up in price, I had 2 pages of art I paid $600 for 8 years before…and sold them for $17 grand each. It all depends on who you are buying, what books they are from and its a gamble if they will stay hot.

    I used to only buy classic art, the stuff I grew up with like Kirby, Buscema, Miller, Mignola, and my european favorites like Moebius, Manara and Bernet. Yeah, I got lucky with my tastes, but there are a ton of present day artists that you can approach and get art from at a very reasonable price. These future stars , i think, are a good investment.

    And to be clear, I never bought art as an investment, I bought it because I loved it…the investment side came about years later. My days off I would take great joy in looking at the few pieces I owned and hung up…and they always bring me great joy. I just love this medium so much.

    Back to the subject at hand, I still think the art is a good investment for people, but always buy art you like first.There will always be millionares trying to buy back their childhood and paying insane prices for the art.

  12. Original art will always be worth something on some level because there is only one of them. With half of the artists I know going digital, there is even less art available these days.

    I have collected original comic art since I was 14 and have got a pretty cool collection. When Amanda and I wanted to move out of our small apartment to an actual house, we took some of the more expensive pieces I owned and sold them and never looked back.

    To give an example of how much certain art went up in price, I had 2 pages of art I paid $600 for 8 years before…and sold them for $17 grand each. It all depends on who you are buying, what books they are from and its a gamble if they will stay hot.

    I used to only buy classic art, the stuff I grew up with like Kirby, Buscema, Miller, Mignola, and my european favorites like Moebius, Manara and Bernet. Yeah, I got lucky with my tastes, but there are a ton of present day artists that you can approach and get art from at a very reasonable price. These future stars , i think, are a good investment.

    And to be clear, I never bought art as an investment, I bought it because I loved it…the investment side came about years later. My days off I would take great joy in looking at the few pieces I owned and hung up…and they always bring me great joy. I just love this medium so much.

    Back to the subject at hand, I still think the art is a good investment for people, but always buy art you like first.There will always be millionares trying to buy back their childhood and paying insane prices for the art.

  13. OnABudget says:

    “$500! The price of a few dinners. Ridiculously cheap.”

    $500 isn’t cheap to me. Know you know the type that’s ruin our standard of living, not to mention Making Manhattan a giant suckfest. How many dinners is that?

  14. OnABudget says:

    “$500! The price of a few dinners. Ridiculously cheap.”

    $500 isn’t cheap to me. Know you know the type that’s ruin our standard of living, not to mention Making Manhattan a giant suckfest. How many dinners is that?

  15. Joe S. Walker says:

    NB that many of the biggest original-art sales are private deals – and that the potentially most valuable pieces, early 60s Marvel pages, would be of questionable provenance if they came to public sale.

  16. Joe S. Walker says:

    NB that many of the biggest original-art sales are private deals – and that the potentially most valuable pieces, early 60s Marvel pages, would be of questionable provenance if they came to public sale.

  17. Brian Doherty says:

    Re: provenance—isn’t it a given that pretty much EVERY pre-80s comic page is of “questionable provenance” and do we know of any buyer or auction house who has ever cared?

    What I’m getting at re: Kirby vs. “real artists,” and if I’m wrong about “real artists” let me know, is that the big names start to get supervaluable just for BEING BY THAT ARTIST—that while of course iconic or whatever pages go for MORE, there is a floor below which, say, a Magritte Picasso Warhol whatever won’t fall. (If I’m wrong about that, let me know.) And that floor is high. Jack Kirby’s floor is still below a thousand. That’s crazy, but it’s still true. That said, I do expect to live to see the day when any Kirby will be five figures or at least high 4. But I do wonder that perhaps when the body of folk who loved him in the 60s and 70s are dead and gone, maybe he’ll fall to mere curiosity.

  18. Brian Doherty says:

    Re: provenance—isn’t it a given that pretty much EVERY pre-80s comic page is of “questionable provenance” and do we know of any buyer or auction house who has ever cared?

    What I’m getting at re: Kirby vs. “real artists,” and if I’m wrong about “real artists” let me know, is that the big names start to get supervaluable just for BEING BY THAT ARTIST—that while of course iconic or whatever pages go for MORE, there is a floor below which, say, a Magritte Picasso Warhol whatever won’t fall. (If I’m wrong about that, let me know.) And that floor is high. Jack Kirby’s floor is still below a thousand. That’s crazy, but it’s still true. That said, I do expect to live to see the day when any Kirby will be five figures or at least high 4. But I do wonder that perhaps when the body of folk who loved him in the 60s and 70s are dead and gone, maybe he’ll fall to mere curiosity.

  19. $500 can buy groceries for a family for a month if they budget it out correctly. And that’s stretching it these days. Food is expensive, Heidi! But yes, that amount would get you a few nice dinners in New York City.

  20. $500 can buy groceries for a family for a month if they budget it out correctly. And that’s stretching it these days. Food is expensive, Heidi! But yes, that amount would get you a few nice dinners in New York City.

  21. Ha! So you think 250$ for original pages is ridicolously cheap? Try buying original art and comic book art in Germany. There’s no real collector’s market there, so you can get awesome original pages starting from 20€ up. And we’re talking quality here!

    I’ve seen handpainted coloured original pages from Tomppa (winner of the Stan Lee Award) for around 100-150€ on a con recently. You can get classic German artists from the 50s/60s like Hansrudi Wäscher on eBay around 30-50€.

    I usually buy from German manga artists, and there we have like 20-50€ a page, and we’re talking about hand-screentoned art which looks no less awesome than their Japanese counterparts.

    Illustrations as well: I got this piece for 35€ yesterday: http://animexx.onlinewelten.com/fanart/zeichner/443184/2038959/
    This one cost me about 40€ if I remember correctly: http://animexx.onlinewelten.com/fanart/zeichner/6218/1966106/

    Sometimes it breaks my heart to see how cheap artists sell their art here. Upside is I can buy some original art here and there without having any budget at all. If I was a millionaire I could probably buy the whole market empty.

    I don’t know if that actually makes an investment since probaly no-one overseas ever heard of these artists but if you’re looking for cheap comics art that just looks great, come to a German comic or manga convention. Collector’s paradise!

  22. Ha! So you think 250$ for original pages is ridicolously cheap? Try buying original art and comic book art in Germany. There’s no real collector’s market there, so you can get awesome original pages starting from 20€ up. And we’re talking quality here!

    I’ve seen handpainted coloured original pages from Tomppa (winner of the Stan Lee Award) for around 100-150€ on a con recently. You can get classic German artists from the 50s/60s like Hansrudi Wäscher on eBay around 30-50€.

    I usually buy from German manga artists, and there we have like 20-50€ a page, and we’re talking about hand-screentoned art which looks no less awesome than their Japanese counterparts.

    Illustrations as well: I got this piece for 35€ yesterday: http://animexx.onlinewelten.com/fanart/zeichner/443184/2038959/
    This one cost me about 40€ if I remember correctly: http://animexx.onlinewelten.com/fanart/zeichner/6218/1966106/

    Sometimes it breaks my heart to see how cheap artists sell their art here. Upside is I can buy some original art here and there without having any budget at all. If I was a millionaire I could probably buy the whole market empty.

    I don’t know if that actually makes an investment since probaly no-one overseas ever heard of these artists but if you’re looking for cheap comics art that just looks great, come to a German comic or manga convention. Collector’s paradise!

  23. Brian Doherty says:

    If my notion that the real key to an artist being an art superstar and always-reliable investment is more about floors than ceilings is of any validity, worth noting a Todd Infinity Inc. interior (pre-his classic look, natch) went back in November for fifty-nine bucks. 59.

  24. Brian Doherty says:

    If my notion that the real key to an artist being an art superstar and always-reliable investment is more about floors than ceilings is of any validity, worth noting a Todd Infinity Inc. interior (pre-his classic look, natch) went back in November for fifty-nine bucks. 59.

  25. Torsten Adair says:

    I bid occasionally at Heritage Auctions.

    Unless it’s something amazing, I rarely bid more than $100. Usually, the final bid goes for way more than that, other times, I get something for less than $100. Usually less than $100, even with the fees added.

    I buy artists I know, pages that look good by themselves and have some talent and hard work showing.

    We’re living in a bubble. Early work from before the 1960s is rare. Work from after Y2K is digital and unfinished (pencils, or inks over a blue line print-out). So you have forty years of actual production art (if that).

    Same goes for print comics. While many are slabbing copies, the total population is minimal… maybe 10,000 – 50,000 copies.

    If something is really off the radar, like the Marvel adaptation of the Rolling Stones “Voodoo Lounge” album by some guy named Dave McKean which has crossover appeal with RS fans, then the value and demand can escalate.

    There’s more in that auction, including some amazing comics from the Doug Schmell / PedigreeComics.com Collection.

    The current highest item up for bid:
    X-Men #1 (Marvel, 1963) CGC NM 9.4 White pages
    CGC census 7/12: 12 in 9.4, 4 higher
    Current bid: $70,000

    Followed by Captain America #1 (the 1941 #1) and Detective Comics #27 (1939).

    http://comics.ha.com/common/search_results.php?N=52+793+794+791+1893+792+2088+4294952293&Ns=Price%7C1

  26. Torsten Adair says:

    I bid occasionally at Heritage Auctions.

    Unless it’s something amazing, I rarely bid more than $100. Usually, the final bid goes for way more than that, other times, I get something for less than $100. Usually less than $100, even with the fees added.

    I buy artists I know, pages that look good by themselves and have some talent and hard work showing.

    We’re living in a bubble. Early work from before the 1960s is rare. Work from after Y2K is digital and unfinished (pencils, or inks over a blue line print-out). So you have forty years of actual production art (if that).

    Same goes for print comics. While many are slabbing copies, the total population is minimal… maybe 10,000 – 50,000 copies.

    If something is really off the radar, like the Marvel adaptation of the Rolling Stones “Voodoo Lounge” album by some guy named Dave McKean which has crossover appeal with RS fans, then the value and demand can escalate.

    There’s more in that auction, including some amazing comics from the Doug Schmell / PedigreeComics.com Collection.

    The current highest item up for bid:
    X-Men #1 (Marvel, 1963) CGC NM 9.4 White pages
    CGC census 7/12: 12 in 9.4, 4 higher
    Current bid: $70,000

    Followed by Captain America #1 (the 1941 #1) and Detective Comics #27 (1939).

    http://comics.ha.com/common/search_results.php?N=52+793+794+791+1893+792+2088+4294952293&Ns=Price%7C1

  27. $500 is the price of a few dinners? More like half a mortgage payment.

  28. $500 is the price of a few dinners? More like half a mortgage payment.

  29. A friend of mine works in a high end NYC restaurant. She says some people come in by themselves and spend $700 to eat dinner alone. So yeah…Manhattan prices.

    Robert Boyd: The market performance stat comes from the Investment News piece I link to above:

    If art is being taken more seriously by investors, it is because of the way it has performed. A recent study by Tangent Capital compared the performance of art investments with that of the S&P 500 during four recessionary periods.

    For the 1913-20 period, the art composite produced a 12.3% annualized return, compared with 9.9% for the index.

    During the 1937-46 recession, the art index’s annualized gain was 9.7%, while the S&P 500 was flat.

    From 1949 to 1954, the annualized return for art was 15.8%, compared with 10.8% for the index.

    Pretty persuasive.

    Torsten: I like your method.

  30. A friend of mine works in a high end NYC restaurant. She says some people come in by themselves and spend $700 to eat dinner alone. So yeah…Manhattan prices.

    Robert Boyd: The market performance stat comes from the Investment News piece I link to above:

    If art is being taken more seriously by investors, it is because of the way it has performed. A recent study by Tangent Capital compared the performance of art investments with that of the S&P 500 during four recessionary periods.

    For the 1913-20 period, the art composite produced a 12.3% annualized return, compared with 9.9% for the index.

    During the 1937-46 recession, the art index’s annualized gain was 9.7%, while the S&P 500 was flat.

    From 1949 to 1954, the annualized return for art was 15.8%, compared with 10.8% for the index.

    Pretty persuasive.

    Torsten: I like your method.

  31. Wild prices, and in many cases worth it, Part of me is sadden that the artists would in many cases never get that price for their artwork. By the them it reaches those high numbers they pass within a few hands and The artist may have only gotten a few bucks for it at the time. I think that’s why I like to get my art from the artist themselves, sure I’ve gotten a few from dealers but I feel it’s better to give the money right to the artists. I still Kick myself for not getting any Marvel’s Art from Alex Ross when he had the show at the 4 color galley, but at the time I didn’t realize how great of a price it was back then, in my 20’s I thought those prices where too much. Little did I know. But I did get to design the poster for it!

  32. Wild prices, and in many cases worth it, Part of me is sadden that the artists would in many cases never get that price for their artwork. By the them it reaches those high numbers they pass within a few hands and The artist may have only gotten a few bucks for it at the time. I think that’s why I like to get my art from the artist themselves, sure I’ve gotten a few from dealers but I feel it’s better to give the money right to the artists. I still Kick myself for not getting any Marvel’s Art from Alex Ross when he had the show at the 4 color galley, but at the time I didn’t realize how great of a price it was back then, in my 20’s I thought those prices where too much. Little did I know. But I did get to design the poster for it!

  33. I’m continuously amazed at the differences in aesthetics and collectability criteria between the comic art market and a normal art market. Last I heard, there are some complete Will Eisner Spirit stories (7 pages)from the 1940s available in the $16-20K range. But someone with $675K to burn would rather have a McFarlane. Would rather have THIS McFarlane.

    I’m also wondering where the money is coming from. If this is the same clique of collectors passing pages back and forth at higher and higher prices, that’s one thing. But if some Chinese billionaire or Saudi prince has taken a shine to 1980s/90s Spider-Man art, that’s something else again.

  34. I’m continuously amazed at the differences in aesthetics and collectability criteria between the comic art market and a normal art market. Last I heard, there are some complete Will Eisner Spirit stories (7 pages)from the 1940s available in the $16-20K range. But someone with $675K to burn would rather have a McFarlane. Would rather have THIS McFarlane.

    I’m also wondering where the money is coming from. If this is the same clique of collectors passing pages back and forth at higher and higher prices, that’s one thing. But if some Chinese billionaire or Saudi prince has taken a shine to 1980s/90s Spider-Man art, that’s something else again.

  35. Brian Doherty says:

    When I buy art, my superego has to tell me–not that it’s an investment per se–but at least that it’s not pure consumption, that I will be able to turn it back into cash if need be. And while I still believe it, it does worry me the TINY number of bidders on almost all art in either Heritage or Ebay or Comicslink. While of course as with any price it only takes one to pay it, and with Auctions only one plus another one slightly lower, it does worry me a bit that this whole thing is more a curious obsession of handful of weirdos rather than a thriving and healthy market. Still, I love what I got.

  36. Brian Doherty says:

    When I buy art, my superego has to tell me–not that it’s an investment per se–but at least that it’s not pure consumption, that I will be able to turn it back into cash if need be. And while I still believe it, it does worry me the TINY number of bidders on almost all art in either Heritage or Ebay or Comicslink. While of course as with any price it only takes one to pay it, and with Auctions only one plus another one slightly lower, it does worry me a bit that this whole thing is more a curious obsession of handful of weirdos rather than a thriving and healthy market. Still, I love what I got.

  37. R. Maheras says:

    I have mixed feelings about the whole deal. First of all, high prices for comic book art is great if the artist is doing the selling and getting a cut.

    One of the reasons I rarely sell my art and virtually never do commissions is because it is simply not worth it for me to do so. If I do an elaborate space drawing that takes me 80+ hours to draw, I should get a minimum of $2,000 for it — which equates to a modest $25 an hour. That’s about one fourth the typical per-hour rate the average schmoe pays to have someone do basic plumbing, electrical, appliance repair, auto repair, electronics repair, etc. Yet even that low rate of $25 and hour is considered “high end” for the average skilled, living comics artist, and I’d be lucky to get $400 for such a drawing in today’s market. That comes out to a paltry $5 an hour — well below minimum wage. So why even bother? I’d be better off mopping floors at McDonald’s.

    The current comics art market would never pay rates even close to what a typical home handyman charges — not even for some of the best-known comics artists out there.

    Why? And don’t give me the, “Oh, those vocational skills are different — they take years to master, blah, blah, blah.” Bull! There’s no difference at all — in fact, as someone who has done quite a bit of work in every vocation listed above (some professionally), my art skills have, by far, taken the longest to master.

    When I joined the Air Force in 1978, it took about two-three years of intense training to become a qualified aircraft avionics technician who could routinely go out to the flightline and troubleshoot and repair most aircraft electronics issues related to my specialty, which was electronic countermeasures equipment. Within six years I was in quality assurance, inspecting and evaluating the work of other technicians, and within 10 years a was supervising the electronic countermeasures shop for one of the most sophisticated aircraft then in the USAF inventory: The SR-71.

    By comparison, I’ve been drawing for 45 years now and there are STILL many areas of comics art I feel I have not mastered.

    To be perfectly honest, I think most skilled comics artists should be making AT LEAST $100 an hour for their work, and some should be making $300-$500 an hour. Yet realistically, how many out there do? Not a whole helluva lot.

    I’ll wager McFarlane was paid about $500 by Marvel for that cover back when he did it, and if he got the artwork back afterwards, he probably sold it for a similar amount.

    So while that recent $675,000 auction price is great and all, McFarlane doesn’t get a dime of it (unless he’s the one who sold it at auction, which I seriously doubt). However, the upside for McFarlane is he will probably now be able to charge a bit more for any new commissions he opts to do — which is a good thing.

  38. R. Maheras says:

    I have mixed feelings about the whole deal. First of all, high prices for comic book art is great if the artist is doing the selling and getting a cut.

    One of the reasons I rarely sell my art and virtually never do commissions is because it is simply not worth it for me to do so. If I do an elaborate space drawing that takes me 80+ hours to draw, I should get a minimum of $2,000 for it — which equates to a modest $25 an hour. That’s about one fourth the typical per-hour rate the average schmoe pays to have someone do basic plumbing, electrical, appliance repair, auto repair, electronics repair, etc. Yet even that low rate of $25 and hour is considered “high end” for the average skilled, living comics artist, and I’d be lucky to get $400 for such a drawing in today’s market. That comes out to a paltry $5 an hour — well below minimum wage. So why even bother? I’d be better off mopping floors at McDonald’s.

    The current comics art market would never pay rates even close to what a typical home handyman charges — not even for some of the best-known comics artists out there.

    Why? And don’t give me the, “Oh, those vocational skills are different — they take years to master, blah, blah, blah.” Bull! There’s no difference at all — in fact, as someone who has done quite a bit of work in every vocation listed above (some professionally), my art skills have, by far, taken the longest to master.

    When I joined the Air Force in 1978, it took about two-three years of intense training to become a qualified aircraft avionics technician who could routinely go out to the flightline and troubleshoot and repair most aircraft electronics issues related to my specialty, which was electronic countermeasures equipment. Within six years I was in quality assurance, inspecting and evaluating the work of other technicians, and within 10 years a was supervising the electronic countermeasures shop for one of the most sophisticated aircraft then in the USAF inventory: The SR-71.

    By comparison, I’ve been drawing for 45 years now and there are STILL many areas of comics art I feel I have not mastered.

    To be perfectly honest, I think most skilled comics artists should be making AT LEAST $100 an hour for their work, and some should be making $300-$500 an hour. Yet realistically, how many out there do? Not a whole helluva lot.

    I’ll wager McFarlane was paid about $500 by Marvel for that cover back when he did it, and if he got the artwork back afterwards, he probably sold it for a similar amount.

    So while that recent $675,000 auction price is great and all, McFarlane doesn’t get a dime of it (unless he’s the one who sold it at auction, which I seriously doubt). However, the upside for McFarlane is he will probably now be able to charge a bit more for any new commissions he opts to do — which is a good thing.

  39. pulphope says:

    Knowing a little about this end of the market, it is worth noting that just because a Miller or MacFarlane or whoever can cop these prices at auction, it does not necessarily mean the artist sees a penny of the sale (or, as is usually the case in these auctions, re-sale).

    Comics originals in archival condition are commodities, and I would think many of the high end purchasers are either looking at re-selling at auction later, selling to museums or galleries (or purchasing for museums or galleries), or else the buyers are commodity traders– the same people who buy cotton or wheat, depending on market forces and demands. I would imagine whoever bought that MacFarlane cover is not intending to frame it and hang it in their living room (or over the dining room table)…

  40. pulphope says:

    Knowing a little about this end of the market, it is worth noting that just because a Miller or MacFarlane or whoever can cop these prices at auction, it does not necessarily mean the artist sees a penny of the sale (or, as is usually the case in these auctions, re-sale).

    Comics originals in archival condition are commodities, and I would think many of the high end purchasers are either looking at re-selling at auction later, selling to museums or galleries (or purchasing for museums or galleries), or else the buyers are commodity traders– the same people who buy cotton or wheat, depending on market forces and demands. I would imagine whoever bought that MacFarlane cover is not intending to frame it and hang it in their living room (or over the dining room table)…

  41. My thing with comic art collecting, buy what you love. This high end stuff is for very rich people.

  42. My thing with comic art collecting, buy what you love. This high end stuff is for very rich people.

  43. JohnRobeytheCat says:

    McFarlane will always be top of the money pile. He’s got it all figured out and I have to admit, for all the imitators he spawned for 2 decades, no one quite draws like him with that kind of knobby, tactile scrutiny he has. The detail he gives webbing, ripped cloth, scrunched reality, odd juxtapositions, impacted figures, all that is talent for comics. Especially how he processed other artists Ditko, Michael Golden, the 80’s Perez/Byrne guys to output his own branch of visual art shows the rewards of being original and influenced at the same time. His style is not a branch of art I love but his singular skill and vision gives it a magic like no other ( especially when he hits all cylinders like with these covers)

    About Inking…Comics as a medium in itself has really brought to life the inherit abstract beauty of inking coupled with a style like Kirby, Ditko, Miller. McFarlane’s and a personal favorite of mine, the 80’s X-Men & Dr. Strange artist Paul Smith give these drawing a dynamism and clear beauty you don’t see in other art mediums often, its different than painting.

    I’m still surprised how beautiful these things look in person compared to how their outputed onto the comic book once the colorist, reduction in size and quality of paper affect their final look.As someone mentioned before, some of this art brings back the best memories of one’s past/teenage years. Paul Smith is an artist I would like to collect one day because of his fine line quality and compositional vision was so elegant and right, the X-Men were just a different book to me after after he left. Honestly he’s been a difficult artsist to follow but I just go to comic book stores looking for the few favorite issues of his so I can see the art again. Yet what I discover is the artwork in the original books look so awful now because of the crap paper and muted coloring back then sinks through and drabs up everything. Even though you know the original line drawings looked great from the the best piece of paper back then, the cover.

    Digital and new books are helping the rest of us rediscover how amazing Ditko’s, Kirby, and a lot of classic art was without that handicap of bad, cheap comic paper to mute their qualities like when I was kid puzzled by why people liked these. No I can’t collect the original books because I want to see the art in its best light, on good paper or digital with sharp color and rich inks.

  44. JohnRobeytheCat says:

    McFarlane will always be top of the money pile. He’s got it all figured out and I have to admit, for all the imitators he spawned for 2 decades, no one quite draws like him with that kind of knobby, tactile scrutiny he has. The detail he gives webbing, ripped cloth, scrunched reality, odd juxtapositions, impacted figures, all that is talent for comics. Especially how he processed other artists Ditko, Michael Golden, the 80’s Perez/Byrne guys to output his own branch of visual art shows the rewards of being original and influenced at the same time. His style is not a branch of art I love but his singular skill and vision gives it a magic like no other ( especially when he hits all cylinders like with these covers)

    About Inking…Comics as a medium in itself has really brought to life the inherit abstract beauty of inking coupled with a style like Kirby, Ditko, Miller. McFarlane’s and a personal favorite of mine, the 80’s X-Men & Dr. Strange artist Paul Smith give these drawing a dynamism and clear beauty you don’t see in other art mediums often, its different than painting.

    I’m still surprised how beautiful these things look in person compared to how their outputed onto the comic book once the colorist, reduction in size and quality of paper affect their final look.As someone mentioned before, some of this art brings back the best memories of one’s past/teenage years. Paul Smith is an artist I would like to collect one day because of his fine line quality and compositional vision was so elegant and right, the X-Men were just a different book to me after after he left. Honestly he’s been a difficult artsist to follow but I just go to comic book stores looking for the few favorite issues of his so I can see the art again. Yet what I discover is the artwork in the original books look so awful now because of the crap paper and muted coloring back then sinks through and drabs up everything. Even though you know the original line drawings looked great from the the best piece of paper back then, the cover.

    Digital and new books are helping the rest of us rediscover how amazing Ditko’s, Kirby, and a lot of classic art was without that handicap of bad, cheap comic paper to mute their qualities like when I was kid puzzled by why people liked these. No I can’t collect the original books because I want to see the art in its best light, on good paper or digital with sharp color and rich inks.

  45. Brian Doherty says:

    Undoubtedly Paul knows more about this market than me, but…how can paying ENORMOUSLY more for a type of thing than anyone else has ever paid before a sensible investment decision? It seems to me that can ONLY arise from an obsessive desire to own. Now, the people who in the next months start buying McFarlane covers for 15-20 percent more than they last changed hands for, THEM I can believe are just trying to be savvy investors. And again, I should think any investor would have to have SLIGHT worries about markets with such (as near as I can tell) tiny numbers of people actively at play.

  46. Brian Doherty says:

    Undoubtedly Paul knows more about this market than me, but…how can paying ENORMOUSLY more for a type of thing than anyone else has ever paid before a sensible investment decision? It seems to me that can ONLY arise from an obsessive desire to own. Now, the people who in the next months start buying McFarlane covers for 15-20 percent more than they last changed hands for, THEM I can believe are just trying to be savvy investors. And again, I should think any investor would have to have SLIGHT worries about markets with such (as near as I can tell) tiny numbers of people actively at play.

  47. Brian Doherty says:

    Unless I’m being hopelessly naive, of course. Who benefits the most from paying 675K for a MacFarlane cover as an investment? Someone who already bought lots of other MacFarlane covers for a small fraction of that price. Do people do things like that in art markets? I have no idea, and feel a little weird even bringing it up as it sounds accusatory, which I’m not intending.

  48. Brian Doherty says:

    Unless I’m being hopelessly naive, of course. Who benefits the most from paying 675K for a MacFarlane cover as an investment? Someone who already bought lots of other MacFarlane covers for a small fraction of that price. Do people do things like that in art markets? I have no idea, and feel a little weird even bringing it up as it sounds accusatory, which I’m not intending.

  49. Brian Doherty says:

    Per Jimmy, “buy what you love” and can afford. I mean, we all love mid 60s Kirby/Sinnott FF and DItko, right? My own buying is always artist-centric and cost-centric, which I think hurts its “collectable” value because I am singularly UN-obsessed with things like what character is on the page, action, splashes, etc. I just want things that look good from artists I love. The buyers in this market from watching price variations are VERY sensitive to the above concerns about character, action, etc.

  50. Brian Doherty says:

    Per Jimmy, “buy what you love” and can afford. I mean, we all love mid 60s Kirby/Sinnott FF and DItko, right? My own buying is always artist-centric and cost-centric, which I think hurts its “collectable” value because I am singularly UN-obsessed with things like what character is on the page, action, splashes, etc. I just want things that look good from artists I love. The buyers in this market from watching price variations are VERY sensitive to the above concerns about character, action, etc.

  51. Andrew Farago says:

    It’s really interesting to watch the upward trend on the high-end pieces from the 1980s and 1990s.

    The cover to Amazing Spider-Man #328 is a personal favorite, so I could see spending ridiculous amounts of cash on it if I were a multi-millionaire, but McFarlane’s covers to Spider-Man #1, Amazing Spider-Man #300 and Amazing Spider-Man #301 are even more iconic, so I don’t think we’re seeing the peak yet.

    Wait until some of Jim Lee’s best known X-Men covers hit the market. Or New Mutants #87 or #98. Or Amazing Spider-Man #252. Or any of the really major Kirby or Ditko covers.

    Me, I’m focusing on stuff I like, usually $100 or less, and purchased directly from the artist whenever possible. I don’t expect to build a retirement fund off of those pieces, but at least I know that when I drop $30 on a page in artist’s alley, the artist will be getting a nice meal or two out of it.

  52. Andrew Farago says:

    It’s really interesting to watch the upward trend on the high-end pieces from the 1980s and 1990s.

    The cover to Amazing Spider-Man #328 is a personal favorite, so I could see spending ridiculous amounts of cash on it if I were a multi-millionaire, but McFarlane’s covers to Spider-Man #1, Amazing Spider-Man #300 and Amazing Spider-Man #301 are even more iconic, so I don’t think we’re seeing the peak yet.

    Wait until some of Jim Lee’s best known X-Men covers hit the market. Or New Mutants #87 or #98. Or Amazing Spider-Man #252. Or any of the really major Kirby or Ditko covers.

    Me, I’m focusing on stuff I like, usually $100 or less, and purchased directly from the artist whenever possible. I don’t expect to build a retirement fund off of those pieces, but at least I know that when I drop $30 on a page in artist’s alley, the artist will be getting a nice meal or two out of it.

  53. Torsten Adair says:

    Interesting…
    That McFarlane page?
    Where’d it come from?
    “From the Shamus Modern Masterworks Collection.”
    (107 results if one searches that phrase at comics.HA.com)

    Further down the item page:
    [QUOTE]
    Previous Prices from Heritage Auctions for this artist
    LOT NO. PIECE REALIZED

    Todd McFarlane Spider-Man #1 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1990)….
    Lot 92025
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $358,500.00

    Todd McFarlane Amazing Spider-Man #317 Venom Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1989)….
    Lot 92219
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $143,400.00

    Todd McFarlane Marvel Tales #235 Spider-Man and X-Men Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1989)…. (Total: 2 Items)
    Lot 92029
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $56,762.50

    Todd McFarlane The Amazing Spider-Man #319 Splash Page 1 Original Art (Marvel, 1989)….
    Lot 92028
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $28,680.00

    Todd McFarlane The Amazing Spider-Man #319 Page 19 Original Art (Marvel, 1989)….
    Lot 92027
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $28,680.00

    There are cheaper items, such as his DC interior pages.

    Be advised that Heritage Auctions also has illustration auctions, where one can find even more spectacular artwork (usually paintings for magazines, as well as panel cartoons).

  54. Torsten Adair says:

    Interesting…
    That McFarlane page?
    Where’d it come from?
    “From the Shamus Modern Masterworks Collection.”
    (107 results if one searches that phrase at comics.HA.com)

    Further down the item page:
    [QUOTE]
    Previous Prices from Heritage Auctions for this artist
    LOT NO. PIECE REALIZED

    Todd McFarlane Spider-Man #1 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1990)….
    Lot 92025
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $358,500.00

    Todd McFarlane Amazing Spider-Man #317 Venom Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1989)….
    Lot 92219
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $143,400.00

    Todd McFarlane Marvel Tales #235 Spider-Man and X-Men Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1989)…. (Total: 2 Items)
    Lot 92029
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $56,762.50

    Todd McFarlane The Amazing Spider-Man #319 Splash Page 1 Original Art (Marvel, 1989)….
    Lot 92028
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $28,680.00

    Todd McFarlane The Amazing Spider-Man #319 Page 19 Original Art (Marvel, 1989)….
    Lot 92027
    Auction 7063
    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    $28,680.00

    There are cheaper items, such as his DC interior pages.

    Be advised that Heritage Auctions also has illustration auctions, where one can find even more spectacular artwork (usually paintings for magazines, as well as panel cartoons).

  55. Al™ says:

    I agree about buying what you love, within your budget.

    There are artists that are beyond my means.

    It is also a question of supply and demand. Why does one artist command such high prices? Because someone will pay them.

  56. Al™ says:

    I agree about buying what you love, within your budget.

    There are artists that are beyond my means.

    It is also a question of supply and demand. Why does one artist command such high prices? Because someone will pay them.

  57. R. Haining says:

    Recently, Russ Cochran auctioned off a major Spirit splash page (used as the cover for Spirit Archives Volume One) for $17,000.00. The fact that a Todd McFarlane Spider-Man cover would go for nearly forty times that amount leaves me baffled. Even setting aside the respective virtues of each artist, Eisner’s material has always been regarded as a classic of the form. You would think the works of the Old Masters would go for for more compared to the works of younger artists.

    And when I look at that Spider-Man cover and look at the price, I can’t help but think, “Well, at least the buyer didn’t spend that much money on baseballs.”

    Now, that would be really crazy.

  58. R. Haining says:

    Recently, Russ Cochran auctioned off a major Spirit splash page (used as the cover for Spirit Archives Volume One) for $17,000.00. The fact that a Todd McFarlane Spider-Man cover would go for nearly forty times that amount leaves me baffled. Even setting aside the respective virtues of each artist, Eisner’s material has always been regarded as a classic of the form. You would think the works of the Old Masters would go for for more compared to the works of younger artists.

    And when I look at that Spider-Man cover and look at the price, I can’t help but think, “Well, at least the buyer didn’t spend that much money on baseballs.”

    Now, that would be really crazy.

  59. Ruggeder says:

    People saying th should have bought Kirby art instead are ignoring the point of collecting, which is to buy what you like, as pointed out by Palmiotti. McFarlane was my favorite artist growing up, and I still love what he does. If I was buying art I would get his over anyone else’s. It’s the same situation here, there is no wrong or right in what you like.

  60. Ruggeder says:

    People saying th should have bought Kirby art instead are ignoring the point of collecting, which is to buy what you like, as pointed out by Palmiotti. McFarlane was my favorite artist growing up, and I still love what he does. If I was buying art I would get his over anyone else’s. It’s the same situation here, there is no wrong or right in what you like.

  61. JC LEBOURDAIS says:

    For people who don’t understand why Kirby art goes for so low prices, I only need to reming that this is a market of supply and demand, 70’s Kirby is everywhere to be found, so no reason for it to be expensive at all.
    As opposed, to the 60’s Marvel art which mostly *ahem* disappeared (by that I mean destroyed or stolen).
    And of course it is a market guided by emotion rather than reason. We buy things which remind us of the emotional impact they had on us when we were young, it’s simple as that. It’s a generational market. That McFarlane page is 20 years old which is about right to peak right now among collectors of that particular generation.
    For 30-40 year old folks of today, Kirby or Eisner art has no emotional substance because they did not experience it firsthand when it was fresh and innovative. It now appears only to shcholars of the field for purely intellectual reasons.
    The only way prices would ever go up is if it were to become extremely rare (think Van Gogh numbers), or perfectly stored for another century or two.
    That’s the art market in a nutshell.

  62. JC LEBOURDAIS says:

    For people who don’t understand why Kirby art goes for so low prices, I only need to reming that this is a market of supply and demand, 70’s Kirby is everywhere to be found, so no reason for it to be expensive at all.
    As opposed, to the 60’s Marvel art which mostly *ahem* disappeared (by that I mean destroyed or stolen).
    And of course it is a market guided by emotion rather than reason. We buy things which remind us of the emotional impact they had on us when we were young, it’s simple as that. It’s a generational market. That McFarlane page is 20 years old which is about right to peak right now among collectors of that particular generation.
    For 30-40 year old folks of today, Kirby or Eisner art has no emotional substance because they did not experience it firsthand when it was fresh and innovative. It now appears only to shcholars of the field for purely intellectual reasons.
    The only way prices would ever go up is if it were to become extremely rare (think Van Gogh numbers), or perfectly stored for another century or two.
    That’s the art market in a nutshell.

  63. Heidi–I don’t want to derail the comments here, but almost all analysis of art prices fail to account for works that never resold because their value went to zero. This is the majority of all art sold. But when we look at returns of the stock market, we do count stocks whose value went to zero because of bankruptcy because those prices are recorded by exchanges.

    No one records a piece of art that goes to a zero price because no one auctions off art for nothing. Therefore, there is no record of a work losing 100% of its value. This makes art seem like a much better investment than it is–because it tends to assume a higher percentage of “picking winners” than actually occurs. This is called “hindsight bias.”

    (Also such analyses often fail to account for the very high carrying cost for fine art–insurance, climate controlled storage, conservation, etc.)

    JC Lebourdais–scarcity is not what drives prices up in the art market. If it were, artists like Andy Warhol would command very low prices. Furthermore, there are many many exact contemporaries of Vincent Van Gogh whose work is just as scarce has Van Gogh’s whose work is worth nothing.

    I agree that McFarlane’s work is probably going for so much now because some readers of those comics are now reaching peak earnings levels. But in the long run, art becomes valuable because it is validated (or branded) by various people and institutions who have high levels of cultural capital. If a serious museum collects work by an artist, and well-known curators put those works in shows, and if monographs and biographies are published about the artist, written by reputable, serious art historians, and if top collectors collect the work, then the work will be valuable. And perversely, if there are lots of examples of the work (as in the case of Warhol), the work may become more valuable because wannabe collectors will find it accessible (in the way a truly scarce work, like a Vermeer, is not) and bid it up.

    The problem with the prices for comics art (in my opinion–and reasonable people may disagree) is that we don’t have enough authoritative institutions, critics, and collectors–institutions critics and collectors with high amounts of cultural capital. The people (like me) who are saying that Frank King and Chester Gould were better artists and produced work more meaningful than that of Todd McFarlane don’t have enough juice to affect prices. In the case of the McFarlane prices, the power of economic capital is stomping cultural capital. (And auctions are venues in which economic capital becomes cultural capital, alas.)

  64. Heidi–I don’t want to derail the comments here, but almost all analysis of art prices fail to account for works that never resold because their value went to zero. This is the majority of all art sold. But when we look at returns of the stock market, we do count stocks whose value went to zero because of bankruptcy because those prices are recorded by exchanges.

    No one records a piece of art that goes to a zero price because no one auctions off art for nothing. Therefore, there is no record of a work losing 100% of its value. This makes art seem like a much better investment than it is–because it tends to assume a higher percentage of “picking winners” than actually occurs. This is called “hindsight bias.”

    (Also such analyses often fail to account for the very high carrying cost for fine art–insurance, climate controlled storage, conservation, etc.)

    JC Lebourdais–scarcity is not what drives prices up in the art market. If it were, artists like Andy Warhol would command very low prices. Furthermore, there are many many exact contemporaries of Vincent Van Gogh whose work is just as scarce has Van Gogh’s whose work is worth nothing.

    I agree that McFarlane’s work is probably going for so much now because some readers of those comics are now reaching peak earnings levels. But in the long run, art becomes valuable because it is validated (or branded) by various people and institutions who have high levels of cultural capital. If a serious museum collects work by an artist, and well-known curators put those works in shows, and if monographs and biographies are published about the artist, written by reputable, serious art historians, and if top collectors collect the work, then the work will be valuable. And perversely, if there are lots of examples of the work (as in the case of Warhol), the work may become more valuable because wannabe collectors will find it accessible (in the way a truly scarce work, like a Vermeer, is not) and bid it up.

    The problem with the prices for comics art (in my opinion–and reasonable people may disagree) is that we don’t have enough authoritative institutions, critics, and collectors–institutions critics and collectors with high amounts of cultural capital. The people (like me) who are saying that Frank King and Chester Gould were better artists and produced work more meaningful than that of Todd McFarlane don’t have enough juice to affect prices. In the case of the McFarlane prices, the power of economic capital is stomping cultural capital. (And auctions are venues in which economic capital becomes cultural capital, alas.)

  65. JC LEBOURDAIS says:

    @Robert Boyd
    The fact that overhyped hacks like Warhol are popular doesn’t negate my point. Many times in the comic book market in Europe I’ve seen prices for books or art artificially inflated by scarcity organised by dealers and auctioneers working hand in hand to retain collections and then release them slowly to guarantee excessive prices.
    Of course, basic quality is necessary for that to happen, meaning that rare Kirby sells because Kirby is good.
    Similarly Eisner sells (relatively) low because most of his art was preserved and is stored somewhere waiting to be released piece by piece whenever necessity arises for the Eisner estate.

  66. JC LEBOURDAIS says:

    @Robert Boyd
    The fact that overhyped hacks like Warhol are popular doesn’t negate my point. Many times in the comic book market in Europe I’ve seen prices for books or art artificially inflated by scarcity organised by dealers and auctioneers working hand in hand to retain collections and then release them slowly to guarantee excessive prices.
    Of course, basic quality is necessary for that to happen, meaning that rare Kirby sells because Kirby is good.
    Similarly Eisner sells (relatively) low because most of his art was preserved and is stored somewhere waiting to be released piece by piece whenever necessity arises for the Eisner estate.

  67. JohnRobeytheCat says:

    Might be better if the art collectors market shift to original, beautiful inked comic art on nice bristol paper than to 9.8 grade comic books (all printed on the worst paper available & yellowing at a clip, therefore unreadable past the cover).

    And that might be a good thing…Might benefit the artists too. Everything made in the last 30 plus years really isn’t that valuable compared to before especially when companies cynically keep restarting and rebranding to get people to buy #1’s or whatever. Paper is good now though, should be for $3-4 bucks.

  68. JohnRobeytheCat says:

    Might be better if the art collectors market shift to original, beautiful inked comic art on nice bristol paper than to 9.8 grade comic books (all printed on the worst paper available & yellowing at a clip, therefore unreadable past the cover).

    And that might be a good thing…Might benefit the artists too. Everything made in the last 30 plus years really isn’t that valuable compared to before especially when companies cynically keep restarting and rebranding to get people to buy #1’s or whatever. Paper is good now though, should be for $3-4 bucks.

  69. horatio weisfeld says:

    I had a Frazetta Johnny Comet sunday in the last HA auction — went for $6k (or: less than 1% of what this Spidey cover went for)

    Nuff said.

  70. horatio weisfeld says:

    I had a Frazetta Johnny Comet sunday in the last HA auction — went for $6k (or: less than 1% of what this Spidey cover went for)

    Nuff said.

  71. I agree this is an iconic cover, but I must admit that I was surprised that it went for the same kind of money one usually spends for classic Superman and Batman Golden Age books.

    If some of this money goes into the artists’ hands, that would be great. My guess is, though, that it will go to collectors. Ah well… such is the way the free market works.

  72. I agree this is an iconic cover, but I must admit that I was surprised that it went for the same kind of money one usually spends for classic Superman and Batman Golden Age books.

    If some of this money goes into the artists’ hands, that would be great. My guess is, though, that it will go to collectors. Ah well… such is the way the free market works.

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