Profitability of Cover Artists: Part 2 – Up and Coming Artists

When speculating on comics books, there are certain ways to invest your money:

  • Investing in key comics (regardless of character) – This can be a very costly way of investing your money. Comic key issues demand more money and can be harder to move for the right price once you want to sell.
  • Investing in moderns comics that come out every week (aka the quick flip) – This can be a very lucrative option but it can also be the biggest risk due to not knowing what will sell that week. This also means you could be stuck with comics that no one wants.
  • Investing by specific character – This way is for the people who like one comic book character and stay only in that realm (i.e. Batman only). This method is really for personal collection investors who would usually never sell any comic books. However, this does allow for them to show that they have every comic in, for example, Batman history.

The majority of comic book speculating falls within these three methods. However, there is another way of comic book investing that has drawn the attention of those not interested in the previous methods:

  • Investing in comic book cover artists – This type of investing is ideal for a low risk investor. The definition of low risk investing is that there is little chance that an investment’s actual return will be different than expected. Risk is the possibility of losing some or all of the original investment.

You can read Part 1 here.

I will share some up and coming cover artists in Part 2 that with a few more years or big breakout covers could join the fraternity of the big-time veteran cover artists.

Disclaimer: This list was compiled with the help of the author and Comic Book Investing and Speculation (CBSI) members.

Emanuela Lupacchino

Starfire #1 Lupacchino Variant

Starfire #1 Lupacchino Variant

Background:

Emanuela Lupacchino is credited in 182 issues. Emanuela Lupacchino is an Italian artist who has been a regular illustrator for Marvel, DC and Valiant. Before she began working on American comics, Emanuela worked on the Italian series L'Insonne.

Comic book:

 DC Bombshells #1 1:25 Emanuela Lupacchino Variant
Store Date: October 2015image00

DC Bombshells #1

DC Bombshells #1

Evaluation:

DC Bombshells was one of the hottest books for the month of October. As you can see there only have been 9.8 Graded at an Average value of $97.07. This book I think has peaked but it is a strong showing of what potential that Lupacchino has in the marketplace.

Synopsis:

Emanuela Lupacchino has some strong staying power with her variants on DC Bombshell, Starfire and her sketch work (that sells for $110 for a Supergirl sketch 9.8 CGC SS). I think with her breakout success on Bombshells that DC Comics should lock her up for years to come and to work on more covers across their brand.

Chadwick Haverland

Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn

Background:

Chadwick Haverland is most well-known for his sketches and happens to be very good at what he does as can be seen above. Haverland has shown a fresh perspective when it comes to blank cover sketches and treats them more like canvases than covers. His sketches, when graded, can be sold for easily above the $250 range. If I was a sketch artist collector, I would heavily invest in some of his sketches. I think we have only seen a glimpse of what he can do and it will be a matter of time before Marvel or DC grab him to do official cover art for them.

Comic book:

Harley Quinn SDCC Variant Custom 1/1 Sketch
Cover Date: September 2014

Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn

Evaluation:

This comic book character has been on fire especially with Suicide Squad coming to theaters soon. This copy sold on Ebay for $240, which was, in my mind, a steal and a good investment. I believe this book has a very high ceiling – Margot Robbie will make this character larger than life ala Heath Ledger as the Joker.

Synopsis:

With his commitment to quality and detail, I can see Chadwick becoming a force in the comic book world, hopefully within the next couple of years. He has the potential to become a solid investment variant artist in the same realm of Adam Hughes and J Scott Campbell.

Adi Granov

Darth Vader #9

Darth Vader #9

Background:

Adi Granov is best known for his painted work with Marvel Comics. His work has ranged from production for the Iron Man movie to being primary artist for the mini-series Iron Man: Extremis. Besides his wide range of Marvel covers, Granov has also spent his last 3 years in the U.S. doing design work for Nintendo, working on Bionic Commando and Wave Race: Blue Storm, among other titles.

Comic book:

Captain Marvel #1 1:25 Variant
Cover Date: September 2012
Captain Marvel #1 Adi Granov Variant

Evaluation:

This is one of the iconic character portrayals that Granov has become known for. This book in a 9.8 graded condition can be sold for $100 plus. Although not a high dollar book at the moment, with the impending Captain Marvel movie coming and Granov’s budding fan base, I believe there is much potential for this book once it becomes more well known.

Synopsis:

While working with Marvel, Granov needs to be able to create more iconic covers that will appeal to mass audiences. He is capable of doing beautiful work and I feel Marvel needs to do some better marketing when it comes to Adi Granov variants.

Joelle Jones

Helheim #1

Helheim #1

Background:

Joelle Jones is best known for her work on Helheim and the follow-up Brides of Helheim, both published by Oni Press. Currently, she is co-writing and drawing a new original series called Lady Killer published by Dark Horse. She has worked on various projects with the New York Times, Graphic Universe, Vertigo, DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, and Oni Press.

Comic Book:

Lady Killer #1 Emerald ECCC Variant
Cover Date: March 2015

Lady Killer #1 ECCC

Lady Killer #1 ECCC

Evaluation:

Joelle Jones’ highest priced book is the Lady Killer ECCC variant copy that in a CGC 9.8 SS is going for the $100 plus range. I bet in a few years this will be one of her most iconic covers to collect.

Synopsis:

Joelle has moved from being only a cover artist to a full fledged comic book writer and creator. I can see Joelle going the route of Todd McFarlane – creating a series from the ground up and having it be optioned for a movie. She has one of the brightest futures in comics with her own series currently being published by Dark Horse.

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