Artist Spotlight – Mark Bagley
Welcome all, today we’re shining the spotlight on artist extraordinaire Mark Bagley! Mark’s been penciling comic books for almost three decades now, and shows no signs of slowing down. Throughout his career, Mark has consistently produced crisp, dynamic artwork whilst always meeting his deadlines. Indeed, his greatest professional achievement may be producing the first 111 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man with Brian Bendis, which is the record for longest consecutive run by a creative duo on a Marvel series. To many fans, Mark remains the definitive Spider-Man artist, having also had a long run on Marvel’s flagship Amazing Spider-Man in the ‘90s.
Mark broke onto the comics scene with New Warriors, then established himself among the artist elite with his landmark work on ASM. He launched the Thunderbolts series after leaving ASM, before starting on that epic USM run. Mark’s spent most of his career at Marvel and drawn just about every character they have, but he did have a short stint at DC where he worked on Trinity, Batman and Justice League of America. Eventually, he returned to Marvel and has since penciled the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Hulk and X-Men, among others.
Due to his extremely large and extended body of work, there is still plenty of Bagley OA which can be purchased for under $200. This is wonderful news for fans looking to pick up artwork featuring prominent characters drawn by a comic book great! However, prices on New Warriors and ASM OA have been skyrocketing in recent years, as nostalgia and appreciation for Mark’s early work starts to grow among collectors.
New Warriors OA was somewhat overlooked until recently, as collectors tended to focus on Bagley’s ASM artwork. The dramatic price increase in ASM OA perhaps forced collectors who wanted affordable vintage Bagley art to go after New Warriors pages; it’s probably also due to the nostalgia effect kicking in. Ironically, the run up in prices for New Warriors OA has been so steep that it now isn’t far off ASM prices!
To illustrate the increase in New Warriors prices, in 2013 you could get a decent cover for around $1.4k.
In December 2016, a character packed half-splash sold for $600.
And just last week, this panel page sold for $561 – almost as much as the half-splash, and around 40% of that cover’s price in 2013!
Mark penciled ASM from 1991 to 1996, so a fair amount of OA was produced. However, top quality Bagley ASM pieces seldom come to market, and always command strong prices when they do. As a whole, Bagley ASM OA has undergone a massive price jump over the past 3 years, especially pages featuring Spidey in his classic costume. As discussed in my Jim Lee artist spotlight, I believe this price increase reinforces the view that OA from popular early-’90s runs is due for substantial value appreciation in the coming decades.
Venom: Lethal Protector
I have a particular fondness for Mark’s Venom: Lethal Protector work – still able to vividly recall that iconic red foil cover to #1 which I received on a birthday!
Thunderbolts OA is still available at affordable prices, which means you should be scooping it up now if you’re a fan! This was a very well-received series, with characters that endure to this day. A sizable fan base and relevant characters mean that prices for Thunderbolts OA may eventually start moving up, similar to Bagley’s other pre-2000 work.
Owing to the large amount of USM OA out there, prices for art from this legendary run are still rather reasonable. However, there are signs that prices may not remain this way for long – this page sold for $262.90 in February 2016, then was re-sold earlier this week for $336.
OA from most of Bagley’s other Marvel and DC runs remains affordable – great if you’re a fan of Mark’s post-2000 work!
Where can I buy Mark Bagley OA?
Romitaman Original Art has several Bagley ASM pages for sale. Anthony’s Comic Book Art has a large amount of modern Bagley OA available, from titles such as USM, Trinity, Fear Itself and All-New X-Men. There are also some pieces in the CAF classifieds; and keep an eye on eBay, HA, CLink, etc. Finally, enjoy browsing some of Mark’s fine work in CAF members’ galleries.
Until next time, happy collecting!