Market Report – Cornette de Saint Cyr and ComicConnect Auctions (February & March 2017)
Hi all, today we’ll look at results from French auction house Cornette de Saint Cyr's February auction and ComicConnect’s March event!
The CSC auction contained an impressive amount of American comic book original art for a European house. About half the lots in this auction comprised of USA OA – which is what will be discussed here. Overall, panel pages seemed to fetch strong prices, with several selling for close to, or more than, splash pages from the same title. The majority of artists with American comic book artwork in this auction (and all the ones discussed below) are represented by Splash Page Comic Art (SPCA).
Side Note: Based on this CSC auction, and my experience with collectors of European comic art, it seems that European OA collectors place less weight on splash pages than do American ones. This may be attributable to the difference in cultural perception – comic books are considered serious literature in many parts of Europe, where the popularity and societal appreciation of sequential art remains strong. Tintin is a Belgian national icon and his creator, Hergé, is a revered artist with museum exhibits dedicated to him. The same is true of other characters such as the Smurfs and Asterix, and their respective creators, Belgian Peyo and Frenchman Albert Uderzo. Prices of European OA also reflect this greater reverence by its audience; for example, collectors pay 7-figures at auction for a single page of Tintin OA. Perhaps with this deeper appreciation of the medium, European OA collectors place more significance on the narrative and storytelling aspects of comic art, culminating in the higher valuation of panel pages. Ok on to the auction results!
John Constantine may not be a household name but he’s certainly no unknown quantity – guy’s even got his own TV show! This may explain the strong €1k prices these cover prelims fetched, which is around 3x prices for similar pieces on SPCA.
There was a bunch of Bradstreet Punisher covers in this auction, and they all sold for below €1.3k, in line with prices for similar pieces on SPCA’s website.
The strong prices for Fegredo Hellboy pages were extremely surprising. I estimate that this Wild Hunt page ended at around four times what it would have been listed for on SPCA! In comparison, a cover featuring Hellboy by Mike Mignola from Hellboy: Sleeping and the Dead #2 sold for €4,766, just over 2.5x the price of this Fegredo panel page. The Storm and Darkness Calls pages in this auction sold for about double what I think SPCA would’ve charged. Maybe the takeaway here is to buy all of SPCA’s Fegredo Hellboy OA and sell them at European auctions?
Illustrating the preference of European collectors for sequential art, that €644 hammer price for the striking #22 splash page above is the same as for most Fernandez Punisher panel pages in this auction, and cheaper than some! The high prices overall for Fernandez Punisher pages were also eye-opening. SPCA still lists the above #37 page for $200, and the #22 page for $400! There was a ton of other Fernandez Punisher pages in this CSC auction (some still listed on SPCA), with all going for between 3x to 8x SPCA’s prices. Does anyone feel like hoovering up all these Fernandez Punisher pages from SPCA and flipping them at a European auction house?
There were twelve Adlard WD pieces in this auction, and their results proved to be illuminating indeed. In my opinion, prices for the three WD covers were rather reasonable, and sold for less than if they’d been listed on SPCA. Prices for the five double-page splashes seemed solid, selling for about what I’d expect them to be listed on SPCA for. WD panel pages also had a good showing, selling at or maybe even above what SPCA’s prices would’ve been, and in line with results of the December 2016 ComicLink Featured Auction. Overall, I feel Adlard WD OA performed well this auction, pulling in solid prices for artwork that’s only a few years old.
Lark’s Lazarus OA had a strong showing, with covers and interior pages fetching very respectable prices. Going by the results of this CSC auction, SPCA’s prices for Lazarus OA are extremely attractive! I’d previously highlighted Lark’s artwork in the January 2017 Affordable Art article; this set of results reinforces my view that SPCA’s Lark OA represents great value at the moment.
The Fatale Book Five TPB cover fetched a strong price, and the 28 Days Later #13 cover went for almost double what I’m guessing SPCA’s price would have been. I’d also previously highlighted Phillips’ OA in the January 2017 Affordable Art article; and maintain my view that Phillips artwork is a good buy at SPCA’s current prices.
ComicConnect Event Auction – 20 March 2017
The OA offerings in this CC auction were slightly underwhelming, although hammer prices generally remained firm. Hopefully, their May 2017 auction featuring OA and comic books from renowned collector Jon Berk makes up for this!
This chilling page with a tuxedoed Captain Marvel nonchalantly strolling through a bunch of costumed heroes went for a very fair price. The value of Kingdom Come OA appears to have plateaued over the past three years, although it remains highly desirable and pages rarely come up for auction. Given the exalted status accorded to Ross, and the acknowledgement that Kingdom Come ranks alongside Marvels as his best work, picking up OA from either of these series at current values is definitely recommended.
$15.2k for an early-Miller cover featuring Spidey and Sandman in action seems like a good deal! This is also one of the few occasions Miller worked on Spider-Man. For comparison, this panel page from Marvel Team-Up #100 went for $5.6k on Heritage Auctions in February 2017.
Given the resurgence of interest in Star Wars since Disney bought the franchise, $24.5k for this quirky Vader cover is a strong, but not unsurprising price (as Star Wars fans are notorious for being a big-spending bunch). Combined with the fact that main series Marvel Star Wars covers almost never appear for sale, and comic book OA’s ongoing price explosion, the 300+% increase from this cover’s 2008 sale on HA for $7,170 is easily understandable.
Until next time, happy collecting!