Market Report – June 2017 ComicLink Featured Auction

Welcome back everyone, today we’ll look at results from ComicLink’s Featured Auction on 6 June 2017! Bidding seemed slightly subdued this round, with most pieces finishing in the mid to lower-tier of expected FMV range. Some pieces did outperform pre-auction estimates, and it should also be noted that not many finished under FMV either. Whether this is a momentary blip in the exuberant OA market, or an indicator of a longer period of price stabilization, remains to be seen. I’ve been impressed (and surprised) at the OA market’s ability to continually absorb increasing amounts of artwork at ever-rising prices over the past five years, so a temporary plateauing of prices certainly wouldn’t be surprising, or indeed, unwelcome!

Batman: The Dark Knight #9, cover by David Finch & Richard Friend – $9,200

Finch’s star appears to be on the continued ascent, with strong recent auction results across a range of venues. Considering it’s a relatively recent piece of art (2012), $9.2k is a strong price for this admittedly image-dense cover. This sale comes hot on the heels of one for a 2011 Superman cover which sold for $10.8k on Heritage Auctions in May 2017. Finch Batman pages and Image Comics covers have also been pulling in respectable numbers on eBay, as discussed in my March 2017 Market Report. Given his ongoing work on high profile titles, which should garner him even more fans, I’d say quality Finch OA is a safe buy for the foreseeable future!

Batman: Harley Quinn, page 2 by Yvel Guichet & Aaron Sowd – $3,169

To paraphrase ComicLink, Harley “was introduced in Batman: The Animated Series as a sidekick to the Joker. She then appeared in a comic book that took place outside of official DC Universe continuity, Batman Adventures #12. It wasn't until 1999 when Harley was brought into the DC Universe starting with the one-shot Batman: Harley Quinn. She first appears on page 2 of that story, which is the page offered here.” In light of Ms. Quinzel’s pop culture popularity, and the value of 1st Appearance pages (discussed in my First Appearances article), $3.2k seems like a mighty fair price for this landmark page!

Incredible Hulk #383, page 7 by Dale Keown & Mark Farmer – $2,105

The question raised in my February 2017 Market Report, about whether Keown Incredible Hulk OA had really taken off, has now been answered. The starting price for decent Hulk pages is clearly set at around $2.1k, which puts values on par with other hot works from the early-'90s such as Rob Liefeld New Mutants/X-Force and Erik Larsen Spider-Man pages.

Amazing Spider-Man #332, page 23 by Erik Larsen & Mike Machlan – $2,155

Speaking of Larsen, here’s a good illustration of where his Spidey market’s at. As with the other Image Comics founders, Erik has a prominent place in comic book history, and still maintains relevance to this day through his ongoing Savage Dragon title. Similar to his Image co-founders, Erik was immensely popular in the late-'80s/early-'90s, particularly for his Spidey work in Marvel Comics Presents, Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man. Unfortunately, a lot of the original artwork from these titles was destroyed in a house fire, which Erik survived unscathed. The resulting scarcity of prime-period Larsen OA, combined with the current '90s Effect amongst collectors, means that values of Larsen Spider-Man artwork should only continue climbing!

Iron Man #225, page 9 by Bob Layton & M. D. Bright – $4,700

Here’s one of the pieces which over-performed this auction, fetching a robust $4.7k. This splash page lacks Iron Man, but does feature a large chunk of Shellhead’s greatest baddies, is drawn by iconic Iron-artist Bob Layton, and comes from the famous “Armor Wars” saga. Once all that’s taken into account, its strong hammer price doesn’t seem so surprising anymore!

X-Force #7, page 1 by Rob Liefeld – $2,100

Continuing the conversation on hot early-'90s artists, Liefeld New Mutants/X-Force OA’s ongoing price increase is well demonstrated here. This page last sold for $627 in November 2015 on HA, meaning it more than tripled in price over 18 months! Liefeld XF OA prices have now well and truly caught up with his NM OA prices, which isn’t surprising to me, as I consider XF to be Rob’s artistic high-water mark.

Spider-Man #14, pages 13 & 14 by Todd McFarlane – $26,750

McSpidey OA prices continue to tread water, with this appealing double-page spread going for a reasonable $26.8k. As previously discussed, given Todd’s artistic and industry prominence, I fully expect McFarlane OA to appreciate in value over the coming years, so now’s a good time to acquire quality pieces for your collection or investment portfolio.

Wolverine #1, page 13 by Frank Miller & Joe Rubinstein – $9,100

I’m not sure what the reason for this quick flip was, but it certainly didn’t work out for the consignor. Perhaps they were hoping to capitalize on the Logan movie’s success? This page just sold for $9k in November 2016 on HA, so the seller actually lost money after deducting CLink’s 10% commission!

New Mutants #20, page 13 by Bill Sienkiewicz – $8,900

Sienkiewicz New Mutants pages from “The Demon Bear Saga” have always been in demand, but it seems that movie news of Demon Bear’s involvement has pushed prices to the next level. This high quality page featuring multiple team members, a dynamic Cannonball flight shot, and that frightening Demon Bear visage, understandably fetched a hefty sum. Another action-packed panel page from #20 sold for $4,353 in this auction.

Annihilation: Conquest #6, page 15 by Tom Raney & Scott Hanna – $1,113

There’s some debate over whether Annihilation: Conquest #6 is really the 1st Appearance of the modern GOTG team featured in the movies. What’s beyond debate is that this half-page splash featuring several team members fetched a strong price. Given GOTG’s popularity and longevity due to the MCU, A:C #6 could eventually develop into a key issue, and make this a canny buy indeed!

Iron Man #55, page 1 by Jim Starlin & Mike Esposito – $44,777

Iron Man #55 used to be all about Thanos, but it’s clearly now valued for Drax’s 1st Appearance too. Given that IM #55 panel pages featuring small/partial shots of Thanos or Drax are now nearing $20k each, $44.8k for this full-figure title splash featuring the first-ever image of Drax seems like a fair price to me! For reference, you can read more about IM #55 OA in my First Appearances article.

Uncanny X-Men #266, page 14 by Mike Collins & Joe Rubinstein – $6,200

Continuing with the 1st Appearances theme, here’s a page from Gambit’s debut issue featuring several action shots of the Ragin’ Cajun himself! This piece sold for $2.9k in August 2014 on HA, therefore netting a nice return of around 100% in three years. I’d also previously discussed UXM #266 OA in my First Appearances article.

Until next time, happy collecting!

 

Here’s Part 1 & Part 2 of the guide to collecting original art; and my CAF gallery.

Original Art Aficionado archive

3 comments

  • vanix

    Great article and some sweet pieces of art. Thanks!

  • Avatar

    Enjoyed your overview of the auction. Seems like OA collectors go from auction to auction to auction lately. It makes me wonder if the market is growing that quickly or if everyone is just swapping pieces.

    I know ComicLink doesn’t want to count B.A. #12 as Harley Quinn’s first appearance since it appeared outside of continuity, but I think most collectors would disagree. It was a nice spin, though, and probably brought a few more dollars to the table.

  • Dick O.

    Glad you all enjoyed it!

    @MartyMcD – Yeah there’s just a continuous stream of OA auctions these days; I do think the market’s growing though! Take me for example – all I do is buy and never sell :p

    Well CLink’s description of that HQ page is factually correct… and I do remember the days when Batman: Harley Quinn was considered to be her true 1st Appearance, and BA #12 was just a throwaway kiddie book. Now, where do I find that old man emoji :p

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