Market Report – July 2017 Hake’s and Heritage Sunday Auctions
Welcome back everyone, today we’ll look at selected results from HA’s Sunday auctions over the past 3 months, as well as Hake’s auction on 13 July! As mentioned back in my January 2017 Affordable Art article, HA weekly auctions feature lower value artwork, with some superhero OA mixed in amongst comic strips and non-superhero pieces. Hake’s Americana & Collectibles, as their name implies, offers a wide range of collectibles, with comic books and OA only a small part of their full catalogue. Unlike HA however, Hake’s usually only has very limited OA offerings each auction – this July event contained one of their better original comic art selections of recent times. As with Pedigree Comics’ OA auctions, it’s always nice to see other auction houses trying to establish themselves in the original comic art market – competition always benefits the consumer!
Heritage Sunday Auctions
This character-filled, action-packed cover exemplifies New Warriors OA’s continued price escalation, and the onward rush of the (here we go again) ’90s Effect! Despite this spike in values, when compared to prices of other superhero works by artists of Bagley’s standing from the same period, I believe this piece still has room to grow within a 3-year horizon.
HA’s been offering a couple Davis Excalibur pages every week for the past several months, which means it’s been a great opportunity for fans to grab OA from this run. The wide selection plus constant supply ought to have ensured that you could pick up a page you like at a price you like. Once this torrent stops, prices may begin creeping up, after having been suppressed due to the large supply. This page with its big Captain Britain images is representative of current pricing, with most decent panel pages featuring team members going in the $400-500 range.
Prices of Byrne Namor covers remain in the realm of reasonableness for an artist of his stature, especially when compared to values assigned to OA from Byrne’s FF stint, which ended only a couple years prior to this Namor run. Granted, Sub-Mariner is still a B/C-list character, but with Aquaman soon to shake up the big screen, Namor could make it big one day too!
Bob Layton’s name is synonymous with Iron Man – the globally-adored hero in action on this nearly 30-year old page, from his long-running main title. As mentioned, the value of late-’80s/early-’90s OA by prominent artists (Layton certainly fits that bill) is jumping. Furthermore, given that covers from this stretch of Layton’s Iron Man run go for around $8k, $240 is a low price indeed for this page!
Larsen Spidey pages, already limited in supply, seem to perform particularly well on HA. They always fetch at least $2k for any page with costumed characters on it, seemingly regardless of content (i.e. size of images or presence of action). This is a piece I’d pegged at $1.5k tops, but was surprised yet again!
Here’s a perfect example of how storyline affects OA prices. There are no costumes or action shots on this page, yet it still pulled in $1.8k simply because it’s a “Kraven’s Last Hunt” page featuring said hunter. Oh, and prime-period Zeck art doesn’t hurt either!
Another example of writing impacting the value of OA is this Modern “talking heads” page fetching nearly $600. Runaways is a discontinued title from over a decade ago featuring mostly obscure characters. However, it’s fondly remembered and well loved by fans, with immense crossover appeal to female and non-superhero comic readers (even I was enchanted by this series back then). With a TV show also in the works, a confluence of factors exists to keep first-run Runaways OA prices high.
Hake’s July 2017 Auction
$5.7k is a strong but fair price for this page, which lacks any Hulk appearance, but is more than made up for by the numerous dynamic, large, full-figure images of Batman (and Joker)! Pages from this crossover between the Jade Giant and Dark Knight Detective don’t appear for sale very often. The novelty value, nostalgia and wide character/publisher crossover appeal of this story ensure that there’s always strong collector demand for OA from this book.
It’s always a special thing when the cover and complete interior OA for a book are kept together, so to see these being auctioned off separately (and presumably going to different winners), is slightly sad. Of better news to the consignor, the cover netted a solid price and most of the pages featuring costumed heroes fetched decent coin, no doubt helped by the Wallcrawler’s inclusion in them. Still, given Zeck’s high standing among fans, age of the artwork (35 years old), and fact that there isn’t an extreme proliferation of prime-period Zeck OA, I expected these Captain America pages featuring Spidey to fetch a bit more than they did!
Michael Golden is another highly-esteemed artist with a relatively limited body of superhero artwork. This piece comes from slightly past his artistic prime, which explains why a decent cover with a high-profile character by a revered creator, ended for under $4k. Given that Golden is arguably the progenitor of that tightly-rendered, defined-musculature, modern art style carried on by Arthur Adams, Jim Lee and others, I’d say the value of his OA still has room to grow!
$5.9k seems a slightly high price to pay for this (admittedly large) 28”x38” cover from 2016, especially considering it’s not the more widely-circulated main cover but rather a variant. However, with the positive buzz surrounding T’Challa’s upcoming movie, and the huge popularity of Brothers Hildebrandt art both within and without our comics world, it’s not shocking that one bidder ponied up the cash for this piece.
Until next time, happy collecting!