Market Report – August 2017 Heritage Signature Auction (Part 1)

Welcome back all, today let’s look at some results from HA’s Signature Auction on 10-12 August 2017! Similar to my May 2017 HA Market Report, in this article we’ll focus on OA from a specific title, in this case pre-#100 Avengers pages. I’ll also highlight other works by these Avengers artists, and share my thoughts on definitions of comic book eras! Artwork from other titles and artists in this HA auction will be discussed next week.

Results seemed strong at all price levels this round, despite the offerings being slightly mediocre compared to recent HA Featured Auctions, and it not having any standout pieces to generate buzz.

Avengers

Avengers #21, page 7 by Don Heck & Wally Wood – $5,736

Wally Wood is held in high esteem for his lush, intricate, linework throughout a variety of genres, especially his fantastical imagery in sci-fi titles. Mainstream superhero OA that Wood worked on generally fetches a premium, when compared to artwork from surrounding issues in the same title. In addition, he didn’t work on many of these, and often only acted as the inker/finisher over pencils/layouts by other artists.

Avengers #29, page 19 by Don Heck & Frank Giacoia – $3,346

As you can see, without Wood’s contributions over Heck’s pencils, prices exhibit a marked difference!

Avengers #50, page 14 by John Buscema – $2,031.50

As discussed in the John Buscema Artist Spotlight, $2k is a representative price for a single-Avenger page from this period.

Avengers #76, page 11 by John Buscema & Tom Palmer – $11,950

$12k is a crazy high price for a Big John page from this part of the Avengers run! Could it be due to that last panel team-shot… or perhaps faux-Conan putting the moves on Wanda?

Avengers #96, page 14 by Neal Adams, Tom Palmer & Alan Weiss – $9,560

Neal Adams is one of the luminaries of the comic book industry, and his eyeblink-short 4-issue Avengers stint took place concurrently with his historic Green Lantern run. This scarcity of supply, combined with the fact that these Avengers pages hail from Adams’ absolute prime-period, result in them fetching a handsome sum indeed!

Avengers #99, page 21 by Barry Windsor-Smith & Tom Sutton – $11,352.50

BWS is another artistic legend with an extremely brief run on Avengers, having a mere 6 issues to his name. As with Adams, BWS’ Avengers work came out during his own landmark Conan the Barbarian run, and fetch grand amounts for similar reasons. This is a fantastic Avengers page though, with team members stuffed into every panel; and just look at that rousing last panel!

Other Titles

Daredevil #10, page 13 by Bob Powell & Wally Wood – $16,730

Daredevil #10, page 14 by Bob Powell & Wally Wood – $40,630

Wood DD pages continue swinging upwards, as evidenced by these two consecutive pages. The price for that $41k page 14 has entered the realm of pages from earlier issues, which feature Matt in his original red & yellow costume, and sell in the region of $30-50k. This sale actually makes the DD #1 page by Bill Everett, which had an unmet reserve of around $100k (if I recall correctly) in a recent Pedigree Comics auction, seem like good value!

Thor #221, cover by John Buscema & John Romita Sr. – $31,070

$31k is a titanic amount for a Buscema Thor cover of this vintage. Thor covers from this period usually go for around half of this piece’s final hammer price. It’s probably due to the venerable Big John/JRSR artistic combo, and that semi-iconic image showcasing a titanic throwdown between the two most macho gods in the Greek and Norse pantheons!

Green Lantern #85, page 10 by Neal Adams – $8,365

As mentioned above, Neal’s GL run is a seminal event which changed the way that comics’ art and stories were perceived. However, values of Adams’ early-’70s Green Lantern OA seem to have plateaued over the past year or so. This is a pretty strong page content-wise, with both Ollie and Hal in costume, along with nice demonstrations of the Green Ring’s energy-projection and flight powers. I can see it easily fetching $10k on resale, and accordingly, think that now is a good time to pick up Adams GL pages if you’re a fan!

Marvel Comics Presents #79, page 8 by Barry Windsor-Smith – $18,522.50

Marvel Comics Presents #83, cover by Barry Windsor-Smith – $52,580

Here are two terrific pieces from BWS’ monumental MCP “Weapon X” storyline. $53k is a massive price for that #83 cover – a result of the continued strengthening of the ’90s Effect and increasing appreciation for auteurs from that period. However, I think the real story here is that awesome half-page splash from #79. The large, feral image of Logan chest-stabbing a captor ranks as one of the best in the series, and outshines many of the MCP covers. $19k is a large sum, and could have gotten you a BWS Weapon X cover 5 years ago, but if any page is well worth that price, this one is it!

Side Note: Comic Book Eras

Recently, there was (yet another) discussion on the CGC Forums Original Comic Art section about definitions of comic book eras, which prompted me to share the terminology I go by in these Original Art Aficionado articles:

  • Golden Age: 1938 (Action Comics #1) to 1955
  • Silver Age: 1956 (Showcase #4) to 1969
  • Bronze Age: 1970 (Green Lantern #76) to 1979
  • Copper Age: 1980 to 1991
  • Modern Age: 1992 (Youngblood #1) to present day

The 25-year Modern Age seems too broad; I think there should be a delineation somewhere in the late-'90s/early-'00s. Perhaps the Marvel turnaround starting with Marvel Knights' Daredevil #1 (1998), Joe Quesada becoming Marvel EIC (2000), or the new breed of Image creator-owned titles starting with Walking Dead #1 (2003). If so, then the new Ages could look like this:

  • Modern Age: 1992 (Youngblood #1) to 2002
  • Digital Age: 2003 (Walking Dead #1) to present day

‘Digital’ Age seems apt due to digital production and consumption becoming increasingly prevalent during this period. Do let me know what you all think!

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

7 comments

  • Amazing article. I really enjoy this style where you breakdown similar pages and explain way they sell for what they do.

  • The more I read these the more I want to get into OA. Great article.

  • Going through and reading about heritage prices struck me with a question… When talking about sales prices for some of the auction houses are you taking into account the buyers premium on a sale? With eBay or 3% on Comiclink it doesn’t make a huge impact, but on Heritage auctions that have a 19.5%BP it seems huge…
    Not taking that into account when talking about value seems to be a disservice to the collector trying to gauge actual prices.

    • Dick O.

      All my quoted HA prices include the BP. Most eBay auctions don’t have BP, and CLink’s BP doesn’t apply if you pay by check, money order, or bank wire.

      • I was looking at HA this morning before seeing your response and realized on their completed listings they did include the BP (my bad) I was just used to looking at the live auction pricing

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