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.
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.
As you can see, without Wood’s contributions over Heck’s pencils, prices exhibit a marked difference!
As discussed in the John Buscema Artist Spotlight, $2k is a representative price for a single-Avenger page from this period.
$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?
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!
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!
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!
$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!
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!
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!