Market Report – August 2017 Heritage Signature Auction (Part 2)
Pages from Joe Mad’s smash hit creator-owned series Battle Chasers very rarely come up for auction, so it’s nice to be able to get a sense of what they fetch on the open market. $956 is slightly less than what I expect this page to be listed for on Joe’s art rep Kwan Chang’s website. Calibretto is probably the most popular character from this series, so pages with him are eagerly snapped up by ’Bretto fans (myself included). I feel that snagging this piece for under $1k is a good deal, and mildly regret not bidding more for it!
Here’s another page that I had my eye on, and it ended for about 50% more than expected. Those who know me are familiar with my quest to assemble the greatest Marvel Cosmic original art collection in the galaxy, so this title page splash with its large image of a major cosmic being falls squarely into my wheelhouse. Unfortunately, this piece eluded my grasp, as it seems there are other highly-motivated collectors on the cosmic hunt!
Further to the discussion in my Jim Lee Artist Spotlight, $9.6k seems like a very strong price for that non-action Batman #615 half-splash, which suggests that Lee “Hush” pages are on the upward march again. $4.5k for the #617 page is a pretty solid amount for a non-Bats piece, and is easily explained by it being chock-full of Lee’s signature babes – Jim’s beguiling renditions of the Cat and Huntress are exquisite!
Byrne’s ASM volume 1 work is extremely scarce, having only pencilled 3 issues of the series. ASM #206 also coincides with the early part of John’s landmark Fantastic Four run. Given this rarity of early Spider-Man work, immense popularity of the ASM title, and prices of Byrne FF OA, $2.4k for a Spidey-packed action page and $4.1k for that huge half-splash seem like great value to me!
Woah Nelly. $9k is a preposterously pretty penny for this Saint of Killers page! SOK’s the baddest ass in the series, with high collector demand for the limited number of early-run pages featuring him; and the Preacher TV show seems to be on the upswing. Still, with decent pages featuring Jesse/Cassidy/Tulip currently going for $2k or less, this $9k sale has just blown away any doubt as to who rules the heavens!
Ditko Strange Tales OA is ridiculously hard to come by – and Heritage says this is the first Ditko ST Doc Strange page they’ve ever offered. Decent Ditko ASM Spidey action panel pages start at around $60k nowadays, and neither Strange Tales nor the good Doctor are anywhere close to their popularity. However, rarity has pushed the price of this mystically-marvellous ST page up to the dizzying heights of Ditko ASM OA!
The value of Gibbons Watchmen interior pages continues to gradually increase, in slight contrast to the apparent jump in price for Watchmen cover OA. That #8 page previously sold for $9,560 in November 2012 on HA; and $15.5k for the #11 page with Ozy giving his villain plot-explanation speech to the heroes seems like a fair price for a notable page.
Heritage’s item description does a fine job on this piece: “Before it was collected (and colorized) in the DC Comics series, and before it was a major motion picture, V For Vendetta was serialized in the British anthology magazine Warrior. This page from the story “The Vanishing” ran in issue #4 of the DC series in 1988. Originally created in a chiaroscuro style using pure black and white art to subtly symbolize the “black and white” world that V lived in, each page is a wonderful work of art by itself.” $20.3k is a veritable fortune for this page, which contains multiple images of the iconic mask and hat (although it’s just a dummy figure). The supply of V for Vendetta OA is limited, with pages hardly ever coming to market, although it’s verily obvious that the demand’s there!
This moody half-page splash is one in a recent string of McFarlane Marvel OA sales which seem to indicate that Todd’s prices are on the upswing again. $25.1k is a gargantuan figure for this page, which I’d pegged at $18k tops before the auction. Looks like my view 3 months ago that McSpidey OA was good value, and would soon resume escalating in price, proved to be true!
As you may have gathered by now, I like big, chunky figures, so was naturally drawn to this page with Colossus and a Sentinel (even though it’s by Romita Jr., whose style I’m not a big fan of). Decent panel pages from JRJR’s first run on UXM go for around $1.5k, and this one’s a nice example, featuring three X-Men, that lumbering robot, and several hard-hitting action panels. Even so, $3.6k is a surprisingly high price, which seems to be a recurring theme throughout the OA market!
And then there’s this Ross ASM cover. We finally have an auction sale by which to gauge Alex’s painted Spidey covers’ performance on the open market, and the results demonstrate a large disparity between the secondary market and asking prices on his official site (where all ASM covers are listed at $15k and $20k each). Admittedly, this #1.3 cover may not be the most appealing example, with Aunt May’s face and fingers overwhelming the (rather nice) Spider-Man figure. However, it once again underscores the fact that Ross’ secondary market prices are generally lower than expected!
Values of later-run Sal B SSM pages from the early-’90s have been steadily rising over the past 6 months, with decent ones featuring Spidey now starting at $300+. Tooting my own horn again, I did say in this February 2017 Market Report that Sal B SSM OA presented good value at the time, with significant growth prospects. This #211 page is the most extreme recent example – which I expected to fetch around $400 – but ended up pulling in over double that!
Until next time, happy collecting!