Market Report – December 2017 ComicConnect Auction

Welcome back everyone, let’s go through the results of ComicConnect’s December 2017 auction! This multi-day CC event marks the end of 2017’s fourth quarter auction cycle, during which four houses held original comic art auctions. Accumulated wallet fatigue, coupled with the start of the festive spending and holiday period, may explain some of the bargains which were available.

4 December – Original Art Auction

Early-’90s superhero artwork performed particularly well this auction, probably due to the ’90s Effect's ongoing impact on OA prices. Along with the strong results obtained by high profile pieces, there were several deals to be had on lower-tier items.

Avengers #333, pages 2 & 3 DPS by Herb Trimpe, Tom Morgan & Reggie Jones – $2,855

Wow $2.9k is an astronomical price for this piece of ’90s Trimpe art! Is it due to the plethora of heroes and fan-favourite Dr Doom? Or are collectors increasingly valuing the late Trimpe’s artwork? One thing’s for sure: the significant mold damage/foxing on these pages didn’t deter bidding one bit, reinforcing the fact that physical condition doesn’t necessarily affect the value of OA!

Amazing Spider-Man #12, page 18 by Steve Ditko – $136,000

$136k is an amazing amount for any panel page, but probably worth it here. This scintillating Spidey/Doc Ock fight must be one of the best battle sequences in existence between these two arch-nemeses. Ditko ASM artwork is firmly cemented as OA royalty, with prices soaring commensurately.

Avengers #3, page 9 by Jack Kirby & Paul Reinman – $19,100

Thor #177, page 4 by Jack Kirby & Vince Colletta – $3,411

A mighty $19.1k for Avengers #3’s battle page 9 underscores the fact that early-Marvel Kirby OA is an excellent store of value these days. The Thor #177 page underperformed slightly, perhaps due to its weak/small Thor images and Colletta’s inks. Some collectors shy away from Vince’s inks because he was known to erase portions of Kirby’s pencils, thus saving him from having to ink all of the King’s famously dense pencil-work!

Stoic Champion by Greg Hildebrandt – $875; 17.5”x14.25”

Search for Survivors by Mark Romanoski – $575; 15”x11”

Mercenary Informer by Nelson DeCastro – $750; 15”x10”

These three pieces are larger than average, for Magic: The Gathering artwork. The above is a nice snapshot of OA by a variety of artists and demonstrates that prices for lower-profile, relatively old (over 15 years in age) pieces start at around $500.

Sandman #64, page 4 by Teddy Kristiansen – $3,655

Sandman artwork remains highly sought after, if the sale of this half-page splash is anything to go by. It appears that any page with Dream, no matter how small the image/s or who the artist, now costs over $3k.

V for Vendetta #1, page 13 by David Lloyd – $7,200

V for Vendetta OA is certainly still in demand, so I’m not sure why this page which contains an actual image of V went so low?

Marvels #1, page 3 by Alex Ross – $8,513

This memorable Marvels #1 splash page finished at about FMV, considering the titanic #3 splash with Galactus, Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four sold for $16,902 in September 2016.

New Mutants #91, page 6 by Rob Liefeld & Hilary Barta – $5,500

$5.5k is a robust but fair price for this fantastic half-splash featuring the full team and multiple early-Cable shots. Decent Liefeld NM panel pages used to start at around $1.5k; perhaps that entry point has moved up pursuant to this sale?

Thor #440, cover by Ron Frenz & Al Milgrom – $6,065

$6.1k seems slightly soft for this cover showcasing multiple Gods of Thunder. I feel it could have hit $7k-8k if the right bidder had seen it, bringing the price in line with covers of other mid-tier Marvel titles from this period.

Wolverine #75, page 4 by Adam Kubert – $13,600

To readers of comics in the early-’90s, “Fatal Attractions” was a landmark storyline featuring the hottest characters in comic-dom. Considering this is just a flashback to the actual ‘de-Adamantium-ing’ of Wolverine (in X-Men #25), I feel that $13.6k is an aggressive but fair sum, especially in light of rising prices for Brothers Kubert OA from this nostalgia hotspot. Also, it's simply a stunning, large (13”x19”) splash capturing one of the most memorable superhero moments in modern times!

Uncanny X-Men #281, page 17 by Whilce Portacio & Art Thibert – $1,849

Here’s another page from the mutant-mad ’90s featuring several of the X-Ladies in action, by the Jim Lee-esque Portacio & Thibert art duo. $1.8k may appear to be a steep price – but once again, factoring in today’s OA collecting demographic’s nostalgia and intense demand for such pages, it’s perfectly understandable!

5 December – Walking Dead Art Auction

ComicConnect is auctioning off one of the largest collections of Walking Dead comic books and original art over several auctions stretching into 2018. This was the first tranche of OA to be offered. There has never been a collection containing so many high quality and significant pieces of WD artwork auctioned off before – collector interest is widespread, and I’m curious to see what effect it has on prices!

Side Note: When it comes to Walking Dead OA, key scenes and pages with “Walkers” generally fetch premiums. Artwork by Tony Moore from the first 6 issues are most highly sought after, followed by Charlie Adlard’s #7 to #35 pages which were drawn on 11”x17” art boards, then pages from #36 to #114 that Charlie drew on 8.5”x14” art boards. Each page from #115 onwards is split into separate 11”x17” art boards, with one board containing Adlard’s pencils and another board with Stefano Gaudiano’s blueline inks.

Ok back to the auction! Prices for the headline pieces – Moore artwork and Adlard pages with memorable scenes – were all over the place.

Walking Dead #1, page 2 by Tony Moore – $27,000

This piece has changed hands several times, previously selling for $21.5k in August 2014 on CC. Netting a robust $27k this time round is a surprise, considering its (over?) exposure in recent years. Guess it just goes to show that key content, rarity and great art are always in demand!

Walking Dead #2, page 14 by Tony Moore – $10,600

Walking Dead #2, page 15 by Tony Moore – $4,350

Before this deluge of prime WD OA hit the market, the floor for decent Moore pages was around $4k. A non-Walker #1 panel page sold for $17k in May 2016, and a #5 Walker page fetched $8.5k in March 2017. In that light, #2 page 14 featuring the actual 1st Appearance of Glenn seems a fine buy at $10.6k, and the following page 15 for only $4.4k looks like a bargain!

Walking Dead #27, cover by Charlie Adlard – $18,300

Walking Dead #106, wraparound cover by Charlie Adlard – $16,252

Walking Dead #108, cover by Charlie Adlard – $8,420

Keeping in mind that decent Adlard & Gaudiano WD covers fetch $4-5k at auction, I think the iconic cover to key #27 (1st Appearance of the Governor) was very well bought at $18.3k. The #106 cover netting $16.3k seems in line with current FMVs, and the 1st Appearance of Ezekiel and Shiva #108 cover for just $8.4k is a steal!

Walking Dead #33, page 13 by Charlie Adlard – $2,100

Walking Dead #91, page 22 by Charlie Adlard – $2,550; 1st Appearance of Jesus

Walking Dead #98, page 2 by Charlie Adlard – $2,100; Death of Abraham

Walking Dead #108, page 4 by Charlie Adlard – $1,850

A bunch of key panel and splash pages sold for around $2k-2.5k, which is about what I’d expected such pieces to go for.

Walking Dead #98, page 22 by Charlie Adlard – $410

Walking Dead #108, page 8 by Charlie Adlard – $388

There were bargains to be had on many pages in the sub-$500 range. Not too long ago, any half decent non-Walker, non-action WD panel page started at about $300. In this auction, you could get Walker/Michonne/action pages and half-page splashes like the ones above for around $400!

Walking Dead #116, pages 6 & 7 DPS pencils by Charlie Adlard – $600

Walking Dead #116, pages 6 & 7 DPS inks by Stefano Gaudiano – $930

Commonly held belief is that when the pencils and inks for a particular page exist on separate art boards, the pencils-only artwork is worth roughly 50% more than the inks-only one. We had an opportunity to test that theory here, and the results were surprising indeed! Do these two sales turn our understanding of pencil/ink OA values on its head?

Until next time, happy collecting!

 

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

Original Art Aficionado archive

 

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