Market Report – March 2018 Hake’s and ComicConnect Auctions
Hello art lovers, today we’ll go through selected results from Hake’s Americana & Collectibles’ and ComicConnect’s March auctions! Hake’s offered a smaller selection than their previous event, and CC also featured fewer high profile items than the bumper December auction; but there were quality pieces to be had nonetheless.
Hake’s Auction – 15 March 2018
Coming across a piece as significant as this – the cover to key Bronze Age comic Daredevil #111 – was a treat. The 1st Appearance of Silver Samurai, scintillatingly depicted in this swashbuckling fight scene, definitely piqued the interest of many collectors. However, the item description indicated it suffered from major condition issues, stating “While artboard shows obvious wear w/tattered edges, age tanning and significant damage to the original logo, there is softness to the structural integrity of the artboard.” If not for that dire news, I predict this desirable cover would have easily fetched $20k or more.
I’d mentioned in the past that Lee’s Superman work is relatively affordable, but this is taking it too far! A near full-figure Supes, in a two-thirds page splash, by the Lee/Williams art combo should go for at least $2k right? Snagging it for under $800 has to count as daylight robbery.
Duursema is best known for her Star Wars work, and inker Mandrake’s a skilled penciller in his own right. In light of that, $1k for a mid-’80s Marvel Star Wars panel page by Jan is right in line with pricing precedent set by pieces from artists of a similar calibre. Despite not depicting any action, the page has its merits: set on Endor after Return of the Jedi, and featuring multiple protagonists plus those endearing Ewoks!
There were a bunch of Punisher covers by different artists in this auction, with these two being the best ones in my opinion. Quesada’s ’90s Marvel art is in demand, but the Punisher #62 cover went relatively low because it’s not quite in his signature style (which he was still honing at the time). Notably, it was inked by the legendary Al Williamson.
$2.5k is a solid sum for that War Zone #11 cover by journeyman artist Mike Manley. It’s a pretty striking image though, and I can see why someone paid up for it.
ComicConnect Auction – 19 March 2018
Compared to the $47k November 2017 sale of that ASM #317 Venom panel page, $18k for this #316 one may seem slightly tepid. The devil, though, is in the details! The #317 page contains two elaborate, close-up shots of Venom with his trademark manic grin and innumerable fangs. In contrast, this #316 page’s Venom images are small and less detailed. Both their Spidey shots are a wash (IMO), so it’s clear just how much sway Eddie Brock and his Symbiote have in influencing OA prices!
Here’s a reminder of why artwork needs to be “aged” for a sufficient period before being resold. This Avengers #123 cover to the origin of Mantis previously sold for $36k in August 2015 on Heritage Auctions; I’m sure a $10k drop in hammer price wasn’t what the seller had in mind!
War Journal OA presents a cheap(er) entry point to vintage Lee art, especially when compared against prices for his X-Men and “Hush” works. This #4 page is particularly modest in cost because it doesn’t contain any shots of Frank with that iconic skull on his chest. I reckon any page from this series with the Punisher in costume would cost at least 30% more than this one.
$5k+ is a stiff sum, considering both Storm and Forge are sporting civilian wear rather than their flamboyant superhero duds. The fact that it’s a memorable scene from the acclaimed “Lifedeath” story arc, featuring BWS’ typically striking (literally) art and enhanced by inker extraordinaire Austin, goes some way towards explaining its strong auction result.
CC continued parceling out the massive WD collection, releasing the second tranche of OA in this auction. The two most significant pieces were page 4 from WD #1 featuring the series’ first corpse(!), and the 1st Appearance page of Carl and Lori from #2. Considering Glenn’s 1st Appearance page from #2 went for $10.6k in December 2017, the above prices seem perfectly reasonable. Personally, I’m waiting for the #1 splash page containing the Walkers' debut to come up for auction!
Many non-zombie panel pages (even those with action scenes) went for around $200 or less this round. Prices for non-Walker, non-key pages have definitely dropped from their highs several years back, with weaker ones even dipping into the low-$100 range.
It looks like normalcy has been returned to pencil/ink OA values. As previously discussed, pencils-only artwork is worth roughly 50% more than inks-only ones, and that was perfectly borne out here.
Until next time, happy collecting!