Market Report – April 2018 eBay Auctions

 

Welcome back everyone, let’s look at some eBay sales from April 2018!

Side Note: Avengers: Infinity War earned $640 million worldwide (excluding China!) over its first weekend – by far the biggest box office debut in the history of humanity. As an unabashed Thanos/Marvel Cosmic fan, words cannot describe how elated I am that the entire planet now appreciates the majesty of these characters – and there’s much more of them to come! It probably also means that Marvel Cosmic (especially Thanos) original art will remain hotter than a neutron star for the foreseeable future.

 

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Infinity War #4 (1992), page 22 by Ron Lim & Al Milgrom – $1,719

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Infinity War #5 (1992), page 34 by Ron Lim & Al Milgrom – $1,771

As expected, Infinity War artwork continues its strong auction performances. Circa-$1.7k for each of the above panel pages, packed with dozens of characters including Thanos, is in line with prices of other IW sales over the past year. Although, IW OA values still lag far behind the monstrous sums that Infinity Gauntlet pieces command.

I’d previously opined that the current eBay seller grossly overpaid for that IW #4 page 22, forking over $3.1k in February 2018 for it, and sure enough that proved to be the case. Moreover, they compounded their mistake by trying to flip it too quickly!

 

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Thanos: The Infinity Finale (2016), page 6 by Ron Lim & Andy Smith – $376

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Thanos: The Infinity Finale (2016), page 38 by Ron Lim & Andy Smith – $405

Thanos is hotter than ever, and these are two fine depictions of him: a large full-body splash page and an energy-packed panel page. Moreover, they’re penciled by Ron Lim, a name synonymous with Thanos (and my favourite Marvel Cosmic artist).

The fact that these pieces are relatively new, and were produced way past Lim’s late-’80s/early-’90s artistic peak, explains their affordable circa-$400 price tag. Of note, they were sold three weeks before Avengers: Infinity War opened. Given Thanos’ blazingly bright future pursuant to the movie, those prices may look like bargains real soon!

 

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Captain America #695 (2018), cover by Chris Samnee – $2,325

 

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Captain America #695 (2018), page 2 by Chris Samnee – $1,750

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Captain America #695 (2018), page 5 by Chris Samnee – $1,650

Samnee hangs onto most of his original artwork – this is the first time he’s publicly auctioned any of his OA. Chris sold 20 pieces from Captain America #695 on eBay in April, with the above three fetching some of the highest prices (although, the cover seems cheap compared to the interior pages). Even bland non-costume/non-action panel pages went for around $500. These are extremely robust sums for brand-new OA, attributable to Samnee’s strong following (likely fans of the late Darwyn Cooke) and heretofore limited supply of original artwork. Will values remain at these levels as Chris continues to release pieces though?

 

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Iron Man #117 (1978), page 1 by John Romita Jr. & Bob Layton – $2,825

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Iron Man #127 (1979), page 17 by John Romita Jr. & Bob Layton – $3,383

OA from JRJR’s first Iron Man run has always been desirable, and the above two pages are no exception, despite the absence of Stark’s trademark armour. Both hail from notable storylines and contain memorable imagery:  #117’s title-page splash with that huge, shocking shot and #127’s foreboding final panel.

“Demon in a Bottle” was a landmark storyline which addressed the scourge of alcoholism, and #127’s last panel leads directly to #128’s iconic cover, even featuring that familiar-looking whiskey bottle! In view of these two pages’ significance, their prices appear rather reasonable.

 

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Iron Man #2 (1996), pages 2 & 3 DPS by Whilce Portacio & Scott Williams – $865

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Iron Man #2 (1996), page 18 by Whilce Portacio & Scott Williams – $235

Here are two pieces from an Iron Man issue which was released under the “Heroes Reborn” initiative, where Marvel Comics engaged some Image Comics founders (and ex-Marvel alumni) to work on their flagging titles in an effort to boost sales.

These prices feel eminently attractive for the popular Portacio’s artwork, especially just $800+ for that smashing Hulk double-page spread, in light of the much larger sums his late-’80s/early-’90s OA commands.

 

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Spectacular Spider-Man #201 (1993), page 17 by Sal Buscema – $432

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Spectacular Spider-Man #227 (1995), page 16 by Sal Buscema & Bill Sienkiewicz – $252

Spectacular Spider-Man #201 is part of the increasingly nostalgic (and mind-bogglingly long) 14-issue “Maximum Carnage” crossover storyline. Fans have always been attracted to symbiotes – a passion only fuelled by Tom Hardy’s October 2018 Venom movie and rumours of Carnage’s involvement.

Evidence of Eddie’s and Cletus’ popularity is apparent upon comparison of the above two pages: they share the same penciller, but #227’s half-page Jackal splash from the 6-issue “Maximum Clonage” arc with finishes by legendary Bill Sienkiewicz fetches far less than #201’s 6-panel page with its small Carnage images!

 

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Fables #49 (2006), page 11 by Mark Buckingham & Steve Leialoha – $595

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Fables #68 (2008), page 7 by Mark Buckingham & Steve Leialoha – $138

Here’s another example of the importance of content in determining values of original artwork. These two pieces were created by the same artistic team, but their prices vary widely due to the characters and their interactions on the page. As previously mentioned, I expect the cost of Fables OA to gradually increase, particularly pages from earlier issues involving war with the Emperor.

 

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Walking Dead #51 (2008), page 13 by Charlie Adlard – $391

Walking Dead #62 (2009), page 9 by Charlie Adlard

Walking Dead #62 (2009), page 9 by Charlie Adlard – $475

Judging from these results, eBay seems to command stronger prices for Walking Dead OA than ComicConnect does, for comparable panel pages. It’s probably due to the much greater number of WD pieces offered in each CC auction, which presents bidders with more choice and spreads out the capital pool. Another explanation for their strong performance is that these two pages possess some notable qualities: Rick’s memorable ‘telephone’ mental breakdown in the #51 page and a Michonne/Walker decapitation silhouette in the #62 page.

 

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Punisher #11 (1988), page 2 by Whilce Portacio & Scott Williams – $936

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Punisher: War Journal #4 (1989), page 2 by Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Don Hudson – $2,250

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Punisher: War Zone #27 (1994), page 6 by John Buscema – $422

Above is a neat snapshot of Punisher OA from a variety of high-profile artists, showcasing the unique aesthetic that each brought to the character. These prices are also an accurate reflection of the demand and availability of late-’80s/early-’90s artwork by each penciller. $2.3k for the Lee War Journal page is bang in line with recent sales; Portacio’s prices have been discussed earlier; and Buscema’s most desirable works were created a decade or two before his stint on War Zone.

 

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Nantuko Shrine (2001) by Rebecca Guay – $3,600; 9.25”x10.25″

Magic: The Gathering players are familiar with Guay, a revered artist from the game’s earlier days who rendered numerous charming, pastel-hued pieces. Comic book readers also know her from works on Marvel, DC and Vertigo titles. Given that this painting hails from the 17-year old Odyssey set, and features an appealingly tranquil scene, $3.6k is a pretty fair price.

Side Note: Original artwork from “land” cards – which typically feature landscapes without any characters present – are a highly sought after subset of M:TG OA. This stems from the fact that they’re generally less risky to display (no images of potentially-polarizing characters or subject matter), and land cards are widely played thus the art is recognizable to a broader audience. Prices for land OA often start in the low 4-figures and rise from there.

 

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Divination (2018) by Matt Stewart – $3,575; 18”x14”

This reinterpretation of a blue “card-draw” spell comes out of the just-released Dominaria set. $3.6k for brand-new artwork from an unexceptional card seems extremely robust, perhaps partially justified by its relatively large size. From this and other eBay auction results in April, it’s clear that the M:TG OA market continues its run of rude health.

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

 

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