ISSUE #24: Movie Moves
Hello from Nashville, again, everyone. I hope all is well and that you dug out some comic gold, this past week. As for me, I hit up Cincinnati Comic Expo and while it wasn’t awesome from a digging perspective, I did manage to come away with some coolness. However, that convention IS great for the artists/creator talent they bring in. I had a really cool 30-minute convo with Neal Adams (not sure why he gets such a bad rep just because he’s snarky. I thought he was hilarious and very kind) and had a lot of interaction with the VERY cool and VERY sweet Siya Oum (pronounced See-Ya Oom, I found out). All-in-all, I will definitely be going back if they keep the talent coming.
I love the atmosphere of 50+ creators doing commissions and chatting with fans. To me, that is much more rewarding than digging in dollar bins. I came away with two fantastic commissions with a third on the way. Check out the new pick-ups page if you care to see them. More to come in a future article on my interactions with the artist-folk.
Okay, so… movies. They drive spec, these days. Television, not so much. I think TV fatigue has set in a little with very few TV options creating any real push in value. Even when they, the books tend to fall way off, eventually. Films, though, are sending books through the roof and keeping them there. This past week saw the news/announcements/trailers for a few prime properties.
I am SUPER-psyched for a Red Sonja film and I hope it crushes. I loved the original 1985 Nielson/Schwarzenegger version when I was a kid (I swear it was on HBO every Saturday morning along with Red Dawn), but it has regrettably not held up well over the years. Additionally, rumors continue to fly that Carnage will see his way into the Venom movie coming in a few weeks. Guy Ritchie has mentioned a Captain Britain/Black Knight film and, perhaps the most exciting movie news, is the Captain Marvel Trailer which finally dropped, yesterday.
With these new morsels of film fantasticalness, I expect speculators to start gobbling up covers that have previously been off of the radar. As such, I’d like to put a few back on the block that I think are amazing and cheap. I’m going to keep these a little shorter and sweeter this week, and here they are…
PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – July, 2009
ARTIST: Mike Deodato Jr.
This little beauty is tucked between the Horn and Takeda covers of the same series and it is a killer. That brooding mood created by the shadow work is so compelling. There is an attitude and a sex-appeal to it that I cannot take my eyes off of. The pose and the simplicity of the cover give off such a “don’t screw with me” vibe. I also like that this is first transitional costume in the series with the star instead of the lightning bolt. Danvers costume changes seem to be important to collectors and readers, alike.
This is simply a clean, beautiful, solid cover with crisp figural work and it is still pretty cheap. It can be gotten for under $10 (I just snagged one for $6), but there are already sellers trying to get $20-$30 for it. I don’t expect this one to stay cheap for long.
PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – November, 2009
ARTIST: Marko Djurdjevic
Just a simple, stark and lovely depiction of the character that I was surprised to see was only selling for $5. This is technically a “B” cover and was sold at cover price on release day. This has the feeling of the Life of Captain Marvel #1 Artgerm cover mixed with the Granov on Infinity Countdown #1, both of which are pretty popular. I see no reason why this one shouldn’t hang out with them. Djurdjevic variants like those on X23 and Ultimate Fallout sell for small fortune and this one can still be had for a fiver. Again, I expect more people to start jumping on this one, soon.
PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics UK – November, 1985
ARTIST: Alan Davis
Well, the various runs of Captain Britain are quite underwhelming. And when I say underwhelming, I mean, “oh my god, these covers make my soul hurt.” Part of that is a function of a not-so-awesome costume design. HOWEVER, Good news! This little run from 1985 has some dope Alan Davis covers. This particular one, above, is by far my favorite as it is filled with tension and depth. It almost feels a little bit like something Wrightson-ish out of Swamp Thing or House of Mystery, but it is a masterfully painted piece that gives the character some grit (a rarity on a character that has had some pretty silly looking covers over the years).
The depth and feeling of it are what make it stand out from its surrounding issues. These are a little rarer given they are UK printings, but they are still only a $7 or $8 buy-in. Finding copies in decent shape can also be a bit tougher since they are oversized and rarely were/are bagged and boarded.
PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – January, 2016
ARTIST: Julian Totino Tedesco
These beautiful Tedesco covers (throughout the whole run of 5 issues alongside their variants) are such a nice little treat. In a series that languishes in dollar bins, these may see a bump as the other small glimpses at Black Knight have, well… sported some not-so-great covers. There is a level of talent, here, that we see from Dell’Otto and Mattina all of the time. Those guys get tons of love. Why not Tedesco? This one has all kinds of tension and feeling. It has a loose style that gives it loads of drama, but it never feels messy or cluttered. Every element adds to the action. Also, don’t sleep on that backdrop. There are some really cool elements back there, within the trees and the mist.
This is a dollar bin dweller, at the moment, which means nice copies could be tough to locate.
PUBLISHED: Dynamite Entertainment – May, 2015
ARTIST: Jenny Frison
Before she crushed Wonder Woman, she killed it on Red Sonja. All the collecting hype has always surrounded Parrillo’s covers on earlier runs of Red Sonja (and rightfully so… they are dangerously sexy), but I feel these Frison covers are all classically breathtaking. This #16 is my favorite and stands out to me as the icon from the group, but there are others that are incredible, as well. #12 is pretty fantastic, too. Hell, they’re all good. Print runs on these books were pretty small. This one, for instance, saw only 9,829 copies printed. Finding one in good shape could be a challenge.
I’ve said it before of Frison that there is a simplicity and grace that gives such a Renaissance look to her covers depicting women. They are soft, but powerful and the muted colors serve to really give them a tone of sadness and bleak beauty.
With the news of a film (Singer involvement or not), these already-highly-sought Frisons will go from being $5-$10 books to being $20 books before we can blink. The ones that rise to the top could go even higher. We’ve seen it before.
NOTE TO VARIANT HUNTERS: There is a rather rare black and white variant of this. It can be rather pricey as it was a 1:15 (which means approximately 650 of them, at most), so proceed with caution.
PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – February, 2011
ARTIST: Clayton Crain
A special thanks to CBSI’s very own Skot Whitman for bringing Crain’s commission work to my attention this week, specifically his Carnage work, in his “Wouldn’t That Make a Great Cover” article, this week. That, as it always does, led me down the proverbial rabbit hole wherein I re-discovered Crain’s various Carnage covers. Many of them have become pricey or are variants (which are also not cheap). This one, however, is just as tough and nasty as the others and can still be snagged for a touch over cover.
I don’t generally like dark covers because they feel to me like the artist is hiding something, but that is not the case, here. The dark serves to provide contrast and really make the red pop. Having now seen quite a bit of Crain’s commission work, it’s clear that he is an astounding painter and can create rich depth and detail with only a few strokes.
I plan to snag as many of these different Crain covers as I can get my hands on. Right now, this is a $5-$10 cover, at most.
That does it once again, folks. Until next week, I’ll be watching the Captain Marvel trailer on repeat and, full disclaimer, there may be some pausing involved. As always, thanks for reading, please, please, please, leave a comment with your thoughts and happy hunting.