Market Report – November 2017 ComicLink Featured Auction

Hi all, today we’ll look at results from ComicLink’s Featured Auction on 30 November 2017! The majority of artwork sold within their expected FMV range, with almost nothing going under that. This is another sign that original comic art has developed into a mature, educated market, with parity of price information among buyers. In today’s article, I’ll provide my pre-auction estimates for contextual comparison against the actual sale prices.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein, page 65 plate by Bernie Wrightson

  • Pre-auction estimate: $45,000-50,000
  • Sold for: $45,100

This 1983 Marvel Illustrated Novel is the legend Wrightson’s magnus opus, crafted over seven years, and considered one of the finest bodies of illustration art ever created. Starting prices for original artwork from this book are firmly entrenched in the $45k-50k range, with pieces (or “plates”) featuring the Monster commanding a substantial premium over those without.

Witchblade #15, cover by Michael Turner & D-Tron

  • Pre-auction estimate: $8,000-10,000
  • Sold for: $10,750

Darkness #11, cover by Michael Turner & Joe Weems

  • Pre-auction estimate: $10,000-15,000
  • Sold for: $12,550

Demand for Turner OA remains robust, as these results reiterate. Both pieces broke into 5-figure territory despite neither containing large, evocative shots of lead female characters (although Darkness #11 is a somewhat notable issue). Prices like these for Turner artwork would have made my head spin four years ago, but it’s readily apparent that the love for Michael’s art is here to stay!

Marvel Feature #12, page 17 by Jim Starlin & Joe Sinnott

  • Pre-auction estimate: $3,500-4,000
  • Sold for: $3,800

Avengers Annual #7, page 43 by Jim Starlin & Joe Rubinstein

  • Pre-auction estimate: $13,000-15,000
  • Sold for: $13,250

As background, Ron Lim Infinity Gauntlet Thanos pages start at $3.8k nowadays, while decent George Perez IG Thanos with Gauntlet pages go for $9k. In light of that, recent effervescent sales of ’70s Starlin Thanos OA, and the Mad Titan’s starring roles in Marvel’s next two Avengers movies, these two purchases look like fine value!

Let’s discuss the $3.8k MF #12 page first: it hails from 1973 (the same year Thanos was introduced), is rendered by his famed creator Starlin and revered Joe Sinnott, and features the Cosmic Cube. All for the same price as that 1991 Lim IG #5 page (no knock on Ron of course)! The AA #7 page comes from the 2-part climax (continued in Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2) to the legendary ’70s “Thanos Saga”, and contains a large, detailed, full-figure Thanos shot. One of the best Mad Titan images from this fabled 40 year old storyline, for only 50% more than Perez’s IG #1 page? Sign me up!

X-Men Poster Magazine #1, X-Factor DPS poster by Joe Quesada & Joe Rubinstein

  • Pre-auction estimate: $4,500-5,500
  • Sold for: $5,800

I’ve been eyeing this gorgeous double-page splash since it previously sold for $4.7k in June 2016 on eBay, then was offered at Graphic Collectibles’ SDCC 2017 booth. When it popped up in CLink’s auction preview, I hoped all that recent “shopping around” would suppress the hammer price. Fortunately for the seller, none of that came to pass, and it ended up fetching a strong sum. Worth every penny if you ask me, as it’s one of Quesada’s best ’90s works!

Civil War #5, wraparound cover by Steve McNiven & Dexter Vines

  • Pre-auction estimate: $5,000-8000
  • Sold for: $10,050

This piece last sold for $3,889 three years ago on CLink, with the #4 cover netting $3,201 in the same auction. Considering values of McNiven Civil War interior pages haven’t appreciably risen since then, the #5 cover appreciating over 250% in that same time span is impressive indeed!

Incredible Hulk #339, page 11 by Todd McFarlane & Jim Sanders III

  • Pre-auction estimate: $3,500-4,000
  • Sold for: $3,651

Amazing Spider-Man #308, page 16 by Todd McFarlane

  • Pre-auction estimate: $15,000-18,000
  • Sold for: $16,000

At least one piece of quality McFarlane Marvel OA has popped up in every major CLink and HA auction over the past year, meaning buyers have significant experience with them, and are able to coalesce around roughly similar valuations. Make no mistake though, this steady supply of McArtwork hasn’t resulted in any price fatigue, as values have been gradually rising throughout this period.

Kamandi #25, page 5 by Jack Kirby & D. Bruce Berry

  • Pre-auction estimate: $3,000-4,000
  • Sold for: $4,000

Captain America #193, page 3 by Jack Kirby, Mike Esposito & Frank Giacoia

  • Pre-auction estimate: $5,000-6,000
  • Sold for: $5,600

Eternals #16, page 3 by Jack Kirby & Mike Royer

  • Pre-auction estimate: $3,000-4,000
  • Sold for: $3,400

Prices for Kirby’s ’70s OA have been climbing noticeably over the past year, as values of the King’s ’60s artwork continue to escalate and price out many collectors. The above snapshot of mid to late-’70s DC and Marvel pieces illustrates that you can still obtain quality Kirby superhero art at non-nosebleed prices… but that may not last for long!

Preacher #20, page 4 by Steve Dillon

  • Pre-auction estimate: $1,500-2,000
  • Sold for: $1,400

Preacher #60, page 7 by Steve Dillon

  • Pre-auction estimate: $2,500-3,000
  • Sold for: $2,766

The cost of Preacher OA has plateaued since 2016, which translates to a prime purchasing window if you believe values could rise further. Season 2 of the AMC TV show was an improvement over the first, and season 3 has been confirmed, so interest in the series could certainly pick up. These two pages once again illustrate the “Saint of Killers Tax” which applies to Preacher artwork (I consider any premium attributable to the #60 page’s large headshots negated by the #20 page’s action scenes).

Man of Steel #6, page 22 by John Byrne & Dick Giordano

  • Pre-auction estimate: $10,000-12,000
  • Sold for: $19,750

Superman #4, page 1 by John Byrne & Karl Kesel

  • Pre-auction estimate: $6,000-8,000
  • Sold for: $10,250

Mid-’80s Byrne Marvel OA is on fire right now, so it wasn’t a total shock when these two super DC splashes spectacularly overperformed. After all, that MOS #6 end-page splash is an absolutely iconic image by an artistically still in-form master craftsman, and the Superman #4 splash does exemplify everything a title-page should be.

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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