Heritage Weekly Auction ending 3/11/18

3/11/18 UPDATE

After missing two weeks of writing about Heritage weekly auctions, I am trying to get back on track, starting with a look back in time at my two predictions for the Heritage weekly auction that ended back on 2/18/18:

Irv Novick Joker #9; ComicArtAds estimate $450, final price including BP--$1314.50

Dick Dillin Hawkman #27; ComicArtAds estimate $600, final price including BP--$262.90

Well, that was pretty sad.  Note to self:  Novick Joker hot, Dillin Hawkman not.  I hope I can turn things around a bit with this week's Heritage weekly auction

The first piece to catch my eye was a John Byrne/Joe Rubinstein Drax the Destroyer illustration from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.  Four other Byrne/Rubinstein Handbook pieces came up for auction at Heritage on August 12, 2017, and the finishing prices ranged from $406.30 (Rama-Tut) to $2,031.50 (Aurora from Alpha Flight).  Even though Byrne did not draw Drax much at all in his heyday, the Marvel "cosmic" characters seem to be desirable these days.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $2,250.

I was interested to see a somewhat rare John Carter Warlord of Mars page by Gil Kane and Rudy Nebres (with assumed art assists from Joe Delbeato) in this auction.  These pages have historically been collected with some fanfare by one person, although a few pages have popped up in other collections as well here and there over the years.  Heritage previously offered up a Kane/Nebres John Carter page in 2006, and that page went for $239.00.  I think this page will do better, even though it doesn't feature the title character or his main squeeze.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $750.

The next page is a somewhat guilty pleasure for me, the climax of the bizarre "Is Deb Whitman insane or just really annoying?" subplot, as depicted by Bob Hall and Jim Mooney in Spectacular Spider-Man #74.  The item description includes some helpful but ignored editorial advice regarding that stark and large first panel.  A Bob Hall Marvel Team-Up #126 page featuring Luke Cage and the Son of Satan (why not?) sold for a little over $500 on Heritage in August 2017.  This page could do a lot better if only two bidders decide this is their Deb Whitman grail page.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate:  $1,100.

I also have a soft spot for the Arvell Jones et al. page from Iron Man #74.  The art is not the slickest you will ever see, but it is jam-packed with cool bad guys.  A page from the previous issue, with pencils by Arvell Jones and some great Iron Man action, sold for at little over $1,300 in September 2017 on Heritage.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate:  $800.

I don't know much about penciller James Sherman, but I know a powerful panel page when I see one.  The Super Team Family #9 page by Sherman, featuring dramatic inks by Jack Abel, reaches out and grabs me.  I have no idea how this should finish, but it should be solid.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate:  $375.

Finally, I would like to highlight a George Tuska Sub-Mariner #41 page that is enhanced greatly by some slick Sam Grainger inks.  There are nice shots of Namor in almost every panel and some decent action.  This could be a nice representative page for someone.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate:  $900.

Enjoy the auction, and I'll let you know next week whether I was once again totally off-base with my predictions.  Best regards, Lee

2/18/18 UPDATE++++++++++++++++++++

Less than 24 hours before yet another Heritage weekly auction, I would like to review my predictions from last week's Heritage weekly auction (ending 2/11/18):

Neal Adams Star Trek: The Crier in Emptiness cover lot; ComicArtAds estimate $3,000, final price including BP--$2,748.50

Paul Gulacy Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #15; ComicArtAds estimate $500, final price including BP--$896.25

Rick Hoberg What If? #16 lot; ComicArtAds estimate $600, final price including BP--$286.80

Don Newton Detective Comics #519 lot; ComicArtAds estimate $1,600, final price including BP--$2,390.00

The only auction I was fairly close on was the Neal Adams lot.  I was really surprised by the result for the two What If? #16 pages, which went for less than $150 each.  A 10-page lot is in the weekly auction that ends soon, and I'm kind of scared to see where that auction ends up.  I think that What If? #16 features pretty good art, and it should be worth a bit more than $150/page.  Oh well, on to this week's auction, which ends in 20 hours or so.  It contains some pretty cool stuff, including:

The Irv Novick Joker #9 page, from the Ethan Roberts Estate Collection, has some great head-shots of the Joker and some fun content.  Conrad Eschenberg was selling pages from this series for $45-$65 back in 1997.

Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $450.

Because I am running late, I'm just going to highlight one more page, the Dick Dillin Hawkman #27 page featuring Hawkman battling a flying, raging Yeti.  This is one of the greatest pieces of comic art ever.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate:  $600.

I'll try to get back on track for next week's Heritage auction, which features some really stunning pieces that will be ending right after the upcoming Heritage Signature auction.  Best regards, Lee

2/11/18 UPDATE++++++++++++++++++++

The results of last week's Heritage weekly auction (ending 2/4/18) were quite interesting:

Neal Adams Phantom Stranger #4; ComicArtAds estimate $2,500, final price including BP--$2,748.50

John Byrne Namor #7; ComicArtAds estimate $800, final price including BP--$1,912.00

Rick Hoberg What If? #10; ComicArtAds estimate $300, final price including BP--$286.80

Mike Sekowsky Justice League of America #62; ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate $450, final price including BP--$525.80

I was not terribly off base with my predictions, with one glaring exception--the Namor #7 cover.  This mostly production art cover sold for the exact same price it sold for on Heritage in August 2017.  What are the chances of that happening?  It's nice to see that the consigner did not take a hit on this piece, and that this cover retained its value over the past six months.  The real shocker from last week's auction was a three-page lot of Star Trek book-and-record art by Russ Heath, which sold for $8,365.00.  I have fond memories of those Peter Pan books and records, but I didn't think these three pages would finish anywhere near this price.

There are some groovy pieces in this week's Heritage auction, which ends on 2/11/18.  I have fond memories of the Peter Pan/Power Records comic-and-record combos, and the cover to Star Trek: The Crier in Emptiness by the Neal Adams Studio is cool.  If you read the item description, you learn that Mr. Sulu was drawn as an African-American in that book, and Lt. Uhura was drawn as a Caucasian.  It looks like Neal Adams might have worked on the cover a bit, but I don't see him much on the interior pages.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $3,000.

This week's auction also includes a nicely designed Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight page by Paul Gulacy and Terry Austin.  There's a lot of action, good Batman shots, and black ink on this page.  Heritage has offered several Gulacy Legends pages in the past, but they all have been from issues much later in the series.  Graphic Collectibles was selling these pages back in 1991, soon after the comics pubished:

This page is over $300 with BP as of this writing on a Friday morning, and I think the price still has some room to grow.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $500.

The first of quite a few pages to come to auction over the next two weeks from What If? #16 by Rick Hoberg and Bill Wray appear in this auction.  Dave Stevens did a little work on some pages from this book, but he is not credited on these two pages, so it's safe to assume Dave didn't work on them.  I think Rick had a pretty good memory of Dave's contributions to this issue.  These are solid pages from a pretty memorable story, but I think the price may be impacted by the large number of pages coming up for auction in the near future.  I bought a page from this issue from Rick a few years ago.  He's a nice guy, so I hope these auctions do well.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $600.

The final lot I'd like to highlight is a group of 7 pages from Detective Comics #519 by Don Newton and John Calnan.  You wouldn't know from the display image, but this lot includes a good Batman action sequence and a near full-page splash of Batman. The top bid on Friday morning is $239, so this could potentially be a good deal.  The Newton/Calnan team produces art that is pleasing to my eyes.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $1,600. 

Enjoy the auction, and I'll let you know how I did in next week's edition of this column.  Best regards, Lee

2/4/18 UPDATE++++++++++++++++++++

Once again, I went one for three with last week's Heritage weekly auction due to a couple of over-estimates:

Sal Buscema Incredible Hulk #260; ComicArtAds estimate $450, final price including BP--$454.10

Carmine Infantino Flash #149; ComicArtAds estimate $2,000, final price including BP--$1,195.00

Gil Kane Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #23; ComicArtAds estimate $700, final price including BP--$430.20

I must say I'm surprised to see a 1994 Arvell Jones Captain America Annual splash (with no Captain America) finish higher than a 1964 Carmine Infantino Flash page (with no Flash), but that's what makes this wacky hobby so much fun.  On to this week's Heritage auction, which as usual features some fun art.

There has been a lot of interest already in the Neal Adams Phantom Stranger #4 page, which as of this writing on Thursday is sitting at about $1,800.  Panel two is the highlight, although the bottom panel has some nice gargoyles.  I'm not a fan of how the Brooklyn Bridge stat looks on the original art, but it is what it is.  I have been overestimating pages like this lately, so I will try to reign myself in this time around.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $2,500.

The John Byrne Namor #7 "Cover Production Material" might almost qualify as a "flip" as it was sold at Heritage for $1,912.00 in August 2017.  This piece of art is mostly a Xerox with touch-ups by Byrne.  It is a great-looking image regardless, but I don't see the page equaling the August 2017 sale price, which was a nice profit over its May 2015 Heritage sale price of $657.25.  Will this cover find a "forever home" this time around?  Let's hope so, as I think this could end up being affordable once again.  Your ComicArtFans pre-auction estimate: $800.

The Rick Hoberg What If? #10 page confirms my suspicion that Rick has consigned most of his remaining artwork to Heritage.  I bought a few pages from What If? #10 directly from Rick in 2015, and his asking price (which I paid of course) was $400/page.  I passed on this page, although it is lovely.  Your slightly conflicted ComicArtFans pre-auction estimate: $300

This is quite a week for late-1960s Justice League of America (JLA) art, with four solid examples by Dick Dillin and Mike Sekowsky in this auction.  The most appealing piece to me is page 14 from JLA #62, with inks by George Roussos, who is someone I don't automatically think of as a JLA inker.  Roussos's inking style is a bit jarring, but the page has some good images of Batman and the Flash.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $450.

Enjoy the auction, and I'll let you know how I did in next week's edition of this column.  Best regards, Lee

1/28/18 UPDATE++++++++++++++++++++

Greetings all!  I got one out of three right in my predictions for last week's Heritage Auction, which I think included some pretty good deals:

Rick Hoberg What If? #7 pages; ComicArtAds estimate $1,200, final price including BP--$717.00

John Calnan/Murphy Anderson Action Comics #410 pages; ComicArtAds estimate $1,500, final price including BP--$836.50

George Perez Iron Man sketch; ComicArtAds estimate $400, final price including BP--$389.57

If you happen to be a John Calnan collector, then you probably have been thrilled with the prices at Heritage over the past few months of Calnan, Calnan, Calnan in the weekly auctions.  Even early-1970s pages with really nice inks by Murphy Anderson, like the lot of 3 pages from issue #410, are going for less than $300/page.  I think paying less than $200/page for a nice sequence from an early issue of the original What If? series is a bargain as well. 

Looking ahead to the auction ending this Sunday, 1/28/18, there are some interesting pieces once again.  I am a big fan of Sal Buscema's Marvel art, so the Incredible Hulk #260 page is nice to see.  This is from the period when Sal began to ink himself in the early 1980s, but before he developed the stylized self-inking style he utilized in Spectacular Spider-Man in the late 1980s.  Similar pages have gone for around $450 on Heritage in recent months, so...your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $450.

Another Ethan Roberts estate piece appears in this auction, in the form of a dynamic Infantino/Giella page from Flash #149.  The tanning might hurt the price, but I still think it will finish fairly strong.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $2,000.

As I am running late with this column, I will highlight just one more piece, also from the Ethan Roberts estate.  The Gil Kane/Rico Rival Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #23 page seems to feature the origin of the Jack of Hearts.  Rival's inking is a little odd here, but I know there are some collectors who really dig the Jack of Hearts.  This page may do better than expected.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $700.

Thanks for reading, and I'll try to publish another set of auction estimates in a week or so.  Best regards, Lee

1/21/18 UPDATE++++++++++++++++++++

Hello everyone!  Another late installment, but here goes....  First, the results from the pieces I highlighted last week, which included one severe overestimate, one very close guess, and two estimates that I consider to be in the general ballpark:

Bob Brown Warlock #7; ComicArtAds estimate $2,250, final price including BP--$836.50

Michael Golden X-Men Annual #7; ComicArtAds estimate $1,500, final price including BP--$1,434.00

Frank Robbins Giant-Size Invaders #1; ComicArtAds estimate $900, final price including BP--$746.88

John Severin Creepy #10; ComicArtAds estimate $1,200, final price including BP--$1,434.00

The big shocker for me was the Warlock splash finishing $200+ less than it sold for 4.5 years ago.  Someone on the CGC Boards recently asked whose stock is going down in terms of original art prices, and I'd have to say Bob Brown could be one artist whose prices are stagnant if not decreasing.  I picked up several pieces when Mike Burkey listed dozens and dozens of pages on his website years ago, but I have none of them at this point.  Maybe that's for the best, but I still liked that Warlock splash.  

As for the Heritage weekly auction ending this Sunday 1/21/18, there again are some interesting pieces.  I'm a big fan of the first 12 or so issues of What If?, so the lot of four pages from What If? #7 by Rick Hoberg and Sam Grainger caught my attention.  This is a fun little sequence showing Flash Thompson acquiring Spider-Man's powers.  Even though Spidey does not appear in costume on these pages, they are still fairly sharp-looking pieces of art.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $1,200

Another nifty group of pages comes from Action Comics #410, with art by John Calnan and Murphy Anderson.  There are some very nice Superman images on each page, and Murphy Anderson's inking really shines here.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $1,500

I'm going to wrap up this quick column with an exceptionally involved vintage Iron Man sketch by George Perez.  This sketch, from 1978, has some rough elements but includes two images of Shell-Head, plus an attempt at a logo at the bottom of the sketch.  "Phil" must have been very happy when George handed it to him 40 years ago.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $400

Until next time, keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!  Yours in art, Lee 

1/14/18 UPDATE++++++++++++++++++++

Hi folks!  Sorry for not getting this posted sooner, but I have been sidelined by a nasty cold and cough.  My predictions from the first Heritage weekly auction of the new year (ending 1/7/18) were way low with one exception:

Al Williamson Marvel Super Special #27; ComicArtAds estimate--$15,000, final price including BP--$15,535

Ross Andru Brave and Bold #199; ComicArtAds estimate--$700, final price including BP--$2,031.50

Carmine Infantino Detective Comics #327; ComicArtAds estimate--$1,300, final price including BP--$2,868

Jim Starlin Detective Comics #481; ComicArtAds estimate--$1,000, final price including BP--$2,868

So the estimate that was the wildest guess for me ended up being almost perfect, and the estimates based on recent comps were way off.  I'm glad to see that the estate of Ethan Roberts continues, for the most part, to obtain strong results from its consignments to Heritage.  The big surprise to me was the Enlongated Man page price.  I guess DC Large Art is continuing to surge in value as it more frequently appears at auction. 

Moving along to this week's Heritage auction, ending 1/14/18, I see several items that are of interest to me.  First, I think the Bob Brown Warlock #7 splash page is pretty great.  The big, moving image of Counter-Earth Doctor Doom, as well as the smaller, full-figure drawing of Adam Warlock, make this page a winner.  When this piece came up for auction at Heritage in 2013, inks were attributed to Tom Sutton, but I guess I can see Frank Giacoia's style in the heavy blacks on the Doom figure.  I need to force myself to be more aggressive with my estimates this week, so...your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $2,250.

The Michael Golden X-Men Annual #7 page was also previously offered by Heritage back in 2013.  I guess five years is a respectable amount of time to keep a page you won on Heritage before giving it back to Heritage for sale.  The description of this page generously calls it "splashy," bit it does include some nice little shots of some of our favorite X-Men.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $1,500.

The Frank Robbins Giant-Size Invaders #1 page is certainly fun, with a dynamic flashback action scene.  Some work was done to the final panel, but that doesn't seem to be inhibiting the bidding so far.  Curiously, this page was not previously offered by Heritage in 2013.  A day before the auction ends, bidding has hit $500, and I think it's not going to double that by the end.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $900.

I'll try to finally wrap things up with a lovely one-page story by John Severin from Creepy #10.  I especially like the demonic black cat crashing through the window!  I don't have any comps or old ads for this piece, but it seems like someone would happily pay $1,000+ for this great-looking art.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $1,200.

Please look forward to my next, hopefully much more timely report, where I will fill you in on the success or failure of my predictions, and present more ComicArtAds pre-auction estimates for the next Heritage weekly auction.  

Yours in art, Lee

1/7/18 UPDATE++++++++++++++++++++

Happy new year everyone, and welcome back to the ComicArtAds comic art auction previews for the Heritage weekly auction.  As usual, I'd like to review my predictions from last week's Heritage weekly auction (ending 12/31/17) and the final results:

Kieron Dwyer Captain America #361; ComicArtAds estimate--$400, final price including BP--$286.80

Jim Aparo Phantom Stranger #11; ComicArtAds estimate--$500, final price including BP--$454.10

Al Milgrom Spectacular Spider-Man #100; ComicArtAds estimate--$800, final price including BP--$3,107

Don Perlin Transformers #29; ComicArtAds estimate--$450, final price including BP--$657.25

My estimation prowess was not impressive this past week.  I was only close on the Phantom Stranger page.  The big shocker was the Spectacular Spider-Man #100 page.  I guess at least two collectors really liked the excellent Spidey-Kingpin action panels.  I continue to be generally mystified by the prices of Transformers panel pages.  I wish the Captain America page had gone for a bit more, but I didn't bid on it, and I guess other collectors didn't either.  Congratulations to the winner, as that Cap page was a solid example from a fun storyline.

This week's Heritage weekly auction already has one jaw-dropping item:  the Al Williamson Return of the Jedi panel page, currently sitting at $10,000.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a price like that for a Howard Chaykin page from the 1970s move adaptation, but this price caught me off guard.  Then again, pages from this book were advertised at pretty high prices over 20 years ago:

The above image credits Dave Stevens as an artist.  I wonder whether Dave lended any assist to the page on Heritage.  Regardless, I think this strong price is the result of good timing and a scarce supply of vintage Star Wars art at auction recently.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: uh, considering this already is higher than I would have imagined, let's say $15,000.

I find the unusual art combination of Ross Andru and Rick Hoberg to be quite pleasing on this page from Brave and Bold #199.  A lot of six pages, that included this Batman-Deadman beauty, was auctioned at Heritage back in 2003.  Once again, this page is from the amazing collection of Ethan Roberts, although I'm not sure Ethan won this page as part of the 2003 lot.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $700.

A Carmine Infantino Enlongated Man page from Detective Comics #327 is off to a strong start at $600.  This page also comes from the Ethan Roberts collection.  A page from the same story sold for about $1,100 at Heritage a little over a year ago.  I think the page currently at auction is a little nicer.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $1,300.

I will continue to focus on Detective Comics with my final prediction for this week, which comes from issue #481, with art by by Jim Starlin and P. Craig Russell.  Not surprisingly, this solid example also comes from Ethan's collection.  A nice page from the same issue was offered by Graphic Collectibles in 1997:

Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $1,000.

Thanks for reading, and please tune in next week when I report on the success or failure of my predictions, and present more ComicArtAds pre-auction estimates for the next Heritage weekly auction.  

Yours in art, Lee

12/31/17 UPDATE++++++++++++++++++++

Happy holidays, and welcome to my third installment of Heritage weekly comic art auction previews!  First, I'd like to review my predictions from last week's Heritage weekly auction (ending 12/24/17) and the final results:

Dale Keown Incredible Hulk #387; ComicArtAds estimate--$900, final price including BP--$1,075.50

Joe Kubert Star Spangled War Stories #147; ComicArtAds estimate--$3,500, final price including BP--$4,063.00

Alex Toth Eerie #64 two-page lot; ComicArtAds estimate--$2,800; final price including BP--$4,063.00

Herb Trimpe Defenders #80; ComicArtAds estimate--$375, final price including BP--$418.25

I have to pat myself on the back, at least for three of the four estimates.  Perhaps the fact that my estimates were around 15% less than the final price is a tribute to my personal cheapness and not wanting to pay full market value on art.  I was pretty far off on the Toth lot, which finished stronger than the two-page lot the week before from Eerie #2.  Is the Eerie #64 story somehow significant?  I don't get it, but it looks great, and I don't blame someone paying that kind of money.  Overall, I think last week's Christmas eve ending did not affect prices much.

This week's Heritage weekly auction, ending on New Year's eve, has some interesting pieces, but one piece in particular stands out to me for personal reasons.

I bought page 9 from Captain America #361 in 2005 and likely paid around $50 for it.  The page features everyone's favorite Gallic gangster, Batroc the Leaper.  I was trying to find Batroc comic art examples by as many artists as possible in the 2000s.  I have since partly moved on from that collecting theme, but I still have a soft spot for Batroc.  In January 2015, I worked out a deal with long-time art collector Ethan Roberts to trade a big box of his old comic art catalogs for this piece of art.  This trade inspired me to try to share old art ads in a serious way, so I will always be thankful to Ethan for this trade.  I still like this page and hope it does well, although I'm not going for it.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $400.

There has been a lot (and I mean a lot!) of talk of a Howard Chaykin Phantom Stranger commission on the CGC boards this month.  Although there is no Phantom Stranger image with pasted-on corrections, it's still nice to see a vintage Jim Aparo Phantom Stranger #11 page in this week's Heritage auction.  This same page sold for $227.05 on Heritage in November 2014.  Vintage Phantom Stranger pages by Aparo that feature the title character have sold for $775+ over the past couple of years.  This is a good-looking title page with a creepy bad guy, so I think it has some appeal.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $500.

The page from Spectacular Spider-Man #100 by the team of Milgrom, Isherwood, and Colletta is an interesting piece with some things going for it, as well as a few features that could make it somewhat affordable.  The Spidey/Kingpin battle action is great, but there is some noticeable water damage in a bottom corner.  There seems to be some ink fading on background inks in places as well.  A less-desirable page from the same issue sold for $573.60 a little over two years ago.  I think bidders might overlook the condition issue and focus on the fight scene, and the nice portraits of the Black Cat.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate: $800.

I'll wrap up this week's installment by focusing on a page from Transformers #29 by Don Perlin, Ian Akin, and Brian Garvey.  I have been surprised to see the reasonable final prices for Jose Delbo/Dave Hunt Transformers pages in recent months on Heritage, which have ranged in price from $143.40 to $358.50.  Perhaps issues from two years earlier, by different art teams, are more desirable to collectors?  A Perlin/Akin/Garvey page from Transformers #25 went for $657.25 in April 2016.  I have a hunch that this will finish stronger than the Delbo/Hunt examples, although I don't know Transformers comics and art fans enough to say why.  Your ComicArtAds pre-auction estimate:  $450.

Thanks for reading, and please tune in next week when I report on the success or failure of my predictions, and present more ComicArtAds pre-auction estimates for the next Heritage weekly auction.  

Yours in art,