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January 08, 2009

Comments

John Nowak

I don't have any original art myself, but I can certainly understand the appeal of this. So much depends on the original artist and the image itself. I mean, it's a splash page, and I have a lot of love for Wood's EC Science Fiction work.

I don't want to name specific "bad artist" names, but I guess if I heard that someone spent, oh, $2000 for half a two page splash from a bad 1990s X-Men comic, I'd think "You silly fool." $20 grand for this is more, "Gee, I wish I could have bought it."

suedenim

I do like original art, and own three pieces, all of which cost me between $75 and $150, I think.

What I could see myself really getting more "hooked" on, however, is commissioned artwork, something I'd never really thought much about until recently. There seem to be a good number of professional comic book artists who'll do commissions at very reasonable rates, usually less (I think) than original art pages from actual comics.

I doubt I'd spend much more than $200 for a piece, but I guess it would all depend. Certainly not $20,000, but there you're getting into the realm of "real" "art collecting," and who knows, it might be sound investment, but I'll leave that to the experts.

But I commissioned a wonderful original cover re-do from Fred Hembeck, using my own wacky custom idea (i.e., "What if Lady Blackhawk and Hawkgirl had formed the Birds of Prey?"), and it's great!

The thing *I* can't figure out, even more than people paying $2000 for some '90s Liefeld imitation, is paying hundreds of dollars for some of the back-of-Previews "collectible" stuff. Like replicas of Rocky's boxing trunks or "Bald man with Excedrin Headache" statuettes, as seen here:

http://www.progressiveruin.com/2006_09_24_archive.html#115941699036152646

Spending hundreds of dollars on that stuff that could be used to buy original art, commissions from living artists, or, heck, more actual comics... that's something I don't quite get.

Comic Coverage

I suppose with something like this, there's also the "owning a piece of history" factor...or, less grandiose, a piece of pop cultural history. But when it comes to paying three figures for page 23 of a 1987 issue of Generic-Man? I don't get it.

Comic Coverage

"What I could see myself really getting more "hooked" on, however, is commissioned artwork"

Yeah, I view that sort of thing in a different light. There, an artist is collaborating with a private buyer for something special and utterly unique. From the sound of it, that's how ol' John Byrne is making a living these days.

Pat Curley

It's hard to believe that Julius Schwartz used to offer the original artwork (often multiple pages) to people who wrote letters to his magazines. Three people were awarded the original artwork to the three chapters of Flash of Two Worlds, while a fourth got the original artwork for the cover. Can you imagine how much those would be worth today? Maybe not enough to retire, but probably enough to pay for a decent house in most areas.

I don't have any original artwork myself, although I "sprang" for a Litho of Guardians of Gotham by Dick Sprang a few years back and proudly have it hanging on my wall.

Wes C

I like the thought of owning original art. I never have a few hundred bucks just sitting around to buy any of it though.

As an artist myself, I find the original art quite revealing. I like to see how and artist handles certain issues. Maybe you get to create a lot of art by hand, but as a graphic designer almost all of the work I do on a daily basis is computer driven (and far afield from exciting comic/cartooning based work). I just love looking at pages (mostly on Ebay) and seeing the blacks filled in and blue line pencil still visible

I felt like a total fool years ago when I got to look at my first original Kirby F.F. page in person. When I saw that The Invisible Girl's effect was created with white gauche it was a revelation. Of course that was how they would do it, it just never really occurred to me. Like I said, foolish.

Unfortunately Kirby and Toth pages will never be in my price range. I still hold out hope for a Byrne F.F. or Zeck Capt. America page though.

Wes C

Almost forgot. I couldn't justify spending more than about $250.00 on any artwork. Even that price is prohibitive to me at this time.

And that would have to be a really nice action page or character moment.

Any more than that and I think I'd just feel buyers remorse.

ShadowWing Tronix

The only original art I have is the stuff I made, and you wouldn't want it. :)

Mark Engblom

"As an artist myself, I find the original art quite revealing. I like to see how and artist handles certain issues."

I see what you mean. It is interesting to see how different artists construct and execute their pages. I've also enjoyed reproductions of Kirby pencils that show his many margin notes which explained what was happening or suggested dialogue (in Jack's utterly unique style of dialogue).

"Maybe you get to create a lot of art by hand, but as a graphic designer almost all of the work I do on a daily basis is computer driven (and far afield from exciting comic/cartooning based work)."

These days, I do about 30% of my work "on the board" with pencils and inks, and the rest on the computer...and I expect that percentage to continue shrinking as more computer-aided tools come into play (and get cheaper). I can hardly wait to get my hands on a Cintiq display (which allows us to draw directly on a table-top screen).

"I felt like a total fool years ago when I got to look at my first original Kirby F.F. page in person. When I saw that The Invisible Girl's effect was created with white gauche it was a revelation. Of course that was how they would do it, it just never really occurred to me. Like I said, foolish."

Ah, you're too hard on yourself, Wes!

"Unfortunately Kirby and Toth pages will never be in my price range. I still hold out hope for a Byrne F.F. or Zeck Capt. America page though."

I have to admit, the only original art I've been tempted to search out is Curt Swan's Superman art....but decent pages (with action shots) are a bit too pricey for me.

Dan Lietha

Its sad to say, but with all the computer art being produced these days(and I enjoy using the computer to produce some of it myself) original art will never be the same again. It's kind of fading away, so to speak. Maybe it is a good investment to purchase originals while they're still available because true original art is not being produced as much as it once was. The art original now is more and more commonly a digital file that can be duplicated into unlimited identical copies. Nothing unique about it.

Not too far down the road we'll be telling younger artists, "back in my day, cartoon art was produced on Bristol board with actual physical pencils, pens, brushes and ink." And the younger artists will look at us in amazement and shake their heads in disbelief at how primitive these old artists used to be.

Wes C

"Ah, you're too hard on yourself, Wes!"

Maybe I was a bit harsh on myself, but man it was just one of those moments of a monumental "DOH!"

"I can hardly wait to get my hands on a Cintiq display (which allows us to draw directly on a table-top screen)."

Yeah, I love my tablet (use it at home, not much at work), it's an entry level one, getting an upgrade soon. The Cintiq is still way out of my price range, but please let us know how you like it when you get a chance to work with one. The thought of drawing on the screen like a piece of paper seems very exciting. Michael Cho just did a review of the cintiq from a cartoonist standpoint. I found it very interesting. I just recently stumbled upon his stuff and really like his approach.

http://chodrawings.blogspot.com/

Dan, I'm afraid you're pretty much dead on with all of what you said. I think we'll eventually lose touch with the tactile aspect of pen on paper. I still can't decide if the "undo" button has done more to damage rather than help my artistic development. It sure can make one lazy.

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