Expensive Missing Artist

By | Sunday, November 11, 2012 7 comments
This is a piece of original comic book art that's currently up for auction on eBay. If you notice, the piece is not signed, and the seller doesn't know the identity of the aritst(s). In fact, the seller doesn't know anything about the piece at all! Where it comes from, where it may have been published or in what capacity, or if it was even published at all! He suggests possibly Ditko or Kirby, but it's clearly neither. (Maybe he just threw those names out there to get some additional hits from people searching for those artists?) He also suggests it's from the 1960s, but a couple people I know (and I wholy agree with them) say it looks to be no older than the mid-1970s at most.

If you have ideas, I'm sure folks would be interested, BUT that's not why I'm posting this. I'm posting this because the seller has set the price tag for this piece at $3,000!!! I just can't figure how you can even begin to justify asking for that kind of money for a piece that you can't identify in any way. If it were a proven Kirby or Ditko piece, sure, but one that is clearly not either of them and could well be from no one of any significance in comics? I can't imagine anyone paying even half that amount for this!

It's not a terrible piece of art, a little internally inconsistent with regard to the inking , but not appreciably worse than a lot of known published comic art. But I could get a new version of this piece commissioned from any number of named artists for quite a bit less than $3,000. It doesn't look like he deals much in original art, but would you randomly throw a four-figure price tag on a piece you knew nothing about?
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It's clearly a more modern piece. The style reminds me of Keith Giffen and Tom Grummett. The piece shows some signs of age but none of being published (editing marks, placement guides, pasteups).

If I had to guess, I'd say it's an early 1990s commission piece, maybe worth $100-$200 if the artist could be identified, maybe more if it's an established artist with a following.

I'm going to guess Rich Buckler...maybe inked by Alan Weiss.

I'm also going to guess it's an unused cover from the Red Circle line of comics...possibly with some minor tweaks to what was a Fly-Man costume.

But that's just me guessing...

Mark O' said...

I'd tend to guess that its a fan-commissioned "remake" of the cover of issue 1 of the 1964 Blue Beetle, as seen at: http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=173601

Looks like Rich Buckler to me, too.

Anonymous said...

I really don't like it, but I hope it's not Buckler because I really like him!

Richard said...

Like David, I see Buckler in this as well. My best guess unmentioned by anyone else so far is that it may have been an unused cover intended for an Americomics reprint book, which would also explain why it recreates the cover scene from that Charlton issue.

I think we now have enough guesses to start a betting pool...

Unknown said...

This piece was drawn and inked by Mike Machlan.