After Zeck 3.3 Shock and Art: What’s Next?

by Patrick Bain

022822D-1024x536 After Zeck 3.3 Shock and Art: What's Next?It’s all about ‘what’s next?’ in comics and art, Zeck Secret Wars Spider-Man art begs an answer to that question.  In my last article, Spider-Man in Black, I wondered about the valuation and final auction price for Secret Wars 8 Page 25 art.  Instead of quips about ‘it’s Beyonder me’ and references to the original Man in Black, Johnny Cash, maybe I should have focused on the NEXT big thing in comic art!

After Zeck What’s Next

Incredible-Hulk-180-Page-32-e1646068805845-206x300 After Zeck 3.3 Shock and Art: What's Next?So, let me make it right in this article.  I want to pontificate on some candidates to be the next art that sells for $3.36 million out of the blue.  Let’s lay down the ground rules and then I’ll need your help to answer the question of what’s next after Zeck Spidey art sold for millions.

First rule, no huge names!  Likely, no one would be shocked if the cover art of Fantastic Four #1 by Jack Kirby sold for millions.  Same for Steve Ditko’s earliest Spider-Man art.  (Reminder, Amazing Fantasy #15 interior pages are in the Library of Congress and NOT FOR SALE.)  Newer big names like Todd McFarlane and Frank Miller will be allowed for this discussion.  But, second rule, I would prefer to get some suggestions along the lines of Herb Trimpe’s Incredible Hulk #180 page featuring Wolverine’s first appearance.  That art sold in 2014 for $657,250!  Almost 8 years ago, but the sales price still dwarfs any other Trimpe single-page sale at HA.  The closest, cover art for Incredible Hulk #156, falls well short at $45,410.  Trimpe and Zeck share similar traits as long-time, well-loved professionals, but not media darlings.

Could Moon Knight Be Next?

Werewolf-By-Night-32-featuring-Moon-Knight-206x300 After Zeck 3.3 Shock and Art: What's Next?My first suggestion for the next piece of art after Zeck to toy with millions features the first appearance of Moon Knight.  There are plenty of blogs and trending comics news about Werewolf by Night #32.  Talk of Moon Knight joining the MCU does that!  As I detailed in one of my first articles, Looking for the Pop in Art, great art sales accompany trending comics.  Just as Incredible Hulk #180/181 emerged from the pack year after year as Wolverine grew in popularity, Moon Knight’s first appearance has been popping in recent years.  Further, it’s Bronze Age, which puts it in a sweet spot.

GoCollect-graph1-300x115 After Zeck 3.3 Shock and Art: What's Next?Consider over 100 sales in the last decade-plus for Moon Knight’s first appearance (CGC 9.4).  GoCollect’s graph of the sales data clearly distinguishes a positive trend that accelerated in recent years.  (We’ll be cautious noting the dropoff for the last couple sales.)  I like the parallel between Mike Zeck and Don Perlin (Moon Knight co-creator).  Perlin is another solid contributor with no glamour to his name.  In fact, Heritage Auctions does not have a single Perlin sale over $3,000, excluding a splash that also featured John Buscema.  So, I propose the title splash from Werewolf by Night #32 is a great candidate to shock the world.

Peacemaker, Baby, Peace

Peacemaker1-198x300 After Zeck 3.3 Shock and Art: What's Next?I may be shell-shocked to suggest that Peacemaker could be the next big thing.  John Cena is great.  And let’s give a shout-out to Doug Ohlandt for his Peacemaker blog.  But, I’m not feeling $3.36 million for ANY piece of Peacemaker art.  However, who bought art featuring the Peacemaker 10 years ago?  It had to be the dollar bin equivalent when it came to original art.  So, a shrewd art buyer may explore possible purchases of a character gaining notoriety in the DC Extended Universe.

I would prefer the modern DC art and first appearances over the Charlton comics for growth purposes.  However, another Suicide Squad member has a better likelihood for a spectacular art sale… you guessed it, Harley Quinn.

Could Joker’s Sidekick be What’s Next?

Batman-Adventures-12-featuring-Harley-Quinn-197x300 After Zeck 3.3 Shock and Art: What's Next?Did Paul Dini and Bruce Timm have any idea that Harley Quinn would go from comedic, animated henchwoman to megastar of comics and film as portrayed by Margot Robbie?  Often characters with humble beginnings go on to make their creators proud.  Of course, for collectors and investors, picking through the junkyard to find gems isn’t easy.  I could see a fan of Harley Quinn overpaying for art from her first appearance, especially the near iconic cover art of Batman Adventures #12.  Again, with cover and interior art by Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett, investors are attracted by the character rather than the artists.

I’m delighted by something on the top edge of the cover for Harley Quinn’s first comic appearance.  The comic is aimed at kids with art in more of an animated style.  Apparently, DC editors were running a contest in 1993 where lucky fans could “Win Original Batman Adventures Art – Details inside”!  Wouldn’t it be something if a kid won the first interior page featuring Harley Quinn or even the cover art for issue 12.  That kid could be about 40 years old today and ready to cash in big time!  Of course, he or she could have let their baby brother or sister color it with crayons, too.

Your Turn, Shock and Art!

It’s your turn to throw out some ideas of what art will be the next Zeck Spider-Man page selling for millions.  No Jack Kirby, Frank Frazetta, or Bernie Wrightson, please!  I think Bronze Age art has a lot of potential, but you can go more modern and even focus on some big names.  Think about those trending characters and comics.  Of course, Spider-Man is always the blue-chip investment.  Give some rationale, possibly even some graphs and analyses.  And have fun… since very few of us can actually spend $3.36 million on a black and white drawing.

Signup_Footer After Zeck 3.3 Shock and Art: What's Next?*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not reflect investment advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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4 comments

nicholas Dalessandro March 1, 2022 - 11:36 am

I really love Djurdjevic as I found his artwork gracing cover of UF #4 variant… This book is so KEY that I believe that given 30 years from now it might command that high price… If I see any of his variants I pick them up…

Reply
Patrick Bain March 1, 2022 - 11:45 am

Nicholas, what a big dummy I am. I had Ultimate Fallout 4 in mind for this article and forgot to include it! I think your choice is an interesting one, but it could be a good play!

Reply
ABaer March 1, 2022 - 12:41 pm

Trying to keep as current as I can….
Hulk 181 cover
Conan 1 cover
X-men Giant size 1 cover
Daredevil 168 cover (especially if it has Electra’s name misspelled)
ASM 129 cover
ASM 316 Mcfarlane’s first Venom cover
Detective 880 Jock cover
Batman: Dark Knight 1 cover
Next Men 21: cover (or Dime Press 4 ?) with Hellboy
Star Slayer 2, back cover – Rocketeer first appearance.
Spawn 1 cover
New Mutants 97 or 98 cover

Reply
Patrick Bain March 1, 2022 - 1:13 pm

So, ABaer, you definitely have some of the creme-de-la-creme here. Specifically, Hulk 181 and ASM 129 are Bronze foundational comics. I don’t think anyone would be shocked by phenomenal sales prices for ASM 316 and Dark Knight 1. I think your independent suggestions are good from the perspective of big prices, even if we don’t think millions is likely. On X-Men Giant-Size 1, that’s clearly iconic but I heard it was destroyed. Anyone know for sure?

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