Heritage Signature Auction 2023: Money-Money-Money

by Patrick Bain

HA-Sig-Preview-1024x536 Heritage Signature Auction 2023: Money-Money-MoneyIf you’ve got the money, honey–Heritage Signature Auction 2023 for comics and comic art is the place to be.  Let’s preview the diverse original comic art offerings.  Maybe there’s something even for those with only ‘money’ singular.

Heritage Signature Auction 2023: A Veritable Cornucopia

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Every Heritage Signature Comic and Comic Art auction offers unbelievable, significant works.  This one is no different.  I would say the January 2023 event has NO high-end breathtaking piece.  But listings include a broad range of pieces by favorites like Jack Kirby, Todd McFarlane, John and Sal Buscema, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, John Byrne, and Dave Cockrum.

Speaking of Dave Cockrum, bidders jumped right in to make cover art for X-Men 98 an early leader.  The leader bid $126K as of 12/29/2022.  It will certainly surpass the $144K spent on Cockrum’s X-Men 106 cover last April.  It presents better (IMO) than his X-Men 107 art featuring the Starjammers.  That art sold for a whopping $360K last January.

Jack Kirby’s DC Fourth World and Beyond

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For the Jack Kirby devotee with ‘money’ singular, Kirby’s DC creations present a great opportunity.  While not as significant as his early Silver Age work, characters like Mister Miracle and the New Gods should be around for a long time.

Current offerings include two Mister Miracle panel pages, two Forever People panel pages, and a Jimmy Olsen Kirby page.  Beyond these, other DC pieces available in this auction include art for The Demon and Kamandi, the Last Boy On Earth.

I like the Mister Miracle page more than the others because he is a distinctive character prominently featured.  For comparison purposes, one Mister Miracle page with similar ‘action’ sold in 2021 for just under $6,000.  A better page last year sold for $18,000, but it came from Mister Miracle 4 and featured Big Barda.  For the other art, both Demon pages sport a lot of action.  I’m not sure about the long-term affection for the Demon among fans.

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I’ll also throw a bone to Kirby fans with big bucks.  Four terrific Thor pages are available.  Three of them hail from 1964 including the title splash from Journey Into Mystery #107.  Another JIM splash from 1964 sold for $84K at the beginning of 2022.  Many panel pages from that period of JIM sold from roughly twenty to thirty grand this last year.  I would expect the two-panel pages featuring Thor (one from Avengers and the other from JIM) to go on the high end of that range.

A Family Affair: John and Sal Buscema

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When you talk about comics being a family business, the Marvel family owes a lot to John and Sal Buscema.  Considering his skills and the significance of his Marvel works, I’ve always considered John’s art to be accessible to the ordinary collector.  The huge number of pages coupled with the abundance of Conan work plays a factor.  Based on a quick review of recent sales, that statement is still true.  But I see JB’s high-end superhero art charging upward fast like a lot of the other prominent late Silver/early Bronze artists.

This auction features some art from 1968 to 1972 (superhero), and Wolverine and Conan pages from the Eighties.

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Brother Sal spent most of his long productive career focused on Marvel superheroes.  Even though I rate John a little higher than Sal, Sal owns the distinction of four cover sales over $100K compared to only two for John at HA.  Spectacular Spider-Man 180 cover art by Sal should fetch a nice price in the upcoming auction.  Green Goblin confronts Spidey on that cover from 1991.

I do NOT expect it to reach six figures, but stranger art sales have occurred recently.  Twenty-five grand would be a price aligned with prior 2022 Spectacular Spider-Man cover sales.  Panel art from this series and from Incredible Hulk promise reasonable prices on one of the pillars of the Marvel bullpen.

He Lives: Bernie Wrightson Frankenstein

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If you enjoy the fine penmanship of Bernie Wrightson, expect to pay high dollars for anything from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein.  Two pages from Wrightson’s masterwork grace the upcoming Heritage Signature Auction.  These will likely exceed $100K.

Art depicting Frankenstein sold for about a quarter of a million in 2020.  The wraparound cover for the book sold for $1.2 million in 2019.

It’s Not All About Image

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Before and after founding Image, super artists like Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld made massive contributions to DC and Marvel.  How about some McFarlane Spider-Man, Lee Batman Hush art, or Rob Liefeld Cable?  These and much more can be found.

Heritage Signature Auction 2023 Fair Warning

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I’ve only scratched the surface.  My recent articles looked at Tim Sale Daredevil Yellow art.  It’s here, too.  More of the Jim Aparo Death in the Family pages show up as well.  Sam Kieth, John Romita, Jr., Simon Bisley, or John Byrne may tickle your fancy.  Maybe you want brand new Venom 5 Variant art by Gabriele Dell’Otto.  It’s kid in a candy store time!  Sometimes our Eyes and Hearts are bigger than our Wallets and Heads.  So fair warning, when the auctioneer makes that final request for bids, it may be best to pass.  But if you have money-money-money, there are sure to be some museum-quality pieces available.

And if you are feeling generous, I’d be happy to leave my home address with GoCollect so you could send something my way!

012822A2-1 Heritage Signature Auction 2023: Money-Money-Money*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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patrickbain2012 January 12, 2023 - 8:12 pm

Early auction results: Whopping $432,000 paid for Dave Cockrum’s X-Men 98 cover art. Even though I said it presented better than his X-Men 107 art that sold for $360K, I’m still surprised by this final price.

patrickbain2012 January 12, 2023 - 8:14 pm

Jim Aparo Death in the Family Batman 427 complete chapters sold for the more reasonable prices I expected: $72K and $55K.


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