Jim Lee’s Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?

by Patrick Bain

Jim-Lee-300x157 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?On April 8, Jim Lee tweeted about his hand.  To quote Jim Lee, “Hand is doing well—drawing for the first time in some time. Pretty ecstatic actually :D”.  I didn’t realize Lee had an issue with his hand, but to an artist, obviously that’s devastating.  The parallel to athletes with injuries makes for an accurate simile.  So, assuming Jim Lee’s drawing hand itches to illustrate, what would you like to see him draw?  All ideas welcome regardless of corporate alliances.  And just to give you some ideas, in this article we’ll review some of the spectacular works to his credit and some actual art sales.

What Jim Lee Art Deserves a Hand?

Batman-Hush-TPB-by-Jim-Lee-and-Scott-Williams-300x226 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?First, let’s make it about YOU!  With news that Jim Lee’s hand is doing well, what do you wish he would grab pencil and paper to illustrate?  Perhaps, early works like Punisher, monumental works like X-Men, independent characters like WildC.A.T.S., or hush, let’s say it together: Batman!  Recent sales on Ghost Rider and Fantastic Four art suggest that whatever Jim Lee puts his hand to, will probably turn out awesome.

Recent Sales Prices for Lee

Uncanny-X-Men-277-Page-8-Featuring-Storm-and-the-Starjammers-197x300 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?We’ll look at some recent Lee sales.  Surgeon general warning:  If prone to fits of envy, lust, or greed, check out my article on Hoarding.  Because Lee art is typically not cheap!  But I do care about the hands of people who like to smash their fist into the wall when they see original art prices.  So, I’ll review the high end, the ten to twenty grand range, and the “cough cough” low end.

Fantastic-Four-3-1997-199x300 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?First up, a panel page from X-Men #277 featuring  Storm and Starjammers.  At over $33K this April, it’s far from the most enormous Lee sale.  However, as an interior panel page, that price reflects a lot of respect and love for Jim Lee’s art.  This particular art is 30 years old, so it is far from modern.  However, art from this era never faced the danger of extinction from dumping or shredding.

Cover art featured on the 3rd issue of Fantastic Four (Volume 2) gave us bonus heroes.  Captain America, Namor, and Thor bring extra passion to the Jim Lee/Scott Williams art.  The final price of $43,200 last January puts it out of my range.  But in November 2020, covers for Ghost Rider #5 and Uncanny X-Men #268 sold for $72K and $300K, respectively.  So maybe the FF cover wasn’t too bad a price (here’s where we add a winky face).  A similar spectacular price of 132 grand was paid for a two-page X-Men splash in January.

If You’ve Got a Spare Ten to Twenty Grand

Punisher-War-Journal-17-Page-6-210x300 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?Maybe you are willing and able to pay up for Jim Lee hand-drawn art, just not crazy prices.  Many pieces recently fetched a mere ten to twenty grand at auction (here’s where we add another winky face).  The Punisher War Journal page here fetched just under $10,000 in January.  Recent WildC.A.T.S. panel pages have fallen in the same 10 to 20 range.  Interestingly, those pages must be more in-demand than the 1990 Punisher.  Perhaps the similar style and appearance to X-Men pages plays a factor.

All-Star-Batman-and-Robin-featuring-Black-Canary-300x233 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?Some collector got a kick out of this two-page Black Canary splash from All-Star Batman and Robin.  The art from 2005 sold last year for $13,200.  Generally, if wanting to save some bucks but still get art by the masters, look for their more recent pieces.

Raise Your Hand for Dirt Cheap Jim Lee Art

Stormwatch-47-Page-4-195x300 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?Dirt cheap is a relative term.  In fact, I remember when garden soil was free.  Now I pay six bucks for a bag at Wal-Mart.  So just like good dirt, you also get what you pay for with Jim Lee art.  But, we can find some interesting stuff for under $2,000.  Maybe some stuff for under $500 if the budget is limited but you’ve just GOT to have some Jim Lee!  Starting on the lower end, Image art for Divine Right and Savage Dragon can be found in the $500 range.  These pieces won’t POP for the average collector, so I suggest only true Lee fans buy his lowest-end works.  For $500, it’s possible to pick up much more dynamic pages featuring mainstream characters by other artists.

Batman-Europa-1-Page-28-by-Giuseppe-Camuncoli-and-Jim-Lee-202x300 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?Still ‘cheap’, but higher quality, consider some of Lee’s most recent art, such as Batman Europa with Giuseppe Camuncoli.  These pages from 2016 feature tremendous art and grade A character, but can be found in the $1,500 to $2,000 range.  Just as a recommendation, every artist, even legends, has low-price works, but it’s probably best to pay a little more.  Alternatively, there are hundreds of awesome artists and not all cost what art from Jim Lee costs.

Jim Lee Art for Sale

Wildcats-Covert-Action-Team-31-Page-18-by-Jim-Lee-and-Richard-Bennett-201x300 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?Let’s finish with a few pieces of art that are actually available for purchase.  Open for bidding in May through Heritage Auctions, four pages from WildC.A.T.S. should fetch similar prices as what was mentioned above.  With a few recent comparables, bidders can determine if the prices are low or high compared to recent sales.  The splash from WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Team #31 Jim Lee and Richard Bennet pictured here obviously has good visual appeal for your favorite wall.

Like you, I wouldn’t mind owning some Jim Lee art, but I would probably wait to get something featuring some of his best-known characters.  And, like any collectible, find something you love.  Jim Lee’s art was also featured in X-Men Artists That Rock.  IF you want to think about your buying from a more analytical investment perspective, you may want to check out articles by Jestin Davis and Joe Overaitis.

Concert-POster-FooterOption-2 Jim Lee's Hand Doing Well: What Should He Draw?

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Matt C May 13, 2021 - 4:18 pm

Thank you for adding original art posts to the site Patrick and please keep them coming. I am actually the one who purchased the Punisher War Journal page from Heritage. Unfortunately after taxes it did cross the $10K mark(higher than I wanted to go), but I have to say I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

Patrick Bain May 14, 2021 - 8:37 pm

Thanks for reading Matt! I don’t think you can go wrong. In fact, I feel you got a better buy than what was paid for the WildC.A.T.S. pages! Jim Lee is covered in the 2020 Comic Art Trends Price Guide.

mcurrie22 June 18, 2021 - 5:13 pm

Sorry to post twice. I was getting an error message each time I tired to post. Hopefully this goes through too cause I happen to be the nut that just bought the Punisher War Journal 7 Page 13 Punisher vs Wolverine Splash.. I was hoping to see you do an article on the auction, and I was also curious to hear your thoughts on the crazy $73K price tag I ended up paying.

Patrick Bain June 19, 2021 - 12:38 am

Phenomenal page of art! Congratulations! Paying anything for a piece of paper featuring pencil and ink drawings of imaginary characters is crazy…regardless of price. So, how long would you have to keep this art to achieve a great return on investment? That depends on whether you think we are peaking in the collectible market. Jim Lee art is not that old and his fans still have many years of peak collecting ahead. Since ComicLink compared it to the cover of that comic, let’s do so also. That art sold in 2016 for $23,900. Calculating the Compounded Growth Rate (CGR) that would be roughly 26%. That’s probably a little high especially since our comparison is to a cover and not the same page of art. However, owning stock in your E*Trade account doesn’t look as nice on the wall. So enjoy responsibly! I would love to hear more of your insights and collector interests on my Comic Art Trends Advisors page if you are on Facebook.

MCurrie 22 June 21, 2021 - 6:39 pm

I messaged you on Facebook if I got the right Comic Art page. I don’t use Facebook except for comic books, so I go by my middle name on it which is Mark.

MCurrie 22 May 13, 2021 - 4:25 pm

Thank you for adding original art posts to the site Patrick and please keep them coming. I actually happen to be the one who purchased the Punisher War Journal page. Unfortunately after taxes it ended up costing me just over $10K(more than I was looking to spend initially), but I have to say I couldn’t be happier with my purchase all said and done.


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