Do you prefer buying art by someone whose fame originated from a marginal character, possibly an avant-garde mini-series? Or alternatively, do you like artists with a long track record in the industry working on the best characters? For sure, a few artists like Dave Gibbons on Watchmen created transcendent works. But for the ordinary collector, give me name-brand characters. Today, I’ll spotlight original art by Mark Bagley. His long productive career includes Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Batman, and the Justice League.
Ultimate Spider-Man Team-Up: Bendis-Bagley
Here’s a great example of what will make Mark Bagley’s art relevant years after he puts away his pencil: Ultimate Spider-Man. Bagley and Brian Michael Bendis teamed up for the first 111 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man. That’s eight consecutive years! Pretty impressive, considering how frequently creators change titles these days. Three Ultimate Spider-Man pages show up in the upcoming ComicLink auction.
Similar pages sold in 2021 for $300 to $500 at HA. Based on current bid, these will probably go somewhat higher. Both pages featuring Spider-Man get a CAT R4 grade (roughly 2/3 of page features Spider-Man).
Spotlight on Mark Bagley Art
If you like drama, how about this 2/3 splash from Batman #688? This page would present like a pinup. Now how would you value a pencil and ink Batman unpublished pinup with this pose compared to this page of published original art? Direct from the artist commissioned art creates a fantastic way to connect with favorite artists. For long-term value, I prefer published pages where a collector could pull out their own copy of Batman 688 and see the art they’ve purchased.
In a similar vein, re-creation art offers a less expensive alternative to published art. It won’t command the same dollars when resold, though. Take Sal Buscema’s Avengers Annual 4 published art compared to his re-creation art as an example. Both pages sold in 2020 within a month at HA. The published art sold for forty times more.
Speaking of the Avengers
Going back to spotlight more Marvel art, Mark Bagley has some Mighty Avengers pages for sale as well. Team art often features a myriad of heroes. Mighty Avengers #8 art doesn’t disappoint in this case: Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, and a Venomized Giant Woman all show up.
Action or Landscapes–what would you prefer? Mighty Avengers Bagley art (with hero prominently featured), sold last month for under $300.
Why Mark Bagley Art
Years ago I was at Toys R Us. They were promoting a MasterCard with Spider-Man’s picture on it. And bonus, it came with a Spider-Man print by Mark Bagley and a collector tin. Just like my Spider-Man credit card that I enjoyed for years, the same is even more true about original Bagley art. Price-wise, it is still very accessible. And, of artists following in the Spidey-style of Todd McFarlane, I think Bagley draws a very nice Spider-Man.
Don’t forget to follow my X-Men adventures on Facebook: Comic Reading Library. I’ll soon roll out some articles with the Price is Right theme. I’ll provide some historical data, you guess what a piece of art might sell for. Closest without going over wins the prize–dubbed Honorable Art Seer!