What are your Rich Buckler career highlights: 1974-1976 Fantastic Four run, mid to late 80’s Spectacular Spider-Man or Saga of the Sub-Mariner, a host of Bronze age DC covers? Buckler, who passed away in 2017, had the skills to please fans looking for the next Kirby, Buscema, or Adams. We’ll talk about Rich Buckler original art and preview the September ComicConnect art auction.
No Drama, Just Good Art
Oftentimes, I come to this column to pontificate on original art featuring the first appearance of the Punisher, or a Zeck Spider-Man page that exceeded three million dollars. No drama or heartburn over runaway prices in this column. Just a preview of some good art at auction by a VERY good artist. So, let’s jump right in!
He’s not the Punisher, but Man-Thing first ‘graced’ a comic book cover for Astonishing Tales #13. That’s not his first appearance, just the first time to appear on the front of a comic. As a bonus, you get Ka-Zar and Zabu. Check out ComicConnect’s video on the cover art for Astonishing Tales #13 to decide for yourself.
For comparison purposes, the title splash for this issue also dramatically portrays Man-Thing and Ka-Zar. It sold for just under $1,000 in 2012. However, the cover of Ka-Zar #16 would be a better comparison; it sold way back in 2014 for just under $3,000. Expect this one to sell higher due to art inflation and the special interest surrounding Man-Thing.
More Rich Buckler Original Art
Ka-Zar and Man-Thing don’t make the A-List of Marvel heroes, but Daredevil does. Buckler didn’t do interior pencils on very many Daredevil stories, but ComicConnect is offering three pages from Daredevil #101. This one is the most dramatic with Daredevil owning the page (CAT R6). However, for Black Widow fans, another CAT R5 page sports Daredevil and Natasha. Three other panel pages from Daredevil #101 sold at HA in 2020. Prices ranged from $500 to just under $1,300. If the above art does not sell for more than $1,300, that could suggest a weakening in the art market. I expect it to exceed that price.
Rich Buckler’s MCU Creation: Deathlok
With the explosion of the MCU, one could ask, what Marvel characters have NOT made it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Deathlok can claim membership after joining the MCU in Season One of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Astonishing Tales #27 Page 17 original art features an early appearance of Deathlok by creator Rich Buckler.
Creator-illustrated art is a plus for collectors. I give this page a CAT R4. Compare to a similar page of art that sold at HA in 2021 for $3,000. But that price seems exorbitant, considering action-packed Avengers and Fantastic Four pages sold in the $3,500 to $3,800 range in 2022. Nonetheless, we’ll see what happens with this one.
Rich Buckler Past Sales Graph
The old adage still applies; past performance is no guarantee of future returns. However, it is an indicator! In the Comic Art Trends Price Guide, I include a variety of graphs each with a different perspective. The above graph summarizes sales data for Rich Buckler by year. In particular, it focuses on sales of interior splash and panel pages at HA.
The bar chart shows how many sales occurred in each year. The moving average for sales price helps to smooth out the effect of a few big sales. This graph needs an update to include the last few years as well as to incorporate additional sales from sources outside of HA.
Rich Buckler Original Art Wrap Up
Returning to my initial question, Superman vs. Shazam in All-New Collectors’ Edition C-58 highlights my Rich Buckler memories. Whether you favor Buckler’s early Marvel, Bronze DC, or even independent work, his art remains accessible to collectors in many price ranges.