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  1. Wasn't the whereabouts of this cover revealed in an old Felix Comic Art podcast?
  2. Yeah, "grail" or "Grail" is a loaded word and is badly overused/misused in this hobby. I'm not a strict Grail-stitutionalist; there is no one piece that I would forsake all others to own (yes, at least one person here has made the argument that this is the only definition of a Grail). The next level down from that is there being one single piece that you love more than any other one single piece, which is a definition I can get behind as a one true Grail, though, I will sometimes refer to a grail with a lower-case "g" when referring to, say, a top 5 or 10 most wanted type of piece. And, when I say "most wanted", I mean in absolute terms, not just the most wanted piece that you can afford. If someone says that an Alex Saviuk Spidey strip is their grail, well, unless that particular strip somehow has special personal meaning, I'm going to call bs on that, because to be a grail or Grail, that means that strip is more desirable to you than all the other Spidey art out there. And, if you think that example is ridiculous, well, we all have seen countless examples of people calling budget art their grail or Grail when we know that, 99% of the time, it's just not the case. But, I digress. I think the better question than "do you hold out for a super grail or buy as you go along" would be the less loaded question of "do you hold out for that example that has everything you want, or, do you settle for a merely good enough example or even just a placeholder?"
  3. 1983 is my cut-off for Boris purely because his style started to change a lot from then on vs. what he did in 1982 and previously. 1983 and 1984 are two of my all-time favorite years for comics and pop culture. But, I find that Boris' work from that era is very hit or miss. And, then, from 1985-onward, it is consistently more miss than hit for my tastes.
  4. Yeah, I remember talking to someone at Heritage back then and they said they had bought out a huge Boris collection (don't remember if it was from Boris himself or a rabid collector) that would keep their auctions stocked for years. I have fond memories of Boris' paperback covers from when I was a kid, and have had 4-5 Boris pieces go through my collection over the years. The nostalgia is still there, but, the desire to own any examples has disappeared. I'm generally a fan of most of his work through 1982. I only like a handful of his pieces from 1983-onward, though.
  5. Well, no doubt if the all-Romita version had been published as ASM #82, and the Severin/Romita version had been published as, say, ASM #83, the nicer drawn all-Romita cover would undoubtedly blow the Severin/Romita cover out of the water at auction, as you said. And the all-Romita version does look about $80K more expensive with the ASM trade dress on it than the Marvel Tales dressing! That said, given that the all-Romita cover was published 5 years later as a Marvel Tales cover and doesn't have the nostalgia and cachet of being a published pre-#100 cover from the main run, I'm not sure how much of a premium - if any - it would have over the published ASM #82 cover in a side-by-side auction. I'm not saying that it couldn't (or even shouldn't) trade at a premium, but, I suspect that many people would rather have the published #82 cover for various reasons (nostalgia, cachet, etc.) The unpublished #82/Marvel Tales #63 cover is definitely for someone who is more of a purist when it comes to the art itself, which, as you said and I concur, is Romita at his best. That said, I do think the fact that was unpublished as an ASM cover and ended up as the cover in the reprint title could handicap it somewhat - I mean, the unpublished Kirby X-Men #10 cover didn't exactly fly off the dealer shelves (and it's nicer than the published version) when it was available/offered, and the ASM #97 unpublished cover you nabbed at Heritage (which had some questions about the statted figure/art underneath, to be sure) sold for pennies on the dollar of where the published cover would be valued at even though being extremely nice itself. From a market point of view, there is a big benefit attached to being published in the main run. Just my ...not making any definitive judgments here, just playing devil's advocate. I actually think it would be fascinating to auction these off side-by-side and see how they do.
  6. Syfy Channel had their new documentary Todd McFarlane: Like Hell I Won't on a couple nights ago. I haven't finished watching it yet. They also did a Zoom panel with Todd, Marc Silvestri and J. Scott Campbell, moderated by a Boardie, as part of the virtual SDCC activities the past few days. EDIT: Just finished watching both. Really fun stuff.
  7. I don't know any buyers of this stuff personally, but, I follow some collectors on social media and YouTube and read about them in the post-auction press coverage as well. A lot of them love the action, a lot of them are ego-driven (as with any collectibles hobby), but, there are guys who are super passionate about this stuff as well. This guy seems to be the biggest whale in the hobby, and some of his collection can be seen on Instagram.
  8. I'm a big Sienkiewicz fan, but, I understand why the market values the Pollard cover higher: 1. Cosmic Marvel premium 2. Sienkiewicz not associated at all with FF 3. Sinnott inks really mute most of the Sienkiewicz-ness of the cover, which, as it has been noted, was not really developed by 1980 anyway 4. Lots of black ink on that Pollard cover - remember the Black Ink Laffer Curve for OA pricing That said, if it was for my own collection, I'd prefer the Sienkiewicz/Sinnott collaboration, which is a more interesting and better drawn cover. If it was for re-selling or trading, I'd probably take the Pollard cover, though.
  9. Yes, it was at Profiles in December. Sold for $25K hammer to a floor bidder, so, $30K with the 20% non-iCollector BP.
  10. Here's the current crop of PWCC Auctions' offerings on eBay. It isn't an extraordinary grouping by any measure and yet LOOK AT THE PRICES. Also look at how many of the 4, 5 and 6-figure bids are for refractors, relics/patches and other graded "hit"/"chase"/variant cards - all recent manufactured collectibles by any other name. The current modern sports card mania is so huge that it blows everything else away. Nothing surprises me at all in comic art anymore. Even digital art on a blockchain for $7K makes a ton more sense to me than what we're seeing in trading cards these days.
  11. Talking about sports cards. The modern sports card market is nothing like it used to be if you collected in the '70s,' 80s or early '90s. Nowadays, it's all about the "hits" - numbered variants (1/250, 1/150, 1/99, 1/50, 1/25, 1/5, 1/1, etc.) including refractor and superfractor (1/1) cards (different colored versions of the normal "base" card - nobody cares about regular base cards anymore, it's 100% all about the "hits" - with a shimmering coating), autograph cards, swatch/relic cards (whereby a piece of a uniform or equipment is inserted onto the card). Basically all of the things that comic book fans realized in the '90s were gimmicks and totally artificial. But, it's achieved monumental heights of belief in sports cards. A LeBron James rookie card (edition of 23) with a jersey swatch and autograph, just fetched $1.845 million (!!!) at auction. A 2009 Mike Trout rookie card recently sold for $900K at auction (and it's not even the rarest variant!) A Michael Jordan/LeBron James dual patch card also sold for $900K this year. Lest you think these are outliers, check out PWCC Auctions' weekly eBay auctions - every week there are gimmick cards hitting 4, 5, even 6 figures - I mean we're not talking about a handful of cards, we're talking about dozens of them, maybe even hundreds (almost all of the manufactured collectible variety). It's more frothy and speculative than any other collectibles market you've ever seen. And, yet, it's also telling that this is what many collectors are into these days, while not giving a hoot about the blue chip vintage cards. So, yeah, similarly, if modern OA or digital OA or comic book movie props or whatever else go to the moon, I don't think it necessarily has to feed back to vintage OA at all.
  12. I disagree. 1. The person who buys crypto art isn't very likely to be interested in traditional OA, just as the person who invests in crypto is very unlikely to be interested in fiat currencies. Heck, there isn't even much crossover between newer, modern OA buyers and vintage OA collectors (some, but, not much in the grand scheme of things, and it's mostly older collectors dabbling in the newer stuff rather than the other way around) 2. Unlike many here, I'm not dismissing things like this out of hand. Being a dabbler in trading cards, but, following that market with great fascination, we've seen that a lot of newer, manufactured collectible cards are now fetching far more money than their vintage counterparts - it seems/it is absurd, but, that's what the moneyed younger collectors are into (and a lot of older collectors have become converts, because that's where the money/action is). That said, again, there is very little traffic going the other way - I hear people talk all the time about how people who see the movies or buy newer art will inevitably go back to get the truly scarce/important/seminal vintage art. Well, it's not really happening, either in OA or in trading cards. Anyway, digital art on a blockchain that might be worth more than an actual physical piece by the same artist? Sure, why not. I can see it, but, don't think it's necessarily going to have any impact whatsoever on the physical OA market. 3. That said, 2020 is not going to end up being the baseline to draw any conclusions about the future. There are things going on now in markets that are plainly unsustainable. So, if digital art on a blockchain just ends up being a fad that flames out, I won't be surprised if that happens either.
  13. Yeah, it was 2 years ago. I remember because I was the underbidder. It's a really great piece, much nicer than the published cover.
  14. I'd take the published ASM #82 cover over the Marvel Tales #63 cover. I agree that the latter is nicer, but, main run pre-#100 ASM I think is going to trump the nicer all-Romita drawing that only saw print years later in the reprint title for many of us. For better or worse, we all remember what every ASM cover from the era looked like, but, I suspect that most of us would struggle to remember the Marvel Tales covers.