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About ESeffinga

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    Collectosaurus Rex

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  1. ESeffinga

    This is why no one likes the Donnellys

    Overlays, and removable stats are one thing. Here's an example that veers into the Ink "restoration" topic. I've posted about this on the board before. I don't think I included pictures. I've been around. I've been aware of the brothers for a long time. I've heard the stories. I've seen the fabled booth and negotiating tactics. I'd long written off ever dealing with them. And then one day I missed an auction on Heritage for a Paul Pope Escapo piece I really wanted. I totally spaced on the auction, and even managed to mindlessly delete the reminder when I got it. And the piece sold for far less than I wold have paid for it. ! Then about a month later, it pops up on the CL site for sale with the usual "Inqure". Double-! Did I mention I really wanted the piece badly? Escapo pieces in the wild are RARE. As in, I can only think of 4 or 5 published Escapo pieces in the wild, including one I own and this one that the Brothers now have up for sale. Because of this, and my very serious desire for the piece, I held my nose and hit that inquire button. The response was typical for the brothers. Steve wrote me back with a list of Paul Pope pieces they had for sale. 2 or 3 unrelated pieces of art, lower in price, and then the piece I was asking about, at right around 3xs what it had sold for at Heritage now a couple months prior. When Heritage posted the scans of the piece, I thought that portions looked really faded. More so than the usual marker fade that some Pope pieces have. Paul had a penchant for using these brush pens, and one brand of them tends to fade to a dark to medium sepia color. I've seen a number of his originals from this time period, and own another Escapo piece that has this. I'm fine with it, but the scan posted on the site makes the piece look like all black ink. I figure they just have manipuated the scan in photoshop to present the piece better than it actually is, and I just want to make sure the art hasn't been tampered with. So I ask if it's been in any way touched or tampered with. Any re-inking? Are the faded marker areas there, etc? I ask for a photo of the art, rather than a scan. I figure if it's been toyed with, I'll be able to see it. I also wanted to see where and how the art is drawn on the art board. I figure if it has any wonky edges or whatever, they've probably cropped them, etc. Sure enough, I get the photo back, and they'd definitely messed with the for sale scan on their site. In the photo, i looks like the fading marker is there, but it's definitely darker looking than the Heritage scan. But the Heritage scan faded markers looked REALLY faded. Almost like the scan was done overly bright or contrasty. I assumed the truth was probably somewhere between the shadowy photo Steve sent, and the Heritage scan. Seemed reasonable. After reiterating I wouldn't be accepting the piece if it was in any way altered, and being assured it was all original, I bought it. Against my better judgement, and for so far above market, it was silly. BUT I didn't have any plans to sell it. I did figure if the fading as really extreme and in danger of losing that machine portion of the art, I'd contect Paul and Felix and see about having Paul possibly re-ink it while he's still in his prime. I even went so far as to reach out to Paul via social media, and after a couple private chats, he said he'd be happy to set that up. I was jazzed to have it coming to me, but still feeling nagging unease. So I very anxiously (not excited, but nervously) awaited it's arrival. And I knew within 2 minutes of cutting the package open, that it was going back. I was so mad in fact, I never took it out of the plastic bag it was inside of, mounted to the back of a packing board. So I never even bothered to totally unwrap it. And to my regret, didn't take better pictures of either. I wish I'd documented the extent of the damage. Because that's what it was. Not restoration, but damage. To Steve D's credit, as soon as I explained how it had clearly been gone over with a marker and pens to darken down the faded lines, and showed him the Heritage scan and then his photo, and my shot of the date circle. And explained all the places I could see where someone had done a less than stellar job of trying to darken everything down, Steve said he'd be happy to take it back for a full refund. And he did. He paid for the art, and the original shipping to get it to me. When confronted about the "retouching" he said that it wasn't his piece, it belonged to his brother, but as far as he knew it wasn't bought from Heritage, it was bought at NYCC, right before they listed it for sale. So basically, claiming ignorance about any retouching, just saying he thought it looked great as-is. Whatever. So I sent it back. I got my money back. I can't say whether they had any inkling it was reworked, or if they'd been duped by someone at NYCC that year, but within days of my putting it back in the mail, the piece was relisted on the Coollines site for sale. Still with the original all black ink scan they created. No mention of everything I pointed out to them about the piece and someone having done work to it. As far as what was done to the art... MOST of the faded sepia marker was gone over with something darker. The Heritage scan was in fact pretty faithful to the fading. It definitely was more faded than most of these pieces I've seen from Paul. Must have seen a lot of sun. You can see at the base of the Heritage scan where it looks like it was in a frame and the orignal faded marker is not faded in a straight line across the base. Probably hidden in a mat in a frame. In these reduced scans, the re-inking might look pretty faithful. The original is another story altogether. Keep in mind Pope's originals are VERY big. You can see where the re-inker missed lines. Unsteadily re-inked lines. Inked lines next to the original faded marker lines rather than over them, so the peek in and out. Filled in areas that were originally circles or double lines, etc. Most look like what happens when someone traces a gestural mark, vs it being an actual gestural hand stroke. Or mis-interprets the fading details. And some things were left alone, like Pope's signature. Which just rubs your nose in the fact that it was reinked, partially. For someone like me, this piece is effectively ruined. And it's a damn shame, because all the figures are all Paul. He only used the later fading markers on background elements. Paul told me he only used these markers because Toth once told him to not be afraid to experiment and use any tools he could get his hands on. Ironically, Toths work is often a faded marker mess. And Paul told me he regrets having used these markers then. So that's what I have to offer. The Heritage Scan: The Photo from Coollines: A closeup of reinked lines over the original faded sepia ones:
  2. ESeffinga

    Nostalgia vs. Craft in Original Art

    The nostalgia for millennials more than likely will be for things we can’t even think of. If people had known just how big cowboys would be, or superheroes, or Star Wars, or musicals, or rock n roll. Could as likely be a resurgence of interest in a video game, or hell for all we know they’ll be desperate for a beanie baby movie. Pokémon, YuGiOh. Hot for a Hannah Montana reboot or who can say? The fracturing of the zeitgeist by the Internet into sliver sized fragments of popular interest for current generations means having one huge audience is less likely than ever. Game of Thrones seems a universal hit by HBO number standards, but compared to Network TV numbers of the 80s? Anything seems as likely as comics, to me. I don’t discount that comic based characters might be a continuing nostalgia trend, but I personally wouldn’t count on comic art being a huge beneficiary of it. But what do I know.
  3. ESeffinga

    Framing Options - Opinions Needed

    Not 100% necessarily. Sounds like it could also be a mis-understood description of the process. Or even a new process. I'd ask more questions. To me it sounds like they are possibly talking about something like a Japanese hinge (not dextrose, but starch based). IMO this is THE archival method for framing art. 100% reversible with no damage, and more secure and intentionally destructive method (to the hinge) to preserve the art in case of a hard fall the hinge will tear before the art does). Those archival corners can potentially become a hindrance/cause potential tear hazards. In the interest of full disclosure, I have pieces with both, so take that FWIW. But definitely don't do anything involving any 100% irreversible mounting methods, ever.
  4. ESeffinga

    Keeping your collection private

    Me as well. That is a terrible blow. I think on some ways the members here can see it as a cautionary tale, and I agree with Ankur that future/estate planning would make a very worthy topic for this board, and I suspect we might all learn a little something from such a thing.
  5. ESeffinga

    Keeping your collection private

    There are favorites and then there is a grail. There wasn’t more than one Jesus cup. It was the be all end all quest. If you have many interests and many favorites in categories, that’s totally great. Using the word Grail plural is simply a misunderstanding misapplication of the point of the term. It’s not supposed to be subcategorized or tiered in an org chart. It is a single pinnacle item. FWIW, I too have favorites in many categories. And as such I don’t believe I have a grail, as there is no single one quest piece for me. For some folks there is. And all others pieces are ancillary/subordinate to it.
  6. ESeffinga

    Keeping your collection private

    I only ever thought the metaphor of a black hole collection followed the understanding of it's namesake's defining characteristics in popular understanding. i.e. 1. You can not see it with the naked eye. 2.Once something goes in, it does not come out. Any other "interpretations" are missing the point of the metaphor and are using the term incorrectly. FWIW, the same goes with the term "Grail", i.e. the reference to the Hold Grail... THE cup Jesus drank from during the last supper, and more importantly, it's reference within the Arthur legend and referencing trying to find it, or having found it. The point being some folks have that ONE illusive piece of work that they are chasing, or on a quest to acquire. There can't be "grails" plural. It defies the entire purpose of the metaphor. It's a typical misuse of the term, not unlike the love of using the word literally when they don't actually mean literally, etc. When folks say something like "I found another grail", it speaks more of their understanding of the language and their collecting habits (and hyperbole) than it does of the piece they've picked up. Ultimately it's not a huge deal, but some of us do notice and it may effect the way in which we evaluate someone's opinions on topics. My .02¢
  7. ESeffinga

    Keeping your collection private

    I see all kinds of methods. Grouped by cover, panel pages, ads, etc. Grouped by publisher. Grouped by title. Grouped by character, etc.
  8. ESeffinga

    Keeping your collection private

    Just spitballing, but with Facebook, I do have to give credit that the Art groups I've tried following are often curated. i.e. not just any old schmuck can post to them. The group managers keep tabs on who is posting what. Some are more freewheeling than others, but it wouldn't surprise me if it keeps the titty tracers out of the mix which, let's be honest, CAF does allow to a maddening degree in the interests of participation by all. Even though many of us wish some folks would get booted or flagged in a way that we could set their accounts to ignore when we view the site.
  9. ESeffinga

    Keeping your collection private

    For clarity I was just referencing this bit. The sexual undertone thing was my extrapolating from what you said. Though maybe you have mentioned it and it subconsciously stuck. You're right either way though.
  10. ESeffinga

    Keeping your collection private

    That all said, I tend to post a fair amount of my collection on CAF. I was a very late adopter, given that I was aware of it within days of it's inception. I avoided it out of privacy concerns and the like. I'll occasionally swirl things around in the gallery a bit as to what's up or not, but I do find participating very rewarding. Especially as someone that doesn't do comic shows hardly at all anymore. Mostly because I find the shows all terribly alike, and thus boring. And I have a pretty severe antisocial streak to me. It's taken me decades to totally understand that. Having an active CAF has led me to making a handful of good friends with folks from around the country (and globe), and even more acquaintances that have made for some wonderful art deals to boot. Though it's the slightly removed social connection aspects of the board that have been most appealing. I've had many wonderful conversations with folks about artwork where we have shared mutual interest. I've learned a ton about artists I wasn't totally aware of, or even aware of at all. I've tried to inform some folks who didn't know as much or where looking to get into collecting, and I've had to wave off some other folks where were annoying me on occasion, or wouldn't take a hint regarding pieces not for sale. I've generally felt that the good that has come from my CAF gallery exposure outweighs the bad by a very large margin. That said, this all makes sense to me and my situation. If I had bought up all that Kirby instead of so much other art thta spoke to me personally on a deeper level, I would be sitting on a gold mine of potential fresh to market goodness. But then I wouldn't have had the more spiritually rewarding experience of living with the art that I do have a much deeper love of. And that's why I got into collecting. It wasn't to eek out every last dollar of potential future value. When I bought the work I have, it was never with future value in mind. And I know that makes me an aberration, but it's what's always worked for me. I can totally understand why some folks keep their work to themselves. The only thing that gets me are the folks that use CAF regularly to look for work, and buy work, and just view it for their own personal enjoyment, but don't contribute to the visual conversation themselves. I do understand that it's a practical way to be with certain types of art. But it's also a self-benefitting one. And hey, that's cool if that works for people that do that. No one's forcing anyone to participate or not. It's just that as someone who wants to actively engage with other collectors with similar interests, it always feels odd being pumped for information about an artist, where to find their work, etc. by someone who doesn't put themselves out there or contribute as well. Yeah, there are the comment fishers, the art flippers, and the comment miners (who seemingly get life affirmations by acquiring work though purchase or trade, post for tons of comments on their ability to pry work away from this person or that dealer, only to turn around and sell within 3 months so they can do the same with the next piece.) All of this is par for the course, but nothing take away from getting Christmas cards and emails out of the blue from friends you've made over the decades from just having posted up some of your artwork to the internet. And like Felix, I agree, I like the seeming permanence of the display, the comments, and the commitment to and from the site that Bill Cox has afforded us all with CAF. Facebook is fine for getting the latest updates/news from folks you know or whatever. But it is not a depository for Comic Art fandom. The only thing permanent about Facebook is it's ultimate impermanence.
  11. ESeffinga

    Keeping your collection private

    I think a lot of the "fresh to market" business is largely a case of the virgin/whore psychological reasoning that Felix touched on. There are clearly people who want to feel like they are the "only one", or at least the only one people remember as being associated with a given piece of art. The idea that someone else was there first and has a rep for having been the owner of it previously lessens the new owner's joy, or thrill they get out of having it. And when as Felix interjected, work has been passed around, it gives off the stigma of there something being wrong with it. The other thing that has a similar psychological effect is having work from a given artist be readily accessible or not at any given time. To give an example, there are plenty pieces that are listed seemingly permanently on eBay, CAF, etc. We've all seen examples. Or pieces that seem to endlessly sit on a dealer's or rep's website for years. Could be out of "high" pricing", or it could be out of disinterest in the material. But being around collecting long enough, you do find that just about everything ticks a box for someone and sells eventually. Buyer finds art and a match is made. Being around long enough, I remember when plenty of pieces that are fought over now were readily and easily available. Preacher, The Long Halloween, Sandman, days when it seemed like every other month someone was breaking up a book by Jack Kirby or Neal Adams. Today these things seldom happen. 20+ years ago it was a regularity. The objective truth here is that the work is the work. X-Men 1 is X-Men 1. It always will be, The content of those pages and their historical implications does not change because one person owned it, or a dozen have. It might change in someone's personal estimation of the work, if it came from the collection of someone well respected, or it may loose value in people's minds because it has been passed around over the years. I'd argue that part is all luck of the draw. though There have been plenty of pieces bought over the years and tucked away in collections to not be seen for decades, only to arise at some auction or in an individual's collection. SOme are crappy. Some are gems. Those works are what those works are and will always be. It's that seeing them and not knowing you could have had them... that tantalizing accumulation of the unobtainable. The piece the market didn't know was available seems to give some collectors an extra charge to obtain, or the auction that extra bit of bidding exuberance. In that regard, fresh to market is something more like nostalgia, which I think most agree is where much of the money is at in comic OA collecting. So while the work is always the same (unless some knucklehead's altred it), it's desirability as a piece of art theoretically shouldn't grow or diminish, excepting of course that it does. It does with nostalgia, and it does in that extra sense of being the first there, or being the one that dug it up, pried it loose, or otherwise got in ahead of the hundreds of others that would have done if they had seen it first or had the fatter wallet.
  12. ESeffinga

    Near six figure MTG art sales

    More MTG in the media. Had no idea it was still so popular. Seems to keep popping up in news stories.
  13. ESeffinga

    Best way to store OA?

    Stumbled across these on another board (about poster collecting), so I have no first hand experience, but there were some fans of these over there...
  14. Please, tell us more ways you would improve upon Romita’s work.