New podcast/video from Felix Comic Art (UPDATED 1/3/17!)
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I can appreciate and understand that each era's fans have their own favorites and will carry their own biases. However, if future generations stop caring about DKR, it won't be because it was supplanted by by HUSH/COURT OF OWLS/et al. It will be because they have stopped caring about Batman comics, across the board. Which wouldn't bode well for superhero comics, in general, either.

 

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1 hour ago, J.Sid said:

Too funny. The movie indeed came out in 1989. What year did they start development? 1986? Has to be a coincidence. Has to.

 

1979, actually. And Uslan has stated publicly that he intended to bring Batman back to his original dark noir roots.

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22 hours ago, vodou said:

Not anymore. Go back 10-15 years (admittedly a long time, but not nearly as long as how long Howard sat on them) and you'd be tripping over them. I'm sure the key sequences and splashes were snapped up a very long time ago, but otherwise so-called "decent" pages were plentiful and not selling for list.

Sorry, bouncing all over the place...

Yes, AF pages don't show up much these days, but 10-15 years ago, they were quite readily available. Mostly around $150-200. What's truly been scarce, even 10-15 years ago, are covers. Those almost never pop up.

Back in the '80s, AF was very much in the same conversation with DKR and WM in terms of edgy, forward-thinking mainstream books. The creators were all fans of each other's works. Alan Moore wrote an issue of AF. He wore a Mage shirt. All those books and creators were bunched much more closely together by fans and critics. 30 years later, DKR and WM have risen to the top, and the rest have been seemingly left behind. For a variety of reasons. Which also re-emphasizes the point...only time will tell what lasts.

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6 minutes ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

1979, actually. And Uslan has stated publicly that he intended to bring Batman back to his original dark noir roots.

I think he was saying the extraordinary attention, success, and hype surrounding DKR is what finally got the production fully greenlit and on the rails after 7 years of nothing happening. 

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1 minute ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

1979, actually. And Uslan has stated publicly that he intended to bring Batman back to his original dark noir roots.

The movie was not in active development in 1979. It only became a possibility then because of the success of SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE.

Uslan was a producer in name, only. The ones who got the 1989 movie going were Peter Guber and Jon Peters. And, of course, Tim Burton. It can't be understated how much of an influence DKR had on that film.

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8 minutes ago, Nexus said:

The movie was not in active development in 1979. It only became a possibility then because of the success of SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE.

Uslan was a producer in name, only. The ones who got the 1989 movie going were Peter Guber and Jon Peters. And, of course, Tim Burton. It can't be understated how much of an influence DKR had on that film.

Burton cited Killing Joke, actually, as more of an influence. But the sales figures for TDKR and KJ did help convince the studio to keep it in development. It was only after Burton scored a hit with Beetlejuice that they greenlighted it.

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11 minutes ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

Burton cited Killing Joke, actually, as more of an influence. But the sales figures for TDKR and KJ did help convince the studio to keep it in development. It was only after Burton scored a hit with Beetlejuice that they greenlighted it.

That era is very near and dear to my heart (even if I'm not actually a fan of that movie!).

I got to go to the premiere in Westwood. Had my pic taken with Kim Basinger. Took a leak next to Christian Slater. Then snuck into the afterparty with a pal, where we saw Keaton, Burton, Bob Kane...shook hands with Prince...got blown off by Jack Nicholson.

A few years later, had Guber as an instructor for a Producer's Program course. He was still coasting off BATMAN, and it was the model for studying blockbusters.

During that time, I was also working for the producers of WATCHMEN. The production designer was Anton Furst. Who had also designed BATMAN.

Anyway, you'll have to take my word for it that DKR informed all of that.

 

Edited by Nexus

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1 hour ago, delekkerste said:

Whether that $448K DKR 3 splash is at $2 million or $200K or $20K in 20 years' time, I am confident that it will be more valuable relatively than Hush or Court of Owls art.  Tastes change, yes, but I believe the relative hierarchy will remain.  I understand that the Millennials have a different outlook on things than Gen X - I've noted that fact MORE THAN ANYONE here on the Boards over the years.  But, like I said, you also have to recognize that it's not just about present tastes or even the all-powerful nostalgia factor.  There's a reason why certain things in a given hobby or genre remain touchstones even with the passing of generations, and that has everything to do with shared history/tradition, recognition of importance and enduring relevance, and other factors outside of current tastes.  2c 

I agree, and it should.

But right now, Dark Knight Returns is around 10 times more expensive than Court of Owls (which, as an aside, I think is better written than Hush; at least having read the first three arcs).

20 to 30 years down the line, as the people presently in their 40s and 50s who have the most appreciation for DKR from having experienced it in their impressionable years, go out of the picture, this causes the prices of DKR to go down.

However, this loss of nostalgia collectors is somewhat countered by cross generational classic nature of the story. But the appreciation for a classic is a logical response to the having an understanding of history/tradition, which is less powerful than the emotional response that is created by nostalia.

So the two effects don’t cancel each other out so much as the decrease in price from loss of nostalgia collectors is somewhat mitigated.

At the same time, collectors who would have nostalgia for Court of Owls will be in their stage of life in 20 to 30 years, where they have the most disposable income. So they are then willing to fight over it like Dave Mandell over the 448 and let their emotions get the best of them in an auction for Court of Owls art.

I think that the overall effect of these different factors will be that the price disparity will lessen (somewhat or perhaps even drastically) even if DKR remains more valuable than Court of Owls.

Edited by Skizz

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1 hour ago, Nexus said:

What's truly been scarce, even 10-15 years ago, are covers. Those almost never pop up.

So true. This is the one I would have paid $5k+ for in 2002 - even though that would have been absolutely ridiculous by all measures.

Image result for american flagg comic characters
 
Now I don't care, for whatever reason I've moved on. That sometimes happens too...something, especially if you just cannot have it, seems so very special and then you grow as a collector and then you just don't care anymore.

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12 minutes ago, vodou said:

So true. This is the one I would have paid $5k+ for in 2002 - even though that would have been absolutely ridiculous by all measures.

Image result for american flagg comic characters

Oh yeah...that's a great one. I think that's $5K+ even today.

Covers for some of the great (or at least favorite) '80s indies are out there: AF, MAGE, JON SABLE, BADGER, NEXUS, et al...but they just never show up for sale. Most aren't even on CAF, in collections. I imagine owners are inactive old-timers. I also imagine that these covers WILL emerge at some point down the line. Will be quite interesting to see what happens then.

 

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1 hour ago, Nexus said:

Oh yeah...that's a great one. I think that's $5K+ even today.

Covers for some of the great (or at least favorite) '80s indies are out there: AF, MAGE, JON SABLE, BADGER, NEXUS, et al...but they just never show up for sale. Most aren't even on CAF, in collections. I imagine owners are inactive old-timers. I also imagine that these covers WILL emerge at some point down the line. Will be quite interesting to see what happens then.

 

Joe Staton put a kick First E-Man cover up a while ago. Man was I tempted. I think it was the entire issue, in fact.   

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2 hours ago, Nexus said:

I also imagine that these covers WILL emerge at some point down the line. Will be quite interesting to see what happens then.

Who but those age 40+ would care? That's where the money is, but that window is closing fast. If these things only come out of estates (like the stuff of Ethan's has) too much later, another ten or fifteen years...will even today's age 40+ care? They'll be 50+ and thinking a lot about how much Medicare doesn't cover. I don't think anybody born after 1978 will at all. And certainly not for more than $1k. Interesting will be those of us still alive watching them go for hundreds and even we can't muster the energy to hit the red button ;)

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So...is $2500 for a Saint of Killers Preacher Page where he’s in half the panels, including facing the reader and 3/4 profile a good price? ?

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1 hour ago, vodou said:

Who but those age 40+ would care? That's where the money is, but that window is closing fast. If these things only come out of estates (like the stuff of Ethan's has) too much later, another ten or fifteen years...will even today's age 40+ care? They'll be 50+ and thinking a lot about how much Medicare doesn't cover. I don't think anybody born after 1978 will at all. And certainly not for more than $1k. Interesting will be those of us still alive watching them go for hundreds and even we can't muster the energy to hit the red button ;)

Many of the early-to-mid '80s indie titles are squarely in my nostalgic sweet spot and there are still a number of titles that I'd love to get a killer example from and would pay up for.  That said, fast forward 10 years and I'm guessing I'm not buying them unless the price is super attractive.  15-20 years, forget about it - at that point, I'm probably enjoying what I have, but, there's almost no chance that I'm still actively buying.  In a nutshell, you're right - the window for people to cash in on '80s nostalgia at/near its peak will be closing rapidly IMO with the '80s kids still mostly in their 40s.  Once that group ages into the mid-50s and 60s, it's game over - a lot of guys will no longer be buying, others will be less willing to pay up, and few will embark on collecting more than 1 example whereas they might have gone all out in their prime collecting days.  

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Is it fair to say that  - for those stories that remain in print or take on new life in movies or gaming - a new generation can take over  from nostalgia buyers who grew up with the work when it was new? 

I am thinking of comic collecting. Current (young-ish) collectors still buy comics that came out years before they were born.  Could that work with art?

What about inheritance - will some kids of current collectors take up the mantle? Will they take over the collections and grow them? Or even if they just keep them - will that keep prices up as supply is low? Or will all this art be dumped on the market at some point?

Anyone here ever get artwork handed down to you that hung in your home as a child?

Even though you wouldnt pick the item if it was up to you - you still love it and cherish it because of the memories attached to it?

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5 hours ago, Skizz said:

But the appreciation for a classic is a logical response to the having an understanding of history/tradition, which is less powerful than the emotional response that is created by nostalia.

 

Price wise this is exactly the opposite in the long term. Nostalgia/hype fade with time, but historical importance is forever. If DK prices drop, it won't be from a lack of fans of the story, but a lack of buyers of comic art altogether. 

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12 hours ago, Mr. Machismo said:

Thanks for listening, everyone. Good conversation. 

I’ve had a number of emails come through on CAF regarding the podcast. Interesting trend: they also were not impacted by DKR, and in some cases downright hated it. I’m surprised to hear this from some collectors, and it’s my belief there’s a reservation among younger collectors to express this as it will somehow discredit them in a hobby which is dominated by mature individuals.

When I first read DKR in my teens, I really did not like it. I felt it was far too copy-heavy and the news segments were incredibly boring and broke up the action. I view it very differently now having gone back to it, but it’s still not in my personal top 5. I have no nostalgia towards it, despite reading it early on.

Regarding nostalgia strength VS time, my view differs from Felix’s a bit. Although Dark Victory, HUSH, and Long Halloween were among the first comics I read, it’s Court of Owls which I hold the fondest memories of. This is true for some other listeners who have contacted me as well, as a number of them jumped into comics with the New 52 reboot, or really amped it up when things seemingly became more accessible. Yes, it feels like comics nowadays are reset to #1 almost yearly, but this was the FIRST time Batman went back to #1, and psychologically that brought a lot of new readers in.

Anyhow, it will be interesting to watch prices over the next couple decades. Because the vast majority of art collectors skew older — and sometimes don’t even read new comics from the big two — there’s an inherent lack of appreciation of new work VS the older stuff. Where comments like “Snyder and Capullo’s run was average” and “White Knight is horrible” is echoed among the veteran collectors, an intense and opposing reaction is heard from the younger, heavily active readership. Do you have any idea the hype that is heard throughout local comic stores for White Knight? 

As I mentioned, I do best on the pieces which are absurdly priced and mocked, by far. In part, I attribute this to not possessing a heavy bias towards older work, for whatever significance or reason, which can sometimes lead to a disconnect to what’s happening today. An observation!

Interesting comment all around, and I appreciate your comments in the podcast. 

As for the highlighted parts... I just don't hear people saying Snyder & Capullo's run was average. I've heard people say it is overhyped but that is a nearly reflex reaction from comic fans these days when a book starts to get critical attention and people start to list it among the great runs in the cannon. I think time will eventually put their run, if not as top tier Batman cannon, then definitely just in the rung below.


I do hear plenty of people beating on White Knight, and yeah, I do read modern comics regularly. I've yet to hear anyone (outside of the internet) glow over it, but that doesn't mean it can't its own success and readership. Having said that... I'll eat my hat if people are talking about this series in 5 years, let alone 20. I'm sure I'll still be around on the boards in 2023, so look me up to collect if I'm wrong.

 

Anyway, as others have said, it does seem like the talk is often about the next DKR - the interesting thing to me has been the propensity for speculators to seek this in a Batman book. I'm pretty strongly of the opinion that you can't do a 'next DKR' with Batman; my opinion has always been that they need to look for it elsewhere, look for a character that hasn't reached it's full potential. Too many Batman books, especially limited series, are visibly trying too hard to reach those heights and - at least in my experience - it is very noticeable and pretty off-putting 2c

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As someone that read TDKR and Watchmen when they were first released, I was not impressed.  

I was a huge FM fan and appreciated his futuristic view of Batman but it took me awhile to warm up to his new artistic style.  

Alan Moore has always had a fan following because he treated comics seriously and assumed his audience was mature, intelligent and literate.  However, IMHO, Moore tends to be a bit verbose.  There might very well be more words per square inch on the page than art.  The overall plot was neither unique or groundbreaking.

** SPOILER ALERT **

Sacrifice a million lives to save billions of lives is hardly unique.

** End of Spoiler **

IMHO, I thought Dave Gibbons' art was serviceable but not great.  Do you see anyone clamoring for Gibbons' non-Watchmen art?

So when it comes down to TDKR and Watchmen, I believe those collectors are buying more for the nostalgia of the story than the actual art itself. 

Same with The Sandman.  IMHO, the title sold on the strength of Neil Gaiman's writing than the crop of rotating artists.  Some of the artists were fantastic, some average.  However, if you ask collectors of Sandman OA, it doesn't matter who the artist is.  It's all about Gaiman's writing.

So any future contenders for the next "classic" better have strong writing.  I am with Gene on Brubaker / Epting's run on Captain America.  For full disclosure, I do own some Epting art.  Conversely, on the subject of collecting art for art's sake, people buy art all the time without reading the comic at all.  Want proof?  Look no further than cover artists that have sold their art before the comics have been released.  Adam Hughes, Art Adams, JSC, Finch, etc.  From Felix's own roster, how about Tradd Moore or Skottie Young?  Their art will sell regardless of the writing.

Thankfully, not everyone collects the same type of art. 

Cheers!

N.

 

 

    

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6 hours ago, NelsonAI said:

So when it comes down to TDKR and Watchmen, I believe those collectors are buying more for the nostalgia of the story than the actual art itself. 

Same with The Sandman.  IMHO, the title sold on the strength of Neil Gaiman's writing than the crop of rotating artists.  Some of the artists were fantastic, some average.  However, if you ask collectors of Sandman OA, it doesn't matter who the artist is.  It's all about Gaiman's writing.

That's not something I've ever read before, but it mirrors my own feeling towards all three books. Sandman in particular...wow, I just never got it. Thus I have no interest in the OA. There have been other times when I've been out of step with consensus and, being that most of us like similar things overall -that's what makes a hobby, I've usually been able to come back later with more maturity or additional context and found myself also wowed by the (finally!) obvious genius of the subject. Still hasn't happened with these three though. DKR, I'll give another run at soon enough. The other two, especially Sandman, probably never, trying to to digest the entirety of Sandman might be a financial commitment (even in trades or omnibus or whatever) that I just don't care enough to make. Three Absolute Preacher volumes (two out now, the third later this year), even that I'm having trouble forking out for -basically to find out "what the big deal is?" It just adds up. When it works though, it sure is fun, binging on quality bites that add up to a larger vision (having just finished Criminal Deluxe 1 a few minutes ago, can't wait to hit Deluxe 2!)

6 hours ago, NelsonAI said:

Conversely, on the subject of collecting art for art's sake, people buy art all the time without reading the comic at all.  Want proof?  Look no further than cover artists that have sold their art before the comics have been released.  Adam Hughes, Art Adams, JSC, Finch, etc.  From Felix's own roster, how about Tradd Moore or Skottie Young?  Their art will sell regardless of the writing. 

What I was getting at in posing the question again, here, was more nuanced: collecting art that doesn't tie up nicely with what you already know/expect (basically a very un-safe 'bet'). So scratch...AH!, Art Adams, JSC, Finch, etc. Those are the safest 'bets' of all, zero surprises, unless you simply overpay by a wide margin (a fool and his money... lol) And so what, that can happen anytime, anywhere, the overpaying. Maybe Tradd Moore and Skottie Young? (but only if something indie and not tied to Big Two 'product' type output!) Even so, those guys have enough under their belt now that their sensibility to art, interpreting a -script sequentially, their style is pretty much a known quantity. Sight unseen. (Except to those that haven't been previously exposed: me, for example. So there may be some personal un-safe at play for pockets of individuals, allowing that I'm not the only one.)

Instead...example: how many are buying Chiang Paper Girls, DWJ Extremity quickly (before the ers sell out!) having not read a single issue, no idea what the story is about even, and neither being obvious as to what they are (visually speaking) except that (broadly) reviews seem favorable, both released by proper publishers (versus self-p, thus some editorial gatekeeping at play) and...the sht sells out fast (did I mention that already?) I did that recently, bought blind, several times. The art caught my eye, was attractive at a quick glance but also drew me in to wanting to figure it out 'more'. Because I don't buy single floppies anymore, only collecteds, I'm always 'behind' on what Felix is offering. That means: I don't know the storyline, the characters, what I'm even looking at on a given original (buncha faces, buncha action, whatever, without dialogue even!) A real blind purchase in the sense I'm bringing it up. (Except that it is sequential, so we're not talking about abstract collage art or something!) And in case it hasn't sunk in yet...you have to get there early to get something good and, more and more, anything at all. That means buying before the trade comes out, or buying art from issues you haven't personally read yet, based only on reading whatever the most recent collected of previous issues was. (That, however is a safer 'bet', as one has at least read something on the subject!)

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