Action Comics #1 Cover color proof - ComicConnect
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BCarter27   
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8f71a5fd3d134fb2a3adde0c6d8b5528cd77a7c0

 

I'm surprised this isn't being talked about more as well. An important part of comics history.

Edited by BCarter27

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vodou   
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6 hours ago, BCarter27 said:

8f71a5fd3d134fb2a3adde0c6d8b5528cd77a7c0

 

I'm surprised this isn't being talked about more as well. An important part of comics history.

More of a comics collectible than comic art. I'm not surprised those in this corner aren't that excited, but the comics general folks should be.

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BCarter27   
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15 hours ago, vodou said:

More of a comics collectible than comic art.

Take a closer look at a hand-colored guide and you'll realize how much work went into them. In my opinion, they do not deserve the rep they seem to be saddled with in the comic art collecting hobby. Perhaps that's due to the diminishment of the colorist's contribution or a lack of understanding of the production process (with its various proofs, stats, films, etc. on the printing side.)

That's all a discussion for another day though as I'd say this particular color guide trumps all of that!

As to evaluation, how is this not worth at least the same as a mid-grade Action 1? If they were sitting in a pile, I'd grab this first.

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comicwiz   
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3 hours ago, BCarter27 said:

Take a closer look at a hand-colored guide and you'll realize how much work went into them. In my opinion, they do not deserve the rep they seem to be saddled with in the comic art collecting hobby. Perhaps that's due to the diminishment of the colorist's contribution or a lack of understanding of the production process (with its various proofs, stats, films, etc. on the printing side.)

That's all a discussion for another day though as I'd say this particular color guide trumps all of that!

As to evaluation, how is this not worth at least the same as a mid-grade Action 1? If they were sitting in a pile, I'd grab this first.

If proofs are really something you're passionate about (and it certainly sounds that way to me from your posts) you should jump right in to the vintage Star Wars 2D preproduction world. It's coolness as far of the creative process isn't lost on me, but the money people throw at stuff in that area of collecting is profoundly absurd to me. Seeing people make copies of prints, or pages containing rough sketches, notes/remarks during the design/production phase that aren't even the originals, but photocopies, and generally seeing gobs of money being thrown at this stuff is probably the craziest I've seen. Slides, transparencies, negatives, pretty much anything salvaged during that era of Kenner holding the license to produce Star Wars figures, packaging, even the photography has a very strong following. Having seen both sides as a casual collector there, and here, that fanaticism doesn't translate in OA, definitely with nowhere near the excitement or demand. This is my opinion of course, but it never will. 

I don't meant to introduce these final points to offend or antagonize you or anyone who appreciates this kind of stuff, but to me the history of this piece transcends it's aesthetic, and this is important in understanding why people in original art collecting might not appreciate it as much. On the former, this unquestionably blows away any 2D production art that exists.  On the part about history, its influence/importance goes beyond it being a proof for the first universally recognizeable superhero, but it's history reaches into universally adopted printing techniques in a wide range of paper based hobbies, which include advertising, toy packaging and a wide range of popular culture targeted merchandise. 

As for it's place in an aesthetic-driven hobby, I shared the listing for this proof listed on CC on Facebook yesterday and rather than me writing it again, I'll just copy and paste the quesiton I got from a friend and my response:

Question: Seems in the comic OA world the items that were part of the production process (but not OA) get 0 respect. Proofs and color guides seem to have so little value in comparison

My response: Some of this is a lack of appreciation for certain stages. The other is wall presence, and proofs this size (7x11) need to be paired with some other items to give it impact. A lot of the 60's two-up pages are huge, and do fine on their own. Depending on the different stages of the process, there may also be multiple proofs, but there will only be one inked page. The same can be said about colour guides or blu lines - I think they are great, but admittedly, I prefer acquiring them as part of an archive. I don't like when these stages are broken up and sold separately - they should be kept together.

No doubt, this is a survivor, but values gravitate to the highest order of the hierarchy with only example original art at the apex, and everything below it being production art.

Edited by comicwiz

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BCarter27   
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58 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

much more important and desirable

How can a copy of a mass-produced item be more important than a hand-crafted part of the production process?

Is it more desirable because it is complete or because the FMV has been (somewhat) firmly established at a high price point?

Edited by BCarter27

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BCarter27   
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21 minutes ago, comicwiz said:

proofs are really something you're passionate about

I'm fairly tepid about printed proofs. But this not that. This isn't a final color guide (as I erroneously lumped it in with in my earlier post) but is maybe more aptly described as a color mockup.

But how many other hand-crafted pieces of the Action 1 production process have you ever seen?

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SquareChaos   
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8 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

How can a copy of a mass-produced item be more important than a hand-crafted part of the production process?

Is it more desirable because it is a complete or because the FMV has been (somewhat) firmly established at a high price point?

This is a hand colored print - historically significant as part of the production process associated with the world's first introduction to Superman, but it falls into an odd spot in the world of comic and original art collectibles... it is not a comic, it is not original art, it has the misfortune of failing to share the exact color palette of the final product, and it wasn't touched by any of the creators typically associated with the creation of Superman.

Edited by SquareChaos
Re-ordered wording for clarity

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delekkerste   
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9 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

How can a copy of a mass-produced item be more important than a hand-crafted part of the production process?

Is it more desirable because it is complete or because the FMV has been (somewhat) firmly established at a high price point?

Not everything that is part of the production process carries an outsized degree of importance.  They made a bunch of B&W prints to try out various color combinations.  Interesting that this one survived, but, how important is it, really (it's not even the color scheme they went with)?  Not much in my view.  And, yes, Action #1 was mass-produced, but now there are not that many copies left of the most historically important comic extant.  So, yeah, I'd say that any of the hundred or whatever surviving copies are more important than this piece of the production process.    

Edited by delekkerste

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comix4fun   
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10 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

How can a copy of a mass-produced item be more important than a hand-crafted part of the production process?

Is it more desirable because it is complete or because the FMV has been (somewhat) firmly established at a high price point?

Because more people know EXACTLY what it is, it has an established market, with established supply and demand and comparable sales complete with historical trends and peers. 

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BCarter27   
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1 minute ago, SquareChaos said:

it is not original art,

For me, if hands touched it, it is OA. It may not be published. It may be prelim and unused. But is still original art.

By that same token, I consider all hand-painted color guides OA as well. The market may not, but again I think this diminishes the colorist's contribution.

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SquareChaos   
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2 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

For me, if hands touched it, it is OA. It may not be published. It may be prelim and unused. But is still original art.

By that same token, I consider all hand-painted color guides OA as well. The market may not, but again I think this diminishes the colorist's contribution.

Then I believe you are operating under a minority definition - I'd guess that your definition of what original art may be is not shared by (many of?) the rest of us. It does make your stance more clear though.

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comicwiz   
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21 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

I'm fairly tepid about printed proofs. But this not that. This isn't a final color guide (as I erroneously lumped it in with in my earlier post) but is maybe more aptly described as a color mockup.

But how many other hand-crafted pieces of the Action 1 production process have you ever seen?

I think we both know the answer to that, and I would say never take the finite aspects for granted in the production phase.

I think I've said everything I could on the distinction of the piece and it's place in OA. I would like to add that as a  display piece, a write-up by Ed Eisenberg or even a photograph would have been a great accompanying piece if it was attached to this, if such a thing exist during DC's ownership. It would make the provenance rock-solid, and give it more impact in a frame. As it is, it's going to appeal to someone that has an Action 1 already, but how many of them are going to put their copy up on the wall?

To a production art fanatic, this is it. Anyone who says they collect production art in any area of collecting that doesn't see the historical significance here is flat out lying to themselves about their intentions.

To an original art guy like myself, in a hypothetical situation where I had the chioice to choose this proof or an OA cover, I honestly can think without too much effort a handful of OA covers in the five figure range I'd rather have. That's just me being honest about the value and established market aspects of OA and production art.

Edited by comicwiz

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comix4fun   
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6 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

For me, if hands touched it, it is OA. It may not be published. It may be prelim and unused. But is still original art.

By that same token, I consider all hand-painted color guides OA as well. The market may not, but again I think this diminishes the colorist's contribution.

OA is a very specific term that carries it's own meaning and weight. 

That's why hand-painted color guides are called "hand painted color guides" and OA is "OA". 

Color guides may be "original" in some fashion, and they may be "art" to some, but they aren't OA. "OA" is a term of art...no pun intended.

The colorists contribution is the colorists contribution. Simply because it's not recognized like Kirby or Miller or the artists who created the image from a blank sheet doesn't mean their contribution is diminished. It's there. It's just not, justifiably, anywhere in the same universe as the people that took blank bristol and gave it form and substance.

It's never going to be valued the same as the penciling and inking contributions. That doesn't diminish them as much as placing them in a relatively proper position to the other creators. 

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BCarter27   
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9 minutes ago, SquareChaos said:

I believe you are operating under a minority definition

Perhaps. Would you consider the DK1 cover to be OA or production art? There is a spectrum here.

 

2 minutes ago, comix4fun said:

OA is a very specific term that carries it's own meaning and weight. 

That's why hand-painted color guides are called "hand painted color guides" and OA is "OA". 

Color guides may be "original" in some fashion, and they may be "art" to some, but they aren't OA. "OA" is a term of art...no pun intended.

I wouldn't consider guys doing paste-ups in the bullpen as anything but interchangeable, but the inker, letterer, colorist, and logo designer are all making unique contributions that fall under my definition of "original".

Some of this tips into the various recent discussions about the changing nature of original comic art. For some, if it isn't twice-up with lettering and logos on the board, visible from across the room, they don't want it. Others are fine with stats, no lettering, paste-up word balloons, inks over blueline copies, and whatever else was necessary to get the thing out on time. I think this definition is and has always been more fluid than what is generally thought of.

I just find it strange that art collectors aren't more excited about this. It's one of one... even if you consider "one" to encompass all Action 1 production materials and not just one unique hand-colored mockup. What if there were 3-4 variations of these in the lot? Would that stir up more interest? Maybe it would.

Of course, I don't value this as much as the pen and ink art from the same book. I wouldn't even value it as much as the final color guide. But assuming the description is accurate, and with the general scarcity of any DC original art from that period, I am left scratching my head.

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Hekla   
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I own a few color guides and they are cool stand-ins for pieces I can’t afford (specifically Miller DD and Byrne X-men)… but 'cool' only because my price was SO much lower relative to the original art. IMO – since no OA is likely to exists for Action 1 – the color proof for auction is more desirable than a copy of the book… certainly a 1.0. At the very least, it is a historical document of the artistic/production process that pre-dates the release of Action 1.

 

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Hekla   
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1 minute ago, BCarter27 said:

I just find it strange that art collectors aren't more excited about this. It's one of one... even if you consider "one" to encompass all Action 1 production materials and not just one unique hand-colored mockup. What if there were 3-4 variations of these in the lot? Would that stir up more interest? Maybe it would.

If this proof had the green car and 'go with this one' written in the margins, it would probably have more interest

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BCarter27   
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Judging by the responses above, ComicConnect might have done themselves a disservice by calling this a proof. In my mind, a proof is 100% reproduction sent from the printer for editorial approval before the presses run. Based on their description, this is a hand-colored mockup. Perhaps nomenclature carries certain connotations after all and has the net effect of keeping people away.

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artdealer   
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31 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

Perhaps. Would you consider the DK1 cover to be OA or production art? There is a spectrum here.

 

 

Are you talking about the Miller cover to DKR #1? 
 

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