Action Comics #1 Cover OA...still exists?!?
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13 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

So tell us some stories. I have no idea who Conrad is.

Well, that's a problem for the history of the hobby. Conrad Eschenberg was an OA dealer that was set up at every major show for many many years along with Bechara, Albert, Anthony, etc.  He was touting Kirby art for over a decade (and priced his art accordingly!) and was passionate about it, but eventually developed Parkinson's and had to step away from the hobby.  As with any of these characters, there were good stories and bad.  I don't have the time or inclination to share all of these stories but I'll share a favorite story from a visit.  He once owned the complete Swamp Thing story from House of Secrets #92.  But what was so special about this complete issue was that he also had the original envelope that also contained original photographs that Berni (or one of the other members of The Studio) must've taken in (I believe) Berni's apartment. These photos were of Berni and other members of the studio and Len's future wife in the exact poses that were used in many of the origin panels.  So basically, based on these photos, Berni had drawn these photos as panels in the story.  This was not only a revelation in the development of the story, but fascinating to see on top of going through the complete story together.  Such is the hobby, I knew that story would be broken up (and it was within the year after I saw this) and those pictures would be "gone to the wind" so to speak, though I'm sure someone still has them.  

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1 hour ago, dem1138 said:

Someone from the next cohort of collectors has to pick up the gauntlet from the last one and if these stories are not passed down, I fear that a lot of fiction will become fact.  There is an extremely rich history to this hobby but if these stories are not passed down ... then I think thats a very sad direction that the hobby has taken.  

Felix Wu has provided an avenue for doing this via his podcast series.

I'd say the onus is on those with the oral history to come forward and share.

I have no doubt you'd find an audience eager to listen.

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1 hour ago, dem1138 said:

I believe you have it backwards.  These panels were the original art that Siegel & Shuster used to try to sell Superman as a strip (which was their initial focus).  These panels were later used piecemeal for Action #1 (I believe on the 1st page to explain his superpowers).

 

I googled it and the first result was a post by you on these boards! You provided a link to a blog post which offers this:

Joe Shuster - Origin Artwork to Superman Daily No 1, circa 1930s, pen and ink on Craftint paper, the surviving three panel section of the original art from Jerry Siegel's and Joe Shuster's historic first Superman daily. This unused artwork is the only known and earliest surviving example from the first series of dailies.

Originally it consisted of a five-panel sequence depicting the origin of Superman. Panels No. 2 and No. 3 were long ago cut and removed, and by all indications, may have been used in pasting up the first page to Action Comics No. 1 in 1938. The first panel of the strip depicts the planet Krypton exploding as a spaceship (containing the son of Lora and Jor-l (sic)) rockets into space. 

 

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My memory is not what it was which is why I wrote "I believe..."  But I think if you compared the panels with a page from Action #1 you would see that the panels are the same.  Whether or not they were redrawn is unknown.  I'm not even sure Sotheby's knew exactly what they had when they auctioned it - if you read the description in the catalogue its rather vague.  I'm not even sure the reference of it being unpublished is referencing that the strip was unpublished or the panels themselves.  If they were unpublished so be it - but I believe the reason the lot didn't sell at the time is because there was a lot of uncertainty and confusion as to what this actually was.  The lot also came with a piece of paper where it appeared that the character of Superman was being fleshed out.

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13 minutes ago, Taylor G said:

Felix Wu has provided an avenue for doing this via his podcast series.

I'd say the onus is on those with the oral history to come forward and share.

I have no doubt you'd find an audience eager to listen.

Yes his podcast series is excellent as is Vincent Zurzolo's podcast from years earlier (that is/was available on Metropolis' website) that covers an expansive list of guests that can provide an abundance of history.  I believe that going to shows and meeting fellow collectors and asking to hear the stories is also a fantastic way to learn about the history of the hobby. Many people are private and do not wish to share these stories publicly (or have little interest in being public themselves) but the more welcoming this forum is, the more likely people will be to share IMHO.

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2 hours ago, dem1138 said:

My memory is not what it was which is why I wrote "I believe..."  But I think if you compared the panels with a page from Action #1 you would see that the panels are the same.  Whether or not they were redrawn is unknown.  I'm not even sure Sotheby's knew exactly what they had when they auctioned it - if you read the description in the catalogue its rather vague.  I'm not even sure the reference of it being unpublished is referencing that the strip was unpublished or the panels themselves.  If they were unpublished so be it - but I believe the reason the lot didn't sell at the time is because there was a lot of uncertainty and confusion as to what this actually was.  The lot also came with a piece of paper where it appeared that the character of Superman was being fleshed out.

As I read the description, there was a five panel origin strip. Panels 2 and 3 are missing, thought to have been pasted up on the (no doubt lost) Action 1 boards. Sotheby auctioned the unused, unpublished, discarded panels 1, 4 and 5. I have pics of 1 and 5. Comparison to Action 1 shows these panels were redrawn, somewhat more crudely and with minor changes, for the comic. 

Superman daily vs Action 1.jpg

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5 minutes ago, drdroom said:

As I read the description, there was a five panel origin strip. Panels 2 and 3 are missing, thought to have been pasted up on the (no doubt lost) Action 1 boards. Sotheby auctioned the unused, unpublished, discarded panels 1, 4 and 5. I have pics of 1 and 5. Comparison to Action 1 shows these panels were redrawn, somewhat more crudely and with minor changes, for the comic. 

Superman daily vs Action 1.jpg

Awesome, thanks for clearing that up!

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21 hours ago, vodou said:

 

You're killing yourself here trying to convince the rest of us that this logical fallacy holds water:

The A Priori Argument (also, Rationalization; Dogmatism, Proof Texting.): A corrupt argument from logos, starting with a given, pre-set belief, dogma, doctrine, scripture verse, "fact" or conclusion and then searching for any reasonable or reasonable-sounding argument to rationalize, defend or justify it. Certain ideologues and religious fundamentalists are proud to use this fallacy as their primary method of "reasoning" and some are even honest enough to say so. E.g., since we know there is no such thing as "evolution," a prime duty of believers is to look for ways to explain away growing evidence, such as is found in DNA, that might suggest otherwise. See also the Argument from Ignorance. The opposite of this fallacy is the Taboo.

http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/ENGL1311/fallacies.htm

Yes. That’s an accurate description of what you’re doing. 

My premise isn’t false, and has yet to be falsified. So I am not making an a priori argument. You are. You argue they don’t exist, but have no proof other than that they haven’t surfaced, or were not recorded some 13 years after their creation when first inventoried. 

We know the covers existed at one point. We know the interiors survived. We know that you don’t need the OA to make reprints, so that explanation for why the interiors survived has been falsified. 

The next question is why the interiors were saved, but the covers were not. Since “future reproduction” has been eliminated as a reason, there must be another. 

We also know plenty of people had access to those covers and they could have been saved. 

We also know that if they survived, the current owners have some serious legal splainin’ to do, which may explain why they have not surfaced. 

So, again, you’re the one trying to rationalize your theory that they no longer exist, without any evidence except absence, which can be explained. 

Edited by PhilipB2k17

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2 hours ago, drdroom said:

As I read the description, there was a five panel origin strip. Panels 2 and 3 are missing, thought to have been pasted up on the (no doubt lost) Action 1 boards. Sotheby auctioned the unused, unpublished, discarded panels 1, 4 and 5. I have pics of 1 and 5. Comparison to Action 1 shows these panels were redrawn, somewhat more crudely and with minor changes, for the comic. 

Superman daily vs Action 1.jpg

Really interesting to see the additional detailing on Superman's arms - costume details that were discarded for whatever reason...

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26 minutes ago, Flambit said:

Really interesting to see the additional detailing on Superman's arms - costume details that were discarded for whatever reason...

Check out the calves! Full gladiator!

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2 hours ago, Flambit said:

Really interesting to see the additional detailing on Superman's arms - costume details that were discarded for whatever reason...

Looking at both panels from the strip and Action #1 I still have a hard time seeing how these are not the same. First of all a lot of detail can be lost from the original to a printing plate/on the page. Also significant elements of both are still present. I doubt they were redrawn. Maybe traced by an assistant or stated?  Who knows. Look at the line work on Superman’s left arm. The outline of that shape above his hand is still present and wouldn’t make sense to be there if the picture was completely redrawn. 

None of us were in the room when the first page was cobbled together and there’s enough ‘there’ there to open this up to debate. 

I think the mystery adds a richness to the history which is so prevalent with the origins of these characters. 

Edited by dem1138

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8 hours ago, dem1138 said:

Vincent Zurzolo's podcast from years earlier (that is/was available on Metropolis' website) that covers an expansive list of guests that can provide an abundance of history. 

http://www.comiczoneradio.com/all-interviews.html

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Traced is the same as redrawn, for this discussion. They definitely aren't stats. Look at the shadows on Superman's trunks, just for one of many examples. It's a different drawing, but certainly could be based on an initial tracing, in fact I'd guess panel 5 was. Maybe they didn't want the chemical shading effect. I found some more insight into the creation of the first story on Wikipaedia:

"National Publications was looking for a hit to accompany their success with Detective Comics, and did not have time to solicit new material. Jack Liebowitz, co-owner of National Publications, told editor Vin Sullivan to create their fourth comic book. Because of the tight deadline, Sullivan was forced to make it out of inventory and stockpile pages. He found a number of adventurer stories, but needed a lead feature. Sullivan asked former coworker Sheldon Mayer if he could help. Mayer found the rejected Superman comic strips, and Sullivan told Siegel and Shuster that if they could paste them into 13 comic book pages, he would buy them."[12]

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5 hours ago, dem1138 said:

Looking at both panels from the strip and Action #1 I still have a hard time seeing how these are not the same. First of all a lot of detail can be lost from the original to a printing plate/on the page. Also significant elements of both are still present. I doubt they were redrawn. Maybe traced by an assistant or stated?  Who knows. Look at the line work on Superman’s left arm. The outline of that shape above his hand is still present and wouldn’t make sense to be there if the picture was completely redrawn. 

None of us were in the room when the first page was cobbled together and there’s enough ‘there’ there to open this up to debate. 

I think the mystery adds a richness to the history which is so prevalent with the origins of these characters. 

These appear not to be simply copied, but completely redrawn, and certainly not traced.  Angles, structure and shapes (both positive and negative), are all different.  Not only that, but many details were clearly changed. 

 

Edited by stinkininkin

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16 hours ago, dem1138 said:

Well, that's a problem for the history of the hobby. Conrad Eschenberg was an OA dealer that was set up at every major show for many many years along with Bechara, Albert, Anthony, etc.  He was touting Kirby art for over a decade (and priced his art accordingly!) and was passionate about it, but eventually developed Parkinson's and had to step away from the hobby.  As with any of these characters, there were good stories and bad.  I don't have the time or inclination to share all of these stories but I'll share a favorite story from a visit.  He once owned the complete Swamp Thing story from House of Secrets #92.  But what was so special about this complete issue was that he also had the original envelope that also contained original photographs that Berni (or one of the other members of The Studio) must've taken in (I believe) Berni's apartment. These photos were of Berni and other members of the studio and Len's future wife in the exact poses that were used in many of the origin panels.  So basically, based on these photos, Berni had drawn these photos as panels in the story.  This was not only a revelation in the development of the story, but fascinating to see on top of going through the complete story together.  Such is the hobby, I knew that story would be broken up (and it was within the year after I saw this) and those pictures would be "gone to the wind" so to speak, though I'm sure someone still has them.  

I love hearing your stories, please keep them coming. 

I think it was Louise Simonson (Walt Simonson's future wife) used as the model for HOS #92 though.

 

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15 hours ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

Yes. That’s an accurate description of what you’re doing. 

My premise isn’t false, and has yet to be falsified. So I am not making an a priori argument. You are. You argue they don’t exist, but have no proof other than that they haven’t surfaced, or were not recorded some 13 years after their creation when first inventoried. 

We know the covers existed at one point. We know the interiors survived. We know that you don’t need the OA to make reprints, so that explanation for why the interiors survived has been falsified. 

The next question is why the interiors were saved, but the covers were not. Since “future reproduction” has been eliminated as a reason, there must be another. 

We also know plenty of people had access to those covers and they could have been saved. 

We also know that if they survived, the current owners have some serious legal splainin’ to do, which may explain why they have not surfaced. 

So, again, you’re the one trying to rationalize your theory that they no longer exist, without any evidence except absence, which can be explained. 

No. I'm actually open-minded to see what comes in the future. Everybody here (except you?) knows that I'm very opinionated but also know the difference between fact and opinion. Everybody (again -except you?) also knows that I'm intellectually honest and will change my opinion as new or better facts come into play. Facts trump opinion (duh). I have been and always will be open-minded in that way. I don't know the answer here (no facts, just opinions!), I only know that so far "this stuff" has not been trading publicly in a way that I could say with confidence it's anywhere other than long-since-mouldered in a landfill somewhere. Occam's Razor. Show me something else other than goal-seeking supposition and I'll gladly change my opinion :)

I've not been arguing the inventory not reprinting angles...save that bs for the other guys lol

Though this is fun to look at anyway: "We also know plenty of people had access to those covers and they could have been saved." What's your definition of plenty? The answer to that followed by the last known location of the covers in question is quite pertinent. If the covers never came back from Eastern Color (or wherever) then it's probably few not plenty and those few would tend to be disinterested blue-collar folks (not fans that were hanging around in the hopes of becoming professionals at Marvel or DC, folks will knowledge and fannishness of where and how to market the material beyond discard worthlessness!)

Legal splainin' is bs too...the statute of limitations is so very long expired. Ever watch Law & Order? How about doing some jurisdictional research into NY and NJ law on stolen property and the like, gather some facts, before running off at the mouth (or not, your choice, but know the rest of us will giggle in delight at your general naivete and ignorance of anything approaching logic!) PUH-LEAZE. In matters of law, while there is some grey areas of interpretation (by design), the big stuff (statues of limitations, whether complaints were ever filed or notices ever given, when clocks begin ticking, all that) are matters of fact. You definitely can't play the what if? games you so prefer here, not on matters of law.

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48 minutes ago, vodou said:

No. I'm actually open-minded to see what comes in the future. Everybody here (except you?) knows that I'm very opinionated but also know the difference between fact and opinion. Everybody (again -except you?) also knows that I'm intellectually honest and will change my opinion as new or better facts come into play. Facts trump opinion (duh). I have been and always will be open-minded in that way. I don't know the answer here (no facts, just opinions!), I only know that so far "this stuff" has not been trading publicly in a way that I could say with confidence it's anywhere other than long-since-mouldered in a landfill somewhere. Occam's Razor. Show me something else other than goal-seeking supposition and I'll gladly change my opinion :)

I've not been arguing the inventory not reprinting angles...save that bs for the other guys lol

Though this is fun to look at anyway: "We also know plenty of people had access to those covers and they could have been saved." What's your definition of plenty? The answer to that followed by the last known location of the covers in question is quite pertinent. If the covers never came back from Eastern Color (or wherever) then it's probably few not plenty and those few would tend to be disinterested blue-collar folks (not fans that were hanging around in the hopes of becoming professionals at Marvel or DC, folks will knowledge and fannishness of where and how to market the material beyond discard worthlessness!)

Legal splainin' is bs too...the statute of limitations is so very long expired. Ever watch Law & Order? How about doing some jurisdictional research into NY and NJ law on stolen property and the like, gather some facts, before running off at the mouth (or not, your choice, but know the rest of us will giggle in delight at your general naivete and ignorance of anything approaching logic!) PUH-LEAZE. In matters of law, while there is some grey areas of interpretation (by design), the big stuff (statues of limitations, whether complaints were ever filed or notices ever given, when clocks begin ticking, all that) are matters of fact. You definitely can't play the what if? games you so prefer here, not on matters of law.

There was a large deal of speculation, only a couple of years ago, about why so many Kirby pages were being pulled from dealer sites and auction houses. Perhaps it was to avoid legal wrangling with the Kirby estate, etc? Moreover, reputation matters to some people. Even if legal entanglements could be sorted out and they'd prevail (eventually), they may not want their business aired in open court. And putting aside the criminal statues, there's the "ownership" issue that has to be legally resolved. Who rightfully owns the cover to Amazing Fantasy 15? Could it be said that after its arrangement to return all of its art to the artists, Marvel was only a custodian of it until it could be returned to Jack Kirby? Except, whoops! It disappeared. Has Marvel ever said to these artists (Sorry. Your art was destroyed at the printers, as you know commonly happens, etc). The fact is, Marvel doesn't know what happened to the art. Jim Shooter didn't know, as he stated on his blog (he even speculated that a flood, or water damage at have destroyed some of it at one point). Irene Vartanoff didn't know either.

A lot of sturm and drang has been bandied about in this hobby (I've read it) about all the "stolen" Marvel art. Some of which has (or has it?) surfaced. Some of it still has not.

People speculate that a lot of stuff found its way into some black hole collections.

All I am saying is that there appears to be no good reason why these covers would be in a landfill somewhere. Your sole piece of evidence is that they have never been offered for sale. Until a few years ago, did anyone believe the AF 15 art was still around? Maybe there were "wild" speculations like mine that it was somewhere, and that person was laughed at or mocked as being silly. "If someone had the OA to Amazing fantasy 15, why in the world has something so valuable never been offered for sale? It's preposterous."

The really detailed inventory of the art was not undertaken until 1974. So, who knows what happened to many of those pages in the 12-13 year interim.

UPDATE: From Glen Gold’s seminal article on the missing Kirby marvel art:

“I called Eastern Color Printing, which handled Marvel's comics, and talked to the man who, for over thirty years - the entire Golden and Silver Ages - saw every issue get printed. He told me that all the art, covers and interiors, went back from the engravers to Marvel in the same envelope. So no, the covers weren't destroyed.”

http://www.twomorrows.com/kirby/articles/19stolen.html

Assuming the above is correct, then it seems my theory that they still exist in someone's black hole collection n somewhere is much more plausible. What I find interesting is that Glen argues in his article, that the existence of the interior OA was used as evidence that the covers were destroyed by older collectors and dealers, not as evidence that they covers still existed after being returned from the printer (as I speculated, apparently, correctly).

Edited by PhilipB2k17

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48 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

My thoughts in that subject. It depends, I think, on which item sells first. If the MH Action #1 was sold first, bringing in - say - $5 million, and then the Action #1 authenticated cover was revealed, and was put on the market with a skilfull marketing campaign (which referenced the sale of the MH copy for $5 million), I can see the Action #1 cover going for more.

I think the cover being revealed - after a $5 million comic sale - would get a lot of attention and publicity. And the people who want it would not just be those who collect comics or OA, but a lot of people who just love the pop culture and what the cover represents.

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A better reply than I'm used to, above. Good. Two things: where are all the originals that weren't still with Marvel in 1974? What about gifts and other distributions that went to non-hobby hands pre-1974? One man's gift can be another man's (inheritors) garbage. None of this stuff had any market value presence pre-1980s and probably for those not "into" comics, until at least the Sotheby's and Christie's auctions. If one wasn't inclined to get CBG and wasn't attending San Diego or Chicago cons...as a random executive that Stan signed a contact with and gifted a cover to...you wouldn't know that a b/w piece of paper was any special at all. As easily kept as not. Or given to your kid to "color"!

Jim Shooter. And everybody else that's ever gone on the record...never assume there isn't a single liar in the bunch. Follow the money. Glen Gold is unlikely to lie, while Shooter, Gil Kane, Marv Wolfman, et al, would be more likely to lie. Especially as, back in the day when it wasn't forty and fifty year old topic of conversation, industry careers at one or the other of the Big Two were on the line. Nobody in that position is rushing to admit they stole from the company! Occam's Razor.

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