Nostalgia vs. Craft in Original Art
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1 minute ago, Bronty said:

Rick no offence but way off base :) the cards are doing very well and so is tre art.   They have been popular for a full 25 years.   Comparing that to beanie babies is totally incorrect. 

 

I bought a couple vintage cards last year for 600 and 800 , worth about 1500 ea now.    That’s not the beanie babies.

Plus vs Baseball cards or Beanie Babies, there's a functional use for these cards.  You use them to play a very popular game, and there's a real finite supply of these items.

Especially when you're talking anything pre-revised.

And high grade is even harder, because a lot of them were used (or ripped to be used)

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7 hours ago, comix4fun said:

I can agree on the aesthetics, but in this case the artwork was meant to be reduced down to a 2 inch by 2 inch box on a game card. They were commissioned and produced by the thousands. When shown large none of its flaws are hidden the way they were on the teeny tiny original production format. 

In this case the value is, almost entirely, on the place this artwork held within the game. It was from a very early and very important expansion to the game and this was one of the better/best cards from the set. Much like the first appearance of some character, like Gambit for example, where the artist's rendering may not be technically well done it is still the only example of the first appearance. 

I think to someone willing to pay serious money for a piece like this they are seeing the piece but not actually "seeing" the piece....if that makes sense. 

The original art (matted) measures about 7.5 x 5 inches.

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I came for the nostalgia, but stayed for art that I have no connection to.

My prime comic buying years went from about 88 to 95, but my favourites of the time don't generally appeal to me now.  Especially when you factor in the cost.  The last bid that I made was on a romance page for about $6k--I never would have predicted a year or two ago.  I guess you could say that I grew to appreciate craft over the other listed factors, though my taste could be questionable.  I mostly appreciate GA art now, though my most recent purchase was through Felix's site.

Nostalgia will still be a big factor when it comes to overpaying to FMV (the right pages from Doom Patrol 51, for me). 

One of the things that surprised me the most when I found this site was how popular BWS still is.  I worked in a suburban comic shop with a largely young demographic from about 89-95, and no one cared about BWS (or The Studio more generally).  Weapon X was popular, but no one bought it for the art that I recall.  I've never thought the prices on BWS were sustainable for that reason.  I think Neal Adams (who PhilipB2k17 mentioned earlier) would already be in the same boat if it weren't for his Batman run.  This stuff will have a market, but I have thought that it would sag over time.  I echo the opinion that Wrightson art is different and has a better chance of sustaining itself.  BA comics are a big dead zone for me though, so I am really not the target audience.

I also wonder how much effect the auction houses and Gene's cabal have on pricing.  I would think over time that price sustainability and accelleration have been influenced largely by the big players most interested in proving the investment potential of the art.  Price resistance has been diminished over time.

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3 hours ago, The Voord said:

The original art (matted) measures about 7.5 x 5 inches.

Wow, so I am seeing it (on my 27" monitor) about double it's actual art image size? Shocked it's not even uglier. lol 

 

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16 hours ago, Bronty said:

Rick no offence but way off base :) the cards are doing very well and so is tre art.   They have been popular for a full 25 years.   Comparing that to beanie babies is totally incorrect. 

 

I bought a couple vintage cards last year for 600 and 800 , worth about 1500 ea now.    That’s not the beanie babies.

As I wrote before, I don't know anything about those cards or the game. But I do have a pretty good grounding in general collectibility, and it is only a matter of time before the clock ticks on anything collectible--unless it has general cross-market appeal (like Frazetta or Rockwell) which may let it cross over into the mainstream. For your sake, I hope the clock doesn't start ticking for a long time instead of a short one.

If you have ever seen Antiques Roadshow, they will sometimes have repeats where older shows discuss a particular antique and then show its value in current terms (10-15 years later). You would be surprised how many of them show a value decline, or even stay the same (which is an effective decline when inflation is factored in). 

 

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26 minutes ago, Rick2you2 said:

As I wrote before, I don't know anything about those cards or the game. But I do have a pretty good grounding in general collectibility, and it is only a matter of time before the clock ticks on anything collectible--unless it has general cross-market appeal (like Frazetta or Rockwell) which may let it cross over into the mainstream. For your sake, I hope the clock doesn't start ticking for a long time instead of a short one.

If you have ever seen Antiques Roadshow, they will sometimes have repeats where older shows discuss a particular antique and then show its value in current terms (10-15 years later). You would be surprised how many of them show a value decline, or even stay the same (which is an effective decline when inflation is factored in). 

 

Yep. I actually watch those particular episodes to test my appraisal eye to see whether I can predict long term value potential. I’m getting better at it. Notably, stuff that is small, portable, easily displayed, made of precious metals or gems, or is ~not~ tied to some obscure historical event or person tends to increase in value. Older styles of furniture, I noticed, have done a cliff dive. 

Edited by PhilipB2k17

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I think a more apt comparison to MTG art is D&D related art. 

What is the market like for original D&D art from things like the Fiend Folio, etc?

Is it going up due to nostalgia? People still play D&D, right? Abd wit things like Lord of the Rings&Game ofTbrones being popular, that should carry over to D&D? Or not. I have no clue. Does anyone know?

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22 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

In my view, the whole question of "craft" is not just subjective but varies by the limitations in the comic art itself and when the art was drawn. In the "old days", panel layouts were not as adventuresome (in general) and the characters were more stiffly drawn (Wayne Boring, anyone?). Throw in the terrible pay rates, and you have art not generally drawn to the same standards of today. These definitely affect the price, and it isn't just nostalgia. So when I see a nicely done EC page, by, say Wally Wood, I admire it when I look at it closely. But if I were going to spend that kind of money, it wouldn't be on the Wally Wood page.

Another factor which is going to depress the long-run of pricing is simply the niche nature of this art. I have shown my pieces to a number of people who feigned interest, and the most honest answer I got was: "it's a lot of black lines; there isn't any color." They liked some of it, like covers and splashes, but most...eh; it all looked pretty much the same. That suggests this is not going to be a break-out field for the future.

For those of you who have big bucks in pieces from the stories you loved as a kid, I can't see them having a high appreciation future when the next generation hits its peak buying range.

My wife’s biggest complaint about my art is that it’s all ”black and white.” But she does appreciate the quality of some of my pieces. Not her thing, but she kind of gets why I like it. 

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19 minutes ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

Yep. I actually watch those particular episodes to test my appraisal eye to see whether I can predict long term value potential. I’m getting better at it. Notably, stuff that is small, portable, easily displayed, made of precious metals or gems, or is ~not~ tied to some obscure historical event or person tends to increase in value. Older styles of furniture, I noticed, have done a cliff dive. 

As a very broad generalization--maybe. But certainly not for Japanese items or Raggedy Ann related items or old dolls (which are portable), a lot of crystal, and if memory serves me, Cracker Jack collectibles. Jewelry is moving up, in part, because of craftsmanship, unless it is the really old finicky type from the 19th or pre-Art Deco era. And I'll bet that anything tied to the Confederacy has taken a nose dive.

You will notice a pattern: the stuff which wasn't part of our childhood heritage doesn't sustain itself unless it has cross-appeal, like jewelry with clean lines and modest decoration.

Same with comic art: check out that price on Nyoka the Jungle Girl mentioned by someone else.

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2 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

As a very broad generalization--maybe. But certainly not for Japanese items or Raggedy Ann related items or old dolls (which are portable), a lot of crystal, and if memory serves me, Cracker Jack collectibles. Jewelry is moving up, in part, because of craftsmanship, unless it is the really old finicky type from the 19th or pre-Art Deco era. And I'll bet that anything tied to the Confederacy has taken a nose dive.

You will notice a pattern: the stuff which wasn't part of our childhood heritage doesn't sustain itself unless it has cross-appeal, like jewelry with clean lines and modest decoration.

Same with comic art: check out that price on Nyoka the Jungle Girl mentioned by someone else.

Chinese art collectibles have gone way up because Chinese collectors are flush with cash and the market for them has exploded. 

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2 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

As a very broad generalization--maybe. But certainly not for Japanese items or Raggedy Ann related items or old dolls (which are portable), a lot of crystal, and if memory serves me, Cracker Jack collectibles. Jewelry is moving up, in part, because of craftsmanship, unless it is the really old finicky type from the 19th or pre-Art Deco era. And I'll bet that anything tied to the Confederacy has taken a nose dive.

You will notice a pattern: the stuff which wasn't part of our childhood heritage doesn't sustain itself unless it has cross-appeal, like jewelry with clean lines and modest decoration.

Same with comic art: check out that price on Nyoka the Jungle Girl mentioned by someone else.

I get why old style dolls have cratered. Demographics. Especially raggedy Ann. 

Now, action figures like classic GI Joe or Mego? Or Barbie? Way up. 

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7 hours ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

I think a more apt comparison to MTG art is D&D related art. 

What is the market like for original D&D art from things like the Fiend Folio, etc?

Is it going up due to nostalgia? People still play D&D, right? Abd wit things like Lord of the Rings&Game ofTbrones being popular, that should carry over to D&D? Or not. I have no clue. Does anyone know?

D&d art is white hot if you can even find it.  Last year an Elmore line art interior from one of the dragonlance modules sold for about 2-3x the price would have been a couple of years ago and was flipped in weeks for a profit.

Edited by Pete Marino

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20 hours ago, Bronty said:

Rick no offence but way off base :) the cards are doing very well and so is tre art.   They have been popular for a full 25 years.   Comparing that to beanie babies is totally incorrect. 

 

I bought a couple vintage cards last year for 600 and 800 , worth about 1500 ea now.    That’s not the beanie babies.

You're not kidding on the cards values exploding too. 

Five years ago I almost sold my collection of cards than have been in storage since '97 at a value of $3,000-4,000, there are a 1 or 2 cards in there that I could get that much for now all by themselves. 

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7 hours ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

Chinese art collectibles have gone way up because Chinese collectors are flush with cash and the market for them has exploded. 

Chinese collectibles have, but not Japanese collectibles. After the boom in the 1980's, it suffered a collapse with the the Japanese economy which still has not recovered.

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7 hours ago, PhilipB2k17 said:

I get why old style dolls have cratered. Demographics. Especially raggedy Ann. 

Now, action figures like classic GI Joe or Mego? Or Barbie? Way up. 

Of course. Demographics again. 

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19 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Of course. Demographics again. 

Why is it you aren't applying those demographics to comics or mtg?   They favor mtg all day long at this point.  

To be clear.    I don't collect mtg.   I played a bit when I was younger.   Have a few cards.     Bought and sold a few pieces of art 7-8 years ago at 5% :cry: of today's values.    That's it.    I'm not particularly a cheerleader for mtg as I'm only tangentially interested.    

I just know what I see.

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4 hours ago, Bronty said:

Why is it you aren't applying those demographics to comics or mtg?   They favor mtg all day long at this point.  

To be clear.    I don't collect mtg.   I played a bit when I was younger.   Have a few cards.     Bought and sold a few pieces of art 7-8 years ago at 5% :cry: of today's values.    That's it.    I'm not particularly a cheerleader for mtg as I'm only tangentially interested.    

I just know what I see.

Both have their demographic limits, but I don't know anything about mtg. If it doesn't have some sort of cross-cultural or cross-collectible link to a general market, it can't have a really long "hot" lifespan. 

I do know I'm not impressed with that artwork.  

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What a great discussion.

One thing that I think is sort of missed, is the way that time impacts all of this.  Because I think that, when you take a long view on art... you realize that ONLY craft will hold it’s value, except for extraordinarily important nostalgia.

What I mean is, that while now we look at a piece and we might talk about A,B,C and D level artists... when you go out 50 years... it might only be a handful of artists whose names still hold any real significance in the market. 

Similarly, now we value pages from key books, or key character moments .. but with the passing of time... all that will remain really will be the appearance on that page of key characters. What I mean is, right now if you have a page from Amazing Spider-Man, that book has value... but down the road, if Spidey isn’t featured on it... that page will not.  

And when it comes to minor characters, who are not really remembered at that point?  The pages will be evalued by the craft alone.  Do they tell a visually pleasing story?  Are they a good example of the genre? Etc.

For example, I have a Carmine Infantino page from his Nova run in my collection.  At some point in the future that will just be “super hero page”... and valued and evaluated as such.

My Ross Andru Amazing Spidey page will probably just be a Spider-Man page, and I wonder if my Andru Marvel Team-Up page will end up being valued in the same way... and their relative value will be based solely on the craft of each page.  

The reason I say these things is there’s precedent for it.  think of the great collected heroes of our parents (or grandparents) past... the Tom Mix, Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, etc..  While some of the names still remain, the value of the collectibles doesn’t necessarily.  And while comic book heroes will still have their stories told even when comics are no longer published, its reasonable to assume the lack of comiics at some point will dramatically impact the evaluation of art in the marketplace relative, especially, to nostalgia.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, fmaz said:

One thing that I think is sort of missed, is the way that time impacts all of this.  Because I think that, when you take a long view on art... you realize that ONLY craft will hold it’s value, except for extraordinarily important nostalgia.

Actually, no, it is purely a function of demand. Different styles go in and out of fashion, and this can result in a lot of lower prices. The craft hasn't changed, but if people don't want to buy "Hudson School" landscapes, they don't. My parents made a similar mistake by buying Persian rugs in the 1970's and early 1980's. Their value has tanked.

OA carries a triple-whammy on pricing: nostalgia for particular characters/events/artists, craftsmanship of the particular piece, and general public interest in the type of art itself. If people stop buying comics in 50 years, and instead just read on-line, I question if the value of any OA will hold up or just be regarded as an artifact of the past. Add in the fact that millenials don't generally seem interested in buying "things" as compared to buying "experiences", and that 50 year time line is a perilous investment point.

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1 hour ago, Rick2you2 said:

Actually, no, it is purely a function of demand. Different styles go in and out of fashion, and this can result in a lot of lower prices. The craft hasn't changed, but if people don't want to buy "Hudson School" landscapes, they don't. My parents made a similar mistake by buying Persian rugs in the 1970's and early 1980's. Their value has tanked.

OA carries a triple-whammy on pricing: nostalgia for particular characters/events/artists, craftsmanship of the particular piece, and general public interest in the type of art itself. If people stop buying comics in 50 years, and instead just read on-line, I question if the value of any OA will hold up or just be regarded as an artifact of the past. Add in the fact that millenials don't generally seem interested in buying "things" as compared to buying "experiences", and that 50 year time line is a perilous investment point.

While I appreciate your open minded response to my opinion I think you’ve missed my point. Perhaps because I didn’t state it clearly enough so I’ll try again - what I was trying to say was that when time strips away all value based on nostalgia what will remain is just the piece of art.  Pen and ink.  And it will be judged solely on that. THAT is the craft. 

I wasn’t speaking, nor do I particularly care, about investment. 

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