Forbes article
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Posted (edited)

Sorry if this has already been posted.

Forbes ain't what it used to be, but nothing like some mainstream media spotlight on our OA hobby.

What's Driving The High-End Comic Market To Multimillion-Dollar Heights?  https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2019/01/30/whats-driving-the-high-end-comic-market-to-multi-million-dollar-heights/#7b6f59215465

Edited by exitmusicblue

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Not a bad general interest article. But note the hidden caveat which the article’s writer ignored: prices are being driven up in part by personal nostalgia. Well, people and generations die off—and so does what they value.

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5 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Not a bad general interest article. But note the hidden caveat which the article’s writer ignored: prices are being driven up in part by personal nostalgia. Well, people and generations die off—and so does what they value.

A good point -- I do believe the nostalgia is being passed down generations.  Culture machine helping with a lot of properties, e.g. Marvel. 

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17 hours ago, exitmusicblue said:

A good point -- I do believe the nostalgia is being passed down generations.  Culture machine helping with a lot of properties, e.g. Marvel. 

There may be nostalgia for buying comics, or art, but the specific artists who drew issue xyz of some long cancelled comic? How much nostalgia is there for all those old school collectors of marbles? Have you seen how the prices of antique furniture has slumped over the past 20 years? Or collectible crystal?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rick2you2 said:

There may be nostalgia for buying comics, or art, but the specific artists who drew issue xyz of some long cancelled comic? How much nostalgia is there for all those old school collectors of marbles? Have you seen how the prices of antique furniture has slumped over the past 20 years? Or collectible crystal?

Depends on the artist.  Always has -- in any medium of art -- pop included.  Most will be forgotten, but certainly not all.  A lot of folks snickered at Warhol back in the day, too... oftentimes it's not even about sheer artistic skill, although this certainly helps.

Kirby/Ditko may not be Frazetta, yet they'll forever be connected to Spidey, who might as well have the lasting power and timeless recognition of Mickey Mouse at this point.

Also... I prefer comparing art medium against medium, rather than vs. marbles or antiques or crystal. I think nostalgia is like history.  Doesn't repeat, but rhymes.

That artist-character combo thread I made is indicative.  I feel zero direct nostalgia for most of those referenced... many were before my time.  Would I still respect/collect a fair number of the bigger names?  Damned straight yes, and I know I'm far from the only one.  

Lovers of art tend to care about history, lineage, influences, progenitors.  Just like Yankees sports card collectors today still care about Ruth and Gehrig and continue to drive their prices (woops, a non-art analogy), though very few alive today saw them play.

Edited by exitmusicblue

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14 minutes ago, exitmusicblue said:

Depends on the artist.  Always has -- in any medium of art -- pop included.  Most will be forgotten, but certainly not all.  A lot of folks snickered at Warhol back in the day, too... oftentimes it's not even about sheer artistic skill, although this certainly helps.

Kirby/Ditko may not be Frazetta, yet they'll forever be connected to Spidey, who might as well have the lasting power and timeless recognition of Mickey Mouse at this point.

Also... I prefer comparing art medium against medium, rather than vs. marbles or antiques or crystal. I think nostalgia is like history.  Doesn't repeat, but rhymes.

That artist-character combo thread I made is indicative.  I feel zero direct nostalgia for most of those referenced.  Would I still respect/collect a fair number of them?  Damned straight yes, and I know I'm far from the only one.

75 years from now, Spider-man is likely to be viewed in the same way we view “Ragged ” and Mark the Match Boy. If you don’t know the references, that’s my point. The artists will likely be viewed, for the most part, the same way. You, as a collector, are not the generation at issue. It is the habits of your grandchildren which are. And from what we are seeing so far, they may not be very collector oriented.

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1 minute ago, Rick2you2 said:

75 years from now, Spider-man is likely to be viewed in the same way we view “Ragged ” and Mark the Match Boy. If you don’t know the references, that’s my point. The artists will likely be viewed, for the most part, the same way. You, as a collector, are not the generation at issue. It is the habits of your grandchildren which are. And from what we are seeing so far, they may not be very collector oriented.

Disagree.  What of Mickey Mouse?  If Disney can keep that black-and-white mouse relevant, think they'll have a problem with Peter Parker?  Naw.

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3 minutes ago, Rick2you2 said:

75 years from now, Spider-man is likely to be viewed in the same way we view “Ragged ” and Mark the Match Boy. If you don’t know the references, that’s my point. The artists will likely be viewed, for the most part, the same way. You, as a collector, are not the generation at issue. It is the habits of your grandchildren which are. And from what we are seeing so far, they may not be very collector oriented.

And apologies, I added some more content to my original response.   Point being, if I'm inclined to collect art I have zero direct nostalgia for (all of my Golden Age, for example), I can very much imagine future generations doing the same.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, exitmusicblue said:

Disagree.  What of Mickey Mouse?  If Disney can keep that black-and-white mouse relevant, think they'll have a problem with Peter Parker?  Naw.

Actually, Mickey Mouse is not particularly relevant as a functional character. He is mostly relevant as a brand name/trademark for Disney. How many times in the last 20 years has someone said: I gotta see that Mickey Mouse cartoon? People just don’t care much for “Steamboat Willie” anymore. Similarly, who still reads Horatio Alger stories even if we know the name? 

Edited by Rick2you2
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14 minutes ago, Rick2you2 said:

Similarly, who still reads Horacio Alger stories even if we know the name? 

Roy Rogers...RULEZ!

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2 hours ago, vodou said:

Roy Rogers...RULEZ!

I used to love the salad bars at his chains. Then they were bought out by Arby's and they sunk into mediocrity.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Actually, Mickey Mouse is not particularly relevant as a functional character. He is mostly relevant as a brand name/trademark for Disney. How many times in the last 20 years has someone said: I gotta see that Mickey Mouse cartoon? People just don’t care much for “Steamboat Willie” anymore. Similarly, who still reads Horatio Alger stories even if we know the name? 

The medium will always evolve.  If someone could ever dig up the first OA in which Mick appeared (with provenance), man...

Anyhow, many other points made, agree to disagree -- happy Sunday y'all !

Edited by exitmusicblue

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5 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Actually, Mickey Mouse is not particularly relevant as a functional character. He is mostly relevant as a brand name/trademark for Disney. How many times in the last 20 years has someone said: I gotta see that Mickey Mouse cartoon? People just don’t care much for “Steamboat Willie” anymore. Similarly, who still reads Horatio Alger stories even if we know the name? 

As someone with kids, he's a very big deal.

The thing is entertainment is very segmented, if you don't go over to Disney jr you'd never know, but Mickey, Minnie and the gang are alive and well

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16 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

75 years from now, Spider-man is likely to be viewed in the same way we view “Ragged ” and Mark the Match Boy. If you don’t know the references, that’s my point. The artists will likely be viewed, for the most part, the same way. You, as a collector, are not the generation at issue. It is the habits of your grandchildren which are. And from what we are seeing so far, they may not be very collector oriented.

I think Spidey will have more longevity than the much earlier examples you cited, as he's got 57 years of history and now worldwide exposure behind him, all preserved in all kinds of media formats, with new content coming out monthly, with the might of a $250 billion multinational media powerhouse backing him.

That said, most people's interactions with Spidey these days begin and end with the movies. While the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, and even the Millennials to a decent extent, have awareness of the source material and place importance (or at least recognize that there are people who still care) on things like "his first appearance" and the "collectibility" of the early & key comics and, to a lesser extent, of the original art (up to a point, anyway), I can see that link fraying a lot in the coming years/decades.  

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Pete Marino said:

As someone with kids, he's a very big deal.

The thing is entertainment is very segmented, if you don't go over to Disney jr you'd never know, but Mickey, Minnie and the gang are alive and well

 

17 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Actually, Mickey Mouse is not particularly relevant as a functional character. He is mostly relevant as a brand name/trademark for Disney. How many times in the last 20 years has someone said: I gotta see that Mickey Mouse cartoon? People just don’t care much for “Steamboat Willie” anymore. Similarly, who still reads Horatio Alger stories even if we know the name? 

As Pete says, Mickey Mouse is huge.  Mickey and the Roaster Racers and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are must see tv for kids.  (As an aside they are not for adults but they are really well done with a new song every episode.  Disney hires top notch talent for this stuff.  It will date well, unlike let's say The Superfriends from the 1980s.)  New toys are coming out all the time in different formats like lego or Mickey's Roadster racecars and kids still want these.   If you visit California Adventure, you will see the packed lines for the Disney Jr. Dance party where all the kids want to dance with Mickey and Minnie, or the long lines of kids who want to take their pictures with Mickey and Minnie and the gang at the parks.  All of these little kids know who these characters are and love them.  

Disney absolutely knows what they are doing.  

Netflix has a few Lego Avengers short films and they are so popular and entertaining for kids, it is clear how Disney will continue to make these characters popular for future generations, even without comic books.  It's also important to note that at the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride store, and the Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland where you checked in for Galaxy's Edge, they have racks of comics of Marvel and Star Wars prominently displayed along with other merchandise.   The new Marvel land is in the middle of construction at California Adventure now, but there are long waits to get photos with Spider-man, Loki, and the Black Panther there already.  Little kids were furiously chasing after the Avengers Endgame toys at McDonalds even though they couldn't see the movies.  These characters are going to be around for long past our lifetimes.    

 

 

 

Edited by Peter L

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11 hours ago, delekkerste said:

I think Spidey will have more longevity than the much earlier examples you cited, as he's got 57 years of history and now worldwide exposure behind him, all preserved in all kinds of media formats, with new content coming out monthly, with the might of a $250 billion multinational media powerhouse backing him.

That said, most people's interactions with Spidey these days begin and end with the movies. While the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, and even the Millennials to a decent extent, have awareness of the source material and place importance (or at least recognize that there are people who still care) on things like "his first appearance" and the "collectibility" of the early & key comics and, to a lesser extent, of the original art (up to a point, anyway), I can see that link fraying a lot in the coming years/decades.  

Question for all: Do you think "the comic art market" (pyramid at it's broadest base of regular active collectors) will make much, if any, distinction between (for example) Ditko and Romita, Andru and Sal B...in 30 years? Or will it just be "early Spidey" and "later Spidey"? For that matter...McFarlane and Larsen and that other guy (that came after Larsen, can't even remember his name but I know his prices are moving up fast)...or will that just be lumped together as "90s Image-ish Spidey"?

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2 hours ago, Peter L said:

 

As Pete says, Mickey Mouse is huge.  Mickey and the Roaster Racers and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are must see tv for kids.  (As an aside they are not for adults but they are really well done with a new song every episode.  Disney hires top notch talent for this stuff.  It will date well, unlike let's say The Superfriends from the 1980s.)  New toys are coming out all the time in different formats like lego or Mickey's Roadster racecars and kids still want these.   If you visit California Adventure, you will see the packed lines for the Disney Jr. Dance party where all the kids want to dance with Mickey and Minnie, or the long lines of kids who want to take their pictures with Mickey and Minnie and the gang at the parks.  All of these little kids know who these characters are and love them.  

Disney absolutely knows what they are doing.  

Netflix has a few Lego Avengers short films and they are so popular and entertaining for kids, it is clear how Disney will continue to make these characters popular for future generations, even without comic books.  It's also important to note that at the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride store, and the Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland where you checked in for Galaxy's Edge, they have racks of comics of Marvel and Star Wars prominently displayed along with other merchandise.   The new Marvel land is in the middle of construction at California Adventure now, but there are long waits to get photos with Spider-man, Loki, and the Black Panther there already.  Little kids were furiously chasing after the Avengers Endgame toys at McDonalds even though they couldn't see the movies.  These characters are going to be around for long past our lifetimes.   

You make some good points here, can't disagree overall but I wonder if any of that translates into - in 30 years time - (two or more) anybodys really, really, really, wanting that Captain America #241 page for $50k (that sold for $5k+ at the last Clink) with the early Punisher vs. Cap appearance replaying Frank Miller's cover image? Because for that heat you need some hot under-bidders too. Or...will that page and any others from "the 1980s Captain America era" all be priced approximately the same regardless of artist and content unless cover or splash (or dps)?

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17 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

I used to love the salad bars at his chains. Then they were bought out by Arby's and they sunk into mediocrity.

HEY..i "WORKED" At Roy Rogers from 1982-1983..LOL

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45 minutes ago, romitaman said:

HEY..i "WORKED" At Roy Rogers from 1982-1983..LOL

Did you go by the name of 'Trigger-Man' back then, Mike?

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3 hours ago, vodou said:

You make some good points here, can't disagree overall but I wonder if any of that translates into - in 30 years time - (two or more) anybodys really, really, really, wanting that Captain America #241 page for $50k (that sold for $5k+ at the last Clink) with the early Punisher vs. Cap appearance replaying Frank Miller's cover image? Because for that heat you need some hot under-bidders too. Or...will that page and any others from "the 1980s Captain America era" all be priced approximately the same regardless of artist and content unless cover or splash (or dps)?

There are so many variables that it is hard to know what will happen and impossible to predict. 

There are great Learn to Read books that feature Marvel characters and summarize the films.  In a way, these are the comic books for the younger children and gateway to the characters for this generation.  If Disney decides to make these kind of books or comic books for kids available in Target or Walmarts or general stores, they could become really popular again.  The DC 100 page giants for Walmart were the right idea but the execution was so poor that it wasn't doing what they wanted it to do.  IDW is trying to make comics for young kids with what I think are mixed results because they aren't clear and direct enough, and some have double entendre humor that isn't clear enough to kids.

The new boss at DC reportedly said she wants the most famous marketable versions of the characters so they could be sold on lunchboxes and toys.  I actually think this is a step in the right direction.  The current young generation only knows about Bryan Singer's Deadbeat Dad Superman Returns, and Zack Snyder's Neckbraker and Whiny Superman who the world apparently hates.  What young kid would want to read a story about either of these character versions?  If DC gets their stories right, and their young children media right, it could increase in popularity again.  Some of the most popular media for kids are badly homemade youtube videos with kids playing with comic figure legos and toys making their own adventures.  

I don't think there will be any mass market distinguishing between Ditko vs Kirby vs McFarlane Spider-Mans for future generations.  At the Guardians of the Galaxy store, you can buy a glass cup with a Steranko Captain America on it.   It doesn't say who drew it but it is obvious to me.  Like with their other property, I would expect Disney will hide the artists names and make the character the focus.  Unless Disney/Marvel pushes comics out to more than just the comic stores, I think the popular version would be whatever current product they are making.  I think the older artists will only be hunted down by the next generation hipsters, like the current hipsters hunt down LPs in the era of digital music streaming.

I read a story on 13th Dimension website about Steve Englehart and the influential changes he made on Batman.  I think most including me view the four changes he made to the character as a positive.  But the first change he listed was "1) Make the Batman an adult, not a child's image of what an adult [is]."  I think this is what increased the difficulty of the barrier of entry for young comic readers more than anything.  

Englehart also wrote about how DC/Warners hid his work and didn't give him more work for a long time because they didn't want to give him credit for what was used for Tim Burton's Batman.  Hiding the contributions of the writers and artists would draw attention away from comic auteurs that we like to collect.

I do think there is enough money in comic art and enough collectors that it will be popular through our lifetimes.  



 

 

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