Batman 251 Cover
0

134 posts in this topic

1,461 posts
1 hour ago, artdealer said:

13 or so years ago, I spoke to Neal about the Police report. This was when Neal was on a rampage to get all his art back, and everything was stolen.
Neal and I had a sit down at his studio in NYC and discussed the specifics of the Police Report. Neal said he did file one, but it was a blanket report. No specific pages were listed.
I told him unless specific pages were listed, there was nothing legally he could do to get back the art.

I also had to remind him just how much of his art Tony Dispoto and I sold for him back in the 70s.

Now, back in November of 1981, at the NYC Creation Con, Neal had asked if he could trade for Giordano's share of GL/GA #86, Batman #255 and the Superman/Mohammed Ali book.
So in December of 1981, after the trade, Neal had the complete books for the Batman and GL stories. I had sold several of the Superman/Ali pages previously.

When I had the sit down with Neal, I reminded him of the trade. Neal said he no longer had the complete books. So obviously someone had taken art over the 20+ years he had the art. But he never filed a Police report for those pages.

Once I told Neal how much of his art Tony and I sold back in the 70s, he backed down from his rampage.

MI

 

I know this isn't the point of your story, but I've often wondered why I had never seen a single page (or the cover) for GL/GA 86 offered anywhere or anytime.  Same thing goes for the Batman 255 interiors (the cover is out there and I was offered it years ago).  You're saying he now no longer has those stories post '81 trade?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,572 posts

@Michael BrowningWhy the sad face? You would disagree with me forwarding a cut of a MASSIVE windfall back to the creator? Why? In this hypothetical, it's not like I bought it at FMV 15 years ago when prices were closer to maturation and therefore the risk was significantly greater.

If this is one of the covers that was sold as stolen property, I'd work with Neal on splitting the net in some fair fashion regardless of his legal recourse.

And I think it deserves to be said once again that this is Neal Adams we're talking about... The guy who saved Siegel and Shuster from the poor house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23,928 posts
1 hour ago, BCarter27 said:

@Michael BrowningWhy the sad face? You would disagree with me forwarding a cut of a MASSIVE windfall back to the creator? Why? In this hypothetical, it's not like I bought it at FMV 15 years ago when prices were closer to maturation and therefore the risk was significantly greater.

If this is one of the covers that was sold as stolen property, I'd work with Neal on splitting the net in some fair fashion regardless of his legal recourse.

And I think it deserves to be said once again that this is Neal Adams we're talking about... The guy who saved Siegel and Shuster from the poor house.

Who says it's a massive windfall?  I don't know who the consignor is, but, I heard that it used to belong to a major BSD, but that he is not the consignor.* Maybe another BSD bought it off of him privately a few years ago for $500K?**

 

* This is an unverified rumor. 

** I don't know this to be the case; this is a complete hypothetical. All I'm saying is that just because these things used to sell for $250 doesn't mean that the consignor's cost basis is low, as we all know that expensive art changes hands privately all the time. Anyway, maybe the consignor paid $500K for it, and it does that much at auction, and he loses the commission and then another $50K to Neal and takes a 6-figure hit on the sale. (shrug)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
844 posts

Spot on Gene. The assumption that every collector bought art for a song and now stands to make MASSIVE profits is rubbish.

Neal if BM 251 is stolen file the police report and demand HA stop the auction.

Approaching HA or  publicly asserting that the bidding could be less than stellar without your blessing, not cool.

Neal, IS THIS YOUR COVER ? Was it stolen? Should it be returned to you?

if so take the proper legal steps or go radio silent. It’s not ok to manipulate an auction. If you can negotiate privately and someone feels compelled to pay you off....I can’t do anything about that. 

Collectors think about this. If artists or estates can strong arm consignors and auction houses for percentages of sales or percentages of auction fees on a regular basis, it’s not good for this “thing of ours.”

A one off is one thing but this sounds like the standard MO lately. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,522 posts
1 minute ago, grapeape said:

Approaching HA or  publicly asserting that the bidding could be less than stellar without your blessing, not cool.

It's interference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,572 posts
1 hour ago, delekkerste said:

Who says it's a massive windfall?  I don't know who the consignor is, but, I heard that it used to belong to a major BSD, but that he is not the consignor.* Maybe another BSD bought it off of him privately a few years ago for $500K?*

In that case, of course not. But I thought the prevailing wind was that an early, if not first, owner was the consignor.

1 hour ago, delekkerste said:

takes a 6-figure hit on the sale.

To that point, I think the BWS agreements were, iirc, a percentage of net not gross.

1 hour ago, grapeape said:

If so take the proper legal steps or go radio silent.

There is no likely legal recourse for any of this early art -- Kirby, Ditko, Adams, or otherwise. It is what it is.

2 hours ago, vodou said:

"Who" should never make a difference.

Shouldn't but always does and always will.

2 hours ago, vodou said:

Or order a commission, pay for it, and then remove his obligation, in writing, from actually performing it. Or any other variation of same. I don't think anybody would really have a problem with this.

?? If I make a six-figure profit on an Adams piece, we'll talk, but I ain't givin' the guy money for nuthin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,179 posts
5 hours ago, stinkininkin said:

I know this isn't the point of your story, but I've often wondered why I had never seen a single page (or the cover) for GL/GA 86 offered anywhere or anytime.  Same thing goes for the Batman 255 interiors (the cover is out there and I was offered it years ago).  You're saying he now no longer has those stories post '81 trade?

What I’m saying is that Neal said the Batman and GL stories were no longer complete. 

Now, that’s what he said. It’s possible he misplaced them. Maybe some were stolen. I know of at least one person who was taking art out of Neal’s studio about 12-13 years ago, and got caught.

i haven’t seen pages from the 2 stories on the market, so who know what the real story is.

MI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,522 posts
1 minute ago, BCarter27 said:

?? If I make a six-figure profit on an Adams piece, we'll talk, but I ain't givin' the guy money for nuthin'.

But but, but, but...Siegel...Schuster...why Neal is nearly the Son of God...right?

You don't need an excuse (or a law)...JUST DO THE RIGHT THING :)

But seriously, if you only made a five-figure profit, not gonna feel sorry for Neal? Wow. Tough crowd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
137 posts
6 hours ago, grapeape said:

Thank you for posting this video. Turned out to spark some interesting thoughts.

Your welcome.

Neal has inspired me. I want .05 a post, comment or reply moving forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23,928 posts
7 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

In that case, of course not. But I thought the prevailing wind was that an early, if not first, owner was the consignor.

To that point, I think the BWS agreements were, iirc, a percentage of net not gross.

BWS's old TAR agreement imposed a 15% royalty on the difference between the new transfer value and the old one, and required that the seller get the buyer to sign a new TAR.  Since no such royalty has been paid to Neal to date on the Batman #251, presumably he would want 10% of the gross value (a la the GL 76 cover, reportedly) so that would be a big hit to the consignor.  

BWS scrapped the TAR requirement during the 2016 Profiles in History auction, which featured a lot of great art by Barry for sale.  Presumably he did this because he saw that the requirement was turning off buyers in a big way by obligating them not only to pay a royalty upon re-sale, but also to get the next owner to sign a contract as well (potentially a big hassle and a turn-off to potential buyers). Plus, I think he realized how difficult/impossible/totally not :censored: worth the hassle it was to try and enforce this agreement without the benefit of having bloated government bureaucracies enforcing the laws (and using much of the proceeds to fund said bureaucracies) as happens in Europe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,572 posts
6 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

so that would be a big hit to the consignor.  

Maybe not so bad if they negotiated that sweeeet negative seller's fee Heritage hands out to everyone like rubbers at shore leave. (:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
479 posts
4 hours ago, BCarter27 said:

@Michael BrowningWhy the sad face? You would disagree with me forwarding a cut of a MASSIVE windfall back to the creator? Why? In this hypothetical, it's not like I bought it at FMV 15 years ago when prices were closer to maturation and therefore the risk was significantly greater.

If this is one of the covers that was sold as stolen property, I'd work with Neal on splitting the net in some fair fashion regardless of his legal recourse.

And I think it deserves to be said once again that this is Neal Adams we're talking about... The guy who saved Siegel and Shuster from the poor house.

The sad face is because I strongly disagree and there’s not a face for that one.

i don’t care who Neal Adams helped in the past. He’s only trying to help himself with this move.

if you want to be so doggone righteous and help all these poor, starving artists, then donate some money to them.

or, better yet, buy the Batman 251 cover and give It back to Neal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,572 posts
10 minutes ago, Michael Browning said:

i don’t care who Neal Adams helped in the past.

Truly? You don't care that he helped Siegel and Shuster? Or was this just a turn of phrase?

11 minutes ago, Michael Browning said:

He’s only trying to help himself with this move.

And why shouldn't he? Especially if the art may not have been acquired with a clear title at its first sale and authenticating it for a fee now is his only way to get some recompense for stolen property.

12 minutes ago, Michael Browning said:

then donate some money to them.

OK.

12 minutes ago, Michael Browning said:

or, better yet, buy the Batman 251 cover and give It back to Neal.

Yeah, that well thought out counter point convinced me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,351 posts

If I was the owner of the cover and Neal asked for 10$ to promote and encourage bidding,  I would consider it.  If I felt that Neal was trying to place doubt on its authenticity just so he could strong arm me into giving 10%+, I would tell him to pound sand.  

I think that's what bothers me th most.  He is casting doubt on its authenticity without any basis.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,522 posts
11 hours ago, delekkerste said:

Plus, I think he realized how difficult/impossible/totally not :censored: worth the hassle it was to try and enforce this agreement without the benefit of having bloated government bureaucracies enforcing the laws (and using much of the proceeds to fund said bureaucracies) as happens in Europe. 

This is often the aspect that's overlooked by well-meaning do-gooders (no slight intended!)...the friction of bureaucracy.

By definition, any friction results in 100% given being less than 100% received by the end user.

If I go further there's the risk of this being OT political content, somebody whining and the whole thing being 'poofed' away, so I won't. Except to leave with: we should all want 100% of "whatever" to go directly to the party we wish to help/reward. (Otherwise: what's the point?!) And the very best way to do that, always, is to just send them the money, directly, yourself. (If one of your end users is central planning employees/administrations...send them a check too then, who's stopping you?!!!!)

And having done that, now standing tippy-toes on your high horse of generosity, brag to all far and wide...and let the conscience of others dictate their behavior, instead of trying to strong-arm (using at-gunpoint-coercion of The Law) them toward their own bragging rights or risk not only moral detriment but also property loss ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,572 posts
5 minutes ago, vodou said:

send them a check too then, who's stopping you?

I don't think this is a case of blanket virtue signalling on my part. I'm saying this money should come from the seller and not the buyer and not from some random donation from such as I... and not in a vacuum either, but rather in the case of an effective "found money" six-figure windfall on a piece with a possibly shady sales history.

(With all of the politics being thrown around in this thread -- property rights, socialism as a dirty word, etc. -- you'd think I was trying to restart the October revolution! lol I'm not suggesting burn the whole hobby down to the ground. No matter how much people want to turn any discussion into a battle of idealogues and absolutes and catch each other out with "gotchas", there are always extenuating circumstances and context. You have to take these things a case at a time -- both in real courts and the court of opinion. Please let's not fall into those internet traps here.)

In cases when you have Nazi-stolen or any stolen art, it is a much more difficult situation for the recent buyer who has just shelled out FMV than it is for the previous owner who bought the thing years ago at a much smaller cost basis.

If I were a potential bidder on this, due diligence would definitely include making sure that Adams and his future estate wouldn't have a potential claim on it. I might request the consignor pay Adams for a COA just for peace of mind going forward.

"Strong arm", pressure, whatever you want to call it... I think Adams is taking the only course of action available to him. And I think he was put on the spot in the moment in a live broadcast without some non-existent PR person standing over him.

This is an artist whose work many of you purport to love to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. So I am a little shocked at the lack of empathy or respect for him -- "antics", "pound sand", etc. We're not talking about McFarlane who is able to kick back due to his toy empire. We're talking about a guy who still goes to every con to presumably pay the bills and engage with his fans.

And without Adams, guess what? The entire OA hobby would probably be non-existent (or its birth delayed by many years.)

I don't think enough people here are putting themselves in his shoes. This is his life's work. And these pieces of it keep popping back up for headline, industry-building sales at a time when it is only natural to be looking back and taking stock.

Are there any other artists or writers in here who want to comment? Those are the people I feel can offer further perspective on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
365 posts
11 hours ago, Claudio said:

If I was the owner of the cover and Neal asked for 10$ to promote and encourage bidding,  I would consider it.  If I felt that Neal was trying to place doubt on its authenticity just so he could strong arm me into giving 10%+, I would tell him to pound sand.  

I think that's what bothers me th most.  He is casting doubt on its authenticity without any basis.  

This makes more sense than anything. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0