Certificate of Authenticity Neal Adams
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44 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, jick said:

The more recent purchases come with certificates that are optional and cost $10 to $20. 

In the past, there were certificates attached to the back of the art with Neal's thumbprint but Neal's studio has stopped doing that claiming there are fakes floating around.  Personally, I don't buy that reason.  I just think Neal has been so much more efficient and works a lot faster - while he works on so many pieces at once - it might be hard to certificate all of them.  Again, that's just my theory which is different from their official stance.

Nevertheless, current purchases from the store either have: (1) no certificate, (2) certificate with hologram sticker, or (3) hologram sticker stuck directly to the back of the art.  I have purchased a lot from Neal this past year and have chosen option #3.  Personally, I don't see the point of a certificate separate from the art, but then that's just me.

Hope this helps answer your query.

Thank you jick this really hits the nail on the head and everyone else who has answered have really helped me me so much to understand how it all works. So different from buying a slabbed comic ...duh!

Edited by Ghazi
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I do question how he is able to crank out so many of those head sketches each week. I imagine he has a set template he goes to for characters. I love his art and have a bit of everything from him. I asked for a head sketch of Mr Sinister and it looked exactly like a google image head shot. Was a bit disappointed and was hoping for some originality. 😔

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On 11/8/2020 at 1:34 AM, Blastaar said:

I do question how he is able to crank out so many of those head sketches each week. I imagine he has a set template he goes to for characters. I love his art and have a bit of everything from him. I asked for a head sketch of Mr Sinister and it looked exactly like a google image head shot. Was a bit disappointed and was hoping for some originality. 😔

Yes, he has a template and lightboxes over it, so that it is still all original art.  For characters not on file, Neal has said he used Google search.  For the price those headshots are going (quality is still awesome), they are relatively affordable and should be considered more like a glorified signature, or an upgraded remarque.  It really doesn't matter if it's lightboxed or Googled for me - it's still Neal's handwork.  But your mileage may vary.

 

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10 hours ago, jick said:

Yes, he has a template and lightboxes over it, so that it is still all original art.  For characters not on file, Neal has said he used Google search.  For the price those headshots are going (quality is still awesome), they are relatively affordable and should be considered more like a glorified signature, or an upgraded remarque.  It really doesn't matter if it's lightboxed or Googled for me - it's still Neal's handwork.  But your mileage may vary.

 

I had no idea Adams light-boxes his commissioned head sketches! That's fascinating. Collectors are cool with this (because it keeps up availability and prices reasonable)? Are there other artists who do this?

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8 minutes ago, stinkininkin said:

I had no idea Adams light-boxes his commissioned head sketches! That's fascinating. Collectors are cool with this (because it keeps up availability and prices reasonable)? Are there other artists who do this?

I don't know about modern artists but Segar used a stencil with Popeye when answering fan requests. The stencil came up for auction a few years ago - one of our fellow collectors bought it.

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On 11/11/2020 at 12:45 AM, jick said:

Yes, he has a template and lightboxes over it, so that it is still all original art.  For characters not on file, Neal has said he used Google search.  For the price those headshots are going (quality is still awesome), they are relatively affordable and should be considered more like a glorified signature, or an upgraded remarque.  It really doesn't matter if it's lightboxed or Googled for me - it's still Neal's handwork.  But your mileage may vary.

 

They did recently drop to $200 which is easier to swallow. 

Edited by Blastaar
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On 11/12/2020 at 1:39 AM, stinkininkin said:

I had no idea Adams light-boxes his commissioned head sketches! That's fascinating. Collectors are cool with this (because it keeps up availability and prices reasonable)? Are there other artists who do this?

Neal is pretty open about this during his live auctions. He even admits to not filling in the blacks himself. He also swears by the Zig Kuretake Hikkei pen, because it can do what brushes and nibs do but saves him 50% of the time since he doesn't have to keep dipping back and forth to and inkwell. In short, Neal Adams has mastered a method to be more productive than he ever has been in his entire career. He draws hundreds of those head sketches and quality is very consistent. And you are getting hand drawn Neal Adams for $200. Some second-tier artists charge more, but Neal isn't even first tier -he is living legend status.. so even if lightboced or a glorified signature, it's still worth it for so many of his fans!

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1 hour ago, jick said:

Neal is pretty open about this during his live auctions. He even admits to not filling in the blacks himself. He also swears by the Zig Kuretake Hikkei pen, because it can do what brushes and nibs do but saves him 50% of the time since he doesn't have to keep dipping back and forth to and inkwell. In short, Neal Adams has mastered a method to be more productive than he ever has been in his entire career. He draws hundreds of those head sketches and quality is very consistent. And you are getting hand drawn Neal Adams for $200. Some second-tier artists charge more, but Neal isn't even first tier -he is living legend status.. so even if lightboced or a glorified signature, it's still worth it for so many of his fans!

Good info. Thanks! I haven't followed Neal's recent business model, so this is all news to me. My first reaction isn't so much about the fans and the market, but Neal himself and how he's able to do this. I know for me, I'd go out of my mind by the tediousness of doing and redoing the exact same pieces over and over! There's so much mental engagement required to doing compelling drawings, and the sheer drudgery of doing it the new Neal Adams way would be a non starter for me, the artist. But if he's happy doing it and the fans are happy customers, I guess its a win/win. And the Adams fan in me is pretty happy to see him continue to draw and be productive at any level.

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2 minutes ago, ESeffinga said:

As long as the buyer is aware, it is what it is.
 

Personally I see it link a hand inked xerox copy. Not something I would ever want it as my interest in Neal was as an artist. A hand copied drawing isn’t art, it’s tedium. The art was when he drew the head the first time. Tho for Neal, I haven’t seen much creativity in ages. And I hate his current inking style as well, so an easy pass for me. But I did once love Neal.

There was a time when he was doing some amazing commissions (I got a couple) and drawings for folks, but that ship sailed long ago. He has stock poses and he plugs and plays with these days. He might as well be tracing $100 bills. He is trading off his legend as a genuine artist to make his way now, and I don’t begrudge any artist for using any method they can to make a living. It’s great that the market is there and he can do that. Too many artists struggle.

But it’s not art. It’s commerce. And good on him for making it work.

Yup. Good post. Agreed.

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6 hours ago, ESeffinga said:

As long as the buyer is aware, it is what it is.
 

Personally I see it link a hand inked xerox copy. Not something I would ever want it as my interest in Neal was as an artist. A hand copied drawing isn’t art, it’s tedium. The art was when he drew the head the first time. Tho for Neal, I haven’t seen much creativity in ages. And I hate his current inking style as well, so an easy pass for me. But I did once love Neal.

There was a time when he was doing some amazing commissions (I got a couple) and drawings for folks, but that ship sailed long ago. He has stock poses and he plugs and plays with these days. He might as well be tracing $100 bills. He is trading off his legend as a genuine artist to make his way now, and I don’t begrudge any artist for using any method they can to make a living. It’s great that the market is there and he can do that. Too many artists struggle.

But it’s not art. It’s commerce. And good on him for making it work.

The buyer is very aware.  Neal is very open about it in his FB live feeds.  But then again, we are talking $200 profile pieces.  That's a Neal Adams hand-drawn for $200!  There is always a market for that given Neal's immense status in the industry.

For original work, Neal does take commission requests through his site. They are considerably more expensive, going up to $1500 for single figure 11x14 no background commissions.

Modern original art published pages sell for $10,000 upwards - most actually in the $20,000 range.

Steering this back on topic, regardless of which price point you buy, you always have the option of adding $10 to $20 for the hologram sticker in the back or certificate of authenticity.

In fairness to Neal, he is making good business and giving fans what they want - a price point for everyone.

As a follower of his auctions - which have some art lessons in between, Neal says that even in the early days - his method to drawing good likenesses is to trace photos.  But that should also be mixed with a good study of anatomy so when you move one music (like mouth when you smile) you'll also know how it affects the eyes and so on and so forth.  In his teenage years, he would do the grids to get likenesses correct and he could draw them good. When he discovered the lightbox or tracing, he said he could capture the same likenesses and do it in 1/5th the time.

Neal has never been shy about his "love for money" and always hints at his quest for efficiency as an artist.  He said that when he left the comic industry in the late 70's to focus on commercial work, he realized that he could make much more money drawing what would be the equivalent of a single comic panel as compared to a comic page.  That era of Neal's absence from comics 80's to 90's to early 00's - was actually where he earned the most.  Today, he does a lot of commissions, profile sketches, published comics in Fantastic Four Antithesis and Batman Vs Ra's, and the odd variant cover here and there.  He is more efficient and more productive than he ever was - because he is using technology to his advantage which he says is: Google search for reference (no need to buy reference books!), Kuretake brush pen for his linework (no need to use brush/nib to be dipped), and have people in his studio fill in the blacks for him (which he says does not require any artistic skill so his rendering was already the heavy lifting done).

I personally have a few Neal Adams pieces but they are of the larger format and they are recreations/re-tracings of poses he has previously drawn.  It's because that's what I prefer.  I haven't dipped into his $200 sketch offerings yet.

Let me name some of my favorite artists who are highly respected in the comics industry - maybe not Neal level but some could argue at Neal level:

John Byrne

George Perez

Frank Miller

Jim Lee

If any of these gentlemen will offer $200 fully inked head/bust sketches, traced/lightboxed from their legacy works or iconic panels - I would definitely consider it!  It seems Neal is the only legendary artist now offering this service - so good on him!

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23 hours ago, jick said:

The buyer is very aware.  Neal is very open about it in his FB live feeds.  But then again, we are talking $200 profile pieces.  That's a Neal Adams hand-drawn for $200!  There is always a market for that given Neal's immense status in the industry.

***

In fairness to Neal, he is making good business and giving fans what they want - a price point for everyone.

***

Let me name some of my favorite artists who are highly respected in the comics industry - maybe not Neal level but some could argue at Neal level:

John Byrne

George Perez

Frank Miller

Jim Lee

If any of these gentlemen will offer $200 fully inked head/bust sketches, traced/lightboxed from their legacy works or iconic panels - I would definitely consider it!  It seems Neal is the only legendary artist now offering this service - so good on him!

What he has done, and he should be complimented for it, is to create the artistic equivalent of the original McDonald’s Cheeseburger (if you haven’t seen the movie “The Founder”, you might not appreciate the relationship). He generates an excellent product at an inexpensive price which is affordable by many, using technology and labor efficiency to make it work. It’s not the Palm, but it is real beef.

Edited by Rick2you2
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Even without @jick saying so, I just assumed Adams lightboxed the headshots to some degree.  In the past few years, Adams has done a lot of "new" pieces (full figures) that use images from his old comics.  So it shouldn't be a surprise about the headshots. 

I'm not on Facebook so I don't know about how open he is about his process these days.  I'd say it's interesting that he has another person fill in the blacks.  I guess that make sense as well.

Story (not about Adams): At a convention I briefly watched a certain person (who will go unnamed) filling in the blacks for a certain artist (who will also go unnamed)... literally under the table.  I happened to be passing by about 30 feet away in front of the table and could see.  When the person saw that I could see, they stopped.  I couldn't see well enough to figure out the subject of the drawing.  But it had a distinctive shape.  A little while later, a very casual acquaintance was passing by and showed me his new acquisition by that artist, which was the piece that I saw being worked on (similar shape).  Now, I'm pretty sure (openness aside) no one expects their convention drawings are worked on by someone other than the commissioned artist.

 

 

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On 11/18/2020 at 6:50 PM, jick said:

The buyer is very aware.  Neal is very open about it in his FB live feeds.  But then again, we are talking $200 profile pieces.  That's a Neal Adams hand-drawn for $200!  There is always a market for that given Neal's immense status in the industry.

For original work, Neal does take commission requests through his site. They are considerably more expensive, going up to $1500 for single figure 11x14 no background commissions.

Modern original art published pages sell for $10,000 upwards - most actually in the $20,000 range.

Steering this back on topic, regardless of which price point you buy, you always have the option of adding $10 to $20 for the hologram sticker in the back or certificate of authenticity.

In fairness to Neal, he is making good business and giving fans what they want - a price point for everyone.

As a follower of his auctions - which have some art lessons in between, Neal says that even in the early days - his method to drawing good likenesses is to trace photos.  But that should also be mixed with a good study of anatomy so when you move one music (like mouth when you smile) you'll also know how it affects the eyes and so on and so forth.  In his teenage years, he would do the grids to get likenesses correct and he could draw them good. When he discovered the lightbox or tracing, he said he could capture the same likenesses and do it in 1/5th the time.

Neal has never been shy about his "love for money" and always hints at his quest for efficiency as an artist.  He said that when he left the comic industry in the late 70's to focus on commercial work, he realized that he could make much more money drawing what would be the equivalent of a single comic panel as compared to a comic page.  That era of Neal's absence from comics 80's to 90's to early 00's - was actually where he earned the most.  Today, he does a lot of commissions, profile sketches, published comics in Fantastic Four Antithesis and Batman Vs Ra's, and the odd variant cover here and there.  He is more efficient and more productive than he ever was - because he is using technology to his advantage which he says is: Google search for reference (no need to buy reference books!), Kuretake brush pen for his linework (no need to use brush/nib to be dipped), and have people in his studio fill in the blacks for him (which he says does not require any artistic skill so his rendering was already the heavy lifting done).

I personally have a few Neal Adams pieces but they are of the larger format and they are recreations/re-tracings of poses he has previously drawn.  It's because that's what I prefer.  I haven't dipped into his $200 sketch offerings yet.

Let me name some of my favorite artists who are highly respected in the comics industry - maybe not Neal level but some could argue at Neal level:

John Byrne

George Perez

Frank Miller

Jim Lee

If any of these gentlemen will offer $200 fully inked head/bust sketches, traced/lightboxed from their legacy works or iconic panels - I would definitely consider it!  It seems Neal is the only legendary artist now offering this service - so good on him!

Well said. Puts it into perspective. 

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What is interesting to think about is that Neal is 79. Jack was only 76 when he passed but seemed so much older. Not saying Neal is a physical specimen but he is sharp, energetic, and hands show no signs of arthritis. Makes you wonder if Kirby's health didn't turn if he would have done something similar in his later years. Selling off old pieces, variant covers, and doing sketches to make back some of the money owed to him. 

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On 11/21/2020 at 6:21 AM, jick said:

He can trace his legacy works and there will always be collectors willing to pay for it because it is still made by Neal's hand. 

What are thoughts on tracing the actual character you are creating? I get the photo refs of randos or celebrities to create poses or postures. What about when it’s tracing the character one for one of the character you are creating like below? I don’t have an issue with it as I can still see his style come through. 
 


27B2CC1B-9ED0-4250-ADDC-ADA79E408D03.jpeg.479ec30f11f200d85f24a2b772d93698.jpeg

 

535E2397-465D-4E62-A7DE-3194592C7D8A.jpeg.9bcc018ea6cc24e920acc337f1ba6ccd.jpeg

 

84C7E6BD-B9F7-43BB-AAB1-4BF0928441FE.thumb.jpeg.fd1e8a9d423afba2d5ca08f5814a1120.jpeg

Edited by Blastaar
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