Mark Bagley's Miles Morales Spider-Man Cover Art Sells for $225,000
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128 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, stinkininkin said:

 I wasn't looking for a dollar value comparison by the way because comparing Spiderman and GL is apples and oranges (Spidey is massive, GL not so much)

Sure, but on the other hand, Neal Adams is massive, Mark Bagley not so much. Your cover ticks every argument presented here for factors driving desirability from the various aspects of the discussion — artist, the artwork itself, a first appearance, a piece from a significant storyline in comics history, DC’s first black hero. (Took Marvel a long time to figure out that Black Panther could be more than a supporting character, but for better or worse GL 87 is DC’s FF52. The character’s trajectory is another matter, always subject to change by current creators’ successes or missteps.)

Could you please post that beautiful piece? :foryou:

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3 minutes ago, stinkininkin said:

You're preaching to the choir regarding the merits of the GL 87 cover! Thanks. The cover is posted in my CAF which is linked in every post I make near the bottom. But since you asked so nicely...:foryou:

 

 

greenlantern87cover.jpg

Thank you! I missed the link doh!

I figured you’re the choir; you bought the thing! But you did go out of your way to nicely put the merits of UF4 out there, so I just figured I’d throw the rest out there. (For the record, I like both books, both characters’ future prospects, and would happily hang either cover OA on my wall.)

At this point, when the discussion is “Can x important piece — or book — go for x$$ in the next whichever auction, my first reaction anymore is “Sure, why not?” Seems like there’s plenty of people chasing most anything that’s got legit chops of any sort going for it these days. How long it continues, who knows? But currently, I’m rolling with “why not” more often than not. (shrug)

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5 hours ago, comicinkking.com said:

So, the question is, will first appearance originals always be valued at a premium?  Maybe.  Or will the “significant” works fetch the highest prices?  I hope so.

I feel the answer to both questions are clearly a yes, as can be seen from the previous records of high priced art. Though I do agree with you, the actual art should be formost. 'First appearance art' does sell for a premium though (even from the artists themselves). I wonder how much this cover would have went for if the artwork was a lot better?

4 hours ago, Peter G said:

What I am saying is that he is a derivative character that gets the attention he gets only because he’s black. It’s not original. And it’s certainly not important or significant. 

You're right @Peter G, Spider- Gwen is also a derivative character. An icon gaining more and more popularity and cultural significance and she's...Oh wait!

There's other black characters in the Marvel Universe that came long before Miles. Why haven't they garnered the same success 'because they're black'?

I feel you're wrong here. As aforementioned, the reason Miles Morales is so popular is the same reason Peter Parker is. It's because they're both Spider-Man.

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Yeah I agree.   For whatever reason, Miles just worked, he had the comics, the big film, he's in the video games, now.   He clicked, lots of others don't, etc.   

Back to the cover at hand I certainly would have very little interest in it but I suppose if I'm into Miles as a character and/or see long term potential there (and let's face it this is probably a speculation play pure and simple) I can halfway (but only halfway) wrap my head around it.

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14 hours ago, comicinkking.com said:

 

I think you missed my point.  My comment was not about the validity of a new character, nor whether Miles will have lasting appeal.  What I am saying is that quality should have more weight than the novelty of a "first appearance".  I've been collecting OA for close to two decades.  I've never had a single conversation with another collector who said, "you know what I want?  The first appearance of (fill in the blank)."  This is the mentality of the comic BOOK collector who is taught to value “keys”.  First appearances are the least interesting thing about the comic book medium as an art form.  If the comic book medium is to have any lasting appreciation by the culture at large, it will be because of the quality of the important works.  This is true in all the arts; film, literature, fine art, music.  Nobody cares about an artist’s first film, book, song, or painting; each is judged on its merits.  So, in 100 years, people will (hopefully) be reading Maus, and Watchmen, and I can’t imagine anyone being very interested in the first appearance of any character - outside the novelty of it.  My experience as a collector, and in talking to other collectors over the years, is that people want art from the “important” books.  That’s been the norm.  So, the question is, will first appearance originals always be valued at a premium?  Maybe.  Or will the “significant” works fetch the highest prices?  I hope so.  Of course there's the possibility that both will be true.  Time will tell.

 

1) Quality of image/technique is subjective

2) If we were interested in quality of image above all else, we wouldn't be collecting comic art in the first place (or at the very least it would only be a tiny part of what we collect).

3) First appearances are not (or at least are rarely) - subjective.    Its either a first appearance or it isn't.

4) I get your logic if we are talking about the appreciation of a medium - first songs/ paintings etc are irrelevant, yes.    However, there's a false equivalency in your logic.    'Best' comic artwork (if we can even define what that is) and the most valuable comic artwork are not the same thing.   Exhibit 1 - Hulk 181, Herb Trimpe.     I.e. appreciating where something fits in the medium, and placing a value on it, are very different exercises.   (Otherwise you wouldn't have all sorts of 'silly' valuation metrics such as whether the character is in or out of costume, and whether wolverine's claws are out or not, etc etc ad infinitum).

5) In summary, this is comic art, and illustration.    Its is categorically never going to be about best image.    The subject matter is going to weigh heavily every time.   First appearances are one aspect of subject matter that is becoming more important as certain collectors pay up for first appearance material.  

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46 minutes ago, Bronty said:

1) Quality of image/technique is subjective

2) If we were interested in quality of image above all else, we wouldn't be collecting comic art in the first place (or at the very least it would only be a tiny part of what we collect).

3) First appearances are not (or at least are rarely) - subjective.    Its either a first appearance or it isn't.

4) I get your logic if we are talking about the appreciation of a medium - first songs/ paintings etc are irrelevant, yes.    However, there's a false equivalency in your logic.    'Best' comic artwork (if we can even define what that is) and the most valuable comic artwork are not the same thing.   Exhibit 1 - Hulk 181, Herb Trimpe.     I.e. appreciating where something fits in the medium, and placing a value on it, are very different exercises.   (Otherwise you wouldn't have all sorts of 'silly' valuation metrics such as whether the character is in or out of costume, and whether wolverine's claws are out or not, etc etc ad infinitum).

5) In summary, this is comic art, and illustration.    Its is categorically never going to be about best image.    The subject matter is going to weigh heavily every time.   First appearances are one aspect of subject matter that is becoming more important as certain collectors pay up for first appearance material.  

I go back to one consideration.  Every time I show my wife my collection, and ask her to poin to me the "best piece" artistically, she goes for a Jae Lee page featuring Crystal.  Nice page, but value wise certainly not the most valueable piece in my collection (and my wife, in fairness to her, is not exactly illeterate in arts...)

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2 minutes ago, Carlo M said:

I go back to one consideration.  Every time I show my wife my collection, and ask her to poin to me the "best piece" artistically, she goes for a Jae Lee page featuring Crystal.  Nice page, but value wise certainly not the most valueable piece in my collection (and my wife, in fairness to her, is not exactly illeterate in arts...)

I'm not quite sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me :) but either way, obviously, she isn't the market for this sort of piece.   

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14 hours ago, stinkininkin said:

Tying into the first appearance gist of the thread, I was more curious about if you were going to have a first appearance Green Lantern example, which one reigns supreme as THE definitive GL moving forward? John Stewart, Hal Jordan, Alan Scott, Kyle Rainer, Guy Gardner, etc?  And I ask because I haven't read the comics in some time, and Stewart was a favorite of the 11 year old me, but there's a lot of nostalgia clouding my judgement, so I don't know where the fan population ranks these characters today. Peter Parker will always be THE Spiderman for a certain generation, and Miles Morales might be THE Spiderman for a future (or current) generation, and I wondered if that drift could apply to other characters (like GL). I wasn't looking for a dollar value comparison by the way because comparing Spiderman and GL is apples and oranges (Spidey is massive, GL not so much), and also my cover is not for sale. Period.

This.

I almost included John Stewart in my original post listing alternative characters I believe Miles Morales has already surpassed but frankly I'm not sure Miles is there yet, as Stewart's been around longer, been featured as the primary Green Lantern in at least one cartoon series, etc.

But what would have tipped the balance re. your point? If he'd been *the* Green Lantern featured in the Justice League movie, as was the original plan for George Miller's aborted project, featuring Common as John Stewart.

I grew up with Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, primarily due to watching Super Friends - I didn't learn about Guy Gardner, Alan Scott, John Stewart, etc. until far later.

But if Warner Bros. had gone with John Stewart rather than Hal Gordon for the 2009 film and/or Justice League movie, it'd be a different story - while my generation may always identify with Hal Jordan, the generation below mine may well have identified with Stewart.

Just like most people in the U.S. believe Nick Fury is African-American. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But to me, it's the "alternate version that finds popularity / resonance" -- not just "African-American version of Spider-Man" that helps drive Miles' importance.

For example, I think we'll see the same surge in popularity with alternate characters like Batman Beyond and Spider-Man 2099 going forward, due to planned media projects.

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I think there's been enough GL's that there really isn't a definitive one - they all have their place.   But I haven't read that in a long time.

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32 minutes ago, Bronty said:

I'm not quite sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me :) but either way, obviously, she isn't the market for this sort of piece.   

I don't know if I agree with you! I am confused!  On the one hand, it is obvious that we are all skewed by context when we judge comic OA.  I am lucky to own a page from the Dark Phoenix saga.  Would I have bought it at that price without the context? No, of course not.  And yet, I also find it beautiful to look at.  I only strictly buy art the I find pleasing to the eye.  I would never ever pay up for an ugly first appearance page.

So, when I show my wife my Kirbys, Adams, Steranko, Byrne, J Lee etc (sorry I am not boasting, I am just trying to make a point), she sort of skims through all those absolute giants of the comic art medium and ends up with Jae Lee.  This gets me thinking all the times.  Maybe it is a matter of her not being used to the visual language of comic art as a medium? Still, she gets Liechtenstein...

Oh well...

Carlo

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16 minutes ago, Carlo M said:

I don't know if I agree with you! I am confused!  On the one hand, it is obvious that we are all skewed by context when we judge comic OA.  I am lucky to own a page from the Dark Phoenix saga.  Would I have bought it at that price without the context? No, of course not.  And yet, I also find it beautiful to look at.  I only strictly buy art the I find pleasing to the eye.  I would never ever pay up for an ugly first appearance page.

So, when I show my wife my Kirbys, Adams, Steranko, Byrne, J Lee etc (sorry I am not boasting, I am just trying to make a point), she sort of skims through all those absolute giants of the comic art medium and ends up with Jae Lee.  This gets me thinking all the times.  Maybe it is a matter of her not being used to the visual language of comic art as a medium? Still, she gets Liechtenstein...

Oh well...

Carlo

Your own perceptions skewed/tainted/educated - pick a word - by your reading the stories, being on this forum, participating in the hobby, etc etc etc.

I ask you this.   If YOU were your wife, and not really a comic lover, and saw a random page of Devil Dinosaur, what would you think of Jack Kirby?   It wouldn't be kind right?    You see all kinds of context that she does not see.

Jae Lee's work looks a little edgier/riskier/more modern that kirby/byrne, etc.   I'm not surprised a spouse that doesn't collect would find that more interesting.   You would too in her shoes!  

All of which proves the point - value is driven by all kinds of context.   Covers vs splashes vs panels vs in or out costume vs classic storylines vs publisher vs artist's body of work........ the list is almost endless.    
 

First appearances are just one more 'stupid' valuation metric - just as silly as claws in or out, and yet just as vital.

We aren't solely sitting around paying for objects of beauty here.    We just aren't.   Sometimes that's a great side benefit and an important dimension.   But the reason you bought that pheonix page for that price is because it was a pheonix page.   In other words... the behaviour you find troubling?   You do it too ;)   We all do!

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15 hours ago, stinkininkin said:

Tying into the first appearance gist of the thread, I was more curious about if you were going to have a first appearance Green Lantern example, which one reigns supreme as THE definitive GL moving forward? John Stewart, Hal Jordan, Alan Scott, Kyle Rainer, Guy Gardner, etc?  And I ask because I haven't read the comics in some time, and Stewart was a favorite of the 11 year old me, but there's a lot of nostalgia clouding my judgement, so I don't know where the fan population ranks these characters today. Peter Parker will always be THE Spiderman for a certain generation, and Miles Morales might be THE Spiderman for a future (or current) generation, and I wondered if that drift could apply to other characters (like GL). I wasn't looking for a dollar value comparison by the way because comparing Spiderman and GL is apples and oranges (Spidey is massive, GL not so much), and also my cover is not for sale. Period.

Beautiful cover Scott! It could also be that Stewart, no matter how deserving, gets leap-frogged like Prince Charles (wrong time) and someone like Far Sector's (DC Young Animals but Jemisin is writing some fantastic stuff) Lantern Jo Mullein could be the one to connect with the Miles/GwenPool/Silk generation. 

Getting back to Miles, he was definitely in the right place at the right time. There were a lot of compelling reasons for Mile's emergence - particularly Donald Glover's spirited love for the character and Glover asking the question 'why couldn't I be Spider-Man". As a non-caucasian myself the whole exchange and subsequent formation of Miles really resonated. I've always had it in the back of my head to try and acquire some early Miles art but never really dug into it too much, particularly as so much of it is digital. Another character that resonates with me is Kamala Khan. 

I'm slightly older than the generation that grew up reading Miles, just for context. My sweet spot is late 80s / early 90s. Stay safe everyone and happy collecting! 

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43 minutes ago, Bronty said:

Your own perceptions skewed/tainted/educated - pick a word - by your reading the stories, being on this forum, participating in the hobby, etc etc etc.

I ask you this.   If YOU were your wife, and not really a comic lover, and saw a random page of Devil Dinosaur, what would you think of Jack Kirby?   It wouldn't be kind right?    You see all kinds of context that she does not see.

Jae Lee's work looks a little edgier/riskier/more modern that kirby/byrne, etc.   I'm not surprised a spouse that doesn't collect would find that more interesting.   You would too in her shoes!  

All of which proves the point - value is driven by all kinds of context.   Covers vs splashes vs panels vs in or out costume vs classic storylines vs publisher vs artist's body of work........ the list is almost endless.    
 

First appearances are just one more 'stupid' valuation metric - just as silly as claws in or out, and yet just as vital.

We aren't solely sitting around paying for objects of beauty here.    We just aren't.   Sometimes that's a great side benefit and an important dimension.   But the reason you bought that pheonix page for that price is because it was a pheonix page.   In other words... the behaviour you find troubling?   You do it too ;)   We all do!

To be honest, even with all the context, even worshipping Kirby etc etc etc....Devil Dinosaur.....you would need a lot of context there.  But I have a beautiful Eternals splash featuring a Celestials and my 16 year old son who has zero affinity to comics thinks it is fantastic and he gets it.  So maybe there is hope for some intrinsic quality being able to play a role, alongside the context.

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Sure it plays a role!   And there's lot of great art we can all love, your son too.     But its ultimately value is driven by context first.   The market will forgive ugly if its a page that's otherwise desirable quicker than it will reward beautiful for a page with no context.    Just think about that in Kirby terms alone.   The ugliest Marvel cover he ever drew would go for more than the prettiest Boys' Ranch panel page, no?     The worst x-men page more than the best Young Romance?   etc.

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On 2/14/2021 at 8:27 PM, stinkininkin said:

You're preaching to the choir regarding the merits of the GL 87 cover! Thanks. The cover is posted in my CAF which is linked in every post I make near the bottom. But since you asked so nicely...:foryou:

 

 

greenlantern87cover.jpg

Floors me every time Scott!!

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On 2/14/2021 at 9:49 PM, Shin-Kaiser said:

I feel the answer to both questions are clearly a yes, as can be seen from the previous records of high priced art. Though I do agree with you, the actual art should be formost. 'First appearance art' does sell for a premium though (even from the artists themselves). I wonder how much this cover would have went for if the artwork was a lot better?

You're right @Peter G, Spider- Gwen is also a derivative character. An icon gaining more and more popularity and cultural significance and she's...Oh wait!

There's other black characters in the Marvel Universe that came long before Miles. Why haven't they garnered the same success 'because they're black'?

I feel you're wrong here. As aforementioned, the reason Miles Morales is so popular is the same reason Peter Parker is. It's because they're both Spider-Man.

I think you may have misunderstood me again.  I wasn't talking about the quality of the artwork itself - I was talking about how significant a work is in within the medium.  That's why I mentioned Maus (Pulitzer) and Watchmen (one of Time Magazine's 100 greatest novels).

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15 hours ago, Bronty said:

1) Quality of image/technique is subjective

2) If we were interested in quality of image above all else, we wouldn't be collecting comic art in the first place (or at the very least it would only be a tiny part of what we collect).

3) First appearances are not (or at least are rarely) - subjective.    Its either a first appearance or it isn't.

4) I get your logic if we are talking about the appreciation of a medium - first songs/ paintings etc are irrelevant, yes.    However, there's a false equivalency in your logic.    'Best' comic artwork (if we can even define what that is) and the most valuable comic artwork are not the same thing.   Exhibit 1 - Hulk 181, Herb Trimpe.     I.e. appreciating where something fits in the medium, and placing a value on it, are very different exercises.   (Otherwise you wouldn't have all sorts of 'silly' valuation metrics such as whether the character is in or out of costume, and whether wolverine's claws are out or not, etc etc ad infinitum).

5) In summary, this is comic art, and illustration.    Its is categorically never going to be about best image.    The subject matter is going to weigh heavily every time.   First appearances are one aspect of subject matter that is becoming more important as certain collectors pay up for first appearance material.  

See my comment above - I was never referring to the image itself.

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