Any Sheldon Mayer fans out there? This is for you. Buying original comic book artwork pages has become commonplace these days – even if thanks to digital technologies, they are becoming less and less common. But being able to buy an entire issue of original artwork is a definite rarity, especially from a high-profile title from DC Comics in 1959.
But that is what is being offered as part of this weekend's Heritage Auction comic book artwork lots, there is an entire issue, all 28 original art pages, of Sheldon Mayer's Sugar & Spike #23. No one ever gets a chance to buy this kind of thing – apart from now, I guess. At the time of writing, it currently has a high bid of $8750, which works out as $312.50 a page.
Sheldon MayerSugar & Spike#23 Story Pages Original Art Group of 28 (DC, 1959).The complete artwork for Issue 23 of what many fans consider to be one of the best comic book titles ever done by Mayer. Full of humor and mischief, and based on his children. Created in ink over blue pencil, and graphite on DC Bristol board with image areas of 11" x 17". Title and art paste-ups in Panel 1 of Page 1. A stripped-in text correction in Panel 2 of Page 12, a title stat at the top of most pages. Also includes a letters page stat (7.5" x 12") with a vellum overlay. The pages average Very Good condition.
Sugar and Spike was a DC Comics title from 1956 through 1971, created, written, and drawn by Sheldon Mayer. It featured the misadventures of two toddlers named Sugar Plumm and Cecil "Spike" Wilson, who possessed the ability to communicate via "baby talk" with each other and to other infants, and to animals, but not to adults.
Launched in 1956, it ran for 98 issues until it was cancelled due to Mayer's failing eyesight. After cataract surgery later in life, Mayer returned to writing and drawing Sugar and Spike stories until his death in 1991 for markets outside of the USA. In 1992, Sugar and Spike #99 was published as part of the DC Silver Age Classics series and featured two previously unpublished stories by Mayer.
Keith Giffen and Bilquis Evely brought back the characters as adults in 2016, starring their own adventures (among other characters) in the series Legends of Tomorrow. At the time, DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said of the Sugar And Spike series, "They're not spoiled kids anymore, but they're older and they're operating as private investigators handling problems and mysteries that the superheroes can't handle themselves".
DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz has described Sugar and Spike as being "Mayer's most charming and enduring creation" and Sandman creator Neil Gaiman has stated that "Sheldon Mayer's Sugar and Spike series…is the most charming thing I've ever seen in comics." Maybe he might be up for making a bid?