Dave Gibbons' Forgotten Watchmen Cover, Up For Auction

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Dave Gibbons original artwork on Watchmen usually sells for tens of thousands. The covers for hundreds of thousands. It rivals Dark Knight as the body of comic book work in the last thirty-five years, that is most valuable at auction. But listed by Heritage Auctions right now, as part of their January 14 – 17 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction – Dallas 7239 is a forgotten Dave Gibbons Watchmen cover, currently selling for a lot less. It was created for The Comics Journal and published in 1987 – as Watchmen was coming out. It is an original cover that depicts the creation of an issue of Watchmen including thumbnails, script, reference material and artistic implements, that combine to reflect Watchmen, as well as the Smiley Face image that runs throughout the famous comic book. It is currently at $12,000, which is less than an average Watchmen page sells for – but it is as much a part of Watchmen as anything else.

Dave Gibbons' Forgotten Watchmen Cover, Up For Auction

Dave Gibbons The Comics Journal #116 Watchmen Themed Cover Original Art (Fantagraphics, 1987). This issue of the Comics Journal was on the racks concurrently with Watchmen #10, so the game-changing 12-part series was not even complete at that time! But it was already clear by then what an important work it was destined to become. This piece of art captures the feel of the series without even having any of the main characters appearing on the image. Dave Gibbons is a master of using layouts and objects in frame to invoke an image that isn't there or to mirror an image in spirit. In this case, the familiar bloody smiley face pin is replicated in the objects on the drawing table. Crafted in ink over graphite on the reverse of DC Bristol board with an image area of 12.75" x 16.76". The lightly toned board has a crease in the bottom left and top right corners. There is light handling wear also. Signed by Gibbons in the lower left of the image area. In Very Good condition.

Will someone buy this for me for my birthday? I am sure I have one this year.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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