About a week ago at this time, Bleeding Cool was telling you about some original comic book art sales of note, including the Dark Knight Returns #2 original cover art by Frank Miller selling for $478,000, and Dan Clowes' Lloyd Llewellyn #3 cover going for $47,800.
A tweet in reply to the DKR sale from Phil Hester caught my eye at the time:
— Phillip Hester (@philhester) August 2, 2013
Now, Hester is very familiar with the original art market and has a rather wonderful collection himself, so he knows that most comic art is not going to sell like DKR art has over the past several years. And I'd add that while I'm a rather enormous original art fan myself, the comic production guy in me has been quietly weeping tears of joy over the changes that digitally-created artwork are enabling in current comic book production processes.
Still, Phil Hester is not wrong. Any Walking Dead art collector will tell you that recent comic art sometimes does command some pretty strong prices, just to name one example.
Which brings us to this week's release of The Manhattan Projects #13 by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra. The series continues to reach new fans after a year of critical acclaim, topped off by a pair of Eisner nominations. Pitarra decided to auction the page one splash for the issue on ebay this week as well, and some spirited bidding on the page is already turning heads among original art collectors. As of this posting, the splash is at $1900 with three days left in the auction — an impressive market level for art from a recent comic that does not have a Marvel, DC, or Walking Dead logo on the cover.
[edited to add: The auction has closed at $3550. An impressive level indeed]
Pitarra tells me that this is already the highest price that one of his originals has ever reached, and that after hearing that pages he sold cheaply early on had subsequently changed hands in the $1000 range, he decided to test the market on ebay himself. It's looking like that was a pretty good decision.