OH YEAH! I have really been paring down the collection. Paring it down, thinning the herd, separating the wheat from the chaff (well, less fresh wheat because none of it was chaff!) - call it what you will it was ugly and it was vicious at times and unfortunately it was necessary. But truth be told I did it willingly. And I gonna do it again for sure.
Because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do if you wanna get'ya somma this:
|Tomb of Dracula 44 p 1 splash - Gene Colan / Tom Palmer|
Now a few things worth mentioning. First is that I had seen the art for the complete ToD 44 a year or two before but it was only for sale as a complete issue at that time. Eventually that changed and I had a shot at pages from ToD 44, but this page was long gone and I was a few hours late on another wonderful page. I did get a nice one, and since that time have also added a page from Dr. Strange 14, the title ToD 44 was having the cross-over with. Then about 6 months ago I saw it on a dealer's site at a premium price. It was most likely around a 50% markup and it is not inconceivable that it was marked-up 100% to the price I paid. But no matter. I saw the page and knew I could not let it go again. I have a few pages that are forming the cornerstone of my Doc collection. I had 4 pages from Dr. Strange 170, the second issue from 1968 and thought those were cornerstones. But when ToD 44 and Doc 14 starting coming up all that changed because I actually remember these pages. So I sold one of those pages from 170 and paid this off early because I love it so and you cannot have it all. I have tried, so trust me on that one.
The second thing that needs mentioning is the reason I (over)paid for this page: the writing. I usually buy art for the art, but this page has such compelling and memorable writing that it really puts the page over the top in my opinion. It has a fantastic Gene Colan and Tom Palmer splash that opens the story brilliantly and Marv Wolfman writes a wonderful story. How can you not be drawn in by that page? It is a wonderful example of the marriage of words and pictures that is comics that I am proud to own.
Now the last thing to mention is the bad stuff. This page did disappoint me briefly. I guess if I had examined it more closely I would not have been so surprised at the crappy condition of the masthead and stats. But c'est la vie! There are also all sorts of things going on here, from zip-a-tone to a stat in the crystal ball. I have no idea how much, if any, of that is original art and have no intention of removing anything to find out. It really does not matter to me but the time will eventually come when it will matter to someone. So sometime after 2030, or when I die if before then, someone will really examine the page and see what's what. Doc is clean, and the rest is a bit this and a bit that but the end result is brilliant and that is all that matters to me now.