I have had quite a few questions about what I will do with my Starman pages due to my desire to attain The Fifty. Quite simply, I try not to think about it.
Let me make this as crystal clear as is possible. If The Fifty were to consist of 50 painted Starman covers I would be ecstatic. It would be the achievement of a lifetime as far as I am concerned. I have the painted covers to issues 3, 28, 35, and 53 at this point. I also have the pen and ink (Tony was not painting at this point but began again soon after) cover to issue 81 which came out many years after the series ended as part of some Zombie bandwagon 5th week thing DC did. And an unpublished (i.e. rejected) painted cover for the first miniseries featuring The Shade. Well, I guess I also have the cover to issue 11 of the most recent The Shade miniseries as well. Those last two could soon see the last train out of town if anyone is interested. Just saying. (Besides, at this very moment I also own the cover to issue 10 of that one as well, but Comiclink is selling it for me along with some other things.)
So again, I will continue to try to acquire painted covers from Starman. At least two of the ones I have now are heading to The Fifty, and if the other two don't make the final cut it will be a few years before that decision is made. I love the paintings for issue 3 and issue 53. The vibrant colors are astounding. The more subdued palettes on the others will likely grow on me over time. I already love 28 for the story it tells of Mikaal Tomas and 35 is new to me this year. So 46 more covers would rock my world.
I will likewise continue to try and buy every Starman page drawn by Tony Harris in existence. Only a family financial emergency would cause me to sell these pages. When I first got in the game, I did the math on what it would cost to buy every Starman page from the 80 issues. That was 20 years ago and I was serious at the time, figuring the pages were $40-$200ish and that would never change. After 5-10 years I knew that was foolhardy (but not these other plans, they be rock solid!) and focused on Tony. Although I did try to buy out Albert Moy of every Snejbjerg page he had, and Peter was game as well! But darn that Albert Moy for squashing the deal and seeing to it that the artist he represents gets top dollar for his work. Albert was so non-chalant about the whole thing when I mentioned it to him and I like to think I surprised him by actually getting in touch with Peter Snejbjerg across the world in Denmark and making the early part of a deal workable between Peter and I. It was like 50-100 pages. When push came to shove and dollar numbers were tossed around Albert told me quite plainly that he told Peter he was selling the pages slowly but surely at probably double the price I would be getting bulk. Peter wisely listened to the man he works with on a professional basis to handle those things. And I had seen them leaving one or two every 6 months and when I couldn't get them all, I stopped trying to get every one.
I don't know if any Starman pages will be in The Fifty. I mean, I have page 1 from issue 0, the first Starman page ever. It is a shot of Opal City, not too spectacular. But how could I keep that from my permanent collection? I have a three page sequence I bought from Ray Snyder that is quite simply the best sequence with The Shade in the first 50 issues. Those three pages stay together as far as I am concerned, is that 1 or 3 entries into the Fifty. Same question awaits me with regards to my 8 page standalone story of Ted Knight as Starman.
See, as I said in the beginning...it is best not to think of these things.
But for right now, The Fifty and Starman fit quite nicely together in my collecting goals. When the day comes to put those goals against each other, my collection should be staggering and that will be a fine day indeed.