Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Hallow's Eve

Beware The Mad Hatter!

And here's a bonus...Where's Waldo in this photo of The Mad Hatter!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wow, the coins are selling!

You know, I try and sell my comic art all the time with various degrees of success. I guess knowing the market makes it harder to just let stuff go. I say that because the coins I am selling are flying out the door. At first it was no response at all,but soon enough they seem to be finding their market. I know I priced them to sell, and I usually price my comic art to keep or to tease but rarely to sell.

So the two American Eagle silver bullion coins sold quickly and they were the most expensive of the lot. Well, one sold and one is selling with a bid on ebay. Then the four later year mint sets sold, quickly followed by the Eisenhower dollars. Well, at least an order for the Eisenhowers but since then nothing. I have no reason to doubt the woman will be back, I am just a little anxious so I check for replies fairly often. A new 21st century source of Sloth, the checking for replies.

So I have 7 items left for sale right now. I may add in a really nice 1922 Liberty dollar, but I have to research the grades because she is a beauty. This first batch of coins is a recent acquisition, but the Liberty and some others are longtime possessions from my childhood coin fascination. But the seven items left are available for a reduced price if you take them all.

Check the link please if you are interested.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Oops...Mitchell Bretweiser and The Fifty

In posting my last piece on The Fifty I realized that I had unveiled Mitchell Bretweiser's piece in the Fifty on CAF some time ago but never posted it. So here that one is as well. So no write up though, off to soccer!

Mitchell Bretweiser watercolor Dr.Strange
I seem to recall writing this up, but in either case here it is.

Darwyn Cooke and The Fifty

I have loved this piece since I bought it at the first Wonder Woman Museum auction (then Wonder Woman Day and now Women of Wonder day I think).

Darwyn Cooke Wonder Woman

It is a blue pencil piece but was good enough to be published in The Absolute New Frontier. That was after I bought it, hehe. It really captures everything great about Darwyn's rendition of this classic character. I love the thickness of the female form, the unabashed proud warrior aspect, and the killer costuming. It is just a wonderful piece.

So it was never a doubt about it making The Fifty. What was a surprise was the ranking I gave it. I changed the rankings around a bit when this one went in. So here we go with the latest list.

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Tony Harris / Ray Snyder Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover
3  Gene Colan / Tom Palmer Tomb of Dracula 44 page 1 splash
4  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones
5  JHW3 Milestone Forever pinup
6  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
7  Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
8  Darwyn Cooke Wonder Woman blue pencil pinup
9  Dan Adkins Dr Strange 170 page 11
10  Anna Merli Clea
11  JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
12  Rudy Nebres - Dr. Strange, Dracula & The Scarlet Witch
13 Mitchell Bretweiser Dr. Strange watercolor

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Even Selling Some Coins Now!

Here on the cgc boards I am listing some coins for sale.

Silver commemorative coins, Canadian silver coins and proofs, US Mint Proof sets, lots of cool coins and some even have light coloring.

Coins for sale!

The Raney Room

KANG by Tom Raney

I have really fallen in love with the penwork of Tom Raney. For years, and I mean years...since I got a Bloodstorm headsketch during his run on Mutant X at least...Tom Raney refused to draw anything substantial at conventions. But about two years ago, or at least that is when I noticed, he started taking at home and advance convention commissions and then started seriously drawing at shows.

Oh, yeah.

The results have been impressive.I always liked his work back on Mutant X and Stormwatch especially, but these more recent pieces are outstanding. The crosshatching and detail are exemplary and Tom is really pushing himself with them. His deviant account is a good place to look for some of it.

It also turns out that I have been a fairly regular guest at his table over the years and usually say hello even if I am not buying something or asking for a sketch. And as I said, two years or so ago I started getting some commissions through deviant art and at shows.

So this morning I was scanning pieces for my 11/29 birthday sale and came across two Raney pieces not yet scanned. I decided they were too good to sit in the profolios and put them up on CAF.

In fact I decided I need to do something welcome to The Raney Room.

As good as those pieces are (check out Kang, my favorite. It fills the page.), I have a real special commission lined up with Tom. I am still finalizing my instructions, but I know that I will want to show it off when I get it in a few months so I created The Raney Room.

Tom's linework is so clean and crisp. I am going to ask him to specifically try and be more like the style on the SS#4 homage, Jack Knight solo piece or the Kang than he was on the Starman / Grundy piece. His work has a fluidity of line and a nice edging on the characters that really appeals to me. We have been talking over my idea for a multiple character commission for a few conventions now, maybe 18 months or so. Well we finally agreed to a deal on characters and price so now I just have to give the final instructions and be ready to pay up.

I can't wait. The Raney Room will certainly face expansion in the future.

Head Still Exploding....and general comic art thoughts, including The Fifty

Yes indeed, my head is still exploding. I now have two pieces that I would consider myself very lucky to own now being offered in the various upcoming comic art auctions. One piece is the piece that made me all weak-in-the-knees the other day and now I have seen another piece that thrills me as well.

That is always the challenge in collecting comic art. There have been so many different books over the years that the pickings are always plentiful. So when you are planning to buy one thing, and that usually involves saving money for me, another piece often becomes available. Hence the better and more expensive pieces have largely escaped my grasp to date, although the Fifty has changed that to a small degree. And it is easy to move one piece for another in most cases. That is the beauty of The Fifty; it forces me to make permanent decisions. I guess I could always switch pieces out of frames, but framing them makes them part of my home and my permanent collection. I have had six pieces framed so far,and they look great. I plan on sending 2 or 3 more out in the next month or so.

So now I am looking at two pieces in upcoming auctions that would be on the wall in frames pretty quickly. One has a place picked out already in fact! That one will draw attention but I expect to be able to handle all comers. I may prove to be wrong, but we will see. I will certainly make my interest known. The other piece is by a big name artist that will attract a ton of attention I would think. Should I be wrong and get outbid on the earlier piece I may have a few grand to throw at this second piece.

You see, I may not have any money available for these purchases right now but the auctions all end after my planned inaugural birthday sale. On November 29th I will offer 100-150 pieces of comic art for sale - Starman covers and pages; Dr. Strange pages, sketches, and pinups; as well as assorted comic art grooviness. So surely I can generate a little cash for one or both of these items, no? I have already made my Frank Miller payment money in the comic link auction so this birthday sale will be my last chance of the year to generate cash for a big piece. Otherwise it will be Bechara at the Mike Carbo show in March until I attempt another sizeable purchase. So I think the birthday sale and these auctions are a great time for me to pull another 40-pieces-sold-to-buy-one-great-piece maneuver. It worked, not as well as I would have hoped, in the recent comiclink crap auction but if not for a few larger private sales I would not have been able to seal the deal for the Frank Miller piece coming up. So I am hoping to do it again, as well as pay a bill or two.

Again, I guess we will have to wait and see!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Coven

I live with three female beings. One is my wife and two are daughters. The wife is wise and true but is obviously a being of power. The young ones' power is not yet refined or their own to wield, and is a more chaotic power.

Henceforth they will known collectively as The Coven. It is just a name, although a name brings power of its' own.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Head Exploding!

Yes, my head is exploding tonight. (That is an attempt at creative writing, not a euphemism or anything.)

I saw something tonight for sale that I must have. MUST, as in a collector must collect.

I don't really need it or anything. It is a material thing that will not change my life in any noticeable manner.

I must have it. I will move Earth, and comic art, to get it.

It would not be hard to look and find the piece I am talking about. The lone reader of this blog would likely know it when seen.

Thankfully the auction is not ending tonight.

And thankfully I have already consigned a significant chunk of art. Bid now, comic link fans. And I have already announced my birthday sale on November 29th.

In fact I was scanning art last night for this. As I told my wife, I would not be surprised if I sold $250 worth of art and I would not be surprised if I sold $15000 worth of art. The goal is the latter, but you never know. When I was scanning my art I passed a lot of pieces thinking I would need some things to sell next year as well. I would imagine most of what I list will not go anywhere as my pricing can be a little high, but if  you want the art this may be the chance as I will price it to move (hopefully, says misterhighpricer!).

For instance I intend to offer a large selection of Starman pages and cover(s?).

I won't reveal any more but that above factoid should get your attention. Some good stuff will be in there.

So like I said, my head exploded today when I was innocently surfing the web and now I can think of nothing else.

Like I said, I own it already. I just have to make that a reality. There was a time, and only very careful observers will know it has since passed, that you had to go through me to get any publicly offered Starman page or even Starman related art. If that art is drawn by Tony Harris this is still the case. But this piece I have my eye on makes the Starman pursuit feel petty,

Oh, I am gonna have that piece, born of the big bang in my brain tonight.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Oh, and I am selling my comics too!

I think I am feeling a bit mortal lately. Besides trimming the comic art collection, I took almost 1000 comics to some guy I never met who has graded the comics and placed them for sale on the CGC message boards. Raw comics, 1980-present.

Here is the link if you want some good quality cheap comics. I mean CHEAP!

CGC Boards, my comics for sale dirt cheap

I will use the proceeds for goodness and sunshine.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Comiclink auctions ending Thursday

Here is a link to the Original Art part of the Comic Link October Focused Auction ending Thursday.

Comic Link Focused Auction with 33 of my items

As thelink states, I have 33 items for sale here. Check many of them out below.

That Jim Starlin above is doing well, exactly what I paid right now, but the others are great bargains. Many of the pieces in this auction are still below $25 and $50. It is a low to middle tier art auction, so bargains are going to be had.

Here are some more.

 I think you get the idea.maybe I will show some more soon . Better yet, check them out at the link at the top of this post!

Groovin' to the tuneage

Yes, I still love and use the word groovy.

But anyway...I have had so much fun lately listening to music I thought I would tell ya all about it. Right now I am listening to the David Crosby 3 disc Voyage  box set as I type this. Disc Two. Normally this is the last disc I would listening to of this set, but I am grooving on it right now. "In My Dreams" is playing.

Not too long ago one of our two computers crashed. Itunes is fucked and I really have not been able to assemble the music library I had before the crash. We recovered a lot but in the interim I had to groove as well on the other computer, so now I have two different music libraries on two different computers now. And on the other computer, the one playing "Compass" now, I started downloading the 500 or so CDs the wife and I have accumulated in the last few decades. It has been a while since I heard many of these. I mean, when was the last time you listened to "Anthem of the Sun". Or "Ghost in the Machine".  And that got me thinking, so I have been listening to the albums from beginning to end in most cases. It has been a blast, and I have extended it to my music listening in the car and at my desk at work.

Talking Heads "Remain In Light". That one was a real blast. I have it in the car CD slot right now in fact. I am so thin. I'm too thin. I was listening to that album, which I have had for 20+ years in one form or another, and thinking "wow, I didn't know Jerry Harrison could play like sounds more like"  Yeah, back when I bought and listened to the album in the 80s or 90s I had no clue what Adrian Belew brought to the band. Now I hear that album and realized they were so, so fortunate to have Belew comein and add guitar over top of their more rhythmic parts. He really carries stretches of the album with that wailing elephant squeel. You can even hear hints of Matte Kudasai in there. Committing myself to listening to the whole thing has really broadened my appreciation for the material on this one for sure. Like I said before, GROOVY.

I was listening to Disc three of Crosby Voyage box set at work the other day on my work computer. I angle the speakers right at me and keep them close as I share a large office with 2 others. The song doesn't matter (it was "Laughing") but as it was ending I heard a quiet and really nice, pure and high harmony from a female voice. I wondered who it was and looked up the track on Wikipedia...Joni Mitchell. The band was Crosby, Lesh, Garcia (pedal steel), Kreutzman, Nash, and Mitchell. Pure magic. Reading about that band was one of the benefits of my new habit.

"Arrows" is playing now. Beautiful song.

There are albums I have listened to continuously for decades that have songs I have not heard in years. I mean, who listens to "The Heart of Me" anymore? Or "Our House". I mean, why would I ever listen to "Teach Your Children" again if I wasn't tied down? But listen I did. And it was good.

I've heard all of "The Other One". I've listened to all of Deadicated,not just the great ones. Dem voices tell me so. Dem voice.

I have listened to Zeppelin every month of my adult life, but the last time I listened to "In Through The Out Door" was probably 40 lbs ago. Same with Ummagumma and Piper At The Gates of Dawn. Meddle. Meddle is fantastic. I listen to "One of These Days" all the time but have not given the rest of the album a chance in many moon. I do listen to the golden years of Floyd complete all the time...Animals. Wish You Were Here. The Wall. Dark Side.

I am giving The Final Cut a wide berth still. I mean, I have only done about 50 albums so far!

Bitches Brew. Yeah, all of it at once. Then listen to Sketches of Spain to chill a bit. Or My Favorite Things.

Listening to Remain in Light, and Speaking In Tongues (A Top 15 desert island disc for sure!) as well, makes me sad for The Talking Heads. I never got to see them and think the creativity of that band was astounding and very very special. I will probably give (wow, working brain hard here) the movie one - had to look it up, True Stories - and Little Creatures a listen soon enough to see where it all went wrong. Reading a little about it I learned about an album without Byrne, No Talking, All Head. I may check that out as well. Come to think of it, I have Naked too. Cool. (I am finding "groovy" a bit cliche. Don't you agree?) There is a real good book in there. There may be a real good book in there about Belew himself. Heads, solo work, Zappa, King Crimson, The Bears, Bowie.

Geez, Bowie. I have been listening to more and more Bowie but not to much full albums yet. I tried to do it with Low but it just killed me.

Dream of the Blue Turtles. Wait wait what key is this in? Yes Love may be The Seventh Wave but I haven't given two shits about that wave for, apparently, too long, Because I sang along like a little hippy bitch.

All of Hair. The Broadway version, with Frank Mills and Going Down and all those tunes Milos blew off.

Well, I guess you get the idea. And the idea is that it has been a blast. I have enjoyed the music more and I have learned more about the musicians and the making of the music in many cases. So many more than I have mentioned too. Fagen. Yes (Time and a Word! Close to the Edge! Not just Fragile. 90125. Zappa and Hot Rats. Waka Jawaka. One Size Fits All. Good Stuff. Billy Joel.

The only problem I have is finding the time and deciding what's next! Tomorrow I think I will put aside some Devon Sproule and some Hendrix just in case.

That's right, think I'm gonna wait until tomorrow!

Monday, October 14, 2013

NYCC - Tom Raney draws Starman vs Grundy

Not only was I able to pre-arrange this nice 2 character commission from Tom Raney for the NYCC

Tom Raney - Jack Knight Starman vs Solomon Grundy

but I was able to set-up an absolutely mind-blowing commission for pick up in a few months. I will not be acquiring any more Tom Raney art after that piece, although with stuff like that one above I may get an occasional Starman themed piece!

Thanks Tom!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Fifty gets a repeat offender - The Genius of Jim Williams

Ha, I called him Jim. It has been years, years, since we emailed about me being on his (unpaid) commission list but that is how the emails came to me. From Jim Williams. He is better known in the comics world as JHWilliams 3rd, and recently he has been in the comic news as the artist of the new Sandman comics. He is the greatest artist working in comics being published RIGHT NOW as far as I can see; he designs comics differently, draws comics somewhat differently, and he uses the medium to its' fullest extent in terms of layouts and the use of differing styles and textures. In today's comics he is a leader and innovator and I am pleased to own more than one piece he has created that I have put in The Fifty.

Previously I have written about re-acquiring the Promethea 24 double page spread that is now in the Fifty. Well, take a look at this bad boy.

JHW3 Milestone Forever pinup

This is a rare piece of art for me in that I have no idea who the character is. I know he is called Hardwire and that means nothing to me. Never read any Milestone comics. But I could not pass on this when Jim told me it was for sale. On CAF I wrote that this is Moebius meets Jack Kirby. I like that description and I think it works, so I am going to leave it at that.

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Tony Harris / Ray Snyder Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover
3  Gene Colan / Tom Palmer Tomb of Dracula 44 page 1 splash
4  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones
5  JHW3 Milestone Forever pinup
6  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
7  Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
8  Dan Adkins Dr Strange 170 page 11
9  Anna Merli Clea
10  JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
11  Rudy Nebres - Dr. Strange, Dracula & The Scarlet Witch

And Jim, I still want that commission. (Double page Dr. Strange being attacked by the eyeballs with gaping maws, right?)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

NYCC - Oh Yeah! continued

So after finding a nice FM page I settled terms with Mitch and made off. I have not yet paid anything, for now at least, and Mitch still has the page, for now, so no scans or anything.

I don't think I mentioned it but I had to take off my hoodie when I got to the Graphic Collectibles table. Yeah it was hot but looking at the art and realizing I had the option of purchasing something made me flush. I had to take a moment and regroup.


So with that accomplished I made my way out of town and off to the suburb of Artists' Alley. I had to track down my number one target, the secret commission I was hoping for - David Wenzel. I am off to dinner in a few so google his talented ass and you will see why I was excited to see his name among the guests. I have never seen David Wenzel before, and I have been going to cons for 20 plus years. So I knew I needed some money for something from this man,and sure enough I found him relatively alone still putting out his wares. I was second in line and eventually introduced myself when number one in line got overwhelmed by the choices and stepped aside for a bit. David remembered out email exchange and exclaimed "but I have never drawn Dr Strange!" I told him that was okay and that I was not going to be a slave to costume or anything. We agreed on a limited watercolor that I will pick up Sunday. I also think I will likely get an at-home commission next year for the living room wall. I am tempted for a real magic scene with Dr.Strange but how can I pass on a giant "Death of Smaug" or "Bilbo takes the Ring of One from Gollum" painting?

So hopefully tomorrow I acquire a David Wenzel watercolor of Dr. Strange. Look for it next week.

I have only one other acquisition to pick up,a pre-arranged commission from Tom Raney. I have dropped most convention sketches and more simple commissions from my target sights, but Tom is one of three guys (Andy MacDonald and Sean Chen the others) whom I see frequently on the scene and who still do it for me.Not good value for the art, just plain old good art. So I will give that cats my cash anytime they are slinging ink for hire.

Okay, expect another report after tomorrow as there are always surprises, some disappointment, and maybe unexpected rewards!

Friday, October 11, 2013

NYCC - Oh Yeah! (and a David Wenzel watercolor as well!)

So I did it. I have talked and talked and postulated and posed and blah blah blah blah. In this very blog I have written how "I could sell 50 pieces and buy one big piece if I could. I would do it in a second. And maybe more than once." Well, I have 33 pieces in the current comiclink auction, all smaller things. It is not a featured auction now after all is it. Seven still have no bids after the auction opned yesterday but that is okay; one of those only cost $5 after all! But many cost a hundred and some more than that, but that no longer matters. If I get $50 each on average I will be disappointed but content. If I get $100 on average I slightly exceed expectations. So let's see what happens.

I had not expected to do much with that money, maybe some bills and a bit of Christmas gift money. Well, it turns out the gift it for me myself and I. Earlier this week Mitch from Graphic Collectibles announced that he would have some Frank Miller art for the show. I immediately freaked and considered my options. I like to improve my choices and options in life, so I knew that I would be remiss if I saw something I liked and had not made effort to be ready to buy if possible.

So I emailed the comicart-l yahoo group list and announced I would sell some things if anyone was interested. Two people were, and 3 sold pieces later I had some cash to play with. Combined with my convention budget I was now financially armed and certainly dangerous. Dangerous indeed, although to whom is could be debated for quite some time, so it is best to move on..

Along the way Mitch had chimed in and told me he would work with me. Of that I was already confident, but now that it was stated I was primed. Locked and loaded. But this meant complications for sure.

You see, I already had my money spent once in my mind before Mitch even made his announcement. So I decided I had to prioritize and FM was gonna rule the day. I know Bechara may not like it, but we both know he has art I want and I have money he certainly would not mind possessing in return. But if you had a dealer holding something you want, behind Conrad would be Bechara because the online presence is low to nil. So Bechara could wait, especially when he has a few pages I will eventually own I think; if the first choice sells the second or third will be there.

Then I can just track down the first or second choice and buy it later from the person who buys it from Bechara. patience is indeed a virue.

And I emailed a few of the artists I was after, of which there were few due to my deepening trend away from convention sketches. But low and behold Andy Mac could not provide an art attack as he IS NOT ATTENDING!, and Sean Chen just had a newborn so he was not drawing at home currently (and no longer does con sketches as he wants to do quality for the money).

So that left my primary target, David Wenzel. If I passed on the Bechara art I could go bigger on Wenzel and still have a shot at a FM stunner. Perhaps, perhaps at least. yeah maybe.

So after getting to the show yesterday I made a beeline for Mitch. He was in the process of selling at least the second piece, a Sin City page. Then a large Batman sold off the wall, 12K. The Lana I wanted was out of my range at 7.5K. But wait, what's this here? After asking about the possibility of Elektra Loves Again art Mitch filled his portfolio to a page. 15K. Oh well, but it was beautiful, and more importantly for me I had access to the portfolio. It had been there open but inaccessible as Mitch did business. I pounced at my chance and as I talked about the art with a fellow viewer I saw the one for me. It had been between three pages, and I almost went with Catwoman Carrie page (with killer dialogue) but the paste-up over her mouth actually said "I think it is a NO for me" in Heidi Klum's voice. So between the two others, both the same price, I decided to go drink with John - new friend John from London -and let fate (and intervening buyers) help decide. I told Mitch my buying plan, he agreed to my terms easily and as a true gentleman and off I went.

okay, gotta go watch agents of shield on tivo with my wife and daughter. finished tomorrow

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Scanning Art

Two weeks or so ago I cleaned out part of my comics closet. I drove 3 long boxes and 8.5 short boxes worth of comics to northern NJ and gave them to someone I never met before. He is grading them and then will sell them for 10% of the profits. Or else he is stealing them from me and I have not yet realized it. So I am getting either 90% or 0% of the final sales price, depending on this man's character.

The other half of that closet is comic art. I am thinning the herd there as well, and today saw my 31 items up in the Comic Link preview. That auction starts Wednesday of next week and will go for two weeks or so. I am now in the process of taking pieces out and putting ones for my birthday sale in a separate Itoya and scanning those that need scanning. My computer died and the data retrieval guy got back much but not everything, so some art needs new scans. It is funny, I collected this art for over 2 decades but since The Fifty burst into existence everything has become subservient to that concept. It is freeing and frightening at the same time. My birthday sale got to 60 pieces easily and it is tough holding back the tide once the floodgates are opened. Maybe I will hold back on the Starman pages until next year's sale. It is hard to know what to do. I look at some of my pieces on Comic Link and wonder if stuff I paid $100 for will yield $25. But I am running out of that type of stuff and think my profit margin, if any!, should improve. But I have resolved to move a large number of pieces in the near future either way.

So I am scanning this art and cannot believe the wonderful pieces I am considering letting go. But I feel like I am entering a new phase of my hobby participation, and it is exciting. I don't feel as if anything is ending despite the fact that I am emptying or consolidating portfolios at an alarming pace. Fun as a reason for buying  or commissioning something is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Oh, there will always be exceptions. But I have left the shotgun and the scattergun behind and am now operating with scalpels and lasers with precision focus. Or at least some semblance of an attempt at such.

But there are still patterns of resistance. Old habits die hard. I have a loosely arranged commission for NYCC next weekend that should cost me around $1000 and maybe more. Now in the past the idea of this artist and Dr. Strange would have been enough to justify the commission in my mind. But this week I feel myself really questioning if I want to get it. I also want a page that is $1400, and I cannot get both unfortunately. Not this year. Well....probably not. I have an excellent scene for the commission and the artist is a world class illustrator who does not normally work in comics. Old habits die hard. I will have to look over the artists pencil pieces to see what's what. He said he will have a price list for various levels of expense, so I am hoping to work that out right away Thursday. But hard decisions will have to be made by then.

Thursday at NYCC will also be the scene of my first premeditated social convention meet-up. Ever.After 20years. Maybe I am growing up, at age 46, after all. I am having a drink with a fellow collector who was instrumental in helping me finalize my acquisition of the Superman 400 pinup recreation by Bill Sienkiewicz. I knew it was a great idea and when Bill and I never met up at the end of last year's NYCC. Although it turns out he did not have it done at that time, when I reached out for help through the comic art yahoo list group a gentleman named John responded. He apparently kept it on Bill's radar and Bill got it done it London. Now it also turns out that Bill was under the mistaken belief that I was going to be in London to pick it up, but he mailed it to me ASAP after he returned from England the next week. So John had really been the man and I was grateful for the assist, When I learned he was coming to NYC for the convention we decided to meet up so I can thank him properly. I can be quite a handful on an interpersonal level sometimes, but common courtesy and respect are important to me and I think it is important that I thank John properly. He can see the piece and I can look him in the eye and say thank you. Then we can drink a bit and talk before going our separate ways again. Normally I would forsake such things, but I am trying to be a better man and socially is a real area for improvement, believe me. But by the time I meet up with John at 6 pm Thursday I expect to have some sort of commission set up with this renowned artist. I wonder what it will be. Remind me to keep you appraised, as I will be able to talk names and specifics next week this time.

In the course of composing this blog and scanning some pieces I decided to re-open a dormant CAF for sale gallery. It had a bunch of stuff in there, so I lowered some prices considerably and made the gallery active. I think a link is up there at the top right of this blog page. I made a John Beatty commission $15. I made various commissions $60 or so. The floodgates are open.

Again, let me be clear. I want a Frank Miller page. I want a commission from Art Adams. I want a commission from Steranko. Those seem to be my most pressing desires,at this moment in time. (Reminder, talk to Spurlock & Sternko next week at NYCC and feel it all out!) These things cost thousands of dollars that isn't going to just fall in my lap. I want some more paintings from Into Shamballa from Dan Green too. (Talk to Dan, again, about that too!) As any collector knows, I can go on and on like this. I have an huge BWS purchase I can dream about (less than the Miller that is for sure though). The Mignola I want that is $7000. I will die with that Mignola on the wall of my comfort room if my destiny is fulfilled. Of this I swear.

Uh-oh. Hmmm. I haven't thought about that BWS purchase since I stopped emailing with Barry's camp about a year and a half ago. I may have to re-prioritize. Hmmm. $5500 I think it was. That would be a goal for next year alone for sure!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Greatest Convention Sketch I Ever Got - Mitchell Bretweiser and The Fifty

The Fifty is my permanent art collection. It is a work in progress that will continue to evolve until I die . I thought long and hard about the appropriateness of convention sketches in The Fifty. In looking over my collection it was the quality of the piece, not the scene its' of origin, that ultimately decided its' fate.

So let us welcome the greatest convention sketch I have ever received into The Fifty: Dr. Strange by Mitchell Bretweiser.

At the time I wrote this on CAF "The  gem of the convention, and one of the more impressive con pieces I've gotten. And the previous work I had seen him do of this character was very dark, so this was just a blast to get from him." This still stands as one of the most, if not THE MOST, impressive convention pieces I have ever purchased. It was at the Philadelphia 2005 WWE show and I distinctly remember walking the aisles and watching Mitch paint this. He was relatively unknown at the time and would go on to the Drax The Destroyer miniseries in just a year or two. I got another watercolor painting the next year but it was nowhere near as beautiful as this one. This is a gem that has stood the test of time so far. I do not expect to ever consider parting with it, so that by definition makes it a member of The Fifty. Why not make it official, eh?

This one is probably another surprise to many folks but it is special to me. Besides the beauty and joy in the character, a rare take on Stephen Strange - believe me, it was so fun getting it. At one point Mitchell,who was at the corner of the aisle, was leaning very far back in his chair and stretching his arms out as portrayed in the painting. He was looking at his hands from side to side and making different hand gestures. The look on his face was one of total immersion and joy as he worked. I don't think he was aware of me standing and watching him work from about 4 feet away, slightly behind him off his right shoulder. He would pose and look it over, paint a bit and then do it again. It was a blast to watch him work. And then when I was able to pick up the completed piece I was blown away by the bright and festive Dr. Strange Mitchell produced.

Hey I am a psychologist, but I cannot help but think that Mitchell himself was this joyful and full of life when he made this painting. Watching him work, he was nailing it creatively and would soon be noticed by the Big Two.

Then again, perhaps the painting doesn't represent Mitchell, but me. I mean, look at that thing! And I own it! Look again, it is exactly how I myself feel about the piece.

Thank you Mitchell!

The Fifty
1  BWS Storyteller Young Gods page 4
2  Tony Harris / Ray Snyder Dr. Strange WIRED Magazine cover
3  Gene Colan / Tom Palmer Tomb of Dracula 44 page 1 splash
4  Simon Bisley Dr. Strange vs The Mindless Ones
5  Dan Green Dr. Strange: Into Shamballa splash
6  Bill Sienkiewicz Superman 400 pinup recreation
7  Dan Adkins Dr Strange 170 page 11
8  Anna Merli Clea
 JH Williams 3rd / Mick Gray Promethea 24 double page spread
10  Rudy Nebres - Dr. Strange, Dracula & The Scarlet Witch
11 Mitchell Bretweiser Dr. Strange watercolor

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

So If That Last post Wasn't Clear...

...I am accepting offers on a large number of the items in my CAF collection. On Thanksgiving (give or take a day or so) I will preview at least 50, but likely closer to 100, items from my collection that will be priced and offered for sale the following day. Since my birthday is the day after Thanksgiving this year I may run the sale for the weekend. Either way, this sale will include items that will not be for sale again in the foreseeable future. I want to generate large cash, or at least try to!, for my birthday and purchase a major piece in turn. And maybe pay a bill or two in the meantime.

Yes, I am clearly serious about this "The Fifty" thing! And I am serious about the need to feed The Fifty!!!

Now, this post serves as evidence that I am itching to sell now that I have thought of this yearly sale. I have 60 items priced, and have started building the website. So I will say it again:


I may just surprise you.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Feed The Fifty Yearly Sale (11/29/2013) ...Some Random Thoughts That Surprised Even Me!

I had a lot of fun this weekend thinking about my upcoming megasale on my birthday, November 29th. I am having the first sale this year and intend to have one every year on or around my birthday. I may have a half-birthday sale as well. Who knows? Not I. The details are fluid and will remain so but let it be known that. my wife celebrates half-birthdays in her family and I may use that tradition if I don't want to go to Comic Link or wait until my birthday rolls around again.

A few things seem to be settled though. I will have a website, a sort of online pop-up store. My wife is a web designer for Rutgers University, the best web designer for Rutgers, and she has agreed to build one to my simple specs. I intend to have the art online and the website live for a one day preview until 10 pm. During the preview there will be no prices but offers will be considered. Then on 12:01 am November 29th the art will go live with prices. Hopefully a few pieces will sell and I will have some birthday money. The sale will last for one day and at midnight it is over. I will not sell the items after the sale. That is the point of this thing. I would never send these items to an auction house. But once a year I will place things up for sale that I would not otherwise consider selling.

I have been told that my prices are high, but then again the person who told me that prices his stuff very high in my opinion. I think that most of us in the original comic art hobby think our prices are fair and everyone else's, with the exception of Roger Clark of course, are high. I myself only recently cast off the one belief most collectors suffer from...that the price I paid should inform the price I sell it for. These pieces will be fairly priced in my mind, although if the price is $420 that may be less true. $420 pieces are a special thing in my sale, and will represent pieces I probably wish no one buys. Starman pieces will not be market value in all cases. Mitch Byrd pages can be had for a song but you won't get any Starman pages,by any artist, for less than $150. Gotta protect the market and all that. (joking there)

Whether it sells or not is one thing, but I went kind of crazy putting art in the for sale category this weekend. At one point I had over 50 items just from Starman alone. Then for a bit I was going to offer 47 items for sale on my 47th birthday, so I deleted many Starman items from the list. Now I think I will offer around 50-75 items for sale. So far the cheapest piece is $42 and the most expensive is $3250. Prices may change though.

I will leave you with this thought though. I have a list of art now for sale in my mind. That means I am more open to selling those pieces than I have ever been. So if you want to make an offer on something in my collection (see the CAF link upper right part of this blog), now is the time. And speaking of time, time payments are possible.

I want a Frank Miller. I want an Art Adams commission. I want a Steranko commission. I want I want i want I want i want I want I want i want. So I gotta sell. Make me an offer, I bet I surprise you.