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!