If you collect original comic art, it’s easy to get lost on pages like Heritage looking at all the amazing pieces. I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I own a few pieces and after seeing the R. Crumb piece going for $717,000.00, I got wrapped up in looking at art auctions. You could by a house for that in many states and in California, you could get a condo in the suburbs. I’m still trying to figure out that one.
Since I was on the page, I continued down the rabbit hole and started looking at some other pieces that are ending soon and came across one that surprised me. Page 9 from Avengers #99 drawn by Barry Windsor Smith and inked by Tom Sutton. I had forgotten that BWS had worked on the Avengers for three issues (#98-#100) in the middle of the Kree – Skrull War. The issue features Goliath attacking a Skrull ship, but running out of his growth tablets and having to switch back to archery as Hawkeye to take the ship down. It crashes in Yugoslavia where he is found by a traveling circus that he joins up with as a way of payment and discovers that the strongman is actually an amnesiac Hercules. I love plot lines from the early 70’s.
The book shipped in May of 1972, making this page 45 years old. Besides it being a rare BWS Avengers page, it’s just plain rare as you don’t see a lot of his work come up for auction. Doing some digging I only found four other BWS pages have sold on Heritage as far back as their on-line records go. One of those pages was also from Avengers #99… page 4 and it sold for nearly $15,000 back in February. Which is surprising as this page is currently sitting at $5,500 with about 12 hours to go. Now that may not be the $717,000 that the Crumb piece brought in, but it looks like someone is going to get a really good deal on a nice Barry Windsor Smith page.