As a collector of vintage comics, other old paper, and original art myself, I’ve often said that there’s a lot that even a very good scan can’t tell you about the historical paper object in question. The quality and nature of the ink, the texture of the paper, and often even the smell of the art board can tell you an awful lot about how the work was created and the path it traveled through the decades until it ended up in your hands.
And if it’s not actually in your hands yet, watching how another experienced collector or dealer handles the piece can be the next best thing. Seeing what catches their eye, what seems important to them besides the obvious, can tell you quite a bit beyond what you can see in a scan. And being candid, I think most collectors find following an auction in their area of interest to be pretty damn entertaining whether they’re bidding or not. So this week in preparation for our coverage of Comic Connect‘s Event Auction XXXIX, we’ve asked COO and Co-Founder Vincent Zurzolo to do some video highlights of what they’ve got in store for us in the auction.
But let’s hold up a second before we get to the original artwork that’s up for auction in tonight’s session. I want to talk about something else Zurzolo mentioned here first. He’s about to launch into some commentary on that wonderful Jack Kirby Fantastic Four Annual #2 page, when he pauses and says:
When I got to interview Stan Lee years ago, I asked him ‘Stan, if you were at a cornerside cafe in Paris, and you could have lunch with any character you created, who would you have lunch with? And he said The Thing. It really stuck in my mind because to me, The Thing has always been Jack Kirby, so I thought that was a beautiful answer.
It’s a beautiful answer indeed, and a good question. What Marvel character would you have lunch with? I think I’d have to say… the Collector. Lots of untold collecting stories to be had there, I imagine.
Zurzolo discusses several pieces of Jack Kirby artwork here, including my personal favorite of this auction session, the cover of Thor #157 with art by Kirby and inks by Vince Colletta. This era of the Thor series which runs from issues #150-157 includes Hela and features Lee & Kirby’s original Marvel version of the Ragnaraok tale, and was highly influential on the Thor: Ragnarok film. director Taika Waititi is a well known and enthusiastic Kirby Fan. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige elaborates:
…when talking to the art department, and saying, “oh look at that, it really should be like this”, looking at Jack Kirby costumes and background panels, and the art department doing something inspired by it and then Taika going no, no. Do this! [referencing exact Kirby art] And that’s why you have, it’s direct to translation of Kirby’s artwork which hasn’t been seen in a movie before.
As Zurzolo notes, there are several other cool pieces of Jack Kirby original art to be had in this auction session, not to mention comics ranging from Amazing Fantasy #15 to Action Comics #1. Check in with Bleeding Cool throughout the week for discussion and results from Comic Connect Event Auction XXXIX, as it’s shaping up to be an interesting year for collectors of vintage comics and original artwork.