Comic Book Arts

Collecting Comic Book Original Arts

One of the most prized collectibles sprung from pop culture are original comic arts and cartoon arts. There are several types out there but the most valuable have been comic book covers and splash pages. Comic book cover arts are self-explanatory. They're what consumers and fans see displayed on the store kiosks or book shelves. Splash pages are illustrations that takes up an entire comic book page.

Why such interests in comic book arts? The answer for many is the lingering admiration of something worshipped as a child. Before the video game era, comic books were one of the mainstays in a young boy's life. Then and even now, comic books are easily one of the best means of escape. It combines written story telling with highly illustrative graphical images that only a handful of artists in the world can master. A well-crafted comic book can draw a very young reader into a world vastly more fascinating than his own without the complexity of novels. A whole afternoon can be spent reading, re-reading, imagining, and pondering. That's when the mind works best.

Who are the most sought out comic book artists?

Atlas Comics has a list of 100 greatest comic book artists and they cited four factors as standards to make the list - technique, storytelling, accomplishments, and longevity. You can follow this link to see the description but among the 100 includes the most known artists in pop cultures as comic book artists. Jack Kirby is top of the list. The rest includes Neal Adams, Frank Frazetta, Wally Woods, and a bunch more. Many of their work are on display in many online comic art galleries.

Recycling the comic book culture

In modern times, as oppose to the Golden Age (1938-1955), Silver Age (1956-1969) and the Bronze Age (1970-1979), the comic book culture has evolved to reach out to new generations but often under different mediums. For the most part, newer fans are first exposed to comic books through the movies or video games. That's not to say that the appreciation for the comic book arts has disappeared. It deceptively diminished because comic books compete with video games and movies for attention. For example, there are many movie fans out there who do not know that Hellboy is derived from a Dark Horse comic book.

But the injection of prints from ubiquitous video game covers and movie posters to the consumer market elevated comic book arts to the collectible market. The rarest, oldest, and/or most appreciated can command 6-figure sales. Also, the Internet allows the formation of a global comic art community. It's to a point now where if you have a stash of reasonably preserved comic books from the Golden and Silver Age, then you have a great chance of converting them into a pretty good amount of money, if you don't mind parting with them.

So if you're a fan of comic books and you're buying them out of interest, keep your collections safe and in good shape. Think 20 years ahead and think from the perspective of comic art fans. You could be sitting on the next Action Comics #1, 1938 with Superman on the cover. Was worth $0.38 back then, estimated today at $310,000.

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dreamscaper 8 years ago from Vancouver, BC, Canada

This article has me thinking back to the many times at comic conventions when I saw very nice original artwork for sale but could not afford it; the last such time was at this year's Emeraldcity Con where I was admiring some of Matt Wagner's original covers for his Batman mini series which I wish I could have been able to afford.

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