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#5800577 - 06/26/12 11:37 AM A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices
Phil the Governor Offline
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Okay..

So I've only been collecting original comic art for a few years now, and specifically collect one title - The Walking Dead. When I began buying pages, they were pretty cheap: you could get a decent page for under $200, a cover for around 1K, and so on.

Since about a year ago, with obvious help from the T.V. show, prices have gone up tremendously. In opinion, I think that the prices pieces were at a few years ago were cheap and that the reason for the rise in prices we see now are a combination of:
- realized value
- speculation
- the fan base expanding

What I'm getting at is this: I collect the art because I like it. However, when spending thousands of dollars on something, you obviously would like to have some piece of mind in the back of your head saying that it's not like going to to the casino and gambling. I seriously think that the Walking Dead, at the very least, will retain some value for the fact that it's a good story and nostalgia will kick in to the value of these pages at some point.

But I do have a hard time believing just how high some of these prices are. In specific, and I mean not to offend anyone here, there was a page on ebay that included two very popular characters: Michonne and the Governor. The page in question was very cool, but was lacking action, and only had character content going for it. The BIN was VERY aggressive, however, I sent in what I thought was a very reasonably offer for the page (at the very least market value for it) and it was immediately declined. I decided to send the seller a message asking how much they were realistically trying to sell the page for, to which they replied "I've gotten offers between 1,200 and just under 2,000". Now, in my opinion, this is absurd - I have a good gut feeling that at some point, yes, the page will be worth this amount - but not right now, or even in a few years.

I'm not really sure what to think, and I simply want to hear other opinions.
Thanks,
Phill
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#5800708 - 06/26/12 12:54 PM Re: A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices [Re: Phil the Governor]
AKA Rick Offline
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Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1999
The good, bad and ugly of collecting one-of-a-kind items is that although value can be established based on historical precident of similar items, especially in the case of comic book art where you can compare by artist, title, characters and composition, the pricetag is set by the owner and the value is proclaimed by the buyer (value to them that is, it is what it is worth to that individual), and somewhere in that area is the marketplace, dictated by the laws of supply and demand. That's what makes auctions one of the better gauges of the potential value being recognized and actualized within that environment of multiple interest where it takes two to tango (granted it can be biased where there's 2 fanatics with deep pockets or in the same breath an under publicized auction or one that occurs when the planets don't align right to get the necessary action).

As an art collection, buyers sometimes need thicker skin to empower themselves and not let sellers get to them. Some sellers are flat out extremely greedy. Other sellers are actually collectors and fans themselves who are simply doing that whole "I want to keep this piece, but if given a gaudy offer, I'm willing to part with it" strategy. In either case, as a buyer, you should always remember you're the one with the economic power and can decide who to spend your money with and what to spend your money on. That's why it's always amusing to see some of these art dealers and artists with quirky personalities alientate their customers with obnoxious, rude or socially inept attitudes. Whenever faced with that, I simply know, for every one piece I pass on, there's 10 others I can opt to buy into, and also know I can't afford or own everything, so sometimes you have to walk away from a piece if it's not meant to be.

With "The Walking Dead" it's easy to look at both the comic books and the original art with 20/20 hindsight of what prices used to be. In the same breath it is also easy to become Nostradamus and predict a market crash which may or may not happen.

I would agree the value is high and the odds of future increases or a market decline are equally as high in one breath. However, maybe that's what some said about some of the key issues a year ago and are now kicking themselves on not buying their 9.8 #1's and #19's. Keep in mind of course with the comics, the market is more volitile since they're produced in mass quantities where original art is one of a kind so generally retains their value with greater vigor and longevity.

It's like the stock market. Look at APPLE stock, back in 2005 it was under $50, then it broke the $100 barrier in 2007 and continued to climb with a few ebb and flows to the pricing where it's now near $600. Is it overvalued? Are there "monday morning quarterbacks" touting they "should have" gotten in at any certain point professing to owning a crystal ball? Are there people on the sideline wanting to jump in but unsure of when to do it?

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=AAPL&a=08&b=7&c=1984&d=05&e=26&f=2012&g=m

The golden rule of collectibles of "Buy what you like" and "Pay what you can afford" (and afford does not mean how much money you have in your pocket, but rather, what is is worth "to you") so you'll not have regret.

Once you turn your hobby into a business of investing and speculation, then quite honestly, the fun disappears and the anxiety enters the picture.

I think you're correct about The Walking Dead always having interest, so it won't be treasure turned trash ever. Whether the original art becomes valued like "The Watchmen", "V for Vendetta" or other story driven series is yet to be seen.

The great thing about The Walking Dead is that there's 100 issues and continuing, every month there's 20+ pages entering the market, so you can wait and pick/choose when and where to spend your money. Sometimes there's overzealous investors buying up the art that need to sell it at breakeven (no mark up for profit) or even a loss as well.

I think the right price for The Walking Dead today is probably about $2,000 to start for new covers coming out and about $250-300 for average decent/good pages (with mediocre pages going for $100-150 and pages with greater aesthetics (action, storyline, zombies, characters) going for $450-600 and best pages (splash or monumental) going for $750-1,000) if I had to speculate on current valuation.


Edited by AKA Rick (06/26/12 12:56 PM)

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#5800912 - 06/26/12 02:34 PM Re: A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices [Re: AKA Rick]
Pirate Offline

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Don't forget you are paying premium for small page size. What is it 9x12 maybe.
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#5801053 - 06/26/12 03:33 PM Re: A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices [Re: Pirate]
Phil the Governor Offline
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8 1/2 by 14. And yes, I understand that comparatively the larger 11 by 17 pages should be worth more, but these are one of a kind pages. If a significant thing happens in a later issue on the smaller art board, I haven't seen evidence to prove that it sells cheaper compared to the 11 by 17 pages - is this simply because there is only one of each page?
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#5801078 - 06/26/12 03:48 PM Re: A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices [Re: Phil the Governor]
Pirate Offline

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I wasn't saying it was cheaper, my point is you are paying a premium for a smaller page of art where you can't tell who's who unless the guy is missing a hand. It can be one of a kind all day long.
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#5801101 - 06/26/12 04:00 PM Re: A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices [Re: Pirate]
AKA Rick Offline
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Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1999
Size does not matter when it comes to published art other than preference, I think for the most part. For commissions, outside of, of course, detailing and rendering, the size of the paper and size of the image on that paper helps or hurts the value.

Silver age "twice up" Kirby and Ditko VS standard 11" x 17" art by the same artists are usually measured by the content (characters, story, etc.) than the size of the paper when it comes to value such as with the Fantastic Four original art.

However, there are some collectors who don't like either "small paper" like these pages nor "large paper" such as double-page splashes, twice-up's or anything outside of 11" x 17"

Some of the early Walking Dead pages were on standard 11" x 17" paper, but I thought I heard that Adlard wanted to go with a page size closer to what was eventually to be published so the smaller size paper was easier to draw on for storytelling purposes.

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#5801161 - 06/26/12 04:30 PM Re: A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices [Re: AKA Rick]
Webhead1981 Offline
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Registered: 04/24/12
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As much as the I love the Walking Dead I'm waiting for the bubble to burst. The TV show is very popular, the comic is very good, but I don't see this series (comic) being a series that is something we look back at and is as valuable as Silver Age Marvel comics (Amazing Fantasy #15, X-Men #1 or others). So it was easy for me to cash in on the recent craze and unload my single issue run of #5-98, I got a great price for them. I always have the trades if I want to re read the story and I sold the few pages I had of original art for triple what i paid for them.

My suggestion would be to wait untilt he popularity dies down which it undoubtedly will like most Image series. Remember how much Spawn was selling back in the 90's? So while I hope the tv show has a long successful run, I can't see the comics holding their value down the line.
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#5801255 - 06/26/12 05:13 PM Re: A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices [Re: Phil the Governor]
Mephisto Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Phillip


But I do have a hard time believing just how high some of these prices are. In specific, and I mean not to offend anyone here, there was a page on ebay that included two very popular characters: Michonne and the Governor. The page in question was very cool, but was lacking action, and only had character content going for it. The BIN was VERY aggressive, however, I sent in what I thought was a very reasonably offer for the page (at the very least market value for it) and it was immediately declined. I decided to send the seller a message asking how much they were realistically trying to sell the page for, to which they replied "I've gotten offers between 1,200 and just under 2,000". Now, in my opinion, this is absurd - I have a good gut feeling that at some point, yes, the page will be worth this amount - but not right now, or even in a few years.



I think it will be worth LESS years from now. The only art I really see being valuable in years is the early Moore art, BUT a lot of the panel pages have been expensive for a long time. I really feel the Moore covers are the only thing that may retain value years from now.

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#5802107 - 06/26/12 11:28 PM Re: A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices [Re: Webhead1981]
Claudio Offline
I was posting here when you were in diapers.


Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 3138
Loc: SoCal
 Originally Posted By: Webhead1981
Remember how much Spawn was selling back in the 90's?


Spawn's exploded on the scene and fizzled out because the substance couldn't match the hype.. TWD started out small and grew because it was a quality book. It has staying power. Especially the first 48 or so issues. I don't collect much after those issues but that was a great 4 and a half years.
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#5802132 - 06/26/12 11:38 PM Re: A Simple Discussion on Walking Dead Original Art Prices [Re: Phil the Governor]
blowout Offline
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My view would be that supply will be the biggest factor that is likely to hurt the Walking Dead's original art value over time.
The series is ongoing, and there are already over 2000 pages of original art out there. Those are huge numbers, and you have to wonder if the continuing demand can really sustain higher price levels with that much supply? hm
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