Here are some historic, museum worthy one of a kind original art pieces from our personal collection featuring legendary artists and modern masters. Without further ado...
***From The Earliest Marvel Age Super Hero Art to Surface & earliest panel page known to exist from The Fantastic Four, featuring Marvel’s most enduring character... The Thing!***
This Historic page hails from the earliest issue of original art of The Fantastic Four known to exist. With that said, this too means this is the earliest Marvel Age Super Hero Art known to exist in this very issue! Based on Marvel historians and countless research, this page is believed to be the first panel page original art for the Fantastic Four known to exist, and overall second page next to the title splash page 1. We have confirmed with Tom Kraft of the Kirby Museum archives page 2 has not surfaced within auction results or member scans, we'll get to why this is significant shortly.
Though their first appearance was 2 issues earlier, many recognize this issue as their true first appearance, as the previous two issues they’re in civilian clothes, in this issue they get their suits for the first time with the classic logo, the Fantasticar is introduced as well as their headquarters, the Baxter building. It wasn’t until this issue that the cover and story art felt like a true super-hero comic team. This is truly a momentous page and issue from the beginning of the Marvel universe. This epic story page is of The Miracle Man as he performs his super-villain debut at his magic show by humiliating the Thing, which we’ll discuss further below.
The Fantastic Four- “That name captures the prominence of the team in canon, as celebrity superhumans and scientific patrons who provide leadership to governments and other superheroes alike. But it’s also true of their importance to comics history. Fantastic Four was the first superhero comic to begin developing long-term stories for its heroes and villains across multiple issues. This continuity would grow to encompass the entire Marvel Universe, making the Four the literal “first family” of Marvel! Their debut, Fantastic Four #1, was the first issue to utilize the creative process between writer and artist which became the famed “Marvel Method”. It would soon catapult Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to icon status and become standard across the industry. But more than that, it was the first time a superhero comic was written with a more adult audience in mind. It was the shocking success of Fantastic Four #1 among college students that convinced the major publishers to revitalize superhero comics after 20 years in the doldrums and showed comics creators the way forward. It is no exaggeration to say that without the publication of Fantastic Four #1, superheroes would not hold their current significant place in the cultural zeitgeist. It is Marvel’s First Family, and this era-defining first issue, which made the last 60 years of mythmaking, movies and merchandise possible.” -Mythic Markets
It’s widely known in the industry there is no Fantastic Four #1 & #2 original art, as it was most likely discarded or lost sometime in the early 1960’s, shortly after their inception. Marvel stored their original art in a warehouse and in the mid 1970’s the remaining art was catalogued, which showed Fantastic Four issues 1 and 2 absent, but issue 3 seen here and proceeding issues in tact. Fast forward years later after the art was returned to Jack Kirby and Sol Brodsky in 1987, a known collector apparently bought the entire art issue, which was missing a few pages at the time. He later traded the Fantastic Four 3 original art issue for the entire X-Men 1 original art. Since then, the pages were broken up in private sales and auction houses, we’ve been able to account for 18 pages of the surviving from the earliest of the Marvel Age First Family original art, which goes in line of the original story of missing a few pages. Page 1 being the title splash was last seen in 2003, presumably deep in a collection, page 2 has never surfaced and is believed to be one of the pages that was lost or missing when the collector attained most of the original pages. Now let’s discuss this page 3…
Again, the title splash page 1 is the overall introduction to the issue and page 2 has never surfaced. Thus, page 3 would be the earliest panel page original art for the Fantastic Four series known to exist! Furthermore, it would be the first featured panel page art of the team’s most enduring character, and the creator Jack Kirby’s extension of himself, “The Thing”. The page itself showcases the title villain, the first appearance of The Miracle Man, who shows up Thing in a strength showdown in this fluid page by Kirby. Also note how primitive the beginning stages of Thing is in comparison to later issues. This issue also marks the only time Thing is seen wearing physical pants, issue 4 and on he’s seen only in his classic torn shorts.
You'll see via the link from Tom Brevoort, (Marvel editor), which we’re linking through the art image, who discussed this issues art in depth. You’ll see the story was dated for November 1961, the splash page shows “#3 March” crossed out, which may have some relevance. As many of you know Fantastic Four #1 had a cover date of November 1961, many believe the issues plot and art was worked out in the Spring that same year, more than likely wrapping up in May of 1961 and issue 1 hit the shelves in August. In the book Kirby “Stuf’ Said”, we saw in sometime believed to be in August for issue to 3 wrap up. Stan Lee wrote to a fan after the release of issue 1 that same month in August explaining to stay tuned for Fantastic Four future issues and that there will be suits among other characters and so on. Seeing this fan letter response from Lee we know the plot and more than likely the art was drawn earlier. It begs to question when the Miracle Man stories plot and art was completed or what it was originally slotted for? Certainly in this era, the initial plot would run at least the first 3-4 issues, which would make sense to have their suits, car and headquarters all debuting in a later issue if they’re “mapping out” key elements. Not to mention Submariner returning from the Golden Age in issue 4 to attempt to boost sales. After all, Lee and Kirby gave it all they got with the Fantastic Four series to reach a wide audience, not just kids alike. Without the success of the series, essentially there would be no Marvel Universe as well know it. The likes of Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor and Iron Man all came after this very original art piece was illustrated. It’s hard to fathom the success of this very issue and initial run would pave the way for the likes of all these characters mentioned, including future super hero teams such as The X-Men and the Avengers!
In conclusion, this page was the earliest from this landmark issue to be offered in the marketplace and is a gorgeous large art (twice up) piece in outstanding condition. Jack Kirby pencils and Sol Brodsky inks make this an essential piece of Marvel history. We can’t say it enough just how truly historic and relevant this page is and we’re thrilled to have it be the centerpiece of The Holy Grail original art collection.
Jack Kirby pencils/Sol Brodsky inks; page 3; Produced in 1961, Published in 1962; Large art (twice up) image area 12.5" x 18"
Pages of this rarity, cultural importance, and graphic perfection almost defy description. Suffice it to say, only Jack "King" Kirby and his inker supreme, Dick Ayers, could create a page of such intensity and majesty -- and as a result, one would be hard pressed to find a better early battle page of Thor by King Kirby. Arguably this is the best of Thor’s first three battle page scenes, only earlier pages are of the stone men in the tail end of issue #83 and the plane attack a few pages earlier in issue #84, but this is the first time the Mighty Thor takes on an army!
This sublime page hailing from the mighty Thor's second appearance and Jane Foster’s first appearance, who is now Lady Thor, The Goddess of Thunder is certainly one of the ultimate pieces of our collection. This museum-worthy Marvel milestone has a large (twice-up) image area of 12.5" x 18.5". Note: There is wear on the board resulting in minor creasing and small tears (a quarter of an inch) at the corners and bottom of the page and some tape staining. This key issue introduced Jane Foster, the nurse who became Thor's love interest. On this very battle page, we see Thor taking on an army to save Jane. He uses the power of his hammer, Mjolnir, to flip one of the army's tanks on top of another tank, and then goes on to actually dissolve the tank, exposing the soldiers inside of it. The final panel is actually Thor's first face to face encounter with Jane Foster saying out loud, "They've captured Jane" and she replies "Don't listen to them, defeat them all!" The page is inked by Dick Ayers, one of Kirby's primary inking partners during the early years of the Marvel Silver Age.
During the past decade Jane Foster has become a major player in the Marvel comic book universe and she actually took over the role of Thor for a couple of years after the traditional male Thor was deemed "unworthy" by his father Odin, the ruler of Asgard. The Jane as a female Thor saga is now being brought into the mega-popular Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fan-favorite actress Natalie Portman, who played Jane Foster in the first two Thor movies, will return for Thor: Love and Thunder and will take over the Thor role from the male version played by Chris Hemsworth. The film is currently scheduled to open this summer (2022).
One of the most significant pieces in our collection and what we've learned in recent years due to various articles and historians research, this small 6 page story hails as one of the earliest Spider-Man original art pieces in existence!
Marvel's founding fathers Kirby, Ditko & Lee collaborate on this significant first meeting of the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch and Spider-Man, truly historic original art! Not only do the 2 teenagers meet for the first time on this very page, but they square off and battle in both Spider-Man and Torch fashion, fireballs and climbing on walls! Also note panels 3 and 4 where Kirby uses a one off never seen before or later concept for Spider-Man's defense of a slithering web, almost symbiote like. Twice-Up (Large Art 12” x 18.5” signed by Jack Kirby on the lower right.
Check out our article "The Beginnings of Spider-Man" documenting this early Spider-Man art believed to have been drawn shortly after Amazing Fantasy #15 and before Amazing Spider-Man #1 in 1962, making it the earliest Spider-Man original art story next to Amazing Fantasy #15 interior art in the Library of Congress! Click the image link...
Superman figure study (pencils) Original Art by Creator Joe Shuster. Image on 10.75"x12" brown paper mounted on heavy black board. Signed by Shuster. This item was found in a hidden space behind a false wall in a newly purchased home. After much research we believe this incredible art relic is from the Beginnings of Superman, pre-Action #1 as a working study.
Originally sold by Metropolis / ComicConnect years ago, who is the leading Superman comic auction house setting multiple record sales for both Action Comics #1 and Superman #1. Accompanied by a Metropolis/ComicConnect COA.
Please click on the image to see our page dedicated to this very early art and history of the first superhero character, Superman! ----->
Incredible original art sketch by Batman creator Bob Kane, showing his design process for the iconic comic character. Sheet includes sketch of Leonardo Da Vinci's bat-influenced flying machine design, labeled "Da Vinci's Orinthopter" in Kane's hand, along w/"Da Vinci Quote: 'Remember That Your Bird Should Have No Other Model Than The Bat!'" Below this are three different designs labeled "Bat Masks?" showing design progression of Batman's famous cowl. Right features great full body image of a prototypical "Bat-Man," which is rather close to the finished design, only w/different cowl/mask. Lower right signed "Robert Kane - 10/25/35". Sheet has moderate handling wear as mailed, w/creases and .5" T-shaped tear left of moon image. 1/8" age spot on Bat-Mask image. VG.
This extremely rare and unique art was sent by Kane to contribute for Chip Kidd's 1996 book "Batman Collected". Comes w/original mailing envelope hand-addressed by Kane post marked January 1996. Envelope shows obvious wear and just comes along. Lot also includes one of Bob Kane's personal envelopes that he has labeled "Negative For DC 'Batman Collected'," going on to list subjects of negative slides. These include an image of Kane w/large Batman drawing, image of Batman, Robin and Batwoman (mislabeled "Batgirl" by Kane) as well as notable Bat-villains. Art represents Kane's artwork, some dating back to 1971, w/dates and handwritten notations on some. Negatives are Exc.
Comes w/handwritten note from Kidd, explaining the genesis of this lot. More specifically he contacted Kane via DC Comics to see if he wanted to contribute anything to the book and sent the Batman original concept art along with the art negatives. The art was not ultimately not used in the book. Here is entire note from Chip Kidd discussing the genesis of the lot: “Hi Alex, This is a wild one, been sitting a drawer for over 25 years. In 1995, when I was putting together ‘The Batman Collected’, I reached out to Bob Kane via DC Comics to see if he had anything to contribute. He sent this envelope. While I was thrilled to get it, I felt the drawing wasn’t usable for the project. Ditto the slides. So that was that. And now I’m finally letting it go. Let me know your thoughts. -Best, Chip”
Unique lot, including original Batman concept art from his creator - Bob Kane! We’ve never come across anything of the sort of the Batman concept art in the hand of Kane, which is certainly museum worthy! From the collection of Chip Kidd, renowned author, graphic designer and pop culture enthusiast extraordinaire. Approx. 14x15" sheet of art paper in pencil.
Illustrated by Wonder Woman's co-creator H.G. Peter (1880-1958). Very little H. G. Peter original art is known to exist, despite the fact that the artist and co-creator drew Wonder Woman for more than 15 years. The 7.5x13-3/8" artboard has pen and ink original art for unpublished comic story featuring Wonder Woman. Partial page from the story features two panels showing Wonder Woman in action rescuing a US Army truck that has run off road, her magic lasso wrapped around the large vehicle as Wonder Woman climbs up the steep incline. After further investigation, this US Army supply vehicle was linked to specific use in WWII only and with the lasso first appearing in Sensation Comics #6 in June 1942 this leaves us to believe this piece was created during the dailies between 1943-1945 before the war came to an end or soon after 9/45. We actually found a similar scene in February 1945 dailies where Wonder Woman is testing her lasso, also pulling a 6x6 army truck, but not from a hillside, but from a building. Therefore making it one of the earliest, Wonder Woman original art “intended” published or unpublished pieces known to exist.
We’ve gone through over 20+ years of auction results to not find any intended published or unpublished Wonder Woman original art from what is believed to be from 1945 or earlier. The only earlier H.G. Peter Wonder Woman art is the infamous original concept drawing from 1941 and the Ale House illustration from 1942, both not comic story intended art. Furthermore, the handful of other original art published and unpublished Wonder Woman art from the 1940’s were smaller panels, and not featuring the Amazonian Princess in action quite like this piece. This original art by the creator features a rare full body of "The Agile Amazon" (as the caption piece refers to her) in live action. Peter produced more than 4,000 pages of Wonder Woman art, but to date roughly 25 pieces have surfaced, and the small selection would be even smaller if not for partial pages like this one.
Art is clean and overall in excellent condition. It appears likely that art is among the partial-page Golden Age original art that was saved from oblivion by DC interns during the 1960’s. Story goes, like many other unpublished stories, it lay in DC's storeroom for many years. Sometime in the 1960s, some DC interns were asked to cut up these old stories and put them in the trash. The dutiful comic-fan interns followed the letter if not the intent of the order. They cut each page between tiers and put it in a trash can, which they returned to later and cleaned out before the trash pick-up came around. That is all that rescued this and other examples of fantastic late Golden Age material. Art is further enhanced by great mat created by artist Dan Makara, featuring collage style utilizing Golden Age Wonder Woman comic panels from Winder Woman 13, Summer of 1945, from the story “Slaves in the Electric Gardens”, estimated from the same era of the original art panels. From the Dan Makara Collection.
This incredible early art has since been published in Alter Ego Collection Volume 1, which featured early H.G. Peter artwork, and showcased this very piece at the end.
Spa Fon #5, Legendary EC Comics Fanzine is acknowledged as one of the best EC fanzines ever produced. Published/edited in September 1969 by Rich Hauser, his final issue is the very definition of a fanzine gem featuring the art of Wrightson, Frazetta, Steranko and others. This whimsical piece from Spa Fon #5 is truly special being one of Wrightson’s earliest published artworks, and quite possibly his earliest Frankenstein published piece.
This Wrightson art is channeling a Jack Davis’ Boris Karloff style Frankenstein. The detail of the line work is quite amazing, down to the hairs on the back and legs of the monster from the young Wrightson. When you look closely at the monsters face you can see the sense of humility and humor, while still feeling the anguish and insanity in his eyes, which is ultimately the root of his inner pain created by his master. This technique and feeling from the monster conveyed in an illustration is something Wrightson can only do…It’s Pure Wrightson through and through.
This pinup was used for the Inside back cover of this issue, Spa Fon #5. Though original Publication of Spa Fon #5 was September 1969, there are other known publications the drawing has been featured in, adding to it’s desirability. Such as, Berni Wrightson: Treasury 1975- page 7, Berni Wrightson: A Look Back 1979/1991- Chapter 9 Frankenstein; page 274, Berni Wrightson: The Reaper of Love & Other Stories 1988- page 130.
Wrightson recalled, "My mother took me to see a 'Frankenstein' movie when I was really young, and it affected me very deeply...That led to seeing all the other 'Frankenstein' movies, led to reading the book, and I developed a lifelong love affair with Frankenstein and anything associated with it." - Alter Ego Interview by John Morrow.
The board measures 10.5” x 16”, signed on the lower right and the art is in Excellent condition. All four published books mentioned above are included with the lot.
Our following lot contains the original art of Berni Wrightson’s last published work, the sequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. So here you have his first published Frankenstein work and next you’ll have his last. A true testament to the master of macabre, Berni or in later years referred back as Bernie Wrightson.
The master creates a masterpiece as it’s one of the best pages in the book. The Monster of Frankenstein has a touching scene over the deceased Dolly, Dr. Ingles wife. He thinks she’s dead from his doing, fainting earlier when she sees the sight of the monster. You can feel the empathy and compassion for him in this pivotal scene, while seeing he has feelings and a heart as he prays over her body. The dialogue to himself and to Dolly is striking from the printed page; “A wave of remorse and self loathing washed over me…”Forgive me”…This was my fault. I knew it had to be. The very sight of me had killed this woman, had shocked her into irreversible decline…I wanted to pray…But I did not know how, or to whom…I let my guilt and shame and remorse engulf me…I could do nothing but weep bitterly.” You feel the monster's grief from Wrightson’s art without even reading the dialogue, it’s simply breathtaking how he does it. It's a key scene in the story, as it leads to his understanding of exactly what Doctor Ingles is up to. He soon finds out the real monster is Ingles and he is more human than any of his counterparts in this story.
The reviews of the book and art are already infamous and have been dubbed a modern masterpiece. This was Wrightson’s last published work before his passing in 2017 and is regarded as one of his best. Check out one of the many rave reviews seen below, which exemplifies Wrightson’s incredible work and the monster’s compassion and humanness, which is felt in every way from this very page.
“The beauty of this series lies in more than just Wrightson’s stunning pencils. Niles has expertly crafted a tale that exposes the essence of who Frankenstein could, and should, be. Whereas a lot of the other attempts at Frankenstein are character assassination or modern interpretations, this story is a direct continuation that really drives home one basic point: Despite our Monster’s appearance and nature, his internal struggle with his continued existence, guilt and shame give us a character that at his core is more human than the human beings he’s surrounded by. Dr. Ingles has no issues with murder to revive the corpse of his wife, just as the patrons of the sideshow have no compunction about pelting him with rotten veggies solely based on his appearance. He possesses more soul and compassion than any of the human counterparts in this story, and all he truly wants is for his existence on this world to end. You really feel for the guy by the end of each issue. And yes, there is beauty in Wrightson’s pencils. So much. Every page is a masterpiece. If you’ve ever been privileged enough to read the original Wrightson Frankenstein book, you know exactly what to expect. Breathtaking panels on every page, the level of detail so minute you can pick out the bubbles and gooey bits in every flask and beaker. I’m so glad this book is being published in the unadulterated pencils with no attempt to digitally ink or color it. This book is presented in the perfect format for a sequel to the original Shelley story. I think I’ve reread each issue three or four times just to soak it all in. I really like this series, and this issue in particular, for it’s insight into the heart of Frankenstein’s Monster and how he’s in constant battle with his nature. Also, it drives home the point of how man, in his arrogance, could create and belittle a creature that proves to have more integrity and compassion than we do. Good stuff indeed. -Frank Lanza (Nerds on the Rocks)
The art is in ink and bluish grey hue wash on Bristol board, for an overall image size of 12" x 18". Excellent condition. Signed in the lower right. Custom framed.
Our previous lot is believed to be Wrightson’s earliest published Frankenstein piece, in Karlov style. While this art reflects his most recognizable, Shelley Frankenstein style, and represents his last published work. We’re pleased to have both pieces in our collection, nearly 50 years apart and representing the two different styles of Frankenstein art from the master of macabre Bernie Wrightson.
2ND EARLIEST IRON MAN ORIGINAL ART STORY KNOWN TO EXIST! ART BY CO-CREATOR DON HECK, SIGNED BY CREATOR STAN LEE! (MARVEL, 1963)- We all know Iron Man’s first appearance was 3 issues earlier in Tales of Suspense 39, but interestingly enough no original art from this landmark issue had surfaced in 25+ years until recently (3 pages in 2022, one of those pages with no suit). In fact, no original art has ever surfaced from the following two issues, Tales of Suspense 40-41 ever, making this early issue Iron Man’s 2nd original art story to surface in over 25+ years! In 1986, Comics Journal documented all of the original art in the Marvel vault, which was inventoried in the mid 1970’s. They were able to confirm at that time, Tales of Suspense issues #38-39 were not present, #40 apparently was (but has never surfaced, not even 1 page in nearly 50 years!), skips #41, to this issue #42 which was present, skips #43 and so on. Now in regards to issue #40 supposedly being out there in the wild existing in someone’s attic. It’s quite possible issue #40 art is alive and well somewhere, but the other hypothesis is it may have been inventoried nearly 50 years ago, but was stolen over the years from the vault, or was discarded and lost as other issues over the years. We do know this, issue #40 Art has never surfaced anywhere, not 1 page, Iron Man or not. Thus, we can conclude issue #42 is the second earliest Iron Man original art story known to exist. Though issue #39 was not present in the vault, it somehow resurfaced, more than likely was stolen and eventually got in the hands of known collector and musician Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills and Nash. In 1996, along with other various comics and comic art, Nash auctioned off the 13 page story of issue #39, Iron Man's first appearance, and not surfaced until recently in 2022 with 3 pages being auctioned. Now back to this historic page...
This page is significant for a number of reasons, not only for what we mentioned above, but this is technically Iron Man’s earliest original art “Battle” page to have also surfaced in 20+ years as well! And what a dynamic page it is! In this story, page 1 splash sets up the storyline with Iron Man looking on at the Red Barbarian, and page 2 the last panel sets up the battle page seen here on Page 3. This page features Great shots of Iron Man in his classic Model 1 Mark III Golden Armor suit (seen only in a nine issue run from #40-48) in 5 of the 6 large panels using his gadgets and his brains to defeat the "COMMIE SPY RING" instead of raw physical force. We also love Tony Stark borrowing a bit from the Amazing Spider-Man playbook with that swinging away exit! Side note: (Amazing Spider-Man #2 (Spidey's 3rd appearance) had just come out when this issue hit the newsstand). Adding to its desirability the page is signed by Iron Man’s co-creator Stan Lee in the lower margin. One of the earliest Iron Man original art pages to have surfaced in recent years from the beginnings of the Marvel Universe. In fact, this issue was released even before Avengers #1!
Don Heck rendered in ink over graphite on twice-up scale (Large Art) Bristol board with an image area of 12.75" x 18.5". Lightly toned with whiteout text corrections in several places. Art is In Excellent condition.
Grail Page Alert! For many of us proud owners of Infinity Gauntlet original art pages this speaks to the nostalgia of our childhood, perhaps our first moment of a saga or story arc that remains classic to this day. It simply doesn’t get much better than this.
This is the George Perez finale page to Infinity Gauntlet saga, a 6-part event series that has gone down in comic book history as one of the greatest Marvel stories ever told. It served, of course, as the basis for two of the biggest movies ever, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Infinity Gauntlet was a sequel of sorts to the "Thanos Saga" of the 1970s, written and illustrated by the master of cosmic sagas, Jim Starlin. This time Starlin served as the writer with the incredible George Perez drawing the first three issues and part of issue four, as seen here this being his final art page. Perez, having drawn DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths five years earlier, was the go-to “Rockstar” artist for huge events featuring dozens of characters. This momentous key page, which not only marks the first attack on Thanos (first true battle page in the saga), as mentioned above served as Perez’s last page.
It’s public knowledge Perez left the project due to time constraints on other projects with DC, and perhaps creative differences. Perez was also a storyteller, but we must remember this was Starlin and Lim’s show leading up to the saga. With that said, Marvel brought on Perez to be the lead, the rockstar artist if you will for such a grand project. With Perez’s departure midway through Issue 4, it makes us wonder why leave after this page? One can guess after a slower paced, content driven first 3 issues, issue 4 is the battle issue and he wanted to go out with a bang! It’s no coincidence this being the first Thanos battle page in the series and happens to be Perez’s last one, making this great page the only Perez Thanos battle page in the entire saga!
The cover says it all, “Let The Games Begin”. The subsequent 2 prior pages to this page has the second snap, essentially unfreezing the heroes in time to follow through with their attack, and Thanos says the classic line “Let the Battle Begin”, which leads us to this epic battle page. The top half splash is the heroes very first strike atempt at Thanos, it’s a clash of titans! You have both Hulk and Drax the Destroyer sneaking up and knocking the mad titan Thanos down. “Love and Godhood truly have befuddled his reason.” This is the first time what seems to be a full on successful assault on Thanos. Though in the ensuing lower panels we see Thanos is simply playing with them, as he blasts Drax with one devastating look. “They are but bothersome fleas to Thanos”.
Perez leaves his mark with a character-filled bottom panel with literally a dozen characters in total including Thanos, Hulk, Drax, Captain America, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Wolverine, Namor, Spider-Man, Nova, Quasar and even Mistress Death is there on the side watching on. One can only imagine after drawing this action filled battle page, he felt it was time to move on and pass the torch to Lim. Sure there are significant pages in the saga, but how about drawing the first Thanos battle page in the entire run and this being his final penciled page? If you want to see a Perez Gauntlet battle page with Thanos, well, look no further, as this is it! Not to mention Perez obviously loved the top splash panel so much he paid homage to the image again in 1993 for the acclaimed series Future Imperfect #2 double splash title page this time Hulk in Thanos' same pose being blasted by Maestro, his future self. By all accounts, just a magnificent historic page in Marvel's largest saga. Ink over graphite on Bristol board Large “Twice-Up” art 13x19, signed by both Perez & Rubinstein at bottom center. In Very Good condition.
Iconic Farmer Thanos Pages, which are also the last 4 pages of the entire 6 issue Saga! These iconic moments were featured in both Infinity War at the very end with Thanos snapping and panning to him on the farm sitting down smiling after he just wiped out half of existence with the melancholy music in the background. The other notable half splash is the first page of 4 featuring the Thanos scarecrow image seen in Avengers Endgame, signifying he's retired his armor and living a simple life after he completed his task. Though in the comic series, Thanos fails the task and slips away from Warlock to this remote planet living the simple life as a farmer, no longer the God-like Villain. The Thanos seen here in these pages is vulnerable, questioning his life's work and ultimately how he feels he ended up okay at the end. Truly historic set of all 4 iconic "Farmer Thanos" pages, oversized 13x19, not to mention signed by all 3 artists/writers; Ron Lim, Jim Starlin and Joe Rubinstein!
Check out our Infinity Gauntlet page showcasing these pages and others related to the epic series, click the image to view.
Here is a truly Historic piece of Marvel history… John Romita’s earliest superhero artwork ever, the design / layout illustration for Young Men 24 (1953), featuring Cap, Bucky and The Red Skull. This would be the second Captain America reboot for Marvel, at the time known as Atlas…
When researching the poses and verbiage on this piece, we quickly could distinguish the art was for the first issue of the Captain America revival in 1953 from Young Men 24, with Red Skull pointing at Captain America as he does on the opening splash titled “Back From The Dead” page 1. The verbiage above is word for word from the Captain America origin retelling story panels from page 2 of Young Men 24 when he turns from the “scrawny” Steve Rogers to the more bulky super soldier with word balloons such as “Look He’s Growing Right Before Our Eyes!” and “He’s Changing! It’s Unbelievable!”. The large Captain America drawing is very close to page 3 reveal of Captain America panel after his transformation, just a truly historic illustration by Romita! You also have a Steve Rogers head shot, Bucky as how we all know, back Cap view and what looks to be a villain head shot as well. To our knowledge and research this would be the earliest known art depicting the Captain America origin sequence. Not to mention how scarce any Golden Age Cap or Marvel Art is out there, with only a handful of published, unpublished or design layouts such as this reaching the marketplace.
Like many prominent superheroes, Captain America went into limbo at the end of the 1940s when genres like crime, horror, romance, war, sci fi, humor and westerns began to take over the industry. At the end of 1953, Martin Goodman's comic book company, now referred to as Atlas, which was really the name of the distributor, had grown quite large with dozens of genre titles. The firm decided to give superheroes another shot and revived the "Big 3" Timely heroes, Captain America, the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. John Romita was just starting his career and worked on some of the genre titles, but his most prominent work for the company was the short-lived Captain America revival, in Young Men #24-#28 and Captain America #76-#78. The young artist did a fine job on these stories, which featured Cap and Bucky fighting both the Red Skull and the Reds. Sales must not have been very good as both Cap and the Human Torch went back into limbo. Atlas continued to put out Sub-Mariner because there was talk of a live-action TV series that never happened. A couple of years later Atlas went from a large company to a tiny one due to a distributor snafu. John Romita and many other artists had to move on and Romita spent the next decade illustrating romance comics for DC. He came back to work for Marvel when things began to take off with superheroes in the 1960s. His romance experience came in handy when he took over Amazing Spider-Man from Steve Ditko and brought it to a new level of popularity with his more optimistic artwork that included Romita's beloved depictions of Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson and the rest is history!
The art is executed on vellum in graphite and ink and the image area is approximately 13” x 16”. Note: The vellum was previously folded in quarters and shows creases affecting the image area. The vellum has been professionally mounted to a piece of archival board.
From her First Appearance the First Time Monica Rambeau Declares Herself Captain Marvel!
John Romita Jr. (pencils) and John Romita Sr. (inks) marks their first collaboration from the legendary father and son duo on this page from the historic introduction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's newest star, Monica Rambeau! Monica was introduced as Marvel's second Captain Marvel in the story featuring this page which appeared in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982) titled “Who’s That Lady?”. This was just months after the first Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell of the Kree) passed away from cancer in Marvel Graphic Novel: The Death of Captain Marvel #1.
On this great featured Captain Marvel page we see Monica on 6 of the 7 panels in which she meets Ben Grimm, the Thing from the Fantastic Four. In the two previous Monica story pages we see her at work not in costume labeled “Captain Marvel” by the local Louisiana newspaper since she saved a Navy soldier who kept saying “The Captain is a Marvel”. At this point she's unsure of being called the name "Captain Marvel" by the professor. The next page, (prior to this one) shows Monica in costume, scoping out from a rooftop of where to go next, then pans to a familiar character, Spider-Man. But this historic page is the first time Monica embraces the title and declares herself Captain Marvel, telling Thing “I’m...I’m Captain Marvel”. On the following panel we see her not knowing about the previous Captain Marvel and explaining to Thing about her recent mysterious powers, the fear and uncertainty of what she’s capable of. This is simply a Grail worthy early origin story page featuring Monica on nearly every panel! Interesting note, this is the first female Captain Marvel story, predates Carol Danvers titled as Captain Marvel!
Monica was introduced into the MCU in 2019's Captain Marvel as a young girl. That movie took place in the 1990s. The adult Monica was introduced in the huge hit Disney+ series WandaVision. She's expected to be one of the co-stars in the sequel to Captain Marvel entitled The Marvels, opening on November 22, 2022. Since WandaVision streamed a couple of months ago, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 has increased significantly in value and it makes sense that original art pages from this issue have followed suit. The art has an image area of approximately 10" X 15" on Bristol board. Note: Panel 4 has staining from glue. Panel previously had a stat attached which is now loose but included, otherwise art is in very good condition.
Barry Windsor Smith - Conan #1, First Conceptual Drawing (Marvel, 1969/1970)...
Barry Windsor Smith has risen in the ranks of the medium's elite artists, and Conan the Barbarian was his vehicle to stardom. This is a very early conceptual piece. We have electronic confirmation by both co-creators (Barry Smith Studio and Roy Thomas) this is Conan’s concept drawing, which essentially launched the Bronze Age of comics in 1970. In 2005 Alex Bialy, Windsor Smith’s studio assistant confirmed the piece being a test drawing circa 1970 for Conan #1. Just recently (2021), Roy Thomas, co-creator of Conan and former Editor in Chief of Marvel verified the story of the piece being 1 of 2 known Conan concept pieces from 1969/1970. The other known piece is believed to be a prelim for this piece, or perhaps was done right after this piece based on the notes of the backside of this drawing. The other drawing was not as robust or refined, or a finished image as this one, it was a loose pencil sketch. Though the pose is strikingly similar and the serpent headpiece was also present on the other drawing, this was the only time we saw the serpent crown drawn on Conan per Roy Thomas.
What makes this piece even more interesting is the backside, which has the serpent crown concept pitch and notes to Roy Thomas. Windsor Smith comments “I’ll find reference for a particular snake when we start”. “When we start” is undoubtedly reference to starting Conan #1 and the many notes on the backside of the image are continual plays to Thomas of advancing the character with this very image. Making this piece either the very first Conan concept drawing, or certainly the first intended Conan published drawing, which was most likely submitted for editorial review during the developmental stages of the character. Roy Thomas believed this drawing in his own words was done by Windsor Smith in late 1969 or early January 1970.
The drawing of Conan itself is quite dynamic and is a finished figure. A pulse-pounding portrait of Conan, the Cimmerian -- the brawling barbarian has his sword drawn, and stands ready to crush his enemies, see them driven before him, and hear the lamentation of their women. Signed Barry Smith below the figure, also annotated in pencil are the words "Inks by Rich Buckler". Roy Thomas believes he had a hand in having Rich Buckler ink the piece and makes mention of it. The background texture was left un-inked and part of it was erased to give more contrast to the figure, to separate it visually from the patterned background.
The image area of this work measures approximately 8.5" x 11", and there are a few touches of white-out; otherwise the art is in Excellent condition. professionally matted and framed. Truly a historical piece by the legend Barry Windsor Smith, and this very image marks the start of the Bronze Age of comics!
We’ll lead this description off by The Bleeding Cool News publication who covered this piece very well in which this page was the featured cover image for the article (click the image to view the article)...
Bleeding Cool... “Highlights from Best Spider-Man Collection Ever Assembled Hit Auction…”
“From Amazing Spider-Man No. 78 come two remarkable pages, offered separately, from John Buscema and Jim Mooney. Page 10 of this issue, which debuted Hobie Brown's Prowler, Peter Parker wanders the streets of New York bemoaning the loss of Gwen Stacy to Flash Thompson, fends off a couple of hoods and even complains he didn't have time to study. This is vintage Stan Lee – less about the hero, more about the man beneath the mask wondering where it all went wrong.” From The Spider-Steve Collection.
This historic 1/2 splash page by the legendary John Buscema, which is one of his earliest Amazing Spider-man art issues! This page not only has Peter battling a couple of street thugs in first half of the page, but that window washer in the last panel is actually Hobie (The Prowler) Brown's first interior appearance in a comic book! The opening page splash page might have the “Night of The Prowler” title but doesn’t feature the character until this very page, which is also the next splash from the opening title page 1. Silver Age “Amazing Spider-Man” art pages such as this are exceedingly rare, especially a Silver Age pre-100 key first appearance issue. Interesting note, to date, from all auction results, comic art fans etc this is the one and only Prowler first appearance original Art page that has ever surfaced! The page was created by Jim Mooney from John Buscema's layouts. Produced in ink over graphite and blue pencil on Bristol board with an image area of 10" x 15". There are some production stains in and around Panel 2. The board has been affixed to a 11.75" x 16.5" black mat board. In Very Good condition. From the Spider-Steve Collection.
The Prowler is Hobie Brown, an anti-hero introduced here in Amazing Spider-Man #78 (1969). The character was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema following a suggestion from a 13-year old John Romita Jr. to his father John Sr.. John Romita Sr. notes that Lee came up with the “twist” of making the new character’s civilian identity a young window washer, apparently no older than Spider-Man himself, though he doesn’t mention whose idea it was to make the character African-American. Hobie Brown has appeared in various animations and video games. In the Ultimate Universe, career criminal Aaron Davis also took on the Prowler identity. Aaron Davis was portrayed by Donald Glover in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and was voiced by Oscar winning actor Mahershala Ali (Cottonmouth from Luke Cage and the new Blade the Vampire Slayer in an upcoming MCU film) in the Oscar winning animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).
Painted in watercolor and airbrush on board, this is the Alex Ross painted cover to the final issue of his multi-year trilogy which began with Earth X, continued with Universe X and concluded with Paradise X. The sensational cover features Captain Marvel, the cosmic Kree Captain Mar-Vell who became one of Earth's greatest heroes and helped to defeat Thanos during the original "Thanos Saga" of the 1970s. Although Mar-Vell famously passed away in the classic 1982 Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel and unlike most heroes has stayed deceased, Paradise X involved all of the deceased heroes coming back to life after Death herself was eliminated from existence. Art image is 10x15 in Excellent condition. After Alex Ross completed his monumental dark vision of the future of the DC Universe in the 1996 series Kingdom Come, Wizard Magazine asked him to come up with a similar concept for Marvel's future as part of a fun exercise. Ross came up with rough designs for Earth X which appeared in the well-read magazine. The response was so positive that Marvel ended up turning Earth X into a best-selling maxi-series based on Ross' notes and using his character designs. Ross provided covers for the original series and its two sequels, Universe X and Paradise X. Earth-X is possible future of the Marvel Universe where all humans receive superpowers from Terrigen Mists. It was a very ambitious project that made extensive use of Marvel history. The series and its two sequels went in some interesting directions. By the third sequel, Paradise X, Death herself has been eliminated and mankind had become immortal. After first establishing himself as a superstar with 1994's Marvels, Alex Ross cemented his reputation with his classic work on the 1996 4-part Kingdom Come series telling the shocking future of the DC Universe. This led directly to Ross' creation of The Earth X saga, which showed the future of the Marvel Universe. Ross' elegant and powerful painted work on the series established him as one of the most significant and sought after artists of the Modern era. His work is respected for both its realism and dynamic compositions
Drawn by the master of fantasy illustration, here is a dynamic pen-and-ink finished drawing of Conan, warrior-king of Cimmeria, both axe and shield up ready for battle! The quality of line for which Frank Frazetta is justly revered is in clear evidence in this piece, as is his impeccable sense of layout and design. We currently have two Frazetta pen and ink drawings and it was hard, but chose this one to showcase and not the other. We also decided to showcase a Frazetta pencil drawing below to show the artist's distinct differences of use between the two being pencil and ink.
Purchased directly from Frazetta’s former manager Rob Pistella, comes with COA. Rob adds, “This is a finished, inked drawing from Frazetta’s peak period in the 1970’s…I don’t know if it was published but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was…It’s a presentation drawing, just beautiful and elegant and refined.”
The original work of Frank Frazetta is some of the most desirable for any discerning collector, and many pieces are valued at six or even seven figures. His illustrations are not only considered the best in the genre of fantasy art, but in the history of illustration as a whole. Signed by the artist himself and dated 1979, this drawing is a highlight of any collection, an original Frazetta Conan!
Nicely matted, the image area measures a substantial 7.25” tall on the 8” x 10.5” sheet, and the art shows minor handling and edge wear with some toning near the edges and a crease in the lower left corner. A highly coveted original Frank Frazetta drawing, this piece by the prestigious artist is in Very Good condition. Signed on the lower right, c. 1979 during Frazetta’s peak period.
“He was a true master. Each individual line has meaning and form creating a visual masterpiece.” - collector
Frank Frazetta's expert craftsmanship is on full display in this drawing of a simian creature attacking a curvaceous battle-ready warrior. The figures of both the the warrior woman and the monster are exceptional examples of Frazetta's deft style and ability to convey fluidity of movement in a static image. His original works are frequently valued in the hundreds of thousands, and one original even went for over five million dollars in 2019 at Heritage Auctions. A perfect showcase of the artist's soft shading and broad range of values, this drawing could practically jump right out of the paper (this rendering is very close to the final).
This piece as shown in graphite form was published in Vanguard's Frazetta Sketchbook Vol. 1, in 2013. Rendered beautifully in graphite as only Frank Frazetta can, with an image size of roughly 6.75 " x 6” overall sheet is 8” x 10.5". Light smudging and edge wear on left side on sheet. Signed by Frazetta with his signature “F” initial in the lower left image area. Overall, in Very Good condition.
“I love Frank's pencils. For me it's a totally different experience from his oil masterpieces. With those, you want to step back and take it all in. With the pencils, you just really want to get in there and study all the lines and shading up close. Either way, with Frank, it's always worth the price of admission.” - CAF member insight
This incredibly detailed Robert Crumb illustration featuring "The Moron" stepping on heads titled “I know Nothing” dated 1997, was later the cover inspiration to Mystic Funnies #2 dated 1999 (both shown right), channeling an EC Golden Age cover. This drawing is nearly identical to the finished cover, even down to the word balloon content. It’s said that Crumb would look back from his sketchbooks and finished illustrations such as this for inspiration to flesh out new characters and stories for his upcoming material. In this case, he sourced this finished illustration from 1997 to create the 1999 Mystic Funnies #2 cover story - “Bad Karma” starring The hapless Moron (that's really his name) who can’t help but to do the wrong thing, even with the aid of his Fairy Godmother. The Moron, is a Snoid like character who continues to have bad Karma throughout the story till the end, only in Crumb fashion playing to his strengths.
Robert Crumb, king of the underground comix movement since the 1960’s, his original art now ranks among the most coveted in the history of the medium. Crumb is considered one of the most unique and talented voices to ever work in the industry. His works have shown in galleries and museums internationally and he has a reputation among the Fine Art community that many more "traditional" artists envy. Crumb covers for his classic comics have reached heights in the seven figure range, with even his more minor titles and interior spreads commonly approach and quite often exceed six figures. With this illustration later used as the benchmark for the cover to the acclaimed title Mystic Funnies #2, this certainly adds to the art's desirability. Any “Crumb” illustration is the centerpiece to any original art collection, let alone a piece with such meaning and importance.
nk over graphite on textured watercolor page-stock, measuring 4.75" x 6.75". Excellent condition, acknowledging light smudging on reverse. Signed R. Crumb ‘97 in lower right corner.