Sunday, February 1, 2015

Man, That's a Lot of Snow! And a Selling Update from Doug

Doug: Happy Sunday, friends! And what a snowy one it is in the Chicago area. I went out at 7:00 this morning to do some clearing in case we were going to try to go to church -- that notion was quickly dispelled once I ascertained what had happened overnight. On the ground was around 5" of wet, heavy snow and our street had yet to be plowed. I was outside for around 90 minutes and myself and three neighbors used our snowblowers and shovels to return our part of the subdivision to a semblance of normalcy. But the snow has continued, and closer to the city there is a blizzard warning as I write this. Not sure about school tomorrow, as the white stuff continues to pile up and is not supposed to end until the overnight hours, with temperatures dropping and winds increasing. But I love winter -- Karen can have the desert. I like to have seasons (of course, where I live sometimes we'll get three seasons in one day!).

Last night I decided to add original art to my auctions in my now-neverending effort to purge my collection in exchange for monies that will be used for a new car and various loans that we have (home equity and parent loans for our sons' educations). A time or three before I've mentioned that I hold the original art by John Buscema and Tom Palmer for Avengers #76, page 3. It's a great page featuring four key Avengers from 1970 -- Cap, the Vision, T'Challa, and Pietro. I have two other pages (a Buscema FF and a Heck Avengers) that have been custom framed and hang on the wall in my comic room, and this page was one I always wanted to give that same treatment. But I put it off and put it off, and so when I looked at it about a week ago I just decided that it would be silly to spend $100+ on the framing at a time when I'm trying to raise money. Yesterday I took my portfolio of original art, roughs, and sketches to school and used the big copier to scan images of it all. And last night I took the plunge, posting three pieces to auction on eBay.

No lie... that page was not live for 10 minutes when I got a question. I had decided to list it at a starting bid of $135, which is what I'd paid for it around 20 years ago. No reserve, no Buy It Now -- just let 'er rip. So this guy wants to know if I'll end the auction and do a "buy it now" for him of $350. I politely explained that I'd just listed it and really felt like I was going to ride it out -- but thanks. About 30 minutes later I received another question, same idea. This fellow seemed to respect me a bit more while also sounding like he knew what he was doing. I asked him to check the completed auctions for Big John pages and to find two Fantastic Four pages that had sold in December. Both were from FF #175 and were the pages where the High Evolutionary defeats Galactus and the Big G begins to shrink until he blinks out. One page had sold for around $1100 and the other for a bit over $2900. While I slept last night he'd come back with an offer... of $1600. Uhhhh... Now I'm not much of a gambler, but something was just telling me that with the new Avengers movie coming out in a few months and featuring the debut of the Vision, Quicksilver (in this franchise) and possibly the Black Panther (fingers crossed there!) that this page should go for close to $2000. I again thanked him for his generous offer but told him I'd like to wait.

So mid-morning my wife and I were having some quality time sitting at the kitchen table watching it snow and working a crossword puzzle (which we never do -- but it was really fun to just take the time to do that) when my iPhone made the alert sound which is associated with eBay action. Overnight the page had gone up to around $350; even though I had my glasses on I looked and did not a double-take but a triple-take at the screen. Surely I was seeing the decimal was in the wrong place. I don't recall what I exclaimed, but my wife was like "What's wrong?!?" I just picked up the phone and showed her the lock screen that featured the alert: a bidder had come along and made a commitment of $3,650.00!! She said "no way", thinking that the poor guy had keyed it in wrong. So we went to check the bid history. Sure enough -- the previous high bidder had left a max bid of $3600 overnight and had just been surpassed. Wowza.

This page doesn't go off until Thursday around 9:30 pm my time. I have no idea what's going to happen, but to say that I had to pick my jaw up off the floor would be an understatement! And rest assured that I will be shipping this overnight via UPS or FedEx, as I want this page to be in as few hands as possible to ensure its safe transit.


The other two pages I listed are also here for you to peruse. Above is a rough to a four-page Silver Surfer/Thor story that I do not believe has ever been published. The story is reprinted completely in the Marvel Visionaries: John Buscema hardcover. Lastly, I bought the page below many years ago just because it's so cool -- what is not to like about Fred and Barney dressed as Batman and Robin, and drawn by the same artist who illustrated the Cocoa- and Fruity Pebbles cereal boxes? Awesome illustration!

So I am still selling comics -- still working on finishing up my Avengers collection and have a pretty good start on Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. I'll keep plugging away, but thought you might find the stories of the past 18 hours interesting.

Be sure to stop in tomorrow for a conversation on the Bucky revival that took place at the hands of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting in the umpteenth volume of Captain America. You might be surprised at my (and Karen's) take on the whole thing!


Redartz said...

Beautiful page you're offering there, Doug! Hope it does well for you; looks like it is off to a good start. Let us know how it works out!

Oh, and I envy you the weather somewhat. Here at the southern tip of Indiana all we are getting is cold, clammy rain...

Humanbelly said...

Who says this isn't the Marvel Age of Unwitting Investment, eh? Heh--
Doug, that is such a delightfully great windfall for you that it somehow even improves my day vicariously, even-!

Boy, do I ever miss those solid, lake-effect winters! As I'm sure I've mentioned, my childhood home town is just around the bottom end of Lake Michigan, there, and inland a bit (Cassopolis, MI)-- and for much of the winter the neighborhood roads stopped being pavement (or "blacktop") at all. The acceptable driving surface hard-pack snow. Man, 75% of the folks here in the DC area would just starve to death rather than venture out at all onto something like that. . .

Your picture of happy cardinals makes me all wistful, too. . .


Doug said...

Hi, guys! Thanks for dropping by on a Sunday afternoon!

That photo was taken today by a fellow I used to coach with. His back yard backs up to a large park that's sort of like a nature preserve. A couple of days ago he sent me a shot of two pheasants on the ground with a coyote eyeballing them. I should have saved it.

HB, the only reason my foggy memory could remember what I paid for that Avengers page is that the receipt was still in my "portfolio" -- I use that term when in reality it's a nicely taped package of stiff styro-board in which the page was originally shipped to me! All of my pages slip nicely into it, so that's how I store them.

Redartz, I'll take snow of nasty cold rain any day, brother!


Humanbelly said...

Oo-- that day didn't end well for at least one of the pheasants, I reckon. . .

Coyotes are really becoming established in our metro area, as well. Just saw a dead one by the road last night--- a quarter mile beyond the beltway. Cripes. . . !

You know, snowfalls like the one you're having did generally close our schools for a day. . . and yet somehow, we managed to ALWAYS get a school bus by 9:00 to take the ski club out to our local (rather remote!) ski area. . .


Anonymous said...

The British Isles are on the same latitude as Canada but it rarely snows here due to the effects of the Gulf Stream. I'd love to see some decent snowfall for a change. But when we do get some snow the whole country grinds to a halt as the authorities are never prepared.

Redartz said...

HB- small world is proven once again. My parents had close friends who lived in Cassopolis and each winter our family would take a trip up there for snowmobiling! They had a big house near a lake, well out in the woods. Perfect for a couple teenage boys and a winter afternoon ( at least one visit snowfall kept us 'stranded' there)...

Doug- isnt it amazing how the market for original art has grown? I still recall the 1980 convention when I purchased a Milgrom/Austin Gaurdians page for 15 dollars , and a Byrne/DeZuniga Marvel Team-Up page for 25 dollars. Still have the former, sure wish I still had the latter...

Anonymous said...

Doug, congrats on the sale of your artwork, boos on the crappy weather!

- Mike 'it's summertime 24/7 all year round in these parts' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...


That is simply mind-boggling-- that you've been to my teeny-tiny (and disturbingly Stephen King-like, when you've lived there long enough to see it) home town--! Great snowmobiling, no question.

I'm guessing your friends lived either on Diamond Lake (a relatively solid vacation-home spot) or little Stone Lake, which was literally right in town, and backed up to a big woods.

I just can't believe you've been there. . . Say, to give me an idea of your time-frame, was there a McDonalds yet? Or just an Arby's? Or-- god forbid-- only the Tastee-Twirl & the oft-condemned A&W-?


pfgavigan said...


According to your comments regarding the weather it seems that I live to the west of you. Misery loves company.

I don't know what I'm more envious of, the artwork that you have in your possession or the fact that you own a snow blower.



Karen said...

Wow -go, Doug, go!

Redartz said...

HB- we were up there most years from about 1969 to 1980, don't recall McDonalds but I believe we went to rhe Tastee-Twirl. Wish I could remember the name of the lake, am guessing it was Diamond as we had to drive a bit to town. You probably have some snowmobiling tales too, I'd wager.

Edo Bosnar said...

Doug, that is some seriously outstanding news (about the auction, not the weather obviously). Hope the other ones take off, too. Personally, I'm not as much into this original art as other fans, but if I were to bid on one of those it would be the Buscema Silver Surfer/Thor page.

Love the photo of the cardinals, by the way. Reminds of some of the shots I snap while taking the dog for walks in the forest that's about a 15-minute walk from my house.

Humanbelly said...

Ha-- Yes, this could be the least-universal tangent ever seen here, Redartz.
(As the chorus cries out in a unison of agony-- "Nobody CARES, you guys! NOBODY CARES!!!")

But yeah, man, that was pretty the span of my own adolescence and teen-hood. You were indeed up there pre-McDonalds, pre-Arby's, and even pre-stoplight at the town's ONE intersection (Broadway & Main). It was installed while I was away at college, and I came home and immediately and inadvertantly ran it.

Other than generally enjoying hopping on my friends' snowmobiles over the years (my folks would NEVER have considered buying one. . EVER), the only remarkable experience I had with one on my own was getting the behemoth Ski Patrol 'bile absolutely stuck at the top of a hill (totally misjudged the turning radius) while my senior instructor waited for me to return to the bottom. He eventually walked all the way up the slope and pretty much verbally chewed me into a twitchy, waking coma. 'Course. . . I never got stuck again-! (I was an impossibly bozo-esque youth, there's no prayer of denying that--)

Ah, the golden memories!


david_b said...

Nope, I STILL love this weather. We got about 15" up here, lots of tundra wind-blowing. And I just moved into my new home 3wks ago, so this was the first time with having a house on a major street (with the plows, etc..). Having to back the car out onto a busy street takes some fast-action and patience sometimes, but I absolutely love the place.

I just found/bought one of those HUGE SW Legacy Millenium Falcons (2ft long...). It's frickin' huge and heavy, with a dozen audiofiles from the movies, engine noises and lights, etc.. I'm not a huge SW fan by any means, but once I saw that at my local toystore, I simply HAD to buy it. It's gorgeous. My girlfriend nearly spit up her coffee when she saw it.

Size matters, you know.

Blessings, everyone.

Martinex1 said...

Doug, that is some beautiful artwork and I am glad it is doing well for you. Buscema and Avengers are hot and very hard to come by lately. Hopefully everybody stuck in the snow keeps on bidding for you. I'm nearer to Chicago, and we got pounded. They cancelled school and it took me quite a while to get into work. I play the "how many plows do I actually see on the road" game. Stay warm.

Dr. Oyola said...


That is so great! I am glad it is working out for you, Doug.

Not sure that tops the $28 bucks I am about to make on 4 Spider-Man lots from the early 00s. ;)

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