Thursday, August 2, 2012

AUCTION WATCH: DAREDEVIL 16 - semi-splash!

John Romita's first Spider-Man art
Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Spider-Man, but it was John Romita that really brought the character to the masses and set him up to become the pop culture icon he is today.  I wrote this about Romita in GRAILPAGES, a wonderful book on comic book art and collectors by Steven Payne that every collector should own, "He infused his illustrations with a grace and an elegance that was not typical for a super-hero book.  He brought his backgorund in romance comics to the adventure genre while sacrificing none of their romantic beauty in order to adapt to the Kirby-inspired action that Marvel books were famous for. This proved to be the perfect fit for Stan Lee's soap opera aspects of the book."  Daredevil 16 was Romita's try out for Spider-Man although he didn't know that at the time.  Stan Lee was having problems with Ditko.  Seeing that the writing was on the wall for Ditko's departure, Stan had Spider-Man cross-over into the Daredevil book that Romita was the regular penciller on to see how he could handle Marvel's flagship character.  Clearly Romita passed Stan's test for just a few months later he became the regular artist on Amazing Spider-Man.  This particular page is perhaps the best one in the DD 16 book.  Romita's first attempt at Spider-Man is certainly a Ditko inspired version.  He later would go on to make Spider-Man his own.  Nevertheless, this is a historic page by a master of the genre on the character that would become his namesake.  A page such as this underscores a place in the market where collectors should be able to get value that will only time.  This page is up for auction at ComicLink in their upcoming August offerings...


  1. Great idea for a blog. As a newcomer without much knowledge of the landscape, it would be nice to understand your relationship to each of the pages you blog about. Are you the owner, or do you know the owner of the art? Do you have any business relationship with the owner or auctioneer, etc. This transparency will allow us newbies to better understand your level of objectivity. Thanks!

  2. That makes sense....I have no relationship with the owner of this piece, DD 16 page. This was strictly my opinion based on the art itself. I have bid on some things at ComicLink auction but as of yet have not been fortunate enough to win anything from them. I was actually thinking of bidding on this piece at auction. I'm sure I've done myself a disservice by drumming up competition on this piece by mentioning it here. I guess my loyalty, for now, is just trying to create the most interesting blog possible as it relates to comic art.

  3. Excellent and honest point Glen. I myself will be reluctant to sing the praises of pieces I may bid on until after the would be foolish for me to do otherwise and talk up the price of something I want!

    Rob Pistella

  4. Romita was really good, but I much prefer (and lament for) Steve Ditko's work.

    Terry Doyle

  5. Thanks for chiming in, Rob. I guess I'm just that master of shooting myself in the foot. :)

    Glad to have you aboard, Terry. I grew up reading the Romita version so that was always Spider-man to me. Although, I really came to love Ditko as I collected the back issues as well. For me, I think my heart is big enough to afford both loves when it comes to Spider-Man.

  6. If I was a betting man, I'd say that Romita page is consigned from Mike Burkey, he has been feeding ComicLink with a few pieces in the past year.

  7. I doubt this. Mike has never shown an interest in any Romita pages that weren't from the Amazing Spider-Man title.

    Please sign your name to your posts!

    1. And I beginning to think it was only me who had a problem with anonymous posters . . . ;)