Tuesday, February 5, 2013

AUCTION WATCH: ASM 121 vs ASM 328


I was shocked when I saw the ASM 328 cover hammer for 657k and change last July.  As more people have entered the hobby, I expected that we would see record prices like this continue to occur.  I guess I just expected them to be on what I consider to be key silver age or bronze age era pieces first.  The ASM 121, in the upcoming Heritage February auction, is the kind of piece that I'm talking about.  Many people consider this issue the end of innocence in comics, and the end of the silver age, marked by the death of a major character.  Gerry Conway and John Romita really shook up the entire industry with this landmark dramatic turning point for Spider-Man.  I was just a kid when I read this story for the first time.  I kept buying issue after issue hoping there was a way they could undo this horrible event and bring Gwen Stacy back to life.  But it wasn't to be. Gwen's death was to forever change the Spider-Man mythos.

So my question is:  Will the final hammer price of the ASM 121 cover best the ASM 328 cover hammer?  I think it might.  I have several reasons for this belief. The first, although my memory on this is a little shaky, is that the 121 cover is already at 180k with more than 2 weeks to go before auction and the ASM 328 was at about 110k (I think) before that auction began.  The second is now that we've seen such record prices on later material it gives any interested bidders the confidence to bid higher than they might have in the past.  The thinking being that if some key 80's and 90's art can go for over 500k why not the ASM 121 which is a key book for the entire industry--rendered by John Romita--one of the true masters of the silver age.  My final reason, I freely admit, is personal bias--I just like the ASM 121 much more as a cover--it's one of the most dramatic covers I remember from my youth.  I'd love to own it myself.  If only I had a spare 700k or so tucked under the pillow.  Damn, after checking the pillow I'm afraid I won't be a bidder.  But I'll be on the sidelines watching this one with some serious interest.

Which cover do you think will ultimately hammer for more?  Which cover is more deserving? Finally,which cover would you rather own? Opinions welcome!

15 comments:

  1. As interesting as a punch to the nads is, I think, ASM 121 is the better cover. I would hope that it would go for more, but it really depends on two people of the right generation with money they are willing to spend.

    We will see.

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    1. My dad used to say 2 "wrongs" don't make a right. I am amazed that either of these pieces would go for over 200k, but what do I know. Joe S.

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  2. I think it's slightly more interesting than a punch to the nads ...but that's just me. :)

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  3. I was totally stunned that the #328 cover realised 657k.
    The 121 is not only a better cover (in my modest opinion) but an absolute iconic and incredibly important piece of comicbook history.
    Any real/true Spider-man follower/reader/lover has this issue engraved in his/her memory.

    It would be an insult to comic art collecting if this cover wouldn't top the Spidey Hulk cover.

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  4. While I consider the ASM 121 cover more desirable and valuable, I am not sure that its final price can get hit the (too high) price of the 328. I would think the ASM 122 cover would have a much better chance of besting the ASM 328.

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  5. It will be interesting to see what happens, Jim. If the top two bidders have the means and desire to go past the ASM 328 hammer price then the 328 sale, I think, may give them the incentive to bid past that number. If the thing that you're bidding on has a higher internal value to you than the highest cover paid at auction why wouldn't you continue above that point if you could afford to.

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  6. Great discussion. I think the cover to 121 should go for more due to the story, artist, and era published but it will require multiple bidders willing to climb the auction ladder together and that is hard to predict. In the end, I think it falls a little short of 328. Why? Because the McSpidey cover has the Hulk and we all know that everyone loves the Hulk!

    www.jadegiant.com

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    1. I guess we better all watch out if the ASM 119 or 120 come to auction--both covers feature THE HULK battling Spidey.

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    2. DROOL!

      Are those covers out there somewhere to be seen?

      www.jadegiant.com

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    3. I've seen the ASM 120. Never the 119.

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  7. So glad to see you blogging about original art, Glen. Missed your thoughts on the hobby these past few months.

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  8. No Spidey face though. Just spidey butt. That stuff is important.

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