OK. I had FUN writing this one & looking up some of the great comic art panels discussed below. As many of you know, comic art has come a long way from a niche hobby into mainstream collecting, while more recently moving into the digital realm with both options drawing considerable sales values.

Let’s explore (7) examples of comic book page art (though SO many more exist) with a FUN BONUS at the end, and why new digital asset formats can easily benefit physical comic art sales!

#1: Secret Wars #8, Page 25 (1984)

An ENORMOUSLY popular comic, page 25 features the origin of Spider-Man’s symbiotic black costume, which of course later becomes Venom. It holds the record, having sold on Heritage Auctions for $3.36M. Check Bleeding Cool take on this one —  THAT’S a Panel!

VeVe Digital Collectibles sold out all 7,500 copies dropped of Secret Wars #8 almost instantly. The historic panel is homaged with the ‘Secret Rare’ cover variant, of which only 188 will ever exist. Had you been lucky enough to win one on drop day for $6.99, the current market floor for this cover is now >$300 with just (12) available for sale at this writing. THAT'S A 4600% INCREASE.

The point being, there are some serious dollars being exchanged for this digital cover variant, which garnered fan attention to Heritage Auction’s sale of the panel. Many digital collectors take NOTICE of offline assets and investigate their origins or pair with their physical collections, ultimately raising greater awareness to the physical collecting community & its opportunities to move assets, while allowing NEW collectors to own their own digital pieces of Marvel History across multiple formats.

Mike Zeck Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8, Page 25, Black Costume / Venom Original Art, with VeVe Digital Collectibles Secret Wars #8 “Secret Rare” Variant Cover Edition: https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/story-page/mike-zeck-and-others-marvel-super-heroes-secret-wars-8-story-page-25-black-costume-venom-original-art-marvel-19/a/7266-91029.s?ic4=OtherResults-SampleItem-Thumbnail-022817&tab=ArchiveSearchResults-012417LEFT: Mike Zeck Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8, Pg 25, Black Costume/Venom Original Art. RIGHT: VeVe Digital Collectibles Secret Wars #8 “Secret Rare” Variant Comic Cover: SEE HERITAGE PAGE CLICK HERE

#2: Action Comics #1, Page 1 (1938)

Unsurprisingly, the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics #1, holds tremendous value for collectors. In Jan 2023, this iconic book from Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, sold for a staggering $3.55 million. So today, it seems owning almost any piece of this legacy sets auction prices flying.

Noted by GoCollect blogger Matt Tuck, a small box clipped out of Superman’s 1st appearance, with JUST the issue number, sold for $7,101.00!

DCNFT / Candy Digital, now has Superman #1 available as a complete, readable digital collectible on their platform, while McFarlane Toys Digital recently listed the iconic image of Superman lifting the car as a licensed digital collectible on their website…

All signs point to an inevitable release of Action Comics #1 as a licensed digital collectible. Whenever that happens, it will create another media frenzy about the comic, the history & its growing opportunities for collectors to share the love both physically & digitally.

Action Comics #1 Page 1, FA Superman; $7100 Issue # Clipping & Licensed Digital Assets by DCNFT & McFarlane Toys DigitalAction Comics #1 Pg 1, FA Superman $7100 Clipping +DCNFT & McFarlane Toys Digital Licensed Digital Assets

#3: The Amazing Spider-Man #121, Page 19 (1973)

The death of Gwen Stacy is a pivotal moment in Spider-Man’s history. I’ve added this Gil Kane panel from Page 19 as a possible ‘more affordable(?)’ version, outlining the excellent pencil work that fetched $1,553 back in November 2014, now seeing asking bids reaching $7,000 in August 2023, clearly showing the projection in bid rates of panel art.

The VeVe App’s “Secret Rare” digital collectible cover variant shown below currently lists in the $350 — $400 range in the app's marketplace, with only 7 of 125 SR's available. This offers another great way to access this pivotal moment in Peter’s history, while drawing further attention to the incredible artwork this story told. (Note: VeVe’s “Video Historian Extraordinaire, Old Rhubard (Corey),” has a great backstory YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIryI_eih2Y

Gil Kane ASM #121 “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” Page 19 Original Art (Marvel, 1973): https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/miscellaneous/gil-kane-amazing-spider-man-121-the-night-gwen-stacy-died-page-19-preliminary-original-art-marvel-/a/7099-93837.sGil Kane ASM #121 “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” Page 19 Original Art (Marvel, 1973): COMICS.CA.COM

#4: X-Men #137, Page 2–3 (1980)

The poignant “Dark Phoenix Saga” image, drawn by John Byrne, is arguably one of the most famous images from one of the greatest, most popular X-Men stories ever, and sold for $167,300 on Aug 28th, 2015. Here is a fantastic review by TOOMREVOORT.COM:

“Upon reinventing the X-Men in 1975, both Claremont and his artist of the period, Dave Cockrum, realized that they wanted to keep Jean Grey in the fold, but that the character needed a major upgrade–she was simply too wimpy and ineffectual as Marvel Girl. So they transformed Jean into Phoenix by bombarding her with cosmic rays and having her die and be reborn. Phoenix was hella powerful–so powerful in Claremont’s hands that, in the opinion of incoming artist John Byrne, she made the rest of the team superfluous.

And so, the two creators came up with a storyline in which Jean would be seduced by the evil illusionist Mastermind, would succumb to the dark side and become a full-on villain, and would ultimately be stripped of her cosmic powers and returned to being regular Jean Grey (or a Jean with the mind of a child, or a few other possibilities–Claremont and Byrne both had different ideas. and nothing ever quite got resolved.”

John Byrne / Terry Austin X-Men #137 Double Splash Pages 2–3 Original Art (Marvel, 1980)John Byrne / Terry Austin X-Men #137 Double Splash Pages 2–3 Original Art (Marvel, 1980)

Cover-art comic collectors will certainly appreciate VeVe offering exclusive, Marvel-Licensed cover variants, only available on the app, in scare quantities. Often, these covers directly represent the main character, which are created by Marvel Artists, extending their talents and artwork to an entirely new platform, but all tied back to the stories we know so well.

#5: The Incredible Hulk #180, Page 32 (1974)

OK…HAD to put this one in cuz…the first appearance of Wolverine in the MCU can be found in this page, drawn by Herb Trimpe. It was sold for an INCREDIBLE $657,250 back on May 16, 2014. #180 was the first cameo appearance of Wolverine, with The Incredible Hulk #181 being his first full appearance, sparking relentless debate as to which book holds the coveted title of the best trend returns; cameo or full appearance. Regardless, this panel sold for a whopper of a price!

As of Spring 2024, we haven’t seen either of these titles yet on VeVe, but there are a LOT of collectors collectively clasping claws that will change soon! (Maybe for Hulk 181’s 50th Anniversary in November???)

VeVe’s exclusive art offerings now extend to 1:1 digital assets from key historical panels & characters. Not for the faint of heart collectors, these draw big dollars from serious players. The Wolverine #25 piece below by David Nakayama currently sold for $6,123  —  a 308% increase over its minimum auction bid price of $1,500.00! (Russell Dauterman’s X-MEN #1 / Jean Grey Costume Variant Cover, recently sold for $3,551.00).

Herb Trimpe / Jack Abel Incredible Hulk #180 Page 32: 1st-Ever Appearance Wolverine: https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/panel-pages/herb-trimpe-and-jack-abel-the-incredible-hulk-180-final-page-32-the-first-ever-appearance-of-wolverine/a/7093-92191.sHerb Trimpe / Jack Abel Incredible Hulk #180 Page 32: 1st Appearance Wolverine: COMICS.HA.COM
Also, thx @CasualVeve for “FUNKO’ING” me into my favourite CDN mutant!

#6: The New Mutants #98, Page 15 (1991)

Rob Liefeld’s page from the first appearance of Deadpool in The New Mutants #98 reached $30,000 in 2022. This was an interesting (2nd Comic) release on the VeVe Digital Collectibles app with 60,000 (blockchain) minted-editions. Could we include some speculation here that Deadpool 3’s release will #NostalgiaReSpark this character’s already huge popularity, combined with all the anticipated MCU / X-MEN characters fans are growing steadily excited to see? Although certainly not as scarce as other Marvel / VeVe comics, the surge in new popularity could see this book do very well in the coming years.

In the image below, note the ‘Secret Rare’ cover variant, pulling Deadpool’s panel front & center, which continues to trend 3400% over its original $6.99 list price from Aug 24th, 2021.

Rob Liefeld The New Mutants #98 Page 15 Deadpool FA Original Art (Marvel, 1991)+ New Mutants #98 VeVe Variant CoversRob Liefeld The New Mutants #98 Page 15 Deadpool FA Original Art (Marvel, 1991)+ New Mutants #98 VeVe Variant Covers

#7: Amazing Spider-Man #700: With Steve Ditko’s Original AF-15 Cover Design Ultra Rare Variant

Referencing Carls Comix, “The cover we know was not the first. Steve Ditko drew a cover but Stan Lee told Jack Kirby to draw a new one. The cover that was published was inked by Steve Ditko but drawn by Jack Kirby.”

Skip ahead ‘a few’ years, and VeVe again nails a big collecting opportunity. Bringing Steve Ditko back as the artist for the “Ultra Rare” exclusive-to-VeVe cover, the November 2023 digital variant drop minted just 375 editions.

The original 1-for-200 variant is scarce these days, with just 939 graded per GoCollect, while a Nov 2022 Heritage Auction asset sold for $1,020.00. As of writing, there are only (48) of those 375 editions listed in the marketplace, with the floor asking price at a whopping 1325% increase over the initial drop price of $6.99.

VeVe / Marvel Amazing Spider-Man #700, Including the OG Steve Ditko AF15 Cover Design UR Variant: https://www.veve.me/post/marvel-digital-comics-amazing-spider-man-1999-700VeVe / Marvel Amazing Spider-Man #700, Including the OG Steve Ditko AF15 Cover Design UR Variant: https://www.veve.me/post/marvel-digital-comics-amazing-spider-man-1999-700

**BONUS FUN: ‘New Yorker’ Cartoon About a Dog on the Internet Breaks Auction Records (for our Cartoon Panel Enthusiasts!)

I would be remiss not to include this very recent example of just how important single panel investments can be to enthusiasts. The iconic 1993 image below, by Peter Steiner just became the most valuable single-panel comic ever sold, reaching $175,000!

Here’s a snippet of the review by Smithsonian Magazine Correspondent, Julia Binswanger:

“In 1993, the New Yorker published a cartoon featuring two dogs sitting at a computer. With a paw resting on the keyboard, one says to the other: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

Today, the iconic image still pulls, holding the record as the most reprinted New Yorker cartoon in the magazine’s history. Earlier this month, it hit a new milestone: the original drawing sold at auction for $175,000, the highest amount ever paid for a single-panel cartoon. Nothing "funny" there!

Per Heritage Auctions, the anonymous bidder who snagged this had tried to purchase since its publication 30 yrs ago

“Most people had never even used the Internet in 1993. I certainly didn’t have a connection,” says Bob Mankoff, former New Yorker cartoon editor, to Gizmodo’s Thomas Germain. “But I think part of its success comes from the fact that we’re all living in the world that that cartoon foreshadowed. There’s a way that a cartoonist’s antenna can sort of tap into the zeitgeist, and [a] good cartoon compresses the message as simply as possible.”

The Content of a Comic Art Page Affects Its Value

I encourage anyone interested in comic art and panels to further read an excellent overview by The Intelligent Collector writer, Barry Sandoval. In this article, Barry reviews in simple terms what makes one page worth more than another.
Click Here to review more: INTELLIGENT COLLECTOR 

What makes one comic art panel worth more than another?https://intelligentcollector.com/how-the-content-of-a-comic-art-page-affects-its-value/?ctrack=4700439&type=article3-1-www-icmag-mar-tem031924The Intelligent Collector

Where Can We Go From Here?

Digital (comic) collecting platforms like VeVe & DCNFT / Candy are gaining momentum, with collectors grabbing up assets as fast as possible. Comic art fans are now investing in these digital assets with their greater utility, security and image quality, and comic creators are getting their toes wet!

For instance, THE ADDICTION  was a phygital collaboration debuted at New York Comic Con (NYCC) Oct 2023. Co-created by Vincent Zurzolo, president of Metropolis Collectibles & ComicConnect, and David Quinn, the comic book writer behind titles like “Faust” & Marvel’s “Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme,” it was met with massive success, selling out at the Con. It’s drawn by Claudia Balboni, the Italian comic book artist / Eisner Award nominee for “Killer Queens” (Dark Horse).

The Addiction is more than just a comic book. With Zurzolo’s and Quinn’s connections in the industry, the creators lined up an A-list of contributors and a unique deal with VeVe, the multibillion-dollar digital collectible comic book company. VeVe chose “The Addiction” as its first foray into offering an original VeVe variant print comic, along with a digital version. “with exclusive ‘VeVe digital red & blue covers,’ limited to just 1,000 physical copies of each,” Zurzolo says.

Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, a featured guest at NYCC and a premier creator of digital comic covers, designed two covers for “The Addiction.” Also participating in the project is artist David Mack, whose character Echo — once a sidekick to Daredevil — launched her own series on Disney+. Additional contributors include up-and-coming superstar cover artist Andres Labrada, Eisner Award-winning artist Alitha Martinez, colorist Brad Simpson and letterer Dave Sharpe.”

The comic sold out both its physical and digital formats.

Why? VeVe’s community (fan base) of over 300,000 fully embraced the FE offering, as did swarms of physical collectors & Metropolis fans at NYCC. They’re not just digital buyers, they’re engaging multiple platforms to advance their passions of comic art collecting! Again, great for the ENTIRE comic book space…

In turn, Metropolis Comics & Team now has THOUSANDS of new fans following their activities. When Vincent posts splendid samples of comic art they have for sale or auction, they're noticed!

Sharing great original comic art is one of the most fun things for me to do! Buscema, Keith, Kirby, Colan, Fine and Weeks https://x.com/VincentZurzolo/status/1754096737151582647?s=20:Sharing great original comic art is one of the most fun things for me to do!" Buscema, Keith, Kirby, Colan, Fine and Weeks https://x.com/VincentZurzolo/status/1754096737151582647?s=20

Many collectors are having their digital covers transitioned to wall art & framing them physically, while storing the originals online in VeVe’s digital “VAULT” pending display in the virtual VeVeVerse anticipated for 2024. And of course, also enjoying A/R reading fun, since these digital editions cannot degrade when exposed to air, sunlight, finger grease or spilled wine. Best of all, this is increasing engagement into physical comic collecting as brand new fans!

Charles’ Recent Gift: a Physical Spider-Man Annual #1: Charles’ Recent Gift: a Physical Spider-Man Annual #1Charles’ Recent Gift: a Physical Spider-Man Annual #1

As the physical & digital worlds of (comic) art collections blend into a new Phygital Space, it is incredibly exciting to see what positive impacts this will make and ARE making on the entire comic book industry. Personally, I’m BULLISH AS FF (Fantastic Four) to see where this all goes, but as Digital Collecting enthusiast @CasualVeVe so clearly points out, it’s getting harder to decide which side of the collecting fence to sit on first!

PHYGITAL Collecting — Decisions, Decisions! @CasualVeVe: https://twitter.com/CasualVevePHYGITAL Collecting — Decisions, Decisions! @CasualVeVe

Thank You, for Reading!