The news that three original comic book covers from the groundbreaking 1980s saga ‘Watchmen’ are coming to Heritage Auctions has set collectors buzzing.
Alan Moore and David Gibbons’ ‘Watchmen’ was a landmark series, a paradoxical examination of the superhero genre. Its publication heralded the dawn of the modern age of comic books and graphic novels, an era from which arose darker, more psychologically complex stories and experiments with narrative form.
Heritage Auctions described: ‘For many, the Watchmen mini-series represented a transcendent work of genius that showed how a comic book narrative could be constructed, as well as a revolutionary take on a post Cold War world that no longer worships superheroes. Watchmen was a turning point in comics history, one of only a handful of stories that shattered the limits of what the medium could achieve’.
Original David Gibbons artwork for this significant saga ranks among the most desired of comic book collectibles, and now, the chance to own several pieces has arisen.
The comic book market has been going strong for a while now, steadily increasing in both reach and respectability.
We reported in our 2012 Auction Review of Comics and the Comic Book Market that ‘following record-breaking successes in 2011, this year saw major auction houses accept comic books and art into the collectibles market, with Sotheby’s holding its first major sale in July.’
The lively market has triggered a reaction: some of the most important pieces are coming out of the woodwork, emerging into the auction spotlight, and becoming available to the public, often after a long seclusion.
This is evidenced by the appearance of these Watchmen covers, as well as sales of the past year, like the numerous original Todd McFarlane cover artworks for Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man that came up for auction at Heritage in July and November.
This is an exciting time for comic book collectors. Some significant works of original comic art are being shaken out of hiding, dusted off, and made available, resulting in a kinetic market and engaged collecting community.