Original Art Stories: Avengers #1; Real Or Recreation, Part II
In the meantime two emails caught my eye. The first was from my good pal Alan Kupperberg, who said this, "I dunno, boy, if this is a recreation, its the damnedest recreation I've ever seen. The small differences noted can be accounted for in several ways. But the stuff that IS the same is the stuff that I cannot account for. I've done a Kirby/Ayers reproduction and it's a tough thing. And the lettering. That's real Sam Rosen lettering and it seems to be lettered on the page. If it's on the page, not pasted on or photoshopped, the page is real."
The second email came from another good friend of mine, Steven Bove. Bove knows a bit more about company sanctioned recreations than the bulk of us, after all he started out doing such art at DC back in the day. So when he emailed this I thought I'd share it, with Steve's permission. As always, you read it and you decide. Al always Steve offers some very sound advice when it comes to buying vintage art.
Daniel knows that I'm working on something very special right now. But of course he touches on a subject that I just have to chime-in on. This Daredevil page comes from my personal collection and explains a good deal of the process of creating comics work for print.
A skilled restoration artist may be able to recreate a style but you can't recreate the times and practices the work was created in. These points should aid in the purchase of original comic art.
10 things to consider when buying original comic art:
1) Yellowing - All paper tends to yellow with the passage of time.
2) Zip-A-Tone - As with paper Zip-A-Tone will also yellow and become brittle with age.
3) Ink Blips - More often than not if you examine ink work you'll find a slip here and there that wasn't caught and cleaned up. A skilled restoration artist may be able to mimic the style but not the slip.
4) The Company Stamp - Some companies (DC Comics) would stamp their copyright notice on the back of art boards.
5) The Comics Code Authority Stamp - Backs of pages may have this stamp (mostly Marvel Comics).
6) Trimmed Pages - The late Chemical Color in Connecticut would handle separations of color for comics and make the appropriate film. In order to get several pages on the camera plate for film they would gang-up boards and that meant trimming them to fit.
7) Paste-Ups - Some boards might have paste-up art or balloons on them and the rubber cement used will often give the boards a yellowing or burned like appearance
where the art was placed.
8) Blue Lines - Non-Repro blue lines on art board. In the 60's and 70s these would be basic and not as elaborate as comics moved into the 80s.
9) Paper Weight - Usually 2-Ply. Some pages (as in the case of this DD example) feel a little lighter in comparison.
10) Source - A reputable dealer of original comics art will be the most respected and honest about what he sells. Look for personal testimonials and recommendations from industry insiders.
Recreated art is often obvious and shouldn't be sold as original. That's simply a disservice to the creators of the original work and, of course, the customer of such works.