Original Art Stories: Avengers #1; Real Or Recreation, Part VI
The more I think and look at this auction the more I wonder about it. The page appears to be the real deal, enough collectors and experts have put forth an opinion about it, but it is curious that the bidding reached US$49,999.99 and the auction was then ended with the reserve not being met. I'll leave it to others to venture forth a reason why, but I have my suspicions (and yes, I have been trying to speak to the seller, despite him asking me to call he's not answered his phone).
We visited Melbourne on the weekend to do our usual buying trip at Camberwell only to walk away somewhat sad. Several people both congratulated me on my Masterworks posts and commented how amazed and disappointed they were at the attacks that I've been subjected to from the Masterworks forums. It reached a zenith when a close pal of mine told me how he had read enough abuse of me on the forum and decided to post a message defending me. He was soundly abused as well. I couldn't apologise enough over that. It seems that some people who post on that forum have taken a great delight in attacking me, personally, to the point of inviting people to commit damage to my own sites in the form of flooding them with the hopes of crashing them, or simply hacking them. What stuns me the most isn't the sheer volume, the magnitude or the savageness of the attacks, it's that some of the attacks are coming from people who, gasp shock and horror, actually work at Marvel. Nice to promote the company name guys. I now ask people not to post there defending me, it's a waste of time regardless as there's no known way of having any form of reasoned debate about the recreated artwork. They have a view, they have no desire to give me any real space to put forward my own views, so I say this, just leave it. If my posts have gotten people talking, and they have - Michael Kellehar's art rep has decided to post an FAQ regarding the reconstructed art, and there's a long discourse about the practice on the Masterworks forums both here and here (be warned, it's fairly one-sided, as you'd expect) but the last, and I feel best, word has to go to Harry Mendryk who wrote a great little essay as to why he's not buying Masterworks anymore. Go and read all of it and then make up your mind (and try not to chuckle too much when you read the parts where two people, with over 11,000 messages on the one forum between them, attack me as an attention seeker with a mere 31 posts). I only hope that no-one approached Daniel Best at the San Diego convention and threatened him with physical violence.
I'm sorry if anyone at Marvel is upset that I've opened a can of worms for them. Perhaps they might want to be more transparent with what they do, in the form of reprints. Hopefully from now on they will be. As for the Marvel employees who have been lambasting me over on the forums, well I hope they're not representative of your company, because if they are, then it's a very odd company that you've got going, not to mention a very angry one. And my offer still stands, if anyone wants to prepare a sensible essay for debate here then I'll post it. Try to limit it to logic and decent words though, and let's not get too personal.