jueves, 22 de octubre de 2015

Las leyes del mercado

Las leyes del mercado se pueden resumir hoy en día en dos. Tres a lo más: comprar barato, (para) vender caro y si compras algo caro que sea "pieza de museo". Al menos éstas serían las básicas y principales. Y de ahí lo que le ocurre a Russ Cochran, que ha pasado de vender material de Frazetta o Carl Barks a piezas que difícilmente se revalorizarán a corto o medio plazo. A esto se suma el hecho de los coleccionistas elijan Heritage u otras casas de subastas aún más poderosas, pensando que "ganarán" más vendiéndolas con ellas. Luego sólo cumpliría Cochran dos de las tres leyes básicas.
Aún así, Cochran lanza esta (desesperada) llamada de auxlio:
In the 1931 horror classic FRANKENSTEIN, Dr. Waldman warns Henry Frankenstein, saying "You have created a monster and it will destroy you!"
I'm not saying that I created the original art collecting hobby, but I did help it along in various ways.
In 1973 I started an illustrated catalog of original art for sale, GRAPHIC GALLERY, and published it through 13 issues. In GRAPHIC GALLERY I advertised the Alex Raymond artwork I had bought from Mrs. Helen Raymond, and the Carl Barks paintings on consignment from Carl, and many drawings and paintings on consignment from Frank Frazetta.
Before I knew it, Sotheby's, Christie's, Guernsey's, and others were holding auctions of original comic art and animation art.
Bill Gaines had always told me that he would consign all of his EC artwork to me to sell, but only after I had published it in my series of boxed sets THE EC LIBRARY. These boxed sets started coming out in 1978 and shortly thereafter I started a new series of auctions selling the EC art. Looking back now at those auctions and prices, it's pretty amazing how much the EC art has appreciated in value.
Next, I started a new series of auctions I called RUSS COCHRAN'S COMIC ART AUCTION, which at first was sporadic but eventually became a monthly internet auction. The most recent of these was Auction #138, which ended September 24, 2015.
For the first time in many years, there will be no October auction, because I can't get collectors to consign to my auction. Heritage came along in 2004 and quickly dominated that market, causing major auction houses like Sotheby's and Christie's to drop out of the comic art business, and making it progressively harder for me to get consignments for my own Comic Art Auction.
Dr. Waldman was right, and Jim Halperin said it again today, "You have created a monster and it has destroyed you!"
During my forty-odd years dealing in comic art, I have managed to hit several grand slam home runs:
1. The first was hooking up with Bill Gaines and helping him sell all of the original EC art and all of his "Gaines File Copies".
2. The second was becoming friends of Frank and Ellie Frazetta and selling Frank's art at major conventions and in auctions during the 1970s and 1980s.
3. The third was becoming the exclusive selling agent for the paintings of Carl Barks.
4. The fourth was developing a trusting relationship with Helen Raymond and buying more than a hundred originals of FLASH GORDON, JUNGLE JIM, and SECRET AGENT X-9, plus many Raymond book and magazine illustrations.
5. The fifth was selling more than 2000 originals of GASOLINE ALLEY by Frank King, including the first appearance of Skeezix and some very significant Sunday page originals.
So...while I still want to be in the game, Bill Gaines, Frank and Ellie Frazetta, Carl Barks, and Mrs. Raymond are gone and so is all their artwork. And now I have finished with the Frank King estate and there will be no more new originals from that gold mine.
And there are thousands of comic art collectors now. And they all consign their best pieces to Heritage, and who can blame them? Heritage has taken over the market, and more power to them, they have done a great job.
Am I finished then? Yes, unless I can get consignments from you, the collector reading this, to continue my series of Comic Art Auctions. I'm not asking for your Carl Barks paintings, your Frazetta paintings, your EC covers, or your FLASH GORDON originals. I know you are going to send those to Heritage to sell for you, and I understand that.
But some of you who have bought over 2000 GASOLINE ALLEY originals from me, and hundreds of TARZAN Sunday pages by Hogarth and Foster, and hundreds of DICK TRACY originals...some of you don't want to see me throw in the towel and quit.
The only way this can happen is if you will consign your lesser originals to me, the ones that Heritage doesn't want. If you will do this, there will be a November auction. If not, then this is farewell.
Así que, Antonio, hoy en día no hay tiempo para el romanticismo. Son otras leyes las que imperan...

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