Investing in Original Comic Art

I have been in the comic books and original comic art market for the past two decades or so (the bulk of my art portfolio can be found here: Comic Art Gallery of Myron Tay at, and here are the facts:
(i) I have made a lot more money trading original comic art than comic books $-wise. In general, the prices of original comic art have quadrupled in the last two decades or so. My current art portfolio is conservatively in the low six digit range.
(ii) I have made more %-wise from trading in comic books, so much so that I have made back more than the money that I had initially sunk into the comic book portfolio and still have a portfolio worth $8-10k

My thoughts:
(i) In terms of time spent, the $ returns from original comic art makes it more lucrative. However, my two portfolios are not apple-to-apple comparisons since my outlay on my original comic art portfolio was a lot more than that for my comic book portfolio. Nevertheless, I still choose to concentrate on my original comic art portfolio as the storage costs involved are lower.
(ii) Storage costs of comic books (especially if slabbed) is much higher than unframed original comic art.
(iii) Those $30-40 jumps in comic book price over cover in the week of release are gratifying, but just not worth the time taken to take photographs, put up for sale, pack them and mail them out to buyers. Makes more sense when the gains are in the hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands that we can see in original comic art instead.

Remember: Tomorrow’s classics are today’s new comics! The best returns come from the artists whose work is selling today. Some of them would be the superstars of tomorrow!

Hence, my advice - sell off the collection of comic books and invest in original comic book art instead!


I find it very intimidating. As someone on a budget, not an excessively wealthy man…where would I start. Let’s say I want to “invest” in an original piece for say $1k?

Is that absurd to even try? What should I look for in a page/piece?

Anything to be leery of?

Certainly I assume “buy what you like” applies, but this seems tougher.

Enlighten me friend!!! :blush:


Here are two great sources

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Try to build up a portfolio. If you have $5k to start with, dont invest in 5 $1k pieces unless they are all winners! There is original published pages that are available for as little as $20 per page and published covers to be had for $300. But dont expect to get the top established artists for those prices.

As with comic books, the price would be dependent on demand relative to supply.

When investing into OA, what do you look for in the pages? More artwork in the pages? Ist app? Or what exactly do you look for? Like you for example what makes you say “ah yes, this will be a good buy as I can make 2 or 3 times that in 2 years.” Or whatever you say to yourself when you make such purchase lol.

Birth pages (first appearance page) or an image of the chief protagionist featured prominently (they might be used as the 2nd print cover).

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I couldn’t agree more.
OA is where it is at and values of the good stuff has just gone bonkers and never stopped going bonkers; unlike comics.


I’m a low roller with more sketches than published OA (although I’m trying to change that), and while I still stick to “buying what I like,” I am looking for some combination of these things:

  • Characters who will be wanted in the future
  • Artists who are under the radar, or are respected, established names if not superstars
  • Good page design - is it a beautiful object on its own? If it’s not splashy, does it have strong sequential storytelling? If the structure and contrasts look good at thumbnail size, it’s likely a well designed page.
  • Pages from storylines that are enjoyable or memorable in some way

@myrontay how do you feel about AP reproductions? I’m looking at OA for one character and am finding that AP repros are available but not sure how that pan’s out as an investment.

In my experience, any reproductions and to a degree even 1/1 printed digital copies don’t hold the value as much. Even though they’re created by the artist, there’s just something people like about the pencil, marker, paint, etc. nature of something.


The market isn’t yet there for APs. It may be in time, it’s debatable whether they will establish and occupy a mezzanine tier between comic books and original art. For the moment, dealers’ prices are maybe 30-40% higher than the general AP market (i.e. what you might get at auction) - that might be worth it for key pieces, but probably not for the rest. I have a few House of X cover APs - very happy with them, but I got them before dealers started to move the pricing higher, probably wouldn’t pay what they’d ask for them now. Briefly considered buying the Kanan #6 AP a few months ago, but ultimately I preferred to save that cash for a more expensive physical art piece - might have chosen differently if I had more funds!

They are #1 of #1 prints, not original art, and should be priced as such. Price should be affected if they use the image for a black and white cover variant, because the supply is no longer #1 of #1. But if the image was not priced as a cover previously, it could see some appreciation (similar to any OA interior page that was subsequently used as a cover).

This is the view of most original art collectors and most of us dont even bother with these.

I have a few pieces of original art, like this one by Cliff Chiang

My biggest problem is finding a place to display them. The wife will only tolerate so much, lol.


Same issue with the wifey. I only have a Peanuts panel by Schulz on my walls. The rest of my collection is in the dry cabinet.

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Poyo complains about being chained in my basement but I have some cool stuff down here.

I don’t own a lot of original art but a ton of con sketches. This was a commission I showed off before
Lee Bermejo

This was a print commissioned for Baltimore Comic Con a few years ago. I also purchased the original artwork as well

I do own a cel from Batman the Animated Series. Loved the old WB store

And finally my absolute fave Sericel signed by Nancy Cartwright who was a doll. She left a voicemail on my brothers answering machine as Ralph Wiggum


I was on that Bermejo list at Baltimore comic con several years ago when he attended.
He was reasonably sure he’d be done by Sunday at close.
As much as I didn’t want to stay in Baltimore until close on a Sunday, it was a Bermejo commission for only a couple hundred if I remember correctly??

So I stayed.
Not every story has a good ending.
He was working on a Turtles commission that took him forever and never got to mine.
It was my worst Baltimore CC and I still remember that foul feeling driving out from Baltimore that weekend

Cost me $100.

Also, I have a foul feeling Everytime I drive out of Baltimore. That’s normal.


Thats a steal. I would of rather spent that on a drawing like yours then the one I got from Greg Horn :pensive:

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Another piece that I acquired recently. This woman is extremely talented!


Just going to leave the results of two recent auctions here.

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