Cover art by British comic artist Barry Windsor Smith and strip pages by Alan Davis and a Watchmen page by Dave Gibbons feature in next month’s Comic Link “Fall Auction”. Art by Ross Andru, Jack Kirby, Alex Ross, Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson, among others, also features.
Bidding in recent ComicLink comic art auctions has in many cases led to prices far exceeding the internal estimates, so be prepared for some battles for pages in this upcoming event.
The auction includes an extraordinary opportunity to own an ‘A-Level’ Rorschach page from the all-time classic Watchmen series that artist Dave Gibbons created with writer Alan Moore in 1985 – 1986.
On offer is a page comes from #10 of the 12-part series, a page that follows the events of Nite Owl and Silk Spectre springing Rorschach from prison. Rorschach and Nite Owl visit the underworld bar that Rorschach famously visited back in #1 when he began his investigation of the murder of the Comedian. This time, the duo is looking for information on the shooting of Ozymandias. Rorschach threatens torture and the patrons quickly tur nover the goon who has the information they need.
Also on offer is the cover of Marvel Comics for Conan the Barbarian #6 (1971) by Barry Windsor-Smith, featuring the saga “Devil-Wings Over Shadizar!”
Windsor-Smith’s run on Conan the Barbarian is considered the high-point of the character’s long history. Artwork from his relatively short stint on the classic character ranks among the most sought-after originals of the 1970s and beyond.
Created by author Robert E. Howard, Conan had been around in pulps and paperbacks for decades when Marvel began to adapt the character in comic books and the timing could not be more perfect. Writer Roy Thomas teamed with the young Barry Smith, who cut his teeth in comics, briefly, drawing pin ups for British weekly titles before moving to the United States, and for a few glorious years, they created a magical run that brought the Sword and Sorcery genre to comics for the first time.
The young Smith grew tremendously over the course of his run, beginning his evolution into one of the finest fantasy artists in the history of the medium, evidenced by another of his covers on offer in the same auction, a dramatic Wolverine cover for Marvel Comics Presents #79, published in 1991.
This is the only Windsor-Smith “Weapon X” cover to feature Wolverine wearing the iconic helmet from the legendary origin story, which the he was forced to wear while being held prisoner. The helmet was designed to monitor, process, and regulate Logan’s sensory inputs so that the organisation behind the Weapon X project could brainwash him and turn Wolverine into a mindless killing machine under their control. It’s being offered alongside his 1991 cover for Solar, Man of the Atom #3.