Valuations on Modern Pages with Inks Over Blueline Copies
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My collecting focus in on older work from the 90's, but I imagine I'll start migrating to newer generations of OA, which will likely have inks over blueline copies (not sure of what the established term is).

My only experience in owning newer art was a few years ago where I was able to buy the penciled page and the inked page as a package deal. I can't remember if I thought I had paid more because it was two separate pieces or not. Personally, I liked it because it felt like I had owned the *entire* original page.

To the Boardies who collect newer stuff, what are your thoughts on inks-over-copies? Obviously, this is how most modern OA is produced and will not change, so I'm trying to get some understanding at how collectors view the valuation - will an inked page retain the value, as opposed to owning both the inked and penciled pages? Does not owning the pencilled page put the inked page at a disadvantage?

Of course, the artists involved affect the values - I'm just looking for generalized feelings about modern pages, more than specifics. The only reason I am using 'valuation' as a talking point, is that I would like to learn more about the expectant cost of newer art in relation to older works, which have a lot more involved in the singular page, such as lettering, effects, pencils and inks.

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I think this recent sale is a good example to look at https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/story-page/cliff-rathburn-ryan-ottley-printed-blue-lines-invincible-52-story-page-original-art-group-of-3-image-/a/322247-49202.s?ic2=mytracked-lotspage-lotlinks-12202013&tab=MyTrackedLots-101116

Cliff Rathburn [Ryan Ottley printed blue lines] Invincible #52 Story Page Original Art Group of 3 - $408.00 (including the juice)

Original Comic Art:Story Page, Cliff Rathburn [Ryan Ottley printed blue lines] Invincible #52 Story Page Original Art Group of 3 (Image, 2008).... (Total: 3 Original Art)

Invincible is one of the hottest moderns out there when it comes to the amount of eyes on it, but if you compare the $136 per page to what inked pencils or pencils alone are going for then you might end up with anywhere between 5 - 8 times the value (if you don't count expensive outlier pages e.g. #12 Omni man / Invincible fight). Was Heritage the right place to sell these? Probably not. If you look at Ottley sketches and remarks on eBay then they too are fetching a lot more.

I do own an inked blue line copy splash from Transformers and and at the time I wouldn't have paid more than $100 - $130 for it. I just liked it because I have seen some of the original pencils, which looked a bit naked without the details the inker added to create the published piece. It presents really nicely, knew I would be happy with it but I don't expect it to appreciate. It did further my appreciation of what a great job some inkers do though, and I am definitely more open to purchasing similar pieces once I had been there already.

If we change the conversation to inks where only digital pencils exist then I really regret not buying into these because they used to be cheap and the ones I was interested in have gone up five fold. You just don't see the same movement with inks only where the available traditional pencils aren't paired with them, and it makes those pages sit fairly low on my own personal hierarchy of things... low enough to know that I would be chasing a squirrel and should be focusing on things higher up. Makes me wonder how other boardies would order stuff in their own personal hierarchy (e.g. ... in no particular order...  B+ and above published work, colour guides, prints, signed prints, prelims,  commissions, published pages (inks and pencils), sketch covers, remarks, con sketches, published pencils only, published inks where traditional pencils exist, published inks where only digital pencils exist, mono prints.... and anything else you can think of... then where the squirrel line is drawn). 

Edited by Garf
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As you mentioned, you feel a certain way about having the 2 separate boards that have the pencils and inks.  That's just the way you happen to have them.  But over time, there's no guarantee those boards will be kept together. 

The biggest issue is seeing bluelines with inks ("in the wild") and thinking those are actually pencils and inks.  In other words, seeing bluelines with inks not knowing that is what it is. 

A lot of this is not knowing the "penciller's" process.  Sometimes there are actual pencils on some piece of paper somewhere.  Sometimes there are only digital pencils.  The penciller might change from one to the other.  It might depend on the project.  Ugh.

Factor in whether or not the penciller and inker are the same person.

Re: "valuation"... Some people make the point that the inks are what was "published" and that's what really matters.  I guess that's especially true if there are only digital pencils.

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On 11/30/2022 at 1:44 PM, Will_K said:

The biggest issue is seeing bluelines with inks ("in the wild") and thinking those are actually pencils and inks.  In other words, seeing bluelines with inks not knowing that is what it is. 

A lot of this is not knowing the "penciller's" process.  Sometimes there are actual pencils on some piece of paper somewhere.  Sometimes there are only digital pencils.  The penciller might change from one to the other.  It might depend on the project.  Ugh.

Very true - and the one thing I am noticing from a variety of dealers is that there is not much information in the way of provenance or process of where are particular inked page came from. I don't necessarily blame the dealer, because trying to track that down for every piece would likely be unrealistic.

But, for me, it does make any information more valuable - maybe not monetarily, but in confidence of making the purchase. I've collected original art long enough to know my personality requires some level of backstory about the piece - which is relatively easy with pre-2000 art, when most of the artist's/inker's/letterer's information is contained on a single page.

As the chains keep moving forward on the cost of older pieces, I can definitely tell that I will probably be delving into modern art rather than spending more on older pieces. I have a certain price point I work in, and that probably won't change much.

Right now, I'm trying to learn a bit about current artists and how their work is valued. I've found artists who's cover art is almost a flat fee, rather than based on the amount of figures, who the character is, what the comic title is, etc. It's a learning curve to say the least - pre-2000 art demarcations between Marvel, Image, DC and Indy publishers are pretty set, with the variable being factored by a particular artist - of which I am familiar with a lot of them. The modern arena is more difficult for me, because I am not as familiar with artists, or their body of work - because it hasn't been around as long.  Anyways, that's probably a discussion for another thread.

The research continues. Thanks for chiming in, you guys!

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I keep debating with myself whether to offer my 2 cents or not, but here goes. I don’t think you can realistically compare the two. Occasionally, I will see a comment that the combined price should be 60% pencils and 40% inks, but on the rare occasions I have seen them both priced separately, the total is pricier than expected. People also often seem to prefer the inks even if there is general acknowledgement about the importance of pencils—like building a house without a frame, but some pencils are so light on detail they may as well be prelim’s. Then, there is the problem of electronic pencils by the artist you really want, but all you can get are someone else’s inks. Or the artist who does both and there is no one else’s pencils. So, in terms of valuation, consider them sui generics: focus tightly on comp’s involving the same mix of pencils and inks by the same artists, and extrapolate as needed. But, consider the old school method a poor way to value the new stuff.

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