Every year something exciting makes its way to public auction. Back in 2011 we discussed some great art from The Dark Knight Returns here at borg.com and again in 2013 here we discussed more cover art from The Dark Knight Returns hitting the market as well as some Dave Gibbons Watchmen cover art. In December 2015, one of the most iconic covers of the Silver Age hit the auction block courtesy of Heritage Auctions. That cover was Neal Adams’ original cover art to Green Lantern Issue #76 (learn more about it here), the book that launched the Bronze Age of comics in the minds of many historians, and the beginning of the “Hard-Traveling Heroes” story arc that forever re-defined Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen’s Green Arrow, and Dinah Lance’s Black Canary.
So what was the total paid, the auction hammer price including fees, for the cover art?
A whopping $442,150. The twist on this auction is that in the 1970s, most original comic art was not returned to the artists, as has generally been done since then. So many artists, including Neal Adams, have renounced the possession and sale of such pieces as “stolen”. But this seller made a deal with Adams to share in the proceeds (with a cut for the charity The Hero Initiative), and so Adams agreed to endorse the sale with this comment:
Check out a high definition copy of the original cover art for Green Lantern Issue #76 that sold this past year:
The art without logos: