Tag Archive: Jerry Weist


Starting Monday, September 12, Heritage Auctions will be holding an auction in Beverly Hills, from the estate of comic art and rare book collector Jerry Weist, who passed away on Jan. 7 of this year.  Weist published the Comic Art Price Guides discussed here earlier.

The sale includes science fiction and fantasy art, rare first-edition books, movie posters, fanzines, pulp magazines, and comic books, many in high grades.  Weist was known as a collector with access to writers and artists and he was able to amass a unique collection of rarities.  His collection was formed by replacing prior copies of works with better condition copies, resulting in some very fine examples of first edition genre books.

Included are one of a kind artworks by Frank Frazetta, J. Allen St. John, Frank R. Paul, Wally Wood, Virgil Finlay, Alex Schomburg, Chesley Bonestell, Richard Powers, Frank Kelly Freas, Donato Giancola, and many more paintings by top genre artists.

The featured art includes this 1996 Frank Frazetta work that was used as a cover to a paperback Ray Bradbury short story collection.  Titled Tomorrow Midnight, it is estimated to sell between $40-60,000.

At the top of this article is Donato Giancola’s Stars Blue Yonder, a paperback cover painting, expected to sell for $4,000-6,000.

Vincent di Fate’s Future at War, also used for a paperback book, is another stunning piece being auctioned.

The original cover art to Weird Fantasy #17, drawn by Al Feldstein, is expected to sell for more than $18,000, and is a pristine example of early 1950s comic art.

The volume of key science fiction and fantasy books include many first editions, inscribed copies by major authors, including H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Connie Willis, and Philip K Dick.

Also for sale are pulp magazines, comic books, 1950s science-fiction movie posters, and fanzines.

The auction will be held at Heritage’s Beverly Hills offices on Sept. 12.  See this link to Heritage Auctions for more details.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Review by C.J. Bunce

You’ll find yourself quoting Navin Johnson’s “The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!” if you happen to order the new third edition of Jerry Weist’s The Comic Art Price Guide, Illustrated Guide with Price Range Values. This book is huge.

Collecting original comic, newspaper strip, and science fiction and pulp art has come a long way since Jerry Weist published the original price guide back in 1992 with Weist’s Original Comic Art: Identification and Price Guideand this edition is a triumph over both the original and the 2000 second edition The Comic Art Price Guide.  Because tracking and recording sales of original art is far more difficult than collecting comic books themselves even this edition cannot be compared to a comprehensive guide like Overstreet’s Comic Book Price Guide, but it is a good start. This edition illustrates a real gap in the art collecting hobby: with a book like Overstreet you have hundreds of contributors nationwide. With Weist’s Price Guide you get the impression only a small staff was available and that a lot was drawn from Weist’s own auctions and collection as opposed to spanning a wider source.

Even on the Web you can track sales at great websites like www.romitaman.com, www.splashpageart.com or even eBay. Unfortunately there does not appear to be one repository or collector group of comic art sales prices, at least none that have filtered into this Guide.

The best update to this edition is the many included illustrations of art pages and pulp art covers, and dozens of pages of original newspaper comic strips. It also has interesting preface material including background on Weist and the history of this specialized collecting niche.

The negative is the cumbersome, oversized volume itself, which rivals any big city phone book. The second edition was handier. I also am not a fan of listings by artist as the only way to track values. With computer databases so easily created today you would think a directory by character or title could be included. Also, the price ranges are so broad you can only get an inkling of an artwork’s value. As an entry point to art collecting, the Guide is useful.  As an enthusiast or just a reader you just wish it was far more comprehensive.

One glaring chunk missing from the Guide that hopefully will be remedied if someone takes on future guides is contemporary mainstream artists–well known artists whose art fetches hundreds of dollars per page today are just not included.  The Guide pretty much sticks to familiar Golden and Silver Age artists and only the biggest of the more recent artists, such as Jim Lee, are included.

Unfortunately you will also learn in the preface material that Mr. Weist passed away earlier this year, so unless the publisher continues under a different name, this third edition is also the last edition of the Weist Price Guide.  Weist’s own auctions continue though his original auction house and borg.com will be discussing the Heritage Auctions sale of Weist’s own collection later this week.

The book begins with a nice memorial to the author, followed by the author’s explanations of the philosophy behind this guide and understanding price ranges.  The main part of the guide is divided into the three art subjects: newspaper strip art, original comic book art, and science fiction and pulp art.  The book is chock full of photos of original art, and you’ll spend hours going through it, even the photos in the several advertisements.  Even with its scope missing so much that is out there, the Guide is slowly getting better with each edition.

The Comic Art Price Guide, by Jerry Weist.  Third Edition.  Softcover Trade Edition $29.95.  574 pp.

Available only from Ivy Press via Heritage Auctions at this link.