I’ve Just Paid For A Signature For The First Time

I was able to attend the Hamilton Comic Con over the weekend in Hamilton, Ontario. I had a singular reason to attend: Mike Zeck. As most readers know I am an avid collector of Artist’s Editions and thought it would be nice to get any of them signed since most are from deceased creators.

I checked the con’s site and found, after a lengthy bio, this message about Zeck’s appearance, which never provided any show information and still doesn’t. At a minimum the Con site should list what days the guests are appearing.

For more information on this appearance and Michael J. Zeck contact Eva Ink Artist Group at: [email protected]

Anyway, I brought my Mike Zeck’s Classic Marvel Stories Artist’s Edition to the show and beelined it to Zeck’s table after consulting the well placed floor maps. I checked the table and there was a long line of prints, a book and a nicely printed price sheet listing signatures at $5.

Hmm. This required some inner turmoil and debate since at the core of it I don’t like the idea of paying for a signature on a book. I didn’t have a stack of books, just the one. With that in mind this was a reprint of older material from a company that didn’t originally publish it so I have no idea if Zeck received any financial compensation. As well I couldn’t think of a single piece of comic work I’d seen from him in at least twenty years, so I don’t know what’s keeping him afloat.

I consulted the price chart again to see if perhaps a sketch was in order: he was asking $50 for a quick headshot and $150 for a detailed headshot so that was all going to be out of my league. In the end I purchased the one book he had available, Raw Fury: The Art Of Michael J. Zeck, for $40 and a signature for $45. He did sign Raw Fury as part of the $40 purchase.

Mike Zeck's signature

The prices were up front and as such gave me the opportunity to enter into a sales agreement, or not. Either way Zeck would have been the same charming and engaging con guest.

Afterwards we had a wonderful conversation about original artwork and Kraven’s Last Hunt in particular. At the time he was selling pages for about $15 each and sold the entire Kraven’s Last Hunt to one collector, who sat on it for twenty years and then sold it complete to another collector. It changed hands a few times and came to someone who kept the covers and sold the interiors. Zeck mentioned the last complete sale was for $250,000 and there was a hint of regret in his voice. A lingering wonder of what could have been, much like my own thoughts as I wandered away wondering how things could have been if the signature had been free…

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Scott VanderPloeg
Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at AE Index and eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans.
Articles: 1231

2 Comments

  1. Funny timing. Just read a Guardian article through a link at the GPA newsfeed about artists debating this same subject at the recent Baltimore Con. I personally say go for it. Stan the Man himself has made a fortune off of CGC signature series books as have his customers.

  2. Hi,
    You seem overly concerned about the 5 $ signature. Many artists are now charging due to people re-selling signed comic and artist edition books for profit. Cannot blame them for being hardened due to what is going on. As far as what keeps Zeck afloat is an odd thought you have. Obviously, he is doing o.k..
    More importantly, you had a nice conversation and a nice memory of meeting Mike and that is worth more than any signature in question.

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