TRADER TRENCHES: The Neal Adams grail that never was!
At some point I decided I had to own a Neal Adams cover. I'm a picky guy so it needed to be a great one--the Adams I would keep and not be tempted to sell. The Brave and the Bold 86 cover (above) would have been perfect. It has all I could want in an NA cover and its inked by Adams as well--a plus for those that love Adams. Unfortunately I was offered this cover, many years ago, for the sum of 17k. At the same time I was offered the JLA 91 cover (below) for 11K.
I couldn't afford to buy both so I opted for the JLA 91--it was cheaper and it had all those other additional heroes on it. What could be better? I kept the scan of the B&B 86 cover and kept comparing the two--a mistake--once you make a decision between two covers delete the other scan. Don't let it continue to haunt you! I finally decided that I didn't like the inks on the JLA and sold it for about 15k. My plan was to get the other cover even if I had to add in additional cash. But it was too late, the collector that had the B&B 86 had sold it to a dealer. Now the price was way higher than I wanted to pay. The cover finally went to a seasoned Adams collector who has made it a permanent fixture in his collection.
Not one to give up the Adams hunt, I found this beauty, Brave and Bold 88 cover (above) at All Star Auctions table an San Diego--also many years ago. I tried to work a deal but at the time this was a trade only piece for them. The only trade they wanted from me was one of my Romita Spider-Man covers. Well, that wasnt going to work--I had to wait for my next Adams opportunity...
BATMAN 224--I really thought this was going to be a keeper for me. This was a tough cover to get. I found a collector at Wondercon that was willing to move this cover to me. The only problem was he wanted a Cardy Action cover in return that was owned by Steve Donnelly. Uh-oh, I had never been able to do a deal with him. We'd talked about deals for many hours, but we never got close enough to actually get one done. The Cardy cover was worth about 5k. I offered Steve 7500 and he turned me down. The Cardy was a trade only. I finally offered my MR. MIRACLE 18 cover, a cover worth 10k, by Jack Kirby (below) straight up for the Cardy. I expected Steve to jump at this deal--it was clearly in his favor. Steve appeared tempted, but he wanted to know what the catch was. He wanted to know what kind of trade, with someone else, I had in mind for his Cardy. I asked him why it mattered when this trade was so clearly in his favor. Steve hemmed and hawed, but finally agreed to the trade. I took the Cardy to the collector with the Batman 224, and after adding in an additional 5k on my part we had a deal! I finally had my ADAMS!!!
After owning the cover for a bit, some of the ink lines started to bug me. I still had that stinking scan of the B&B 86 to compare ink lines. The 224 was not inked by Adams and did not feel as slick. Remember what I said about deleting scans? Soon after that I decided that the 224 was not the perfect Adams cover for me after all. I sold it for about 22k.
This would have been a fantastic cover to own, Batman 255 cover, pencilled and inked by Adams (above)--it sold many years back for 55k when these covers were thought to be worth 15k. Never had a chance at this one--just showing off the scan!
My next shot at the Adams grail was this very nice World's Finest 175 cover (above). This had an added nostalgia factor for me. I grew up in New York when Palisades Amusement Park would put adds in the back of comics. They used this image at one point and it stuck in my brain--maybe this would be the keeper cover. I managed to get this one in a trade with Bechara for about 15k. But a few months later, Steve Fishler offered me 18k for it and I folded. It's a beautiful cover with inks by Adams--but the Superman and Batman statue figures felt too small for me for it to be a keeper--I told you, I'm one picky fella.
Now this $%&# Cover would be a keeper. World's Finest 208 (above)--I know where it is, and I'm sure it's going to stay there, forever!
Which brings me to JLA 86--I LOVE THIS COVER! If any one knows where it is, you know where to find me. I'm a picky buyer that's just looking for his Neal Adams grail. Help a brother out. Finder's fee happily paid! Even if you can't help, you got to agreee that's a friggin' nice cover!