We knew that Venom was popular, but we didn’t know he was this popular. Via USA Today, we’ve learned that a single page from a 1984 comic book has just sold for the staggering sum of $3.36 million at a Heritage Auction. Yes, your eyes did not deceive you. We said three million. So why did Marvel’s Secret Wars #8 sell for so dang much? One word: Venom.
Now, we’ve reported on certain comic books selling in the millions before. Not that long ago, the first appearance of Spider-Man sold for a record sum. But this is just a single page from a comic of not terribly significant importance in the grand scheme of things. You can see the very expensive page of Venom art right here:
Penciller Mike Zeck’s artwork for page 25 of Marvel’s classic event series Secret Wars’s eighth issue features the first appearance of Spider-Man’s black suit. This costume, which was really a living alien symbiote, would eventually bond with a certain reporter named Eddie Brock, and become Venom. So yes, this proto-Venom artwork has some historical significance. We all know how big a movie star Venom is these days. Although that much more popular than Spidey or Batman? Debatable.
The previous record for an interior page from a comic was $657,250. This was for art from 1974’s The Incredible Hulk #181, the very first appearance of Wolverine. Whoever bought this artwork is banking on Venom being more popular than Wolverine long-term. Banking on it to the tune of nearly three million bucks. Whoever you are, hopefully, you just made a wise investment. Or maybe you are just the world’s biggest fan of black costume Spidey and want the world to know just how much. We get it.
Not only was the buyer’s identity kept private, but so was the seller’s. Some comics industry professionals, like Gary Frank and Bryan Hitch, were hoping that artist Mike Zeck had just made himself rich. But sadly, Zeck did not make millions off of his own art. Via Twitter, Zeck said “I’ll dash that hope… Not me. If you see any of my original art at auction, you can be 100% certain I’m not the seller.” Bummer. Would have been nice to see an artist benefit from a character’s pop-cultural popularity for once. We think it’s long overdue that a long-suffering comics artist finally cashes in.