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Grailpages: Original Comic Book Art And The Collectors Paperback – May 14, 2009

8 customer reviews

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Grailpages: Original Comic Book Art And The Collectors + Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comic & Animation Art (Confident Collector)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: TwoMorrows Publishing (May 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605490156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605490151
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,711,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark on January 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before I talk about this book here, I'd like to get an observation about Amazon's packaging off my chest. In a word, it's inadequate. My copy was merely inserted with another item in a box too large, without buffering materials to thwart sliding on the sides or additional cardboard, resulting in cover scratching and bumped corners. This experience has caused me to reconsider whether I want to buy books from Amazon in the future, even at discount.

"Grailpages" itself is something I've waited a long time to see, a work devoted to a hobby and pastime that's near and dear to my heart, and apparently to those of lots of other people. I found myself reluctant to put this book down and much of it engrossing, in spite of a couple of problems. For one thing, author Payne has an annoying habit of referring to examples of comic book pages in the copy that aren't available for convenient viewing relative to the descriptions. This happens quite a bit, and becomes frustrating.

The writer, himself a collector of original comic book art and a dealer, has interviewed many of the names and personalities I've seen displayed for years on sites like Comicart-L, The Lowry Gallery, and Comicartfans, and shares brief biographies and insights into their collections and thoughts on the hobby. These are the best parts of the text, entertaining and richly threaded with personal anecdotes that shed light on how so many collectors can afford the astronomical costs of these pursuits (and often can't). These are interspersed with the author's observations about collectors and the merits of a couple of the artists whose work is sought avidly and hoarded, sometimes for amounts as high as five figures or more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Smith on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I will recommend this book through gritted teeth, because it does reproduce a lot of attractive original art, and we can't have too many books of this kind.

I do wish that a better and slicker grade of paper had been used, but TwoMorrows obviously opted for mid-quality paper in order to keep the price down. I'd have paid another $10 for better paper, but they presumably know their market.

However, the selection bias in favour of Marvel -- and the two above-named artists in particular - is little short of scandalous.

My quick page count showed that of the 32 full-page reproductions scattered throughout the book, 28 were of Marvel pages, 3 DC, 1 Fantagraphics (detail of a Jaime Hernandez cover), and ZERO from other publishers.\
Counting both full-page and smaller reproductions, I found 29 pieces by John Buscema and 27 by John Romita, Sr. -- both wonderful illustrators, but grossly overrepresented. (Kirby, Byrne and Colan appear to account for about a dozen each). But NO Alex Toth, almost no Ditko or Wood, no Kubert, no Infantino, no Williamson, no Frazetta (!!), no Kurtzman, no Krigstein, no Jack Cole, no Lee Elias, in fact almost no Golden Age art at all, and very little before 1967 -- basically, the first, formative 30 years of comic book art dumped down the memory hole. No romance, Western, funny animal, teen, crime, nothing from MAD or Classics Illustrated or Archie or Little Lulu. Robert Crumb? Forget it. But LOTS of Spider-Man and Conan.

I haven't read the text yet, but skimming through it I can understand what another reviewer meant about 'navel-gazing' ("Though he doesn't consider himself a collector in the technical sense, Steve does harbor original art..."). And there are some embarrassing fanboy passages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Watson on September 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
My two Uncles collected comic books in the 60's when they were kids. I inherited this vast collection, which, including my own collection, spans at least thirty years. Grail Pages is a great addition to that collection. I appreciate the history behind comic book creation and I learned how to truly gauge the financial (as well as personal) value of my collection. This book got me back into reading new comics, which I haven't done in years-- and even pick up a few should-be classics for my nephews. Thanks, Steven!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MpM on September 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm rather new to the whole concept of buying / collecting comic book art, so I was rather intrigued by this book when it was recommended to me by my local shop. Looking for reviews, I came across one from professional comic writer Tony Isabella, who gave it a glowing review. This prompted me to go back and purchase the book. Like most collectors, I'd like to think I have pretty extensive knowledge of the comic book industry as well as a good handle on the history behind some of my favorite books. What I truly enjoyed about Steven Payne's book was the insight into not only the mind of the collector, but also the artist who created the pages.
He does a great job of starting with an overview of the hobby, then discussing how much money some pieces have been sold for, and then (what I enjoyed the most) leading into the conversations he had and continues to have with fellow collectors. At the heart of it, all collectors have their stories about the "one book," or that "one page." This is what makes collecting fun. This is what Steven understands, the fun behind the hunt, the fun behind the "find," and also the fun behind making the painful decision of selling a page.

I wasn't looking for a "history" on collecting comic book art, I didn't need a lesson as to the how's and why's, what I was looking for was exactly what I found, that being a great collection of thoughts, stories, and interviews with those who found, bought, lost, and penciled these amazing works of art.

Lastly, what I admire about Steven is that he wrote about what he enjoys. He took the time to research and write on a topic that hasn't been extensively written about from which you can see the passion he himself has for this hobby.

Reading the book, I found myself recollecting my first purchase and my first "hunt." I highly recommend this book to the experienced collector and the novice. It will remind you that the reason we're collecting is that we enjoy and still see it as fun.
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Grailpages: Original Comic Book Art And The Collectors
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