This is a look at the auction catalogues of the largest comic art auction house in the world, Heritage. Fans of original comic art are most likely aware of Heritage and its vast online resource of comic art images. They also produce a catalogue for every auction that focuses on the “Platinum” session, or the big money items.
By way of a friend, I have three Heritage Comic & Comic Art Auction Platinum Session catalogues from 2019. Each is 8.5″ x 11″ and contains 54-64 pages of original art listings. A softcover book of glossy lightweight paper in a glued binding. The art averages 5.75″ x 8.5″, with white margins and details about the art below the image. Most of the original art images are cropped to the borders, removing the margins and focusing on the content. Featured pieces get a black border with their blurb on the opposite page.
The art presents well. It’s cropped, reduced, and on glossy paper, but you’re still getting it. Pencil marks, gradients, paste-ups, correction fluid. Multi-page items for auction, such as complete stories, suffer the most as they’re all squished to one page, with maybe the first page getting more space. Same with double-page spreads, which are reduced further to fit on one page.
If you’re a frequent buyer you’ll receive these catalogues in the mail for free. Otherwise, you can purchase individual catalogues for $25 USD each or pay $95 USD for an annual subscription. Shipping to my Canadian address is $25 USD per catalogue, but shipping is free for the annual subscription. If you’re determined to have these as paper copies, sign up for an annual subscription and save some money.
Keep in mind Heritage offers their Comic & Comic Art catalogues as PDF downloads: currently, all are available from 2007 onward. Still, holding the book in your hands and poring over the page is a much different experience than looking at the same art on a digital device.
I left the spelling of catalogues in the title with the U.S. spelling since I want to encourage searches and most of my search results come from the U.S. but we know it’s catalogues.