Robot 6

Comico production artwork up for auction

Grendel cover proof

Late last year a huge batch of production art, proofs and other items from defunct comics publisher Comico was listed on eBay. Comico co-founder Gerry Giovinco, now with CO2 Comics, questioned whether the seller, Coyote Surplus, had the right to sell it.

“It always was Comico policy to return all art to the creators. If there is art that was not returned, we are in total agreement that it should be returned to the rightful owners of the work. If you are a creator that believes your work could be among this lot, we would suggest you fight to get it back,” he said on the CO2 blog in December.

So whatever happened to the big batch of Comico production art? In a post titled “Finder Keepers,” Giovinco offers an update on the art and other items — they’ve been purchased by Collector Haven in Arizona. Photos of many of the items can be seen at comicoart.com.

According to a post on the site, Collector Haven bought more than 2,500 pounds of production artwork:

If you have been following the story of the Comico Art auction that was listed on ebay you may have noticed the blogosphere buzz about the mystery lot came to an abrupt end on December 1, 2010. With no additional mention of it again until we put up this website dedicated to the Comico Production Art Archives. The story picks up again on April 6th as the Comico Production Art Archives arrived in Arizona and now has a new home at Collector Haven Comics.

Fate decided to bring this fantastic collection our way, when we are in the middle of setting up a new store, and have the Phoenix Comicon right around the corner to prepare for. The art archive weighed over 2500 pounds and consists of thousands of pieces of production art from the legendary Comico Comics. We will release more information about what is actually in the collection as we begin the process of cataloging it and uploading the auctions to our ebay store. This is an exciting time for us as we were also big fans of Comico and being able to share this fantastic experience as it unfolds is one of the reasons we set up this site.

Looking through the images they’ve posted is like looking back in time at Comico’s publishing history, with artwork from Grendel, Rocketeer, Elementals, Evangeline, Robotech and many more.

Giovinco posted his correspondence with Collector Haven owner Rick Funk, where he asked Funk to return the artwork to its creators. “Regardless of how Coyote came into possession of the material, the right thing would be for at least the original art to be returned to the creators. I know I would like mine returned,” Giovinco said in his letter. “You and Collector Haven have a unique opportunity to do something that publishers like Marvel and other dealers who have sold art that they acquired from publishers like Dell and Gold Key have historically declined to do. Do the right thing and help place those works where they should have been a long time ago, back in the hands of the creators to which they belong.”

Many of the pieces are already being listed on eBay; you can see them by going to Collector Haven’s auction page.

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