Robot 6

Artist unknowingly creates sculpture out of comics worth $30,000

Andrew Vickers, left, and Steve Eyre, with "Paperboy"

Andrew Vickers, left, and Steve Eyre, with “Paperboy”

When Andrew Vickers discovered some old comics in a dumpster, he did what any artist would do — OK, maybe not any artist — and transformed them into a man-sized (and -shaped) papier maché sculpture. And then he learned those comic books could have been worth nearly $30,000. The operative phrase there is could have been.

The sculpture, called “Paperboy,” on display through Thursday in Sheffield, England, includes the first issue of The Avengers, which on its own might’ve been worth as much as $15,000 on its own. Y’know, before it was torn apart and pasted to a chicken-wire frame (granted, the comic probably wasn’t in mint condition in the trash).

World of Superheroes owner Steve Eyre initially thought the sculpture was “fantastic,” and then he recognized the cover of 1963′s The Avengers #1 on “Paperboy’s” inside-right leg.

“I’ve got a copy of that, which was published in 1963, that is worth well over £10,000,” the retailer tells BBC News. “Then I started looking and there are six comics on this that together would be worth, even in the condition you can see, £20,000. “It would have been cheaper for Andrew to make this out of Italian marble because the raw materials that have gone in to it I could have sold for a lot more than he is going to sell this statue for.”

Although most people might be angry with themselves after making such an expensive error, Vickers is amused. “To be honest I’m shocked but money has not got such a value to me. I think it is funny,” he says. “I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that’s worth less. I think it’s brilliant.”

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24 Comments

Funny! But the former English teacher in me says that your title needs some correction. “Artist unknowingly creates sculpture out of comics worth $30,000″ says that he didn’t know that he was creating a sculpture–i.e., he was sleep-sculpting. It might be better as “Artist creates sculpture out of comics unknowingly worth $30,000.”

“To be honest I’m shocked but money has not got such a value to me. I think it is funny,” he says. “I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that’s worth less. I think it’s brilliant.”

Translation: ” I didn’t know the stupid comics i was using were worth money but i want to sound like an artist so money has no value to me. I created something inferior out of existing art which i now regret. I screwed please take me serious as an artist that uses paper mache.

^ yup.

I was going to run with “I see no inherent worth in anyone else’s work so I thought I’d use it for raw materials.”

I know we’re probably a bit steamed at the idea of comics going to ‘waste’ but the thing is THEY DID!

How about making a paper mashe (?) of a figure and just covering it with photo copies of the comics, it would have looked just as cool and you wouldn’t have looked like a tool.

LMFAO Long as it was just Marvel Comics that’s fine… xD

“I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that’s worth less. I think it’s brilliant.”

Someone hire this man to work in government.

Jake Earlewine

July 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm

“Brilliant?”

I’d call it moronic.

And Adam is right about the English lesson. There’s no way the poor fool “unknowingly created a sculpture”.

moron trying to pass off his stupidity as a typical, “oh, i’m an artist. money don’t matter to me. in fact i’m amused that i’m such a dumb ass. hahahahaha.”

someone needs to take a nice, big, wet dump on his “art” & actually make it worth something.

it pains me that this was made of some legendary classic marvels rather than some corny dc books (execept for batman).

Adam, your correction is less accurate than the title! You have the word “unknowingly” modifying the word “comics,” and so have titled the article about comic books that don’t know their own worth.

The article title is fine, because the clause “out of comics worth $30,000″ is part of the main thought. It’s somewhat confusing on first read, but totally correct.

I am mortified…this guy made the most expensive piñata, and do not even know what he has done. He actually used other people’s Art to make his own work. Thumbs down >.<

Why the heck hasn’t anyone drawn attention to the elephant in the room? What the devil were rare, valuable comics doing in the trash?!?!?!?

I feel like most of the people saying the artist made a dumb mistake are forgetting he found these comics in a /dumpster/. Regardless of whether or not they weren’t destroyed by being in said dumpster, he clearly didn’t lose any money from creating it.

Well of course big nerds like us are going to be a bit peeved, but I think it’s pretty cool. It’s not like the comics were yours. Anyone can treat their property however they want. If it transforms into an artist’s statement, so be it!

The way the title reads, I thought that the artist was surprised that his sculpture was worth $30,000.

A more correct title would have been:
“Artist unknowingly uses comics worth $30,000 to create sculpture.”

How much of an idiot do you have to be, to NOT realize that comics are often valuable?
Of course, the guy is a tool, so…..

I think what peeves me is if someone scraped down a 30 grand oil painting (because he didn’t know how much it cost and found it in a dumpster) and used it for a comic the reaction from the art community would be off the charts.

It just feels off, not saying he did it on purpose just that he (especially as an artist) didn’t give any thought to the fact that the comics may well have fallen into the more artistic side of the industry. It’s either a sad reflection on him (as an artist) or more realistically another sad reflection on how the medium is thought of outside the fanbase.

The thing that gets to me is, Marvel’s The Avengers is now the second highest grossing movie of all time at roughly 2 billion odd dollars worldwide. You’d think that, in the process of creating this sculpture of his, he would look at the cover of said issue of The Avengers and think, “gee, this comic says The Avengers #1 and is dated 1963. That’s one of the biggest and most profitable movies ever made, I wonder if this might be worth something?” and save that one in particular. Even if you make the argument that he’s an artist and might or might not be out of touch with what Hollywood has produced, the movie is so big that, short of being Amish or some other such religious order that shuns technology, it should be literally impossible in today’s society not to have heard of The Avengers at this point. At least, that’s how I see it.

Aaron, are you British? From what I understand, British grammar standards dictate that unknowingly modifies only the words immediately adjacent, while American grammar looks at the entire clause (as Clark said).

And how is there an article about expensive comics being used to create a statue, published on a comic book news site, that DOESN’T MENTION WHAT THE OTHER ISSUES ARE? Seriously, I would love to know what else this guy saw in there.

Man, it sounds like somebody’s parent tossed their child’s “junk”. I am also a bit curious as to whether the comics were sleeved; if something is in a protective covering, I feel like it would be logical to check value even if they were in a dumpster. People inadvertently throw out items of value all the time.

Mr. Perspective

July 9, 2013 at 5:17 am

I think you guys are looking at this from the perspective of a collector. Someone not from collecting would look at an item in a dumpster as garbage.

I’m not sold however that this is not a publicity stunt. You could take an Avengers cover worth only a few hundred dollars detached from the book and create a huge buzz of people asking “what if” and throwing out crazy numbers. I know how comic collectors are and there is at least one of them that probably would pay good money for this sculpture especially after the story has been unleashed.

PretenderNX01

July 9, 2013 at 8:42 am

This is all assuming dumpster comics are anywhere close to mint condition.
LMAO if you think you can get $30,000 for any paper product found in a dumpster no matter what the retailer claims his copy worth.

Comics are mass produced, it’s not like tearing up a one of a kind painting it’s like tearing up a print with an edition of several thousand, if not hundreds of thousands. If anything it just makes the remaining copies more valuable.

Every single comic book image on the sculpture that I see, is from a comic books that has VERY little value…..where are the valuable comic books at….(if any were really even used) ?!

sleep-sculpting makes it even crazier!

Part of me wonders if the expensive comics were actually reprints of the comics? No real way to tell from this image I don’t think.

The whole thing is pretty much a fraud. The edition is a first UK edition of the Avengers as it has a cover price of “9d”. Which is very strange as the first UK branded Avengers comic didn’t come out until the 1970s after we decimalised the money system swapping “d” for “p”… Plus, compared to a US comic, it’s oversize.
And, if you want a final piece of suspicion into the mix, the comic was sold at auction in 2011 for just £550. Someone here is DEFINITELY trying to pull a fast one as the facts don’t add up. Either it’s a bootleg from the 1960s or it’s a fake. It just doesn’t add up!

Ooops I forgot the link! http://www.sheffieldauctiongallery.com/Catalogues/ss150711/page13.html Lot 366 is the Avengers comic in question. There are a lot of other strange UK editions there too that, as far as I’m aware, shouldn’t exist…

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