Todd McFarlane Discusses Record-Setting Spider-Man Sale

Stephen Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo, co-owners of Metropolis Collectibles and its online auction site ComicConnect.com, announced today that it was them who bought Todd McFarlane's original 1990 cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #328 last week for a record $657,250, saying that they goat what they paid for.

“My biggest surprise wasn't the price paid for a piece of my artwork, though being part of a new record is quite flattering,” artist  McFarlane said. “Instead, what has surprised me more is the level to which comic book artwork has recently entered into the mainstream. Obviously, the success of many comic-related movies has helped in this process, but the fervor and level to which Stephen Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo were willing to financially commit themselves is a testament that our medium can stand side by side with any other art form."

The pair, who are generally more used to being in the news for selling things rather than buying them, said that they had a special reason for going after the piece by the Spawn and Venom creator.

“Todd McFarlane revolutionized the way Spider-Man was drawn in his magnificent run on the title in the late 80s and early 90s,” Zurzolo said. “An entire generation looks at McFarlane’s work as the definitive Spider-Man. His comic art is, in my opinion, the equivalent of Andy Warhol’s pop art because of the impact he has made and the immense demand for his artwork.”

That's certainly a fair point-of-view, but if they were looking for "iconic" and definitive, it's somewhat surprising they didn't bid on McFarlane's classic cover to Spider-Man #1, which went for substantially less than the piece they actually took home--less than $360,000.

The pieces were auctioned as part of Heritage Auctions' “The Shamus Modern Masterworks Collection,” a collection of 1980s and 1990s-era comics artwork amassed by Martin Shamus, father of Wizard: The Comics Magazinefounder Gareb Shamus.