Last weekend representatives of Heritage Auctions were set up at Texas Frightmare talking to collectors and potential consignors. Scoop stopped by the booth to talk to Weldon Adams, Cataloger in Heritage’s Comics & Comic Art department about horror-related props, posters, and comics at Heritage.
Scoop: How are things going this weekend at Texas Frightmare?
Weldon Adams (WA): It is scarily fun. We’re having a great time here. There’s a big crowd and lots of interesting people.
Scoop: Heritage sells higher end memorabilia – you’ve got displays of the Trip or Freak poster and Universal inserts. So, what kind of reactions are you getting this weekend?
WA: We get a lot of people who stop dead in their tracks, gawking at the amazement of, “that’s Leatherface’s actual apron.” A lot of fans have huge collections of their own. Since Heritage has live auctions on the website, there’s a big interest from fans for that. Mainly, we’re just promoting the auctions on that and trying to find new consignors. Every now and then you come across somebody who’s got a garage full of stuff they’re ready to let go of.
Scoop: Have you had any of those consignors this weekend?
WA: We’ve had a couple of nibbles. There might be something good coming out of this.
Scoop: Are people asking about the posters or costumes and masks and stuff like that?
WA: So far being a horror-centric show they’ve been most interested in the props and things relating to the horror movies. But, our movie poster department is a huge department at Heritage and there is always great stuff coming through there.
Scoop: What about horror related comics? Are people showing interest in those? Any possible consignments?
WA: I haven’t had a chance to get into a conversation on that with anybody yet, but since I’m the comic book art specialist I’m always seeing great stuff. Just yesterday I was writing up a page by Gene Colan from Tomb of Dracula. I love that stuff.
Scoop: What are you most impressed with when it comes to the horror-related art that you get to see?
WA: The old masters. There’re a lot of really big names in the industry that started out doing horror work. Anytime I get to see early Jeff Jones or Bernie Wrightson that’s always amazing stuff, to me, that that artwork just survived. Some of that artwork was in very small publications. It was before people thought to take care of the artwork.
Scoop: You see a lot of EC stuff?
WA: Yes, in our signature sales we almost always have some pages from EC Comics. It’s fantastic.
Scoop: Since The Walking Dead has become so popular, what advice would you give to a collector who is new to the series? What would you suggest they do?
WA: Collecting advice is the same regardless: it’s always buy what you like. Don’t buy something thinking it’s going to be worth value. Buy something you like and if it’s worth value then you benefit from it. The other is to know what the goal of your collection is. So, if you’re focused on The Walking Dead, that helps a lot right there, you’re pretty focused in the first place. I recommend, as a comic book collector, trying to collect the issues themselves first and then upgrade to better copies instead of sinking all of your money into one Fine copy and then not having the rest of the collection. But, that’s my personal view on the matter.
Scoop: What about the big publishers? Marvel and DC are usually about the superheroes. What are your favorite horror-related titles or even issues amongst those publishers?
WA: Well, I’m glad you brought that up because horror, with the big guys, is making a comeback. The Vertigo line reinvigorated horror at DC and that’s worked for them quite a bit. They’ve got a lot of mystery and suspense stuff that are the descendants of that. At Marvel some of their mainline ’70s horror stuff is making a comeback. Ghost Rider played a huge part in Agents of SHIELD this last season and I think that’s generating a lot of interest in the original Ghost Rider character.