ComicLink sold a Steve Ditko Spider-Man Marvel Masterwork pin-up for $590,000 on June 5, 2024, setting an auction record for any example of Ditko original art. Ditko illustrated this piece during his inspired run on Spider-Man from 1962 to 1966. It was never published as a pin-up, although a modified version was later used to create the 1966 life-sized Spider-Man door poster, and other early Marvel merchandise including their first trading card set ever released, the 1966 Donruss Marvel set. 

One of the most interesting aspects of this original art is its provenance. According to the original owner, quoted within the ComicLink auction description, “In 1967 when I was 12 years old, my dad worked for Playboy and went on a business trip to New York City and was able to bring the rest of the family for an extended visit. During our time in New York, my father was able to pull some strings with a publishing company who arranged for us to meet Stan Lee as my brother and I were huge comic book fans. From what I can recall of that day 57 years later, upon entering a large building, we were escorted to Stan Lee’s office where Stan immediately greeted us with a smile and graciously agreed to give us a tour and as parting gift, he signed and gifted the pin-up which we were super excited to receive as my brother and I were both Spider-Man fans.”

The piece was inscribed “Happy web-slinging to Mark & David...Stan Lee.”

It was not uncommon for original art to be given away to fans visiting the Marvel office during this time. It wasn’t until the end of the 1960s that the collectible market for original comic art took off, and it was many years before values reached high dollar levels.

“ComicLink was honored to have the opportunity to auction this historic work,” ComicLink’s founder and Managing Director Josh Nathanson said. “I’m thrilled that it attracted so much attention. The aggressive bidding resulted in a strong price for the consignor that exceeded my expectations and blew away our internal estimates. This is both an amazing acquisition for the winning bidder, and a truly life changing amount of money for the consignor.”

ComicLink is currently accepting consignments of comic books, comic art, and other collectibles for their upcoming auctions. Sellers interested in participating can email a prospective sale list to buysell@comiclink.com or by contacting the consignment sales department at (617) 517-0062.