Artist Jimmy Palmiotti wound up acquiring quite a mother lode of original art back in the 1990s. Hey, it was him or the dumpster. Maybe we all should take some time and talk to our neighbors…
Take it away, Jimmy!
“I was in my 20s, working a job in photo retouching. I got an interview for the job from my neighbor back on Avenue J in Brooklyn. He knew I liked comics and knew I was into art, and he said to me, ‘Why don’t you come over, I have some big comic books you can have. They’re really big.’ And I was thinking ‘Big comic books? He must be talking about those treasury-sized editions.’
“So I went over and he handed me a stack of comic book art, original art, the boards. Pages and pages of Joe Kubert and Alex Toth war pages. Most 1950s, early ’60s stuff. I said to him, ‘You know this is original art, right?’ And he said, ‘Yeah. Somebody just gave them to me. They were giving this out somewhere. I don’t even remember why or where, but I just grabbed a bunch of them. I think they said they were gonna throw them out.
“I said, ‘Well, they’re worth money…” and he just said he didn’t want them. He was going to throw them in the trash. And these pages…I still have them. They’re worth thousands and thousands today.
“But it just goes to show you, there’s a bunch of this stuff out there and no one knows how or where it got there. You talk about Amazing Fantasy #15 and how the art got there and how the first two Fantastic Four books have never been seen…at some point, c’mon, DC and Marvel were just giving away the art. Some people still might have this stuff tucked in their garage with no idea what it is, and they still have this stuff. To them, it’s completely worthless. Now in my case, I’m lucky this guy got it to the right person. I mean Joe Kubert, Toth… these guys are gems. But to him… he was just so nonchalant. ‘What are these? They're just like big comics to me.’”