Neal Adams lost art

By Noah Fleisher

Here’s a hypothetical for you: Let’s say you get into a cab in New York City on, or about, oh.. say… Sept. 4, 2013. You throw your bag into the trunk. You drive a couple of blocks, pay the driver, get out and retrieve your belongings. As you grab your stuff you notice another bag underneath that, with Bucky O’Hare (comic book rabbit) on it, containing two portfolios with a combined 130 drawings in them. What do you do?

Or say that you are the cab driver, your day is done, you make it back to the garage and, as you clean out your car, you find said bag in the trunk, replete with comic book bunny. Again, what do you do?

I know how I was raised and what I would so should such a thing come my way.

For two people, out of the eight million or so in the general New York City area, this was no hypothetical at all on Sept. 4, 2013, when legendary comic book artist Neal Adams accidentally left two of his portfolios in the back of a cab after what sounds like a a mere few minutes of cabbing around the city. The story has been widely reported, up and down and all across the media in the month+ since Adams left the artwork in a cab. It was an honest mistake by a very – VERY – good and influential artists and he has stopped at nothing in trying to get the pieces back in the ensuing five weeks.

All to no avail up to this point.

Neal Adams is a name that we know well at Heritage. We have sold hundreds and hundreds of comic books that feature his ground-breaking art and we have sold hundreds of more pieces of his original art.

Neal is a legend in the business, and his portrayals of so many major heroes in the DC and Marvel cannons have placed him in the uppermost echelon of modern comic creators. He re-defined Green Lantern, created R’as Al Ghul, Batman’s most potent enemy, and championed the re-do of Green Arrow, a character experiencing a surge right now due to the TV show Arrow. These are but a few of Adams’ contributions.

The portfolios that were in the back of the cab contained a wide array of Adams’ sublime work, across decades and characters. You don’t have to look far to find images of some of the pieces online. It’s also safe to say that Manhattan police, cabbies and residents have all been trying to recover the books for him.

They have not turned up, which is a very sad thing.

Somewhere, by hook, by crook or simply by not knowing what to do with them, those portfolios are hopefully sitting in someone’s house, safe and sound.

Green Lantern

Adams’ original art can command tens of thousands of dollars, as evidenced by the GL drawing shown above, from 1971 that brought more than $22,000 earlier this year.

The combined value of the sketches in the lost portfolios is likely several tens of thousands of dollars, which – in my uninformed and purely speculative mind – is probably what whoever has those drawings is thinking about.

As Heritage sells so much Adams art, and comic art in general, I am hoping that whoever has them will look to our website to possbily try and sell these and, hopefully, find their way to this blog post.

If, by some miracle, you happen to read this post and you happen to have the artwork, I am pleading with you – on behalf of Mr. Adams, his family, his fans and the whole of the comic book world – to please, please, PLEASE return it. Return it anonymously to the NYC Police, or the TLC in Manhattan. Call Heritage and let us know that you accidentally have it. That perhaps you have just been too scared to know what to do. You can even e-mail me directly at NoahF@HA.com and I will help faciliate the return, no questions asked.

Also know this: if you think that you can make something off of these drawings, you are very much mistaken. Every comic shop, Website (including eBay) and auction house (not just Heritage, but all of our friends, all over the world) knows these drawings are missing and will not give you so much as a cent for them.

Right now is a golden opporttunity to right a wrong, admit a mistake and set the record straight.

Here’s another hypothetical for you: Say that you happen to have two portfolios of artwork from one of theg greatest to ever pick up a pencil and you return it to a grateful artist, his grateful fans and a grateful hobby that treasures his output. What do you think you’ll get from that?



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