Further informal thoughts on the buying of “Rusty Riley” original art — comments on “condition” . . . glue stains and missing pieces . . .

If a person is considering the purchase of an item of Rusty Riley original art by Frank Godwin, I think that such art can be evaluated on several specific criteria.  One of those criteria is “condition.”  Below are a few of my opinions on that topic.  This post focuses mainly on daily Rusty Riley comic strip art.

At the moment, I would say that condition (along with price) is quite possibly the most important factor in determining whether or not you should be interested in purchasing a specific example of Rusty Riley art.

a.  Glue stains.

Without a doubt, this malady is the worst offender, condition-wise, in the world of Rusty Riley original art. The brown stains sometimes left by the glue which was used to affix Zip-A-Tone or the like (or paste-ons) can just about ruin an otherwise nice piece of art.

Sometimes, the glue stains can be relatively inoffensive, and indeed I have several that fit that category.  Those are strips where I don’t really notice the glue stains right away — typically the paper just seems a little toned, or the area impacted is relatively small.

Note:  When I use the term “Zip-A-Tone” in this post, I am referring to the dot-pattern (on a clear backing) that is often found affixed (or semi-affixed) to Rusty Riley daily original art. Although that term is often so-used, I do not think that the actual product used on the Rusty Riley strip art was that which was marketed under the name “Zip-A-Tone.”

Anyway, I do believe that the evaluation of glue stains is an extremely subjective thing. In view of the apparent fact that a high percentage of the Rusty Riley strips (original art) are afflicted, it probably is unrealistic to limit your search to examples with zero glue stains. (If the stains look bad, though, don’t kid yourself about it.)

Below are discussed a couple of examples.  The images are not super-accurate.  But for present purposes they are close enough. 

Example 1:  Below is an image of an example of an appalling glue-stain from a Rusty Riley daily episode.

Example 2:  Below, you can see the slight brownish tinge.  If the strip was otherwise in great condition (this one wasn’t–it’s from the same strip shown in Example 1), then it might not be a big deal.

2.  Missing pieces:

a.  Missing Zip-A-Tone.  To me, this is another big problem.  Once the Zip-A-Tone is affixed, then in my view it is a part of the art, and if for some reason it (or some of it) is removed, that is a big defect — normally.  If just a tiny piece is missing, and the strip is great otherwise, I myself wouldn’t worry much about it.

b.  Missing paste-ons.  This is relative rare, but it does happen, and, again, when it does, it is normally (to me) a huge defect.

There are many other possible condition problems, but at the moment, I am not going to discuss them.  They are generally things that detract from the appearance of the art, and when they are present, they tend to be obvious.

—Tom Sawyer

April 23, 2012

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