A few reflections on collecting Frank Godwin material . . .

This post dates from July 2012, so it is a bit out of date.  But the thesis is still valid, probably.

To my way of thinking, Frank Godwin can make a great subject for those thinking of collecting material relating to an illustrator.  But I guess nobody really says, “Gee, I think I’ll collect stuff relating to an illustrator.  Now I’ll decide ‘who.’ ”

It normally proceeds in the reverse direction, thus:  “I like this illustrator.  I think I’ll collect stuff relating to him [or her, if the illustrator is female].”

And if Frank Godwin is the illustrator a person likes, then things can work out well, because there is such a huge quantity of Frank Godwin material “out there,” of many different kinds and in many different price ranges.

But:  problem!

There are, I believe, very few Frank Godwin collectors as such.  There may be a few Connie collectors, and a handful of Rusty Riley collectors.  But I seriously that there are more than a small number.

Why do I say that?

Well, in part because even now, today, there are Frank Godwin things on eBay — pretty nice things — that have lowish prices, that nobody is bidding on.

Also, there were three early Rusty Riley strips (from newspapers) on eBay recently on which there were no bids.  (They were later relisted.)

I believe that also happened with another batch subsequently, and I believe that a whole bunch are now “buy it now” items.

Also, I was the only bidder recently on an example of the first Rusty Riley Sunday strip (third-page version).

A really cute Connie episode recently was on eBay with no bids, and the auction ended, though it was only $9.95.  Yes, it was a gag strip, and in two colors — but really now.  I’m not condemning anyone because of that — just saying that there are few Godwin collectors.  The item was relisted, and I decided to bid on it.  Again, I was the only bidder.

I could go on and on.  One company had many of Godwin’s Sunday supplement covers for sale on eBay.  I bought some of them.  But quite a few were listed for a long time before they finally sold recently.

Recently I was a bidder in an auction in which I was the only bidder — for a certain version of The Blue Fairy Book (with illustrations by Godwin).  An interesting thing about it is that it has a dust jacket — but not just any dust jacket.  (I’ll probably write more about that after I receive it.)

—Tom Sawyer

July 19, 2012

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