One of the good things about collecting a character like Starman is that there isn't a ton of stuff out there to collect. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, etc....fuggedaboutit. With Starman, there's just enough stuff out there to make the hunt fun, but not enough to overwhelm me. And there aren't a lot of high-dollar items out there. Statues and original art will always be expensive, but the character just isn't sought after enough to make his action figures or trading cards all that sought after.
First up is my original art. This part of my collection started about 10 years ago. I was a member of an online graphic novel trading group called Sequential Swap. I was contacted by member Derek Fridolfs to see if I would be interested in trading for one of my books. He said he was an artist and would trade one of my books for a sketch of a character of my choosing. He showed me some samples of his art, which was a little cartoony but still good, so I jumped on the chance. I ended up getting six different Starman sketches from him, ultimately wanting him to do each character for me, but I never got around to having him finish the series. I'm pretty sure the first sketch (Jack Knight) was the only one I traded for, and I probably paid for all of the other, no more than $30 for each character.
The Fred Hembeck sketch is on a blank card the size of a trading card. I ran across this piece on eBay, where he was apparently selling a bunch of cards like this but with different characters. I picked it up for $10, which I thought was a bargain.
A couple years ago I looked at that uncompleted Derek Fridolfs project of Starman sketches and thought I need to try again (by this time Derek was really making a name for himself, and I assumed his sketch prices were going up), but one a somewhat smaller scale. I came across artist Rob Retiano through a Facebook group where we were both members. He posted some of his art and mentioned he was open for commissions, so I brought him my idea for the cards. One card for each person to ever take the mantle of Starman, as well as his arch nemesis (all three Mists) and The Shade. There were also two versions of Ted (in costume and when he was older) as well as two versions of Prince Gavyn, Mikaal, Will, and David (Blacked Night David was included). He drew and colored a total of 20 cards for me, and I couldn't have been happier with what I received.
The two Brett Jones pieces were done as a trade through a Facebook group, but I do not remember what I traded for the piece. He included the finished piece (with an interesting new color scheme) as well as a preliminary drawing he did to get warmed up for the final piece. He also included a signed copy of the first issue of his comic Radiation Day!
The splatter print was kind of a lark. I liked the idea of the pictures, but I ended up having a bit of buyers remorse. I wasn't paying for original art or a print of an original piece by the artist. I was basically paying for a piece from another artist that was recolored. When I asked the artist about his process, this is what he told me: "I paint these digitally in Photoshop with various brushes." When I brought up that the pictures greatly resemble works by other artists, he said, "I typically look at a reference photo so it is possible they resemble other work ... I'm not familiar with the artists though." I realized that this kind of work isn't my thing, but if it's yours, check the guy out. His Etsy store has been offline since April, but it says it'll be back.
I don't have anything illuminating to say about the trading cards or the action figures. They are what they are. Same with the cup, but I thought it was a neat find. 7-11 having superhero cups isn't all that surprising or exciting, but putting the Golden Age Starman on a cup? That seems pretty out there.
Here are the pics for the collection. Enjoy!