I just had the interesting experience of being offered a piece of artwork via email.
No, not just a piece of artwork. One of those "grail" pieces. You know the kind, the ones that you've stared at the printed page at for so many years that you've memorized the very contours of the ink lines, noted the areas where the color went off register (damn cheap 4-color printing), actually dreamed about the day when you might discover the page sitting, with no one aware of its true value, at an estate sale somewhere, next to the old china. Except those things don't happen anymore.
Except that, in this economy, you never know who may or may not have over-extended himself buying things. And collectibles are certainly assets. And a certain number of these assets, the more valuable ones, many times never hit ebay or heritage. Many times they're traded or sold silently through a network of traders and collectors that all know each other.
So I'm offered this page... and it is quite out of my price range. In the same number of thousands of dollars more than i can spend as when i saw the Starlin cover and splash that are on the short grail list. And I had to turn him down, but not without doing a quick inventory of artwork and assessing with both my gut and my wallet, in that way that we collectors do, what i might be willing to sell to make that happen. And it was touch and go as to whether I let go of a Starlin splash to get this one, or an early Dringenberg, or... we'll I decided against it. But it was an offer, and I was happy, if literally for this one chance in my life, to get the opportunity to own it.
After 20 years of lusting for it, I can at least put it in the column of ones that you had to let get away.