As many of you know, Frank Kelly Freas was my mentor when I was a kid. I’d hoped to commission him to do an A DISTANT SOIL painting at some point, but his prices were way too high. Also, after he moved out of the area to California and remarried, it was harder to stay in touch. Being able to afford this small piece was a rare treat. It later won an award at the World Science Fiction Convention art show.

I never asked him for any art and refused all gifts, so I never had much of his art on hand. Unfortunately, the works I did have were not painted to archival standards and quickly deteriorated. Painting flaked and chipped off until almost nothing was left. Other works, a series of architectural renderings, were not on archival paper and they crumbled.

After he died, values on some of his works fell. I’ve seen cover paintings go for prices in the hundreds. I was keeping an eye on a Star Wars piece that went for $1150 back in 2004, but only $717 nine years later. So some his art is definitely in my price range now. The stuff that really seems to retain its value is the iconic art he did for Mad Magazine.

Maybe I will bag me a nice, reasonably priced science fiction cover painting one of these days.

I saw a portrait he did of a local celebrity go for only $59 at auction awhile back. It is very strange to see the rise and fall of popular works and people, what endures and what does not endure.

Keeps me humble, gotta say.

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As much as I love it when you buy books direct from me at my book store HERE, remember, you can probably save some serious dough getting them from Amazon. However, when you order from me, you get extras, including signed comics and prints!