Absolute Carnage: The Hunt for Original Sketches Continues

Even without a potentially valuable piece of artwork, Absolute Carnage made waves in the world of comic books. The series follows the story of supervillain Cletus Kasady, a serial killer, as he works to retrieve the symbiote codex off of every person who has ever been bonded. The plot was initially expected to be the third arc in the Venom series. Instead, it was reworked into its own event. Carnage’s goal is to free the evil god, Knull and reunite with the hive. As if the storyline wasn’t cool enough, now there are 20 pieces of original artwork floating around that could be worth plenty of money.

A Willy Wonka style treasure hunt awaits

Marvel is great at creating hype. While their content is excellent, both in the form of comics and in movies, they truly excel at marketing. What better way to market a new series than to sponsor a treasure hunt that rivals the wonder of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

Carnage Cosplay
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 05: A fan cosplays as Carnage | Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Instead of a golden ticket hidden inside a chocolate bar, fans of Marvel are hunting for an original sketch by Mark Bagley. Bagley has sketched comic books for Marvel since 1991. He quietly left Marvel for DC in the early 2000s but returned to Marvel in 2011.

Bagley is credited with creating the character of Carnage while he worked on several Venom comic books, according to SyFy Wire. He also worked extensively on The Amazing Spider-Man.

How many original sketches have been found?

Marvel announced that 20 sketches had been placed in comic books across the United States. They are located on the inside of the back cover of the book, according to CNET. The announcement came several days after the series dropped last week, but that doesn’t mean they are all gone already.

According to Bleeding Cool, four of the sketches have been located and posted to social media. Numbers 1, 6, 14, and 20 have been uncovered across the United States. Marvel encouraged anyone who has found the “golden ticket” to share the news on Instagram or Twitter. When the rest will surface is unknown, but it’s rumored that the sketches are valuable. After all, they are one-of-a-kind and hand-sketched by none other than Bagley himself. Even if you aren’t into selling the sketch for a lot of dough, it’s a pretty fantastic keepsake.

How much are the sketches worth?

While Marvel didn’t put a value on the original sketches, numbers like $20,000 have been thrown around by fans and collectors. $20,000 might seem like a lot of money, but it’s a mere fraction of what the most expensive comic art has ever sold for. In 2014, an original copy of Action Comic #1 sold for $3.2 million, according to The New York Post. Graded as a 9.0 it is among the most pristine comic copies in the world.

Original art fetches top dollar, too. According to Wired, Frank Miller’s splash page from The Dark Knight Returns fetched $448,000 at auction in May 2011. The same year, original artwork by Todd McFarlane was sold for $657,000. The artwork was pulled from The Amazing Spider-Man #328.