The Biggest Thing in Comic Collecting?
Credit: Bleeding Cool
Unfortunately, original comic art is typically way out of the average fan's price range and until recently, the only way to see original artwork was stumbling upon a few pictures of them on google images from time to time. Well, this was until "Artist Editions" were introduced less than 7 years ago and have continued to silently rock the industry.
Basically, an artist edition is a particular story or single issues where the original art is reproduced in the highest quality of scans. This might not sound very impressive at first, but the more you think about it, the more it becomes. Unless you are VERY well off, you aren't getting anywhere close to an original piece of comic book art (a very well known artist like Jack Kirby or Frank Miller will go for about $10,000 a piece and even the lesser known artists' originals will start at $1000 a piece), and thus before artist editions, the closest you were going to get to it were the standard comics.
This offers a "middleman" between the two extremes. Though only typically found at the biggest comic and book stores, this edition is very popular, especially considering the $125 starting price. I myself bought the "gallery edition" (different way of saying the same thing) of my favorite story, The Dark Knight Returns, some time back. Let me tell you, it was worth it.
Credit: Jack Kirby Museum
Why is there so little written about this great idea however? You would think that there would be some writing on it, but I would assume that because the idea is still kind of young, maybe it just needs more time for people to realize. I, in the meantime love them, and am waiting to get another one. They give you an overwhelming reminer of just how phenomenally talented these people are since a lot of work gets hidden by the coloring process.
If you want to see if your favorite artist is currently (or will be) available in an artist's edition, check out this list from Wikipedia: