The copy of Action #1, being offered for the first time at auction, is the top comic in the Prospect Mountain Collection.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA. - An unrestored copy of Action Comics #1 (DC, 1938) CGC 3.0, the most desirable comic book in the world, is expected to bring $350,000+ when it crosses the block at Heritage Auctions as part of the company's Nov. 20-22, 2014 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction.
The copy of Action #1, being offered for the first time at auction, is the top comic in the Prospect Mountain Collection, a fresh-to-the-hobby grouping of more than 2,000 Golden Age comic books collected in the late 1950s and 1960s by a former Navy sailor studying illustration on the G.I. Bill in New York City.
"It was a great time to find desirable Golden Age back issues," said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations for Comic and Comic Art at Heritage. "He was able to build a collection of key Golden Age comics on the budget of a student studying under the G.I. Bill, something clearly impossible today. Having experienced World War II as a child he was interested in war-themed covers and the result was a focus on Timely comics and the 1930s and 1940s superheroes."
It was an interest in the great illustrators of the Golden Age, and in his favorite characters, which led him to acquire many issues that are now thought of as "keys" in the business, or classic covers, including a 5.0 CGC-Graded copy of Batman #1 (DC, 1940), estimated at $75,000+, a 6.0 CGC-Graded copy of Captain America Comics #1 (Timely, 1841), estimated at $70,000+, and a 6.0 CGC-graded copy of Wonder Woman #1 (DC, 1942), estimated at $7,000+.
The top lot on the original comic art side of the auction is sure to cause a storm with collectors as Todd McFarlane's Amazing Spider-Man #300 Original Cover Art (Marvel, 1988), one of the most important comic images of the 1980s, is expected to bring $250,000+.
"McFarlane art in general has seen a giant increase in demand over the last several years," said Todd Hignite, Vice President at Heritage Auctions, "with one of his pieces selling for more than $650,000 at Heritage two years ago. This is a key piece of cover art and one of his most famous covers overall, so the competition should be fierce among the top collectors."
Top comic art collectors not looking for the McFarlane art will likely have their eyes on Frank Frazetta's Jongor Fights Back paperback book cover painting original art (Popular Library, 1967), an example of fantasy art at its very finest, by the undisputed master of the genre, estimated at $200,000+.
A CGC-Graded 9.4 copy of Journey Into Mystery #83 (Marvel, 1962), the vaunted first appearance of Thor, is expected to bring $180,000+ from collectors when it crosses the block as the best copy of this important comic book ever offered by Heritage.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
• Pep Comics #22 (MLJ, 1941) CGC FN/VF 7.0: One of the finest known copies of this rare comic, the first appearance of Archie Andrews. Estimate $125,000+.
• Bill Everett Strange Tales #152 cover original art (Marvel, 1967): Consigned by the Everett family. One of the few 1960s covers this artist both penciled and inked. Estimate $75,000+.
• Planet Comics #1 Denver pedigree (Fiction House, 1940) CGC NM 9.4: The highlight of the near-complete run of this series being offered in the auction, the first science fiction series in comics. Estimate $45,000+.
• John Byrne and Terry Austin X-Men #139 Splash Page 22 Original Art (Marvel, 1980): An unforgettable scene from the heyday of the Claremont/Byrne X-Men. Estimate $30,000+.
• Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta Flash Gordon illustration original art (c. 1950): A large piece by two of the greatest comic artists. Estimate $15,000+.