NEW YORK, NY.- The Dark Knight took top lots honors in Heritage Auctions’ $3.22+ million Comics & Comic Art Auction as a copy of Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939), the first appearance of Batman graded 7.5 CGC restored, sold for $98,587 and a copy of Batman #1 (DC, 1940), CGC 4.5, sold for $77,675 Feb. 19-21 in New York. The three-day event's selection of classic high-grade comics and original art of notable characters was 97% sold by lot and 99% sold by value.
“Fresh material always gets attention, and the likes of never-before-offered Bernie Wrightson stories and Bill Everett art made for a lot of interest on lot-viewing day and strong bidding,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Comics Operations at Heritage.
High-grade comics include a copy of Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel, 1961), CBCS 8.5, sold for $65,725 and a copy of All Star Comics #8, CGC 5.0, ended at $28,680, as a copy of Action Comics #10 (DC, 1939), CGC 3.0, featuring just the third cover appearance of Superman, hit $23,900.
A selection of original art was led by Frank Frazetta’s scintillating depiction of Ghost Rider for the cover of Tim Holt #17 (Marvel Enterprises, 1950), which sold for $71,700 following interest from 13 bidders. The Ghost Rider character was so popular he would eventually morph into not one, but two different Marvel Comics characters, but the character was not the only notable figure on the cover. Frazetta was a fan of actor Victor Mature and the artist used his likeness for the bound figure on the cover.
The work of dynamic duo Frank Miller and Klaus Janson generated intense bidder interest as their original cover art for Daredevil #186 (Marvel, 1982), an iconic image of the title character falling to his impending doom, sold for $38,240. Miller and Janson’s original art for page 44 from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2 (DC, 1986) sold for $33,460.
Curt Swan’s and George Klein’s original cover art for Action Comics #350 (DC, 1967), a timeless cover that represents the camp of 1960s-era Superman, sold for $35,850. Todd McFarlane’s original cover art for Marvel Tales #234 (Marvel, 1990), featuring not only Spider-Man but members of the X-Men, sold for $31,070 and Barry Smith’s memorable splash page of Logan/Wolverine as Weapon X as seen on page 4 of Marvel Comics Presents #78 (Marvel, 1991), also brought $31,070.
Original art from newspaper comic strips saw interest from multiple bidders as the hand-colored original art for a Krazy Kat Sunday comic strip dated Nov. 11, 1934 by creator George Herriman sold for $28,680, one dated July 31, 1932, sold for $25,095, and a Sunday strip dated Oct. 27, 1918, hammered for $20,315. A Peanuts Sunday comic strip by Charles Schulz, dated Nov. 28, 1954, brought $26,290.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited by:
• The original art for a complete six-page story from Creepy #1 (EC, 1964), by Al Williamson and Roy Krenkel sold for $31,070.
• Playboy #1 Newsstand Edition, CGC 8.5, reached a price range previously reserved for Near Mint copies, realizing $28,680.
• Hal Foster’s hand-colored original panel art for Prince Valiant comic strip, depicting the wedding of Val and Aleta was pushed to $23,900.
• The original cover art for Uncanny X-Men #162 by Dave Cockrum and Bob Wiacek (Marvel, 1982) ended at $22,705.
• Bill Everett’s 11” x 16-1/5” original art pin-up of the Sub-Mariner, reached a price level seldom seen for an unpublished illustration, realizing $19,120.