Auctions | November 5, 2018

Waverly's Nov. 15 Auction Features 400 Lots of Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Comics

Falls Church, Virgina - Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, will host a catalog auction of nearly 400 lots of science fiction, fantasy literature, comics and original comic art on Thursday, November 15. The auction will be held at Quinn’s gallery at 360 South Washington Street in Falls Church, Virginia, as well as online, with a start time of 6 p.m. ET. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.

The material chosen for the auction came from several longstanding and important collections. Highlights include significant books and correspondence from the acclaimed science fiction author Clark Ashton Smith (American, 1893-1961), five original comic art storyboards by Sal Buscema (American, b. 1936-); more than 10,000 Modern Age comic books; several Golden Age and Silver Age issues; and large runs of early pulp fiction magazines.

Clark Ashton Smith was a self-educated poet, sculptor, painter and author, best known for his fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. He was one of “the big three” writers for Weird Tales, along with Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft. Smith’s writing tone was morbid, and one fantasy critic famously said of him, “Nobody since Poe has so loved a well-rotted corpse.”

The auction will feature a four-volume set The Hill of Dionysus: A Selection by Clark, published by Independent Press in 1962, #8/15 and signed by Clyde Beck and Roy A. Squires. Estimate: $600-$800. Also, an unpublished manuscript (or draft) of Smith’s La Isla de Circe, typed in Spanish and with an English manuscript translation verso, is signed and dated “Sept. 24, 1950.” It is estimated at $200-$400.

Early pulp-fiction magazines include what may end up being the sale’s top lot: a complete run (1939-1943) of Unknown (with a title change to Unknown Worlds in 1941), with an index from 1955. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. An eight-volume, 25-issue set of Analog: Science Fact and Science Fiction (Conde Nast, N.Y., 1963-65), features the first appearance of Dune and is expected to make $100-$200.

Sal Buscema - the younger brother of comic book artist John Buscema - is primarily known for his work at Marvel Comics, where he enjoyed a 10-year run as artist of The Incredible Hulk. Sal has received numerous accolades over the years, including the Inkpot Reward (2003) and the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award (2013). 

The five Buscema-signed original comic-art storyboards entered in the sale include Marvel Two-in-One #7, $500-$700; Thor #240, $800-$1,200); Captain America #181, $500-$700; and The Defenders #21, $500-$700. Also offered is the original cover design for Volume 93, Issue #5 of the pulp magazine Top-Notch (Nov. 1933, Street & Smith Pub.) by Gayle Porter Hoskins (American, 1887-1962). Nicely presented in a 17¼-inch by 23½-inch frame, it is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. 

The more than 10,000 Modern Age and Early Age comic books include copies of Brenda Starr, Four Color, Sparkler, Tip Top and Blondie. An anticipated star lot is the copy of Detective Comics #359 (DC Comics, 1967), graded CGC FN 6.0, which collectors will know as the issue containing the first appearance of Batgirl, as well as the first Silver Age appearance of Killer Moth. Estimate: $400-$600.

The auction also features a significant selection of Arkham House/Horror (Sauk City, Wis.) first editions, to include the following:

  • A copy of Ray Bradbury’s (American, 1920-2012) Dark Carnival (1947), one of 3,112 printed, by the writer who brought science fiction into the mainstream. $400-$600
  • A copy of A Hornbook for Witches (1950), by Leah Bodine Drake (American, 1904-1964), from a press run of just 553 copies, subsidized in part by Drake. $400-$600.
  • A copy of Dagon & Other Macabre Tales (1965), by H.P. Lovecraft (American, 1890-1937), a first edition/second printing copy, one of only 3,000 printed. $120-$220.

Stephen King fans are sure to stake their claims for a first edition hardcover copy of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982), with dust jacket, $300-$500. Also offered is a group lot consisting of six hardback copies of Prince Valiant from 1951-1960, all different titles, two of them signed by comic strip artist Hal Foster (1892-1982). The lot estimate is $200-$300.

Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, is located at 360 South Washington Street, Falls Church, Virginia. The Nov. 15 auction’s start time is 6 p.m. ET. Previews are currently under way and will continue through and including auction day until the start of the auction session. 

For additional information about any item in the Nov. 15 auction, please call 703-532-5632, extension 575; or e-mail View the online catalog and register to bid absentee or live online, at Visit Quinn’s and Waverly’s website at: