$6+ Million Heritage US Comics & Comic Art Auction Evidences Rising Market

DALLAS—The original art from Alex Raymond’s March 21, 1939 Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim Sunday comic strip (King Features Syndicate) brought $155,350 on Friday, May 29, 2015 at Heritage Auctions—the third highest price ever realized on a piece of original comic strip art at the company—to pace the company’s $6+ million Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction, May 28-30, 2015. 

“Collector interest in original art continues to be strong,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions, “especially as concerns the big names in early comic strips.”

This was abundantly evident in not just the auction’s top lot, but also in the lots that occupy the numbers two and three on the final auction tally sheet: Winsor McCay’s surreal original Little Nemo in Slumberland Sunday comic strip art dated July 18, 1909 (New York Herald) was the subject of spirited bidding before it finished the day at $131,450, a new world record price for the artist, while Alex Raymond made another appearance with his Flash Gordon Sunday comic strip original art dated July 12, 1936 (King Features Syndicate), which realized $89,625.

On the comic book side of the auction, the Dark Knight reigned supreme, garnering an impressive $83,650 final price realized for a CGC-graded 8.0 copy of Detective Comics #33 (DC, 1939)while a CGC-graded 4.5 copy of Batman #1 (DC, 1940), the #6 comic book on Overstreet’s Top 100 Golden Age comics list, brought $77,675.

Other highlights of the auction include, but are not limited to:

Captain America Comics #1 (Timely, 1941) CGC 5.5: This will always be considered one of the most desirable comics in the hobby, primarily due to the fact that it has one of the most famous covers of all time. It also sits in the #7 spot on Overstreet's list of the Top 100 Golden Age Comics - the origin and first appearance of Captain America and Bucky, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, as well as the first appearance of the evil Red Skull. Realized: $77,675. 

Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers Strange Tales #108 Splash Page 1 Fantastic Four Original Art (Marvel, 1963): This simply incredible page from the typewriter of Stan Lee and pencil of Jack Kirby is from the most transformative period in Marvel Comics' rich history. Most any Marvel fan from the early days will remember this tale. Despite being a Human Torch "solo story," this splash includes the entire FF. Realized: $54,970.

Whiz Comics #2 (#1) (Fawcett Publications, 1940) CGC 3.0: The first appearance of Captain Marvel, star of the upcoming movie Shazam. This is one of the top 20 of Overstreet's Top 100 Golden Age Comics, and one not seen very often. It's worth remembering that in his heyday, Captain Marvel outsold Superman, then made a comeback in the 1970s when DC picked up his rights. In the old days this was right up there with Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27. It seems, with renewed Pop Culture attention, to be regaining some respect. Realized $52,580.

Marshall Rogers Detective Comics #473 Cover Original Art (DC, 1977): The first cover Heritage has ever offered from one of the most sought-after runs of the 1970s. The Penguin may be short, but he casts a long shadow on this cover by famed Batman artist Marshall Rogers. Realized: $50,190.

The Phantom Stranger #1 Spokane pedigree (DC, 1952) CGC 9.4: An Overstreet "scarce" issue, this is the first appearance of the Phantom Stranger. Tough find by any standard, this copy is by far the highest grade that Heritage experts have ever seen for issue #1, and it realized more than six times guide price. Realized $23,900.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $900 million, and 900,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.

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