World Record for Frank Frazetta's Painting Used as Paperback Cover Art

frazetta copy.jpgDALLAS - At The Earth’s Core, a 1974 masterpiece by Frank Frazetta, sold for $1,075,500 - setting a world auction record for the hugely popular artist -  in Heritage Auctions’ blockbuster $7.4+ million summer Comics & Comic Art Auction in Dallas. Records across the board shattered as bidders stepped up to own rare original cover art and a copy of Action Comics #1 for $956,000.

“With the sale of At The Earth’s Core, Heritage has achieved a world record auction price for any American comic book artist's work and the first seven-figure price realized for any American comic book artist,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations at Heritage Auctions. “The entire auction was a success from the very first lot.”

Lot one was a very attractive copy of Action Comics #1, 5.5 CGC, which far surpassed its $750,000 pre-auction estimate to sell for $956,000. The sale set a house record for the most valuable copy of Action Comics ever sold by Heritage and garnered headlines around the world. 

The auction’s selection of original art sparked intense interest as 23 bids pushed Bernie Wrightson’s original cover art for 1972’s Swamp Thing #1 to $191,200. An iconic 1935 Sunday Flash Gordon comic strip original art by Alex Raymond brought $131,450. The artwork, featuring the first appearance of The Witch Queen of Mongo, was executed during the years fans consider the peak of Raymond’s artistic achievement.

Making a rare auction appearance, the original comic strip art from Bill Watterson’s beloved Calvin & Hobbes, dated Jan. 6, 1987, sold for $74,687, and Dan Adkins’ 1968 cover art of Strange Tales #164 - depicting the mystical Doctor Strange - tied Heritage Auctions’ Doctor Strange cover art record at $71,700.

Collectors seeking high-grade comics found plenty to choose, such as the Mile High Pedigree copy of Startling Comics #49, 9.6 CGC. The classic cover of a robot kidnapping a damsel in distress vaporized its $50,000 pre-auction estimate to hammer for $101,575. An 8.5 CBCS-graded copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 - the first appearance of Spider-Man - sold for $77,675. The important book is signed by Spider-Man’s co-creator himself, Stan Lee. An exceptional copy of Batman #11, 9.4 CGC, ended at $65,725.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

John Buscema’s and Dan Adkins’ Silver Surfer #13 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1970): Realized: $68,712.

Bernie Wrightson’s DC Special Series #2 Swamp Thing Wraparound Cover Original Art (DC, 1977): Realized: $65,725.

Michael Golden’s Doctor Strange Portfolio Envelope Cover Original Art (SQ Publications/Marvel, 1983): Realized: $62,737.

A high-grade copy of Captain America Comics #1 (Timely, 1941), 8.5 CBCS Restored: Realized: $47,800.

Heritage Auctions next Comics & Comic Art Auction is Nov. 17-18 in Beverly Hills; with an Oct. 4 consignment deadline. Bidding opens Oct. 28 live and on HA.com.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 950,000+ 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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