Published: November 23, 2010
The Batman comic book Sacramento, Calif., resident Robert Irwin, 84, purchased for 10 cents in 1939 sold for $492,937 at Heritage Auctions on November 18. The price, which includes the 19½ percent buyer’s premium, exceeded estimates, and when the bidding ended Irwin said, “I wish I had one more book!”
“This copy of Detective Comics #27, the famous and very valuable first appearance of ‘The Batman,’ was purchased by a collector who wants to remain anonymous. He placed his winning bid by telephone,” said Ed Jaster, senior vice president at Heritage.
” Detective Comics #27 was published in May 1939, and Irwin bought it for 10 cents at a Sacramento newsstand when he was 13 years old. Six years ago he discovered he still had the comic book, and he turned down a $100,000 offer for it from a collector. “Looking at today’s price, I’d say that was a smart move,” said Jaster.
Irwin watched in the auction room as the comic book was sold. He said it is the only comic book he kept from his youth. “I must have just liked the cover,” he explained.
The colorful cover depicts Batman swinging in the air on a rope and holding a man while two gunmen watch from a nearby rooftop. A headline on the cover reads: “Starting this issue: the amazing and unique adventures of The Batman!”
A complete review of the auction will appear in a future issue. AK
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