Published: February 14, 2006
Heritage Auction Galleries conducted its most recent comic and original comic art Signature auction January 19-21. In all, 2,860 bidders competed for 3,022 lots, with 529 successful bidders pushing the overall total to $3,823,592, not counting after-auction sales, which were still ongoing.
“The Mile High copy of Flash Comics #1 was the marquee comic in our auction, and it didn’t disappoint,” said Ed Jaster, vice president for Heritage Auction Galleries. “Not only did it set our company’s record for the highest price paid for a comic book at $273,125, it topped the previous champion by $100,000. That new benchmark is a sign that the market for high-grade vintage comics is stronger than ever.
“Since we had a copy of each of the ten most valuable comics – according to Overstreet’s ranking – in this auction, an achievement that we believe to be unprecedented, we knew there would be frenzied bidding for those ten books. But we also had two comics that aren’t on that legendary list sell for over $50,000 – the Mile High copy of More Fun Comics #73 – first appearances of Aquaman and Green Arrow – went for $57,500, and the best known copy of Superman #2 sold for $54,625,” Jaster noted.
“This auction also saw some of the most impressive results we’ve seen for comics from the Silver Age and later, underlining the strong demand for extremely high-grade copies of these books,” Jaster added.
“A NM 9.4 copy of The Flash #147 sold for $2,760, or 13 timesthe 9.2 Guide price. And the sole 9.8 copy of House of Secrets #103sold for $632.50, or a whopping 22 times Guide.”
Heritage also saw strong prices for original comic art, with the Ub Iwerks Mickey Mouse strip, one of the earliest pieces of Mickey Mouse art known to exist, leading the pack at $74,750. Not far behind were the Wally Wood cover for Weird Science #21 ($46,000) and a Winsor McCay “Little Nemo” original with the first appearance of Flip ($40,250).
“And of course, our Mad auction featuring the Mad magazine archives made this auction special,” said Jaster, “with Richard Williams’ cover art for Mad #322 selling for $10,925, and in the Joke and Dagger department, the original art for the very first Spy vs Spy strip sold for $11,500.”
Additional auction highlights included Captain America Comics #1 Kansas City pedigree CGC VF/NM 9.0, $96,686; Human Torch #2 (#1) CGC NM 9.4, $74,750; Action Comics #1 CGC Apparent VF- 7.5, $69,000; Detective Comics #27 CGC Apparent FN 6.0, $61,065; Batman #1 CGC VF- 7.5, $51,750; Alex Raymond Flash Gordon Sunday comic strip original art, $23,000; and Walt Disney Studios, “Gulliver Mickey” publicity illustration, $18,400.
Prices reported include buyer’s premium. For information 800-872-6467 or www.HeritageAuctions.com.
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