DENVER, Pa. – With the widely publicized $2.1 million auction price achieved recently by a rare copy of Action Comics No. 1, some investors are contemplating a shift of focus from gold and silver to paper. Vintage comic books – once considered a niche collectable for nostalgic boomers – have become a potent alternative to stocks and bonds. In recognizing this trend, Morphy Auctions recently forged an alliance with the specialist company Sparkle City Comics, of North Bergen, New Jersey.
Morphy’s, with the expert oversight of Sparkle City, will launch its new Comic Book division during a Feb. 9-11, 2012 Toys & Advertising sale that features 200 prized comics from an original-owner collection. The top lot, a 1963 The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 in 8.5 condition, is expected to realize $25,000-$30,000. Other anticipated top lots include a 1963 X-Men No. 1 and a 1963 Tales of Suspense No. 39 featuring the first appearance of Iron Man.
The association between Morphy’s and Sparkle City came about when the latter company’s principal, Brian Schutzer, purchased $40,000 worth of comics in a previous Morphy’s sale.
“Brian called me after the sale to finalize his purchase, and during our discussion he suggested that we consider building a relationship,” Morphy Auctions’ CEO Dan Morphy recalled. “I had been wanting to launch a comic book division in-house, and during that conversation with Brian, it became clear to me that the smartest and most direct path to our goal would be a collaboration with Sparkle City. They’re an energetic, extremely knowledgeable company with a tremendous database of comic book buyers.”
“On the other side of the coin, Morphy’s has the physical gallery and marketing team to promote and produce successful live sales,” Morphy continued. “It’s an exciting combination that could prove very successful, given collectors’ insatiable interest in rare comics.”
Morphy’s first auction dedicated exclusively to comic books will be a 700 to 800-lot event held either in April or May. “My goal is to have two, if not three, sales per year devoted exclusively to vintage comic books and also original comic book art, a subcategory that has a long collecting arc ahead of it,” Morphy said.
To learn more about the inaugural February sale, visit Morphy’s.
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