DALLAS, TX – Call it the investment of a lifetime, literally: a 7.0 CGC graded copy of Detective #27, the first appearance of “The Batman,” bought off the newsstand for a dime by Sacramento-native Robert Irwin when he was 13 years old, and subsequently put away and forgotten until the early 1990s, made its hobby debut and sold for $492,938 on Nov. 18 to lead Heritage Auctions’ $4.8 million vintage comics and comic art auction.
“I’m only sorry I didn’t buy two of them,” joked Irwin on the auction floor after the sale of the comic.
A record price was also set for a restored comic book when the famous “court copy” of Action Comics #1, the first Superman comic and arguably one of, if not the most important piece of pop culture of the last 100 years, sold for $143,400.
The Kerby Confer Collection of original Disney art continued to post spectacular results for the Maryland radio executive, with the second part of his collection realizing a solid $711,909, as collectors snapped up his rare and highly-sought after original Carl Barks Scrooge McDuck paintings, with his glowing, frenetic 1974 painting A Binful of Fun leading the way at $143,400.
Prices for original Frank Miller art continued to command top prices from collectors, continuing a rising trend over the last several years, as Miller’s original art for Wolverine #3, one of the most beloved issues of the famed X-Men spin-off, featuring a somber, dramatic and penitent Wolvie, brought $47,800.”
One of the more interesting facets of the auction came in the prices realized for original art for daily comic strips, with the original artwork for Milton Caniff’s first Introducing Terry and the Pirates daily comic strip bringing $38,837 – one of the highest prices Heritage has ever realized for original daily comic strip art – while Charles Schulz’ original Oct. 27, 1961 Peanuts daily strip art, a classic Great Pumpkin entry, brought $32,265, an impressive price for an artist and title that routinely tops the pile.
A world record price for a Bronze Age, or 1970s, comic book was set when a CGC graded 9.8 Near Mint copy of Green Lantern #76, considered by most to be the comic book that kicked off the Bronze Age, brought $37,343, exceeding the previous mark for a bronze Age comic by more than $5,000.
One of the auction’s highpoints came when the original artwork for Page 1, Issue #1 of The Watchmen, originally bought by the consignor in England in 1987 for about $150 brought $33,460, a huge result for this seminal and highly beloved piece of art from one of the most important comic series ever produced. A 21-comic run of X-Men comics, from the vaunted Michael Scheer Collection, brought $100,679 in total, with his CGC-graded 9.0 copy of X-Men #1 (1963) leading the way with a final price realized of $28,680.
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