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McFarlane’s Original Art Leads Heritage Auctions' Vintage Comics and Comic Art Signature Auction




Posted on 11/6/2012

The Nov. 15-17 auction in Dallas may well be “the greatest comic art auction” yet held, including The Shamus Collection of Modern Masterworks and featuring The Joe Simon Collection.

Todd McFarlane’s bombastic original cover art featuring Spider-Man and the Red Skull from The Amazing Spider-Man #325 (1989), and the original hand-colored Bill Watterson Calvin and Hobbes artwork from Nov. 19, 1986 — the first original Watterson Sunday strip known to have come up for public auction — top Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 15–17 Vintage Comics and Comic Art Signature® Auction.

The auction features more than 2,000 lots of the finest examples of comic art and high-grade comic books from a host of sources, including the collection of legendary comic creator Joe Simon, The Shamus Modern Masterworks Collection, The Art of the Funnies (one of the greatest collections of classic newspaper strip art ever assembled), The Bob Brown Collection and The Don Perlin Collectio.

“Simply put, we believe this may well be the single greatest offering of original comic art ever held,” said Todd Hignite, vice president of Heritage Auctions. “The quality and diversity of talent represented in this auction sets the bar as high as it’s ever been for one of our offerings. The depth is just unparalleled.”

McFarlane’s Red Skull Spider-Man cover hails from the second part of The Shamus Modern Masterworks and is expected to bring $150,000+.

“Demand for McFarlane’s original Spider-Man art continues to climb at a meteoric pace,” said Ed Jaster, senior vice president of Heritage, “as evidenced by two important pieces that sold in Heritages' July auction. The cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #328, depicting an epic battle between Spidey and The Hulk, brought a world-record price of $657,250 and the cover art from Spider-Man #1 sold for $358,500. Demand should be equally high for the second part of this offering.”

Watterson’s ink-and-watercolor strip, the first such documented piece to ever make it to public auction, was a gift to fellow cartoonist Brian Basset, creator of the popular strips Adam@Home and Red and Rover. It is estimated at $125,000+.

“The last Calvin and Hobbes art to be sold was in Heritage’s February auction,” said Hignite. “When a watercolor calendar cover from 1986 brought $107,550. This is an even rarer thing, so we expect the top collectors to come after this piece very hard.”

Another iconic image, which is already creating a large amount of early collector buzz, is Steve Ditko’s splash page from Amazing Spider-Man #12 (1964). The rarity is a Spidey collector’s dream thanks to its tableau of characters: Spidey, Doc Ock, Betty and J. Jonah Jameson, all among the featured players. This rare pearl of Silver Age Marvel art is expected to sell for $120,000+.

Detective Comics fans will delight in the offering of DC Silver Age cover art that is one of, if not the single most famous, that Heritage has offered. The 1963 gem is Carmine Infatino’s classic cover to Flash #137, featuring an epic battle between Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash from Earth One and Jay Garrick, DC’s Golden Age Flash from the universe that became known as Earth Two. The issue famously marked the first full Silver Age appearance of The Justice Society and villain Vandal Savage. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $100,000+.

On the comics side of the auction, Heritage will be offering a Near Mint/Mint copy of The Silver Surfer #1 (Marvel, 1968) CGC NM/MT 9.8, (estimate: $30,000+) — a copy of this iconic book as close to perfect as most collectors will ever find — while a rare “Red Star” Copy of Playboy #1 (estimate: $30,000+) will get bidders’ hearts racing for more than the tempting Marilyn Monroe cover. The Red Star copy of the first issue (so named because of the star appearing to the left of the "P" in Playboy) is much rarer than the regular newsstand copy. This stands as the highest-graded copy of a Red Star Playboy #1 certified to date.

The highest-graded copy known of The Avengers #57 Signature Series (Marvel, 1968) CGC NM/MT 9.8 is expected to bring $18,000+. The issue also features an autograph from Stan Lee.

Other highlights include, but are not limited to:

  • The highest-graded restored copy of Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939), featuring the first appearance of Batman. This example easily passes as the "best-looking" copy known, and is a graded restored example of this landmark icon of comics pop-culture. Estimate: $125,000+.
  • Batman #1 (DC, 1940) CGC FN/VF 7.0. Demand is rising for early, important works such as this, which introduce famous characters, in this case, the Joker and Catwoman. This copy illustrates Batman’s origin with a cover by Bob Kane teamed with Jerry Robinson and inside pages by DC legend Sheldon Moldoff. Estimate: $120,000+.
  • Frank Frazetta's The Solar Invasion original paperback cover art (Popular Library, 1968). A masterful Frazetta painting action-packed with his signature images: alien landscapes, weird monsters, beautiful girls and heroic leading men. This particular painting has remained out of the public eye, stashed away in the same private collection since the 1970s. Estimate: $75,000+.
  • Hal Foster's Prince Valiant Sunday comic strip #112 original art (King Features Syndicate, 1939). The strip, dated April 2, 1939, is the first installment of "The Cave of Time" storyline and is really nine stand-alone paintings of phases or cycles of a lifetime. This exemplary Sunday, perhaps the finest of its type and definitely the greatest we've ever offered, stands as a quintessential example of Foster’s artistic prowess. From The Art of the Funnies Collection. Estimate: $30,000+.
  • Al Feldstein's Weird Fantasy #8 "The Slave Ship" original cover art (EC, 1951). Feldstein is known for his stunning science-fiction art, but his original cover art of this issue is widely considered the single greatest cover of his career. Oozing with alien terror, the "Slave Ship" cover is from the famous Jerry Weist Collection. Estimate: $40,000+.

Heritage Auctions is far and away the largest auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 750,000+ 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

Want to get the up-to-the-minute updates and breaking news stories about Heritage Auctions? Get them as they happen at HA.com/Twitter and HA.com/Facebook. To view a complete archive of Heritage press releases, go to HA.com/PR. To link to this press release on your blog or website, go to HA.com/PR-2271

This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in this piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.




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