CGC-graded Dell and Gold Key Comics in Heritage Sale

Posted on 6/9/2023

High-grade examples of comics featuring Donald Duck and the Flintstones are offered in the Heritage Auctions sale on June 29, 2023.

Classic comic books based on popular cartoons and television shows from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, and graded by Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®), are available in the latest installment of Heritage Auctions’ Doug’s Dell and Gold Key Comic Showcase, on June 29, 2023.

One of the top items in the auction is a Four Color #147 graded CGC 9.8 (lot 82081), featuring Donald Duck. Published by Dell Comics in 1947, this comic features Donald and his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, with art by iconic Disney artist Carl Barks. Donald Duck made his debut in 1934 and was joined by his nephew ducks in 1937. These feathered siblings became known for their playful antics, clever pranks and their unwavering loyalty to their Uncle Donald. There are only 200 examples of this comic in the CGC Census, and only one graded 9.8, with none finer. In 2006, a CGC 9.4 example was sold through Heritage Auctions for $10,755.

Also in this auction is a Dell Giant #48 graded CGC 9.8 (lot 82043), featuring the first appearance of The Flintstones in comics. “The Flintstones” was an animated sitcom that originally aired from 1960 to 1966. Set in the Stone Age, the show follows the daily lives of Fred and Wilma Flintstone, and their best friends Barney and Betty Rubble. There are only 88 copies of this 1961 comic recorded in the CGC Census, and only three examples graded 9.8. One of them was sold for $9,600 through Heritage Auctions in April 2023.

Click images to enlarge.

Dell had been publishing comic books since 1929, and in the 1940s they entered an agreement with Western Printing and Lithographing Co. to create original material using various popular television characters. One of their most popular titles was Four Color, which featured a different character in each issue, such as Dick Tracy, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Three Stooges and others. In 1962, Western ended its agreement with Dell and started its own comic book line, Gold Key Comics, to handle its licensed properties. Dell eventually closed its doors in 1973, and Gold Key became Whitman until the company was sold to toy manufacturer Mattel in 1979 and eventually closed in 1984.

Heritage Auctions previously presented a Dell and Gold Key Comics auction in November 2022, which included a Star Trek #1 graded CGC 9.6 that sold for $46,500.

Other classic CGC-graded Dell and Gold Key comics in this auction include:

  • a Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Funnies #1 with a Mile High Pedigree graded CGC 9.8 (lot 82021)
  • a Four Color Comics (Series 1) #5 Smilin’ Jack graded CGC 7.5 (lot 82049)
  • a Four Color #8 Tillie the Toiler graded CGC 9.2 (lot 82054)
  • a Four Color #14 Smilin’ Jack graded CGC 8.5 (lot 82055)
  • a Four Color #119 Felix the Cat graded CGC 9.4 (lot 82074)
  • an H.R. Pufnstuf #1 File Copy graded CGC 9.8 (lot 82220)
  • a March of Comics #41 Donald Duck graded CGC 9.8 (lot 82238)
  • an Underdog #1 File Copy graded CGC 9.8 (lot 82293)
  • a Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #41 graded CGC 9.8 (lot 82294)

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