Comic Art and Highest-Graded Restored Detective #27 Offered at Heritage Auction May 10-11 in Dallas

Posted on 5/8/2012

CGC-graded comics in this auction include a Detective Comics #27, The Avengers #4, Four Color #386 and Pep Comics #22.

The original R. Crumb Zap Comics #8 cover art, a delightfully weird self-portrait, is expected to bring more than $100,000 when it comes to auction as part of Heritage Auctions’ May 10-11 Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction. Also featured in the auction is the artwork that launched one of the most successful comic book franchises in history, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s first complete drawing of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (estimate: $50,000+), consigned by Eastman himself.

“Following our world record setting February auction, where we realized almost $9 million total, we’ve come back with another deep and varied offering,” said Ed Jaster, senior vice president of Heritage Auctions. “Besides the Crumb artwork and the TMNT artwork, we have many pieces in this auction that are important cultural comic touchstones, all of which will appeal to a wide variety of collectors.”

No comics aficionado could dispute that Joe Kubert’s iconic cover art for Brave and the Bold #34, the first modern appearance of Hawkman (DC, 1961) is a key moment in Silver Age comics and one of the greatest DC covers of all time. To that end, given what a rarity it is for any first appearance cover to come up for auction, bidding is expected to top $100,000 for the piece when it comes across the auction block in Dallas.

“Definitive is the only adequate description of this DC masterpiece,” said Steve Borock, senior consignment director at Heritage. “This may well be the ultimate Kubert cover classic.”

Another iconic piece of classic comic art sure to grab the attention of collectors and comics fans alike is the original Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott Fantastic Four #55 Spectacular Silver Surfer Half-Splash Page 3 (Marvel, 1966) artwork, featuring one of the most memorable and important images of the Silver Surfer ever created. It carries a pre-acution estimate of $60,000+.

“The image of the Silver Surfer astride his cosmic surfboard stoically saying ‘I shall be true to my trust, though I am a stranger in a world I never made’ is instantly recognizable to any fan of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s noble-minded hero,” said Todd Hignite, vice president of Heritage Auctions. “This is the Marvel Age of Comics at its zenith and I expect collectors are going to be ready to bid for this piece.”

Dick Sprang’s Guardians of Gotham City illustration original art (DC, 1996), a popular piece of DC art that became an even more popular print from one of DC’s all-time great “old school” artists is expected to bring $40,000+, while Johnny Craig’s Crime SuspenStories #16 original cover art (EC, 1953), a masterpiece from EC’s blood-chilling Grand Guignol gore-fest title, is expected to scare up more than $50,000 when it comes up for auction.

One of the auction’s most anticipated pieces of original comic strip art is a hilarious and somewhat surreal Elzie Segar Popeye Thimble Theater boxing-themed Sunday strip dated 6-1-35 (King Features, 1935), showing both Popeye and Swee'pea in the ring with boxer “Jack the Zipper,” who obviously doesn't stand a chance. It is estimated at $30,000+.

As always, important high-grade comic books feature prominently in the Heritage May 10-11 event, with a restored Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939) CGC Apparent NM- 9.2, the highest-graded restored copy of Batman’s first appearance leading the way with an estimate of $125,000+. Also of significant interest to collectors will be a CGC NM+ 9.6 copy of The Avengers #4 (Marvel, 1964), the first modern appearance of Captain America, estimated at $60,000+, the only CGC NM+ 9.6 copy of Four Color #386 Uncle Scrooge (Dell, 1952), a key Uncle Scrooge issue (estimate: $25,000+) and Pep Comics #22 (MLJ, 1941) CGC GD 2.0, the first appearance of Archie — and the only top-100 comic Heritage had never offered — estimated at $10,000+.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $800 million, and 700,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

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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