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Press Release - October 15, 2002
Nothing To Laugh At: Heritage Sets Record For World's Largest Comic Book Auction -- $5.2 Million!Dallas, Texas - A new record was established Sunday, over $5.2 million, for the world's largest auction of comic books, comic art and related memorabilia. The four-day sale, conducted by Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas (www.HeritageComics.com), included $1,680,000 (new figure) in winning bids for the "treasure trove" comic books collection of Academy Award-winning actor, Nicolas Cage.
"This was the highest-grossing comics and movie posters auction ever," said Jim Halperin, chairman of Heritage Auctions. "It was held in conjunction with Dallas Comicon, a collector's convention, and was eagerly anticipated by collectors around the world because of the quality of the material. Bids were accepted in person, by mail, by phone and via the Internet."
The previous record was just over $5 million, set this past July when Heritage sold, among other properties, the reference collection of Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man and other superheroes. No firm other than Heritage has ever sold more than $2.2 million in a single comic book auction.
Highlights of the just-ended sale included many items from actor Cage's fabled collection. Among them:
A 1940 comic book, Detective #38 featuring the debut of Batman's sidekick, Robin, sold for $120,750. "The standard comics book price guide reference lists it for $45,000," Halperin said.
Another 1940 publication from the Cage Collection, All-Star Comics #3, sold for $126,500 against a price guide (Overstreet Guide) value of $45,000. "That comic book introduced readers to The Justice Society of America, the first superhero team which included The Green Lantern, Hawkman and The Flash," explained John Petty, Director of Heritage Comics Auctions.
Mr. Cage's copy of Action Comics #1, the 1938 comic book with the first appearance of Superman, was purchased for $86,250. It had been estimated to sell for $60,000.
"The Nicolas Cage collection offered collectors a real treasure-trove of high-quality material from the Golden Age of comics," said Petty.
Other highlights of the four-day auction included:
The first known sketches of Wonder Woman from 1941, estimated before the auction to bring $20,000 or more, sold for $33,350. The two ink, pencil and crayon drawings on one sheet of paper have handwritten notes by Wonder Woman comics creator, Dr. William Moulton Marston, and original artist, H.G. Peter, commenting on her bracelets, boots and red, white and blue costume.
A copy of Spider-Man #1 comics from 1963, with a current price guide value of $28,000, was purchased by a bidder for $70,150.
Original "Peanuts" comic strip art by the cartoon strip's creator, Charles Schulz, dated September 2, 1956, estimated at $15,000, sold for $17,825.
The Cage Collection was jointly sold by Heritage Auctions of Dallas and Jay Parrino's The Mint of Kansas City, Missouri.
Heritage is the world's largest collectibles auctioneer with auction sales of more than $70 million in 2001, and expected auction sales of about $90 million for 2002.
Heritage Comics Auctions, 100 Highland Park Village, Second Floor, Dallas, TX 75205. Web: http://www.HeritageComics.com.