Category Archives: Charity / Auction

Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein Illustration Expected To Sell For Up To $1 Million Dollars

Bernie Wrightson’s original cover illustration for the Marvel Comics version of Frankenstein could set a new auction record at Profiles in History next week. The artwork is entitled “…I shall be with you on your wedding night,” and captures the chilling threat made by the monster to his creator in Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking 1818 horror novel. Wrightson’s illustration is expected to sell for up to $1 million, and has been described as “the finest fantasy ink drawing of the 20th century, if not of all time”. The work is the leading lot in a private collection of comic book art, which hits the block in Los Angeles on December 10 after being hidden away for decades.

Bernie Wrightson (1948 – 2017) was an acclaimed comic book artist renowned for his work on horror and suspense titles for both Marvel and D.C. Comics. Wrightson’s main claim to fame was his co-creation of the iconic D.C character Swamp Thing, but the undoubted masterpiece of his career was his 1983 comic book adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

The incredible level of detail in the illustration has led experts to describe it as Wrightson’s own “Sistine Chapel” and the adaptation was a passion project for the artist, who described his work in 2008: “I’ve always had a thing for Frankenstein, and it was a labor of love. It was not an assignment, it was not a job. I would do the drawings in between paying gigs, when I had enough to be caught up with bills and groceries and what-not. I would take three days here, a week there, to work on the Frankenstein volume. It took about seven years.” The remarkable level of detail throughout the illustration is a testament to Wrightson’s skills, as he captures the intensity of the scene and the gothic atmosphere of Dr Frankenstein lab in all its glory.

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Christopher Reeve’s Superman Cape Up For Auction

One of the most recognized superhero costume pieces of all time that captured the hearts and imaginations of fans around the world and is a symbol of truth, justice and the American way soars onto the auction block. An original cape worn by Christopher Reeve in his iconic role as the Man of Steel in Superman (Warner Bros., 1978) directed by Richard Donner, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, makes only its second auction appearance after 40 years. 

This costume piece was part of a world-wide contest to promote the movie’s release in 1979 with the grand prize being one of the six original capes made for and used in the film. The winner was personally selected by Christopher Reeve himself, and the cape includes a letter from DC Comics’ President as well as the Editor and Publisher and a copy of a photo of Reeve choosing the winner and more. 

This is one of the few costume artifacts that can be positively attributed to the first film of the series and worn on screen by Reeve. The cape is estimated to sell at $100,000-$200,000.

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Marvel Comics No. 1 Sells for $1.26 Million At Heritage Auctions, Is Most Expensive Marvel Comic Ever Sold

The finest known copy of Marvel Comics No. 1, the 1939 comic book considered the ‘Big Bang’ of the Marvel Comics Superhero Universe, sold for $1,260,000 million on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, at a public auction of vintage comic books and comic art held by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas.

The sale set a world record for the most expensive Marvel comic ever sold at public auction and an auction house record as the most expensive comic book ever sold by the world’s largest comic book and comic art auctioneer.

“This is a historic copy of a historic comic book,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “Without question, this is the granddaddy of all Marvel Comics, without which we would not have the characters and stories we enjoy in today’s comics and feature films.”

It was first purchased off a newsstand rack by a mailman in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, who purchased every No. 1 issue he could of both comic books and magazines, beginning in the 1940s. Published by Timely Comics, the first edition features the first appearances of characters such as the Human Torch, Ka-Zar and Angel, as well as a character called the Sub-Mariner.

The yet-unmatched comic book is graded 9.4 on a scale of 1 to 10, making it the best condition ever found, according to Certified Guaranty Company, by far the world’s largest and most accepted comic book grading service. The famous cover art is by the noted science fiction artist Frank R. Paul, and the interior art featured the work of illustrators as Bill Everett, Carl Burgos and Paul Gustavson.

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Van Eaton Galleries Announces Disneyland and Walt Disney World Auction

Van Eaton Galleries has announced the largest Disneyland and Walt Disney World auction ever to be hosted by the renowned auction house. “A History of Disneyland & Walt Disney World” auction event will take place at Van Eaton Galleries over two days, Saturday, December 7, 2019 and Sunday, December 8, 2019 beginning at 10:00 a.m. each day. The collection to be offered includes over 1,500 rare items which trace the history of the iconic theme parks and Walt Disney’s vision from inception to present day. It is the single largest Disney-related auction Van Eaton Galleries has hosted to date. Many of the items are coming to auction for the very first time. From the earliest documents and conceptual pieces marking the very inception of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, to the extraordinary theme park props, ride vehicles, audio-animatronic figures, hand-painted attraction pieces, very rare early documents, remarkable memorabilia, signs, and more. The depth of rarity of the items to be offered at auction exceeds any expectations of auctions past.

The vast array of items to be offered at auction will surprise even the most avid collectors. Several iconic pieces in the collection date back to 1953, and others include ephemera, costumes, stage-worn articles, art, programs, souvenirs, and more.

Highlights include an extremely rare studio file copy of Walt Disney’s first pitch documents for financing Disneyland park. It includes some of Walt Disney’s earliest descriptions of what Disneyland would be, as well as a hand-colored map that showed what his park might look like. These are considered one of the “Holy Grails” of Disneyland memorabilia (Estimate: $10,000-$20,000); two original animatronic “Tiki Birds” from the “Enchanted Tiki Room” at Walt Disney World. The birds retain all their original mechanics and are actually functional, singing and moving along to the Enchanted Tiki Room Theme Song (Estimate $80,000-$100,000); a 1954 Disneyland Plot Plan (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000), a collection of early construction slides by Marvin Davis (Estimate: $600-$800); Original hand-painted “Stretch Paintings” from The Haunted Mansions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World (Estimate $100,000-$150,000); an original Space Mountain Ride Vehicle from Disneyland (Estimate $20,000-$30,000); Original Attraction Posters from Disneyland and Walt Disney World including a rare park-used “People Mover SuperSpeed Tunnel” poster (Estimate $25,000-$30,000); a General Electric Progressland Architectural Model 1964 (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000); a Walt Disney Signed Disneyland Opening Day Guidebook (Estimate $7,000-$9,000); a Skyway 1959 Lamppost Attractions sign (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a park used Disneyland Hotel Attraction poster (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); Original Charles Boyer 200 millionth guest painting (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000), and hundreds of other items.

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The Best Copy of The First Marvel Comics Issue Could Bring $1 Million Or More At Auction

The best copy of the first Marvel Comics issue could bring $1 million or more as the top lot in Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction November 21-24 in Dallas, Texas.

Marvel Comics #1 Windy City pedigree (Timely, 1939) CGC NM 9.4 Off-white pages. (estimate: $1,000,000+), from the Windy City pedigree, is by far the highest-graded known copy of what is widely considered the ultimate of all Marvel comics, of which only two other copies have earned a grade as high as 9.0. As a matter of perspective, consider that only one other 9.4 exists in CGC’s census for all of the top six most valuable Golden Age issues … combined.

“It is nearly impossible to describe the significance of this issue carrying such a high grade,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President Ed Jaster said. “This is an 80-year-old copy of the issue that launched Marvel Comics, and it is in pristine condition. Most collectors never get the chance to see a comic book like this, much less an opportunity to own one.”

The Windy City pedigree collection is known well among high-end Golden Age collectors. Introduced to the market by Chicago dealer Gary Colabuono, the collection was compiled by a Uniontown, Pennsylvania mailman who purchased every first issue he could of both comic books and magazines, starting in the 1940s.

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Jack Nicholson’s Ax From The Shining Sold At Auction For More Than $200,000

The ax Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining used to terrorize his family sold at auction in England for more than $200,000.

The prop from the 1980 Stanley Kubrick horror flick sold for 170,000 British pounds — equivalent to $208,956 — at the Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction in London. The prop features a three-foot-long wooden handle and a blade that is about one foot long and an inch thick.

In the movie, Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance has a mental break while caretaking the fictional Overlook hotel for the winter season.

In one of the most iconic film scenes, Torrance eventually wields the ax and breaks down a bathroom door with the ax while his terrified wife hides inside.

This axe was purchased by a crew member at a sale of the movie’s assets at the end of filming, along with other props, costumes and set decoration. It was specifically selected as the crew member involved needed an axe to chop wood at home. Fortunately, the axe was never used for this purpose, and was kept safely for decades.

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Van Eaton Galleries Presents “The Art of Entertainment” Auction

Pop culture is everywhere. It reflects the ideas, attitudes, and perspectives of the era, and has done so for decades. Van Eaton Galleries has announced its first joint popular culture and Disneyland auction: The Art of Entertainment, to take place at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California on May 4th, 2019 beginning at 10:00 a.m. PT. On offer are 700 rare and extraordinary items, many of which are at auction for the first time. From original artwork to the memorabilia that defined our youth and shaped our world, The Art of Entertainment auction will celebrate important moments from television, film, Disney theme parks, and more. The vast array of art and memorabilia to be offered will surprise even the most avid collectors, with iconic moments immortalized by famous artists, designers, and artisans spanning from the early 1930s to today.

Pop culture has defined our world. It’s that blend of ideas and objects which captures our attention and doesn’t let go, whether it be a mainstream favorite or a cult classic. The works which can claim the hearts of fans live on, continuing to shape popular culture well past their production date, and The Art of Entertainment collection captures the art and imagination which inspires such loyalty.

Who can forget their fascination with the world’s original Superheroes: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man? What about the laughter evoked when watching your favorite episode of “Happy Days” or reading comic strips featuring Charles Schulz’s lovable Charlie Brown? From Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat” to the whimsical magic of “Mary Poppins,” this extraordinary auction will commemorate the most nostalgic moments of our time. Rare items from Disneyland, award-winning television series, and favorite cartoons are just some of the items on offer.

Highlights of “The Art of Entertainment” include a signed original Dr. Seuss “The Cat in the Hat” drawing (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000); an original Charles Schulz “Peanuts” comic strip (Estimate: $15,000-$20,000); a rare original “Superman” poster painting by Drew Struzan ($7,000-$9,000); a rare “Batman” Drew Struzan original poster painting (Estimate:$7,000-$9,000); a rare, large original painting created by renowned cartoonist Charles Addams for the 1976 feature film “Murder by Death” (Columbia 1976) – (Estimate: $30,000-$40,000); an extremely rare and complete “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” exhibition campaign book ($1,500-$2,500); a “Spider-Man” original poster painting ($6,000-$8,000); a Collection of “Happy Days” slides and photos (Estimate: $100-$200); a 20th Century Fox large neon sign by famed neon sculpture artist Lili Lakich (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000); a “Wonder Woman” original poster painting (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); and Walt Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”  (Disney, 1954) presentation Nautilus, which was the original wooden Nautilus model Disney used to promote the film (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000).

Pop culture moments from film and television are also highlighted with items including a “Star Wars” (Lucas Films, 1997) cast and crew signed poster (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a Peter Ellenshaw “The Black Hole” (Disney, 1979) original concept drawing (Estimate $1,000-$2,000); “Back to the Future Part III” (Universal, 1990) original artwork by legendary poster artist Drew Struzan (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a “Men in Black” (Columbia, 1991) Neutralizer prop (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a “Mary Poppins” original chimney sweep concept painting (Estimate $8,000-$10,000); a Madonna uniform from “A League of Their Own” (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); original “Willy Wonka” (Paramount, 1967) candy room concept art (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a Bally “Tommy” (Bally, 1975) Pinball Wizard machine (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); “The Simpsons” original cel and matching background from the first episode (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500) and an original John Alvin “Pocahontas” poster concept (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000). The collection is too vast and covers too many eras of television and film to provide a complete list of items offered at this auction, but it includes art from “Star Trek,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Escape from Alcatraz,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” ‘Planet of the Apes,” “Jaws,” and so much more.

Other highlights include The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” (King Features, 1968) animation cels (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); vintage Marx toy displays (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500), and hundreds of remarkable Disneyland artifacts and art. Some notable Disneyland highlights include an original hand-silkscreened 1956 Disneyland Hotel attraction poster (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a complete set of 6 near-attraction posters from 1966 (Estimate: $3,500-$4,500); a 1955 “Jungle Cruise” prop Impala ear display (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); an original Mark Twain and Keel Boats 1955 attraction poster (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); a “Big Thunder Mountain” 1980 brownline (Estimate: $400-$600); an extremely rare  “Pirates of the Caribbean” original painting (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a “Fantasmic” crocodile model by Kevin Kidney (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000); an original 1955 “Fantasyland” attraction poster (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); an original 1959 Paul Hartley “Matterhorn Bobsleds” attraction poster (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); the 1967 “Adventure Thru Inner Space” Atommobile prop (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000), and so much more.

“The Art of Entertainment” auction showcases decades of film, television, and print work which has defined pop culture in our lifetime. This collection brings together a massive and varied array of art, props, original paintings and drawings, memorabilia, and collectibles from some of the most famous moments in popular entertainment. This auction offers the excitement of very rare items never sold before at auction, but also evokes a sense of nostalgia and sentimentality for those artists and performers whose work defined us in our youth. We are so honored to be able to offer such remarkable items to fans and collectors around the globe. – Mike Van Eaton, Co-Founder, Van Eaton Galleries

“The Art of Entertainment” auction covers decades beginning in the late 1930s through today. The extraordinary selection has taken years to amass by collectors around the globe and pop culture enthusiasts. Van Eaton Galleries will conduct the one-day auction on-site, online, and by phone. Interested bidders are encouraged to register early. Media interested in covering is requested to email or call the press contact listed below.

For more information or to order a collectible catalog visit www.vegalleries.com/popculture.

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Stephen King Will Be The Keynote Speaker At 826 Boston’s 9th Annual Gala Night of 1,000 Stories 

826 Boston’s 9th annual Night of 1,000 Stories gala will celebrate the many incredible stories of 826 Boston student authors and raise critical funds for 826 Boston’s youth writing and tutoring programs. 

This year 826 Boston is thrilled to welcome Stephen King as their keynote speaker. All of the funds raised during the event and through ticket sales go directly to support 826 Boston free writing programs. The event will start at 5:30 PM with a cocktail reception followed by dinner at 7:00 PM and program featuring the work of 826 Boston student authors and of course, Stephen King.

Tickets start at $500. A limited number of individual tickets are available for purchase online.

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See Rocketman’s Taron Egerton And Elton John Perform Tiny Dancer

Star Taron Egerton was joined by legendary singer Elton John onstage for a live rendition of the song “Tiny Dancer” at last night’s 27th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party. The gala event raised over $6.3 million for the global effort to end AIDS, with Egerton auctioning a trip to attend the Rocketman world premiere in London.

The audience was taken by surprise when Taron suggested an off-the-cuff performance of the song and Sir Elton John volunteered from the audience to accompany him on the piano. Guests were brought to their feet as they watched Elton John take his position on the keys while Taron belted out the lyrics to one of his most beloved ballads.

Rocketman will focus on Elton John’s beginnings, starting when he was a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music and carrying over to when he reached global stardom through his influential and enduring musical partnership with his songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin. It will look at the performer’s life past the glitter saturated image we have grown so accustomed to associating with the performer.

The film stars Taron Egerton (Kingsman: Secret Service) as the famed singer/songwriter, along with Jamie Bell (TURN: Washington’s Spies), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones), and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom).

BAFTA nominee Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill, Eddie the Eagle) will be directing Rocketman from a script by Oscar-nominated writer Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). Matthew Vaughn and his Marv Films will be producing the film alongside Elton John with his Rocket Pictures partner David Furnish.

Rocketman will land in theaters on May 31. 

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Copy of Super Mario Bros. Video Game Sets World-Record Price of $100,150

An unopened copy of Super Mario Bros., the classic video game released by Nintendo in 1985, set a world record for a graded game when it recently sold for $100,150. 

“Beyond the artistic and historical significance of this game is its supreme state of preservation,” says Kenneth Thrower, co-founder and chief grader of Wata Games. 

Due to its popularity, Nintendo reprinted Super Mario Bros. from 1985 to 1994 numerous times, resulting in 11 different box variations (according to this visual guide). The first two variations are “sticker sealed” copies that were only available in the New York and L.A. test market launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 and 1986. Of all the sealed copies of Super Mario Bros., this is the only known “sticker sealed” copy and was certified by Wata Games with a Near Mint grade of 9.4 and a “Seal Rating” of A++. 

“Not only are all of NES sticker sealed game’ extremely rare, but by their nature of not being sealed in shrink wrap they usually exhibit significant wear after more than 30 years,” Thrower said. “This game may be the condition census of all sticker sealed NES games known to exist.”

A group of collectors joined forces Feb. 6 to purchase the game, including some of the biggest names in video games and collectibles as a whole. The buyers include Jim Halperin, Founder and Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; Zac Gieg, owner of Just Press Play Video Games in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Rich Lecce, renowned coin dealer, pioneering video game collector, and owner of Robert B. Lecce Numismatist Inc of Boca Raton, Florida. 

“Super Mario Bros. is not only the most recognizable game of all time, it saved the video game industry in 1985,” said Wata Games President, Deniz Kahn. “In terms of rarity, popularity, and relevance to collectors, this game has it all. Mario is the most recognized fictional or non-fictional character in the world, more so than even Mickey Mouse. Super Mario Bros. launched the world’s largest game franchise and this copy is the only known sealed example from Nintendo’s test market release. 

“I would have loved nothing more than to be a part-owner, and even though this game was already certified, I didn’t want the remote perception of any conflict of interest due to my position at Wata,” Kahn said.

Gieg called this example the equivalent of the valuable comic book, Action Comics #1. “This is first appearance of Superman of video games,” he said. “We all knew how hard it is to find an open copy of this version in nice condition, but to find one still sealed is truly something I thought I would never see, even after selling vintage video games for over 20 years”

“More and more collectors from other fields are discovering how much fun it is to collect video games,” says Lecce. “It’s a very exciting time for our industry, especially with Heritage Auctions entering the secondary market for collectible vintage video games. With upcoming movie projects and three Nintendo-themed Universal amusement parks slated to open in 2020, the impact and popularity these characters have on our culture will be that much more apparent to new collectors entering the market.”

Wata-certified video games have been selling for record prices ever since Heritage began auctioning them in January. While many video games sell regularly for five figures, breaking the six-figure mark shows that the hobby’s upward trajectory indicates no signs of slowing down, Kahn said.

“I’m very happy with our purchase of the Super Mario Bros., considering the impact the release of this game had on the world and continues to have,” said Halperin. “The first Signature Auctions featuring Wata-certified video games run this February 21-23, and while this copy won’t appear in this auction, it just may end up in an auction sometime in the future.”

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