Tag Archives: Auction

Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts To Offer The Ian Levin Collection: The Complete Run of 40,000+ DC Comics Published From 1935-2014

Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts will offer the DC Complete: The Ian Levin collection, a complete run of 40,000+ DC comics published from 1935-2014. This will be sold as a collection in a single lot in an exclusive private sale on sothebys.com beginning today, March 30. The collection spans 9 decades and captures the golden age of comics while tracing the birth and development of superhero icons: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and more.

Here is the press release 

“Sotheby’s is pleased to announce that we will offer DC Complete: The Ian Levine Collection, an exclusive private sale offering of every comic book released by American publisher DC Comics from 1935 – 2014, including complete runs of Superman, Batman, Action Comics, and Detective Comics. The more than 40,000 comics in the collection also features superhero icons Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman, as well as the Justice League series. Available now and on view on Sothebys.com, the sale marks the 81st anniversary of the release of Detective Comics #27 on March 30, 1939, which featured the debut of The Batman. For a comprehensive overview of the collection or to inquire about its purchase, visit here.

The Ian Levine Collection of DC Comics – the most comprehensive in the 80 year span – was amassed over half a century that spans the birth and development of superhero comics as cheap forms of entertainment to pop culture juggernauts. From New Fun #1, the very first DC comic book published in 1934, to complete collections of Superman and Batman, the collections also includes first appearances of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man and more; superhero teams such as the Justice League of America and the Teen Titans; and supervillains Lex Luthor, the Joker, Two Face, the Penguin, General Zod, and more.

Richard Austin, Head of Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts Department in New York, commented: “The Ian Levine Collection is the holy grail for comics collectors. Amassed over decades of hunting, Levine’s collection embodies the passion and fandom that has defined comics culture for generations, which today is best encapsulated not through printed issues but popular superhero films that regularly break box office records. Featuring some of the most valuable individual books as well as extremely rare promotional issues, the Levine Collection includes all the DC heroes that are among the most recognizable and versatile pop culture touchstones in the world.”

A  significant figure in modern pop culture himself, Levine is a DJ and producer, early popularizer of the Northern Soul movement, and one of the originators of Hi-NRG music. He was first introduced to DC when he began reading The Justice League of America as an eight-year-old in 1960. Upon discovering London comic shops Dark They Were and Golden Eyed in 1972, Levine realized it was possible to find long-out-of-print issues and discontinued titles such as The Justice Society of America, a Golden Age forerunner of his beloved Justice League, thus sparking his half-century of comic book collecting.

For a decade, Levine purchased a new copy of every DC issue he could find, while trying to fill in earlier issues. However, in pre-internet 1987, Levine despaired of finding many Golden Age comics he lacked, and decided to sell many of his best issues in order to fund his collection of Northern Soul records and Doctor Who film prints. However, reviewing his stacks of comic books with the purchaser reawakened his passion for this pop art form, and Levine bought his comics back from the dealer he had sold them to—at a 50% premium. Amassing about half of the comics DC had ever published, Levine determined to form a complete collection. Sacrificing his incomparable collection of Northern Soul records and Doctor Who prints, along with the assistance of the nascent internet (including the discussion forums of Certified Guaranty Comic, a comic book grading service) and dealer, advisor, and author of The Comic Book Paul Sassienie, he achieved this ambition, which would essentially be impossible to replicate. In 2010, Levine’s paramount, unique collection was utilized to supply the illustrations for Taschen’s monumental publication 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking by Paul Levitz, the former president and publisher of DC.

The collection spans the nine decades tracing the trajectory of the effect of comics on popular culture, from the target of a congressional investigation of their corrupting influence to the topic of doctoral dissertations addressing issues like war propaganda, environmentalism, and gender identity. Every comic genre published by DC is included, such as humor, parody, romance, crime, science fiction, and adaptations of classic and popular works of literature and film. The work of successive generations of the greatest comic book artists and writers are preserved in the collection, from pioneers such as Jerry Siegel, Joseph Schuster and Jack “King” Kirby; to those who maintained the quality and passion of the books through the Silver Age including C. C. Beck, William Moulton Marston, and Sheldon Mayer; to those who carried on the tradition through the Bronze Age and into the twenty-first century such as Neal Adams and Curt Swan.

Although National Allied Publications, DC’s predecessor firm, had been publishing comics since autumn 1934 with New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1, Superman’s debut in Action Comics #1 (June 1938), sparked a new era not only in comic books but in global pop culture, with superheroes exerting enormous influence on film, television, and fashion. Superman was soon joined by a radically different superhero than the alien man of steel, but equally as significant and influential: Batman (originally, the Bat-Man), who first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Shortly after, National Allied Publications adopted the initials of this popular title for the company brand that is still recognized the world over: DC. Representing the pinnacle of the Golden Age of comics, these two seminal characters would soon be joined by an expanding roster of several hundred celebrated superheroes and serialized stories.

The Levine Collection is highlighted further by hundreds of rare promotional comics by DC artists and writers, featuring various DC (or DC-inspired) characters endorsing various consumer goods and corporate entities; a number of “ashcan” issues (intended to establish copyright but not available for sale), as well as many foreign (non–United States) reprints, British comic books featuring appearances by DC characters, and anthology reprints in proper book form.

The auction record for a comic was achieved in 2014 when Action Comics #1 sold for $3.2 million. The record for an issue of Detective Comics #27 was reached in 2010 for $1.075 million.”

You can view the catalogue HERE.

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Movie Poster For The Invisible Man Sold For $182,400 At Heritage Auctions

A rare movie poster for the 1933 classic film The Invisible Man disappeared Saturday night for $182,400 at public auction. The sale coincided with the 2020 remake, starring Elisabeth Moss.

Expectations that it could reach $125,000 were shattered quickly during the bidding at Heritage Auctions. The vintage poster for the famous Universal monster movie is one of just a small handful of examples to exist. 

H.G. Wells’ concept for a crazed scientist turned invisible is holding well with today’s viewers. The 2020 remake of The Invisible Man is popular with fans and critics with Rotten Tomato scores of 92 percent with critics and 88 percent with viewers.

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A Miniature Harry Potter Manuscript Handwritten By JK Rowling Is Going To Auction And Could Sell For £150,000

A one-of-a-kind miniature handwritten manuscript from Harry Potter author JK Rowling is going to auction and is estimated to bring in  £100,000 – £150,000.

The diminutive green and gold hardback consists of 31 pages of Rowling’s handwritten text and drawings and includes the author’s signature.

The tome features text and illustrations connected with the Harry Potter books and it lists the items a Hogwarts student will need for their first year at the school, including uniform, books and accessories.

Rowling first created the book for a charity auction in 2004, where it sold for £10,000, when the Potter market was in its infancy.

More info HERE.

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Amazing Fantasy #15 Comic Sells For A Staggering $795,000 At Auction

One of the finest known copies of Amazing Fantasy #15, the issue in which Spider-Man made his first appearance sold for a whopping $795,000 at auction.

Amazing Fantasy #15 is one of just six copies known to exist with a 9.4 grade – there are only four known copies with a higher grade – of the issue considered the most valuable and in-demand comic book of the Silver Age. The final price was the highest by a wide margin for a 1960s comic sold through Heritage Auctions (the previous high was $492,937.50).

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Pristine Amazing Fantasy #15 Comic Book Could Bring $900,000 In Heritage Comics Auction

One of the highest-graded copies of one of the most significant comic books of all time could bring $900,000 or more in Heritage Auctions’ Comics Auction March 5-7 in Dallas, Texas.

Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) is a collector’s prize by any measure, starting with the fact that the issue in which Spider-Man makes his first appearance is universally accepted as the most desirable, in-demand book from the Silver Age. Spider-Man remains one of the most popular superheroes of all time and is considered arguably the most significant contribution to the comic world from iconic writer Stan Lee.

In addition, finding a copy of the 57-year-old issue in such exceptional condition is next to impossible: the offered copy is one of six with a CGC grade of 9.4, and there are only four known to carry a higher grade.

“Finding this comic book in this condition is extraordinarily rare, which is why this copy holds so much appeal to the most serious of collectors,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President Ed Jaster said. “It’s the kind of book around which an elite collection can be built.”

The issue, which also features the first appearances of Peter Parker’s (Spider-Man’s) Uncle Ben and Aunt May, with a classic cover by Jack Kirby and is the issue in which Steve Ditko began his legendary tenure as Spider-Man’s primary artist.

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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.

LINK

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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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