Heritage Auctions has announced it has sold the first appearance of Captain America (CGC 9.4) at auction for $915,000.
Captain America #1 was one of the many comic books up on auction during the August 1-3 event in Dallas, TX. The bidding, by three dozen collectors pushed the sale to $165,000 over the expected price for the book that came from a San Francisco pedigreed collection. Interestingly, a CGG 5.5 version of the same comic with cream to off-white pages went for $156,000.
Other highlights from the auction included:
Frank Frazetta Creepy #17 Cover Painting Original Art (Warren, 1967) realized $264,000, continued the trend of eager interest for work by the artist. Collectors have clamored for works by Frazetta, whose 1969 masterpiece, Egyptian Queen, set the record for the most ever paid for a work by the artist when it sold for $5.4 million. Frazetta’s work was in such high demand that he once had a deal with Warren Publications under which stories would be written only after he proved cover images.
Batman #1 (DC, 1940) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white to white pages sparked bids from more than two dozen collectors before it brought a final price of $204,000. Ranked No. 4 on the current Overstreet “Top 100 Golden Age Comics” list, the issue is a staple among serious collectors. The issue is the first in the title and features the first appearances by the Joker and the Cat (Catwoman), Batman made his debut appearance a year earlier in Detective Comics #27.
Carl Barks Rug Riders’ Last Flight Painting CB-OIL 97 Original Art (1975) drew $156,000, topping its pre-auction estimate (of $100,000) by more than 50%. Based on the cover for Uncle Scrooge #50 (Gold Key, 1964), it appeared in Graphic Gallery #10 and Barks’s book: The Fine Art of Walt Disney’s Donald Duck. The image is signed by the artist in the lower left corner.
Another highlight in the auction was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (Mirage Studios, 1984) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages, which sold for $90,000, the highest price ever paid for a comic book from the 1980s; the next three highest recorded prices were also for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 9.8 books – each of which was sold through Heritage Auctions. This is one of the highest-graded copies from the first printing of the popular issue, which features the origin and first appearance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Splinter and Shredder. The initial run had an initial print run of just 3,000 copies, making high-grade copies like this one extremely rare; this copy shares the highest grade assigned to this issue by CGC.
While people love to talk about the death of the industry, the three day auction brought in over $9.3 million, which seems to indicate there is still a lot of interest in comics, even if they are for collectors.