Vintage comic collectors have had this week circled on their calendars ever since it was learned that the golden age collection of an 85 year old original owner from Atlantic City, NJ recently surfaced with Comic Connect Auctions. The man had bought his comics off the newsstand in the 30s and 40s, and had decided it was finally time to part with them. Many of the comics he bought those 70+ years ago — which included numerous early Action Comics, Detective Comics, Flash Comics #1, Captain America #1, and many other comics — have stunned even the most jaded vintage comic collectors.
As we’ve discussed here before, we’re not going to see too many substantial original owner collections surface anymore — simply because it’s now been over seven decades since the beginning of the American comic book industry. But it’s not just what was in this collection that is turning heads, it’s the condition the comics are in — early DC, Marvel, and other comics simply are never seen in this condition, and in many of the cases here, they are the best copies known to exist.
The original owner and his family intend to use the auction proceeds to pay off mortgages and college funds. Rob Reynolds of Comic Connect has said this might be the last great collection, and judging by the results from day one of the auction, many would agree with him. Though price guide listings are meaningless on books like these, and it is common for high grade early Action Comics to sell for a multiple of guide price, that multiple surprised even knowledgeable observers last night — $258,000 on the Action Comics #10 is over 5x guide. The book is particularly sought after because it is the 3rd Superman cover in the Action Comics run (and the #13 is the 4th Superman cover).
The auction continues tonight with high grade copies of Detective Comics #33, Captain America #1, and Flash Comics #1 on the block. For now, here’s a few hilights of the auction action on the Action Comics from last night’s proceedings:
Action Comics 10 CGC 9.0 $258,000
Action Comics 13 CGC 9.2 $185,000
Action Comics 19 CGC 9.4 $79,000
Action Comics 20 CGC 9.0 $60,000
Action Comics 31 CGC 9.4 $18,900