Jon Berk Collection Session 1 Comic And Art Auction Highlights: Winning The Planet

Posted by June 13, 2017 Comment

Session 2 is getting underway as I type this, and as I hear the sound of comic collectors across the land rounding up all the extra nickels and dimes they can find, let’s take a look at some of the auction highlights from last night at Comic Connect’s Jon Berk Collection Session 1.  Session 1 included Original Artwork and comics from A-1 Comics to Amazing Spider-Man.

Planet Comics #1 original cover art by Lou Fine - Jon Berk Collection Session 1 Auction

Jon Berk Collection Session 1 Artwork

The original art highlight of Jon Berk Collection Session 1 has got to be the sale of the original cover art from Planet Comics #1 (Fiction House, 1940) by Lou Fine for $146,444.00. Aside from the size of the number, there’s a couple reasons this is important:

  1. Conventional wisdom says mainstream visibility drives numbers at the top end.  But while Planet Comics is considered a classic among vintage collectors, among the mainstream modern audience… not so much (but it should be!).
  2. There’s another bit of regularly-debated conventional wisdom in the original art field that goes a little like this: displaying your rare art publicly (even posting it on message boards and image galleries) makes it seem more familiar, less rare, and not “fresh to market”, and all of that plays into value.  This is… understandable, or at least certain parts of it are (there’s a reason people tell those “found in grandpa’s attic!” stories on ebay. Sometimes a good backstory works), but it’s also a bitter pill to swallow, as many collectors looooove to show off their stuff, and there’s a good argument to be made that you’re not honoring the creator you’re a huge fan of by locking his art away in a drawer somewhere, for no one to see.  But I’ve seen Jon Berk show the scan of this cover to countless collectors over the years, for everyone to admire.  I doubt that hurt the hammer price a single penny.  I think arguably, it did the opposite.

Jon Berk Collection Auction Session 1 - Art

TitleIssueComments/DescriptionFinal Price
TitleIssueComments/DescriptionFinal Price
PLANET COMICS 1940-54 1 Lou Fine pencils and inks; 1940; matted 18.5" x 25" 146,444.00
AMAZING SPIDERMAN 6 Pg. 15; Steve Ditko pencils and inks; 1963; 17" x 23"; small chip replacement at the right side of the page. 105,000.00
ALL NEW COMICS 8 Alex Schomburg pencils and inks; 1944; matted 17.5" x 23" 66,000.00
PEP COMICS 30 Bob Montana pencils, inks and signed; 1942; Beautifully matted and framed 17.5" x 22" 61,777.00
CATMAN COMICS 25 Rudy Palais pencils, inks and signed; 1944; matted 17.5" x 23.5" 52,897.00
FANTASTIC FOUR 1961-96 3 Pg. 23; Jack Kirby pencils, Sol Brodsky inks; 1962; matted 16.5" x 22.5" 44,500.00
INCREDIBLE HULK 4 Pg. 10; "The Monster and the Machine" Jack Kirby pencils, Dick Ayers inks; 1962; 16.5" x 23" 43,500.00
FANTASTIC FOUR 1961-96 14 Pg. 18; "The Merciless Puppet Master" Jack Kirby pencils, Dick Ayers inks; 1963; 18" x 24.5" 38,500.00
DAREDEVIL-1964 1 Pg. 11; Bill Everett pencils; 1964; 15.75" x 21.75" 37,500.00
SPEED COMICS 22 Joe Simon(as Glaven) pencils and inks; 1942; 15" x 19" 32,200.00
MARVEL MYSTERY 15 Cover Painting; Beautifully rendered piece by Alex Schomburg, gouache painting framed; 21" x 25" 32,005.00
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 87 Pg. 10; "Prisoner of the Reds!" Jack Kirby pencils, Dick Ayers inks; 1962; 18" x 24" 31,000.00
CAPTAIN BATTLE (2ND SERIES) 3 Gus Ricca pencils and inks; 1942; matted 15" x 19.75"; Part of the Harry Chesler Collection 28,000.00
STRANGE TALES 102 Pg. 10; "Prisoner of the Wizard" Jack Kirby pencils and signed, Dick Ayers inks; 1962; 16" x 23" - title splash 25,500.00
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 89 Pg. 16; "The Thunder God and the Thug" Jack Kirby pencils, Dick Ayers inks; 1963; 16" x 22.75" 25,000.00
CHAMP COMICS 22 Joe Simon (as Glaven) pencils and inks; 1942; matted 14.5" x 20" 24,500.00
POCKET COMICS 4 Attributed to Joe Simon, though it may be Al Avison, pencils and inks; 1942; framed 16" x 17.75" 19,600.00
PHANTOM LADY (2ND SERIES) 2 Unknown artist pencils and inks; 1955; 14.5" x 19.5 18,888.00
DYNAMIC COMICS 1941-48 12 Gus Ricca pencils, inks and signed; 1944; matted 15.5" x 20.5"; Part of the Harry Chesler Collection 18,200.00
MASK COMICS 1 Cover painting; L.B. Cole mixed media and signed on board; matted and framed 21.75" x 28" 18,200.00
MARY MARVEL COMICS 5 Jack Binder pencils, inks and signed; 1941; matted 16.75" x 22"; comes with hand colored xerox by Jack Binder; 1988; 10" x 13" 16,200.00
POLICE COMICS 9 Gill Fox pencils, inks and signed; 1942; matted 12.5" x 16.75" 15,900.00
TALES OF SUSPENSE 64 Pg. 1; "Hawkeye and the New Black Widow Strike Again" Don Heck pencils, Chic Stone inks; 1965; 16.5" x 22.5" 15,755.00
TALES OF SUSPENSE 49 Pg. 7; "The New Iron Man Meets the Angel" Steve Ditko pencils, Paul Reinman inks; 1964; 15.5" x 21.5" 15,351.00
STAR COMICS 6 Charles Biro pencils, inks and signed; 1937; matted 20" x 26" 15,000.00

Action Comics #1 CGC 5.5 Conserved - Jon Berk Collection Session 1

Jon Berk Collection Session 1 A-1 Comics to Amazing Spider-Man

Posting about Action Comics #1 sales never gets old.  I’ve discussed numerous Action Comics #1 sales here on BC over the years, and the Jon Berk Collection Session 1 sale of an Action Comics #1 CGC 5.5 Conserved for $393,000.00 is singularly interesting.  The notion of restoration and its impact on comic values has been a controversial and difficult-to-understand issue for decades.  Because of that, collectors have often been extremely reluctant to have comics professionally restored, even when that ‘restoration’ is restricted to the realm of conserving the comic to extend its lifespan.

In 2014, CGC revamped its restoration scale and introduced a “Conserved” label, which they describe as:

Specific repairs done to improve the structural integrity and long-term preservation of a comic book will now be classified as “conservation” and designated with a blue / purple label. These repairs include tear seals, support, staple replacement, piece reattachment and certain kinds of cleaning.

Because all conservation repairs must be professionally done and slight in nature (A-1), the label will simply say “Conservation” with no designation of quality or quantity on the label.

$393,000.00 is a very big number for a comic that’s not in a Blue Label (unrestored or unconserved), even for an Action Comics #1. By comparison, an unrestored Action Comics #1 in a comparable CGC 5.5 Blue Label sold for $956,000 last year.

Jon Berk Collection Session 1 A-1 Comics to Amazing Spider-Man

TitleIssueCertified byRankPQ/CommentsFinal Price
TitleIssueCertified byRankPQ/CommentsFinal Price
ACTION COMICS-1938 1 CGC 5.5 crm/ow pgs; (C) cvr cleaned & reinforced, staples replaced 393,000.00
ACTION COMICS-1938 7 CGC 5.5 ow/white pgs; Court Case Copy! 188,000.00
ACTION COMICS-1938 3 CGC 7 white pgs; 1 of 1! 55,009.00
AMAZING MAN COMICS 22 CGC 7 off white pgs 38,500.00
ACTION COMICS-1938 6 CGC 7 ow/white pgs; Court Case Copy 24,500.00
ACTION COMICS-1938 10 CGC 6 crm/ow pgs; Mod(B-3) pcs added, tr sls, cleaned, reinforced 19,300.00
AMAZING MYSTERY FUNNIES 4 CGC 9.6 white pgs; 1 of 1! Church/Mile High copy 14,600.00
ACTION COMICS-1938 2 CGC 8 white pgs; Mod(A-3) ct, pcs added, tr sls, clnd, lightened, reinforced 12,200.00
AMAZING MAN COMICS 26 CGC 7 ow/white pgs; Sl(B-1) sm amount of ct on cvr, pcs added to cvr 10,209.00
ADVENTURE COMICS 1938-83 210 CGC 7 off white pgs 6,316.00

Well, I’m already hearing about some impressive numbers in the early going of Session 2 from winners and losers tonight, so good luck to everyone through the rest of the evening.

(Last Updated June 13, 2017 8:54 pm )