In an auction session that included copies of Detective Comics #27 (first Batman) and Captain America Comics #1, I’m mostly going to be talking about the “vintage indies” (non-Marvel/DC) from last night’s Jon Berk Collection auction session 2. It’s not that the major DC Comics and Marvel/Timely keys aren’t doing well — of course they are doing very well indeed. But some of last nights results from publishers like Fox, Lev Gleason, and Ace serve to highlight a trend that has been building over the past 2-3 years: The vintage indies have arrived (again) in the hearts and minds of vintage comics collectors.
Fantastic Comics #3 CGC 9.4 Edgar Church copy (Fox, 1940) — This comic book has what is considered one of the classic covers of the era, by artist Lou Fine. One of the best artists of the 1938-1944 period and admired by peers such as Jack Kirby for his combination of outstanding composition and detailed, flowing line work, Fine produced a number of the best covers of the Golden Age of comics. At a final hammer price of $243,000.00, this book joins the Suspense Comics #3 (Continental Magazines, 1944) with has a recent sale at $262,900.00 in establishing that it doesn’t take a Marvel or DC Comics key to get into quarter million dollar territory. This sale, and the Berk auction in general, also confirms that high-end collectors like the Edgar Church pedigree as much as ever.
Daredevil Battles Hitler #1 CGC 8.5 (Lev Gleason, 1941) — This sale is not really a record, is not one of the highest dollar sales of Session 2, and I should note for you Marvel fans that this is not the same character that you’re familiar with. He’s a different super-hero from an earlier era, and was published by a different company. I’m going to single it out anyway because it makes for a fascinating market study. As gorgeous as this copy is at CGC 8.5, there are an astounding 15 (!!) copies in this grade or higher on the CGC census. that is a lot of high grade copies for a comic book from 1941. As additional high grade copies have emerged onto the census, prices have remained relatively flat over the past 15 years. And yet… I think the buyer of this copy is going to be very happy with his $12,200.00 purchase in the years to come. Because while Captain America Comics #1 has gotten all the Nazi-punching glory in recent months, Daredevil Battles Hitler #1 (which is actually the first issue of the Lev Gleason Daredevil series, which lasted 134 issues through September 1956) was at one time one of the most famous vintage comics covers of all time. I have a hunch people are going to start remembering that again, right about now.
Here’s some additional highlights from last night’s Session 2:
- All Star Comics #8 CGC 9.4 First Wonder Woman Sells For Record $936,223.00
- First Appearances Of Thor Already Over $20K On Comic Connect!
- Flash Comics #1 Ashcan (Fawcett) Auction Ends Tonight On Comic Connect
- Jon Berk On The Vintage Comic And Art Collector's Chase
- If You're A Vintage Comic And Original Art Collector, This Week, You Live In Jon Berk's World
- Oh, My: One Of The Best Vintage Comic Book And Art Collections Ever Assembled Is Hitting The Auction Block
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