From a collector’s standpoint, one of the best parts of any major convention is walking around the booths of vintage comics dealers and checking out what they’ve got. It’s not something that always gets the coverage it deserves amidst the spectacle of a show like the San Diego Comic-Con, and that’s too bad. Even if you’re not (yet) a collector of vintage comics, it’s still very cool to see what the heroes on today’s big screen looked like on the vintage paper of 70+ years ago. This year, Bleeding Cool’s Lauren Sisselman set out to see what was on display on the show floor.
Heritage Auctions is another source of vintage comics and art that is likely familiar to regular Bleeding Cool readers. They’ve made countless noteworthy sales over the years in both vintage comics and original art. At SDCC, Heritage Auctions had a number of items from their upcoming August 10-12 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction on display, and Lauren took advantage of the opportunity to check out a copy of Jackpot Comics #4 (an important Archie key), among other comics and artwork.
Jackpot Comics #4 (MLJ, 1941) CGC FN+ 6.5 Off-white to white pages. This is just the second appearance of that rascal from Riverdale, Archie Andrews, just weeks after first appearance in Pep Comics #22, and this is the very first Archie cover appearance! It’s also the first appearance of Archie’s old crone teacher, Miss Grundy. Irv Novick did the Steel Sterling cover and some interior art for the issue. Bob Montana also contributed art. You can count on one hand the number of CGC-graded copies of #4 that currently grade higher than this attractive offering. Overstreet 2017 FN 6.0 value = $10,500; VF 8.0 value = $20,000. CGC census 7/17: 2 in 6.5, 4 higher.
Fred Ray Superman #12 Cover Original Art (DC, 1941). Early issues of Superman and Action Comics had some of the most iconic of the Golden Age covers, and this is definitely one of them! This issue was on the racks three months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the US’s subsequent entry into World War II. Even so, Superman is already showing his support for the US Armed Forces on this cover featuring members of the Navy and Army forces. It was the first depiction of US Armed Servicemen on the cover of this title. Covers such as these helped form the United State’s overall attitude towards getting involved in WWII. Pearl Harbor was the spark that set off the powder keg. Original art from this era was often not saved or stored well. It is only by the efforts of legendary Batman co-creator Jerry Robinson (a close friend of Fred Ray’s), that this art was requested back and saved. The original art on this image was created in ink over graphite on Bristol board. It measures approximately 8.5″ x 8.5″, and has been fitted into a replacement Bristol board with professionally created replacement stat paste-up logo and header text. The background “spotlight” circle is also a very carefully fitted replacement piece. Iconic, patriotic, historic, and exceedingly rare, this is one incredible piece of art. With restoration, this is in Very Good condition.
New Adventure Comics #26 (DC, 1938) CGC GD 2.0 Cream to off-white pages. This is widely considered by DC collectors to be one of the rarest of all DC comics! This is just the second copy that we have ever seen in our 15 years of auctioning the world’s best comic books, and this copy is also just the sixth Universal label that CGC has given for this book. Further evidence of its scarcity — when collector Ian Levine completed the Herculean task of putting together a complete run of DC comics, this was the very last comic issue that he was missing before finally finishing the collection. The relatively high issue number makes it easy to forget how early in the Golden Age this book was published — issue #26 preceded Action Comics #1 by a month! In fact, the inside cover has an ad for Action #1, making this one of the very first times an image of Superman ever saw print. The Western-themed cover art was by early Golden Age cover specialist, Creig Flessel. The interior is a mix of adventure and humor, with the creators of Batman and Superman both contributing: Bob Kane did some gag strips, and Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster drew the “Federal Men” feature. The rarity of this issue should result in multiples of Guide value when the bids for this DC rarity end. Overstreet 2017 GD 2.0 value = $4,400. CGC census 7/17: 1 in 2.0, 4 higher.