$1.4 million on day two of Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art event
Dallas – For a second day, an auction filled with original comic book artwork was as exciting as anything DC or Marvel has ever released. And by the time the sale ended, another $1,414,680 had been spent on some of the finest art available, regardless of medium or manufacturer.
Friday’s fourth session of Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art event marked the halfway point of a signature auction that ends on Sunday. And with two days to go, the sale has already made $7,126,216 from blockbuster buys across the comics, comics and video game categories, including a world record set Friday morning for the most money. never paid for a single video game.
Session 4 was all about comics and original artwork, almost every single one of which – again – sold well above pre-auction estimates.
If ever proof was needed that the line between fine art and comics has been erased, here it is – especially as an increasingly popular icon (and iconoclast) has once again risen to the top. from a list filled with revered legends and beloved artists: Frank Frazetta.
Several of the illustrator’s pieces achieved high five figures on Friday, led by his fire and ice concept painting from 1981, two years before the release of the animated swords and sorcery epic Frazetta made with director Ralph Bakshi. The painting, done in charcoal, gouache and watercolor, opened at $16,500. But as they did throughout this auction, phone and internet bidders fought for the piece until it reached a final price of $78,000.
Several other Frazettas were also the focus of several fiery tug-of-war, including his 1971 The Gods of Mars frontispiece illustration, featuring none other than John Carter dominating a battered white Barsoom monkey. This coin sold for $43,200, nearly nine times its original estimate. And his 1975 work titled, simply, Naked woman on horseback raised $31,200.
At the other end of the spectrum, a Charles Schulz Peanuts soundtrack sold for $48,000. It’s a relative bargain considering its size (it took place on a Sunday in May 1972) and its subject matter (baseball).
Another mere mortal, this one surrounded by superheroes and villains of his co-creation, was the subject of a fiery bidding war: none other than Jack Kirby, whose self-portrait opened the day at $18,500 and went to a new owner who paid $44,400. for the good rendering. This is an unpublished specialty drawing, and these rarely sell for high prices. Again, we rarely see works by the king in which he is surrounded by his co-creations: The Thing, the Red Skull and Doctor Doom.
Superheroes – and villains – of course featured prominently in the event’s fourth of seven sessions, including Darth Vader, who was rarely seen on the cover of Star Wars comics in the 1970s. Cover of Carmine Infantino and Bob Wiacek in the years 1979 Star Wars #23 – which also featured the Millennium Falcon, also making an extraordinarily rare appearance on the title cover – started bidding at $16,500 and jumped at lightning speed, eventually selling for $38,400.
Another rare offering proved almost as valuable: John Buscema’s very first Conan the Barbarian sold for $31,200. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: it’s a stunning piece, a collaboration with the great Ernie Chan, and served as the very front page of issue #27 in 1973. What’s surprising is that it sold over four times its pre-auction. estimate.
Each batch was a highlight, but here are a few worth highlighting:
The team of Keith Pollard and Frank Giacoia on the cover of the 1979s The Fantastic Fourfeaturing Galactus and the entire crew, which sold for $38,400
Charles Vess’s cover of 1985’s Web of Spider-Man #8 sold for $30,000
At Todd McFarlane’s Amazing Spider-Man #320 Page 8, for Marvel in 1989, sold for $26,400
Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein Wolverine #4 Page 2, another Marvel coin from 1982, which sold for $24,000
by Dave Cockrum X-Men #100 Page 16, made for Marvel in 1976, which sold for $23,400
Also worth mentioning is an item that spooked bidders at the end of the fourth session on Friday afternoon: the back cover of Gilbert Shelton’s great underground comix from the third issue of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothersreleased in 1972. At $31,200, this drug-induced farewell was quite the score.
Heritage Auctions’ comic book and fine art auction continues Saturday and Sunday. For full results, register for free at HA.com.