Press Release - November 26, 2012

Frazetta Art, Calvin And Hobbes Sunday Strip Lead $6.6+ Million Comics & Comic Art Event At Heritage

Record prices for comic art realized across the board: Auction record for Frazetta painting at $262,900, record for newspaper strip art shattered as Calvin & Hobbes piece reaches $203,150; part of finest original comic art grouping ever offered at auction, Nov. 15-17, in Dallas

DALLAS – An eye-popping cover painting by Frank Frazetta more than tripled its pre-auction estimate to bring $262,900 to lead Heritage’s $6.6+ million Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction, while the first Calvin and Hobbes Sunday comic strip by Bill Watterson ever sold at auction reached a world record $203,150, garnering headlines around the world.

The Nov. 15-17 auction sold an almost perfect 99% by value and 99.9% by lot. In total, 17 lots surpassed $50,000, 42 lots sold above $20,000, and 64 lots sold above $10,000.

“This auction is the finest collection of comic art ever offered in a single sale and the results prove it,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “It’s truly staggering to realize bidders purchased 99.9% of the more than 2,000 lots in the auction. This is the consistent level of success we have established on behalf of our consignors.”

As expected, bidders went to heroic lengths to own original art by great artists. Carmine Infantino’s classic cover of Flash #137, with its epic battle between Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash from Earth One and Jay Garrick, DC’s Golden Age Flash from the universe that became known as Earth Two, sold for a DC Silver Age art record price of $167,300. A 1964 splash page from Amazing Spider-Man #12 by Steve Ditko, depicting a tableau of classic characters from the title, brought $137,425, while original art from The Amazing Spider-Man #22 from 1965 sold for $65,725. Al Feldstein's single greatest science-fiction cover from Weird Fantasy #8 more than doubled its estimate to sell for $80,662.50 and a single page by Jack Kirby and Chic Stone from X-Men #9, depicting the first battle between the X-Men and Avengers brought $77,675.

Additional original art highlights include multiple record prices from The Art of the Funnies Collection – the greatest group of newspaper strip art ever brought to auction – led by Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant original comic strip art from 1939, which sold for $65,725. Other standouts include an unused cover drawn by Robert Crumb for the 1967 underground comic classic Zap #2 sold for $59,750 and Dave Cockrum’s original cover art for Iron Fist #15 from 1977 sold for $47,800.

Modern original art by Todd McFarlane from The Shamus Collection of Modern Masterworks dazzled collectors as well with his bombastic original cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #325, showing an oversized portrait of the Red Skull behind a troubled Spidey and a crumbling Capital dome, bringing $83,650. McFarlane’s dark and moody original cover art for Batman #423 sold for $71,700 and the cover from Spider-Man #2, showing Spider-man caught off guard by the vicious Lizard, sold for $65,725. His original cover art from Spider-Man #8 brought $40,331.25.

Top comic book lots were led by everyone’s favorite Dark Knight with a copy of Batman #1 CGC FN/VF 7.0 bringing $107,550. A copy of the 1961 classic Fantastic Four #1 CGC VF8.0 brought $38,837.50. Standing as an example on how condition affects value, a high-grade copy of X-Men #1 CGC NM 9.4 sold for $89,625 while a copy of X-Men #1 graded CGC NM-9.2 brought $62,140.

Among non-comic collectibles and art, a high-grade Red Star copy of Playboy #1 CGC NM 9.4 sold for $21,510 and a Courvoisier Production Cel of the Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs brought $19,120.

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The collecting community was wondering how Heritage would do with this specialized collection, and the catalog exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Roger Siboni,
Mantoloking, NJ
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