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Press Release - April 17, 2002

Vintage Spider-Man comics and art climb in anticipation of movie's release

Dallas, TX -- Prices for many old Spider-Man comic books have doubled in the past year, and are expected to rise even higher with the upcoming release of the web slinger's feature film, May 3.

Spidey is already setting records in the comic book world. Dallas-based Heritage, the world's largest collectibles auctioneer, shattered records in March by selling a Very Fine to Near Mint copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-Man’s origin and first appearance) comic book at auction for more than $44,000.

"Spider-Man has been using his web since 1963," says Heritage Comics Director John Petty. "But now that he's using the world-wide web, he's showing real super powers!" Petty says interest in the movie is doing wonders for the comic books. "We haven't seen this kind of interest since the Batman movie came out in 1989!"

Petty predicts that when audiences get to see the special effects in the Spider-Man movie the rarest Spidey-stuff will be gobbled up faster than you can say Peter Parker. "Heritage just received an amazing consignment of so-called Silver Age Marvel art, including the entire original interior artwork for Spider-Man #10, one of the two earliest Spider-Man stories ever offered at public auction. This book-length story is a true classic from 1964, conceived and written by Stan Lee at the very peak of his powers, and brilliantly drawn by Spider-Man’s legendary co-creator Steve Ditko. Most early Ditko art it tightly held in private collections and is rarely offered. So we are thrilled that this entire comic book interior is being offered for sale!”

Stan Lee, who also created X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Daredevil and scores of other comic book icons, considers this story one of his true classics, and perhaps the very introduction to the Marvel Age of Comics. In fact he plans to be at the auction himself, just to see what his masterpiece brings. “Why is issue #10 one of my all-time favorites?” asks Lee. “I was hoping you'd ask. First of all, it's one of the greatest examples of Steve Ditko's inimitable art, showing why he's the legend he is. Next, the human interest. Picture Aunt May at death's door while Peter is involved in one of comicdom's most dramatic love tangles. Then there's the unforgettable sequence in which J. Jonah Jameson finally lets us know the reason for his fanatical hatred of Spider-Man! This pivotal story in Spider-Man's character development will make you wish Hollywood would make a movie of Spidey's life. Hey, come to think of it, they just did! Excelsior!”

The 22-page story could alone fetch over $160,000 at Heritage’s Wizard World Chicago 2002 Signature auction July 5-7. The auction itself is expected to smash the previous record (set by Heritage in March) of $2.6 million in net sales, and Heritage is confidently predicting it will be the largest comics auction in history. Details about this and other Heritage auctions can be found at http://www.HeritageComics.com

Stan Lee and John Petty are each available for phone interviews and major media appearances, while Heritage can provide members of the press with all the comic visuals necessary to make your story a superhuman piece!

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