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Press Release - February 13, 2016

Worth its weight in gold: Spider-Man comic book bought for $1,200 in 1980 may bring $400,000+ at auction

Consigned by New York area native Walter Yakaboski; kept in a safe deposit box for 35 years; at auction Feb. 18, 2016 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas

Most valuable Spider-Man comic book
DALLAS — In 1980, when Walter Yakaboski saw a good opportunity, he took it. He was a comic book collector and had the opportunity to buy a handful of key early Marvel comic books for the very tidy sum of $10,000 — a good bit to spend in those days. Among them was a gem of a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, the landmark first appearance of Spider-Man. He figures today that the portion of the $10,000 that went for the Spider-Man comic was about $1,200.

"I saw that the really good comics were quickly getting beyond me," said Yakaboski. "My mother thought I was crazy to spend that kind of money."

Yakaboski took those comics and put them in a safe deposit box. His collecting days were drawing to an end as he prepared to marry and focus on more important things. Life went on, decades passed, and when Yakaboski went back and took his comic books out of the safe deposit box he found that he wasn't crazy at all.

"We think this comic has the potential to realize the highest price ever paid at public auction for a Spider-Man comic book," said Lon Allen, Managing Director of the Comics Department at Heritage Auctions, where the book will be sold on Feb. 18, 2016. "We're expecting it to finish somewhere in the range of $400,000."

Yakaboski's comic book, once received at Heritage, was quickly sent to third-party grading service Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) and returned with the grade of NM 9.4.

"It's a very high grade on a very rare comic book," added Allen. "There are only a handful of these comics in this condition that exist. Whoever buys this comic will be joining an elite club."

Hi-Res images available:
Eric Bradley, Public Relations Associate

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