News-Antique.com - Dec 02,2010 - DALLAS, TX – Call it the investment of a lifetime, literally: A 7.0 CGC graded copy of Detective #27, the first appearance of “The Batman,” bought off the newsstand for a dime by Sacramento-native Robert Irwin when he was 13 years old, and subsequently put away and forgotten until the early 1990s, made its hobby debut and sold for $492,938 on Nov. 18 to lead Heritage Auctions’ $4.8 Million Vintage Comics & Comic Art Auction, becoming the third-highest grossing comic ever sold by the company.
“It’s absolutely amazing that Mr. Irwin, now in his 80s, would have had the foresight, and the luck, to have stashed this comic away right after he bought it more than 70 years ago,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “Added to that miraculous survival is the superb condition it was preserved in over these decades.”
“I’m only sorry I didn’t buy two of them,” joked Irwin on the auction floor after the sale of the comic.
A record price was also set for a restored comic book when the famous “court copy” of Action Comics #1, the first Superman comic and arguably one of, if not the most important piece of pop culture of the last 100 years, sold for $143,400.
“This isn’t only the most ever paid for a restored copy of Action #1,” said Jaster, “it’s the most ever paid for any restored comic book, period. “It bested the previous mark, also set by Heritage, by more than $25,000.”
The Kerby Confer Collection of original Disney Art continued to post spectacular results for the Maryland radio executive, with the second part of his collection realizing a solid $711,909, as collectors snapped up his rare and highly-sought after original Carl Barks Scrooge McDuck paintings, with his glowing, frenetic 1974 painting A Binful of Fun leading the way at $143,400.
“The top collectors continue to put a premium on original Barks art,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations of the Comics Division at Heritage, “and on the superb examples that Confer has had in his collection for decades. A Binful of Fun was one of four Barks paintings in this particular auction that sold for more than $100,000.”
Prices for original Frank Miller art continued to command top prices from collectors, continuing a rising trend over the last several years, as Miller’s original art for Wolverine #3, one of the most beloved issues of the famed X-Men spin-off, featuring a somber, dramatic and penitent Wolvie, brought $47,800.”
One of the more interesting facets of the auction came in the prices realized for original art for daily comic strips, with the original artwork for Milton Caniff’s first Introducing Terry and the Pirates daily comic strip bringing $38,837 – one of the highest prices Heritage has ever realized for original daily comic strip art – while Charles Schulz’ original Oct. 27, 1961 Peanuts daily strip art, a classic Great Pumpkin entry, brought $32,265, an impressive price for an artist and title that routinely