The Web-Slinger and Other "Heroes" Capture $5M
at Comic, Art and Movie Poster Auction

If only we'd known when we were kids. Like baseball cards, the old comic books are bringing in a bundle these days.

At Wizard World's 2002 comics and popular media convention July 4-6 in Chicago, Heritage Comics Auctions (HCA) rang up a record-breaking $5,027,553 in sales (including 15% buyer's premium) with an 83% sell-through rate. The sale received international attention due to a consignment from Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man. Lee consigned his personal file copies of key Marvel comics, including Fantastic Four #1, Amazing Spider-Man #1, Daredevil #1, X-Men #1 and others. He had kept these copies over the years for reference and felt that the time was right to release them to his fans.

"The Stan Lee File Copies, all graded and certified by Comics Guaranty LLC, surpassed everyone's expectations, even mine," said HCA Director John Petty. "In fact Stan's books brought anywhere from two to 45 times our estimates."

Asked for specifics, Petty replied, "We all expected the big books, like the Fantastic Four #1 and Spider-Man #1, to do well, but what really amazed me were the secondary titles. A copy of Nick Fury, Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1, CGC graded 3.0 with cream to off-white pages, would normally be worth about $20. We sold Stan's copy for $899. A non-pedigreed copy of Avengers #1, CGC graded 8.0, sold for $1,840 while Stan's copy grading only 3.0 sold for $2,357.50. And a very nice copy of Daredevil #1, in anticipation of the upcoming movie, sold for $1,610 (CGC graded 8.0) while Stan's copy, two grades lower at CGC 6.0, realized $2,990."

Stan Lee had other material in the auction, including newspaper strip art, also performed well. The total realization of the Stan Lee-consigned lots came in just shy of $200,000, about triple the pre-sale estimate.

Comic highlights included:

  • Captain America Comics #1, CGC VF 8.0, $41,400.
  • Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly, CGC FN/VF 7.0 light tan to off-white pages, $20,700.
  • Sub-Mariner #1, Larson pedigree, CGC VF/NM 9.0, off-white to white pages, $37,087.50.
  • Batman #1, CGC VF 8.0, cream to off-white pages, $57,500.
    *The Amazing Spider-Man #1, CGC NM- 9.2, off-white pages, $43,700.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #5, Mile High pedigree, CGC NM 9.4, off-white to white pages, $63,250.
  • Wonder World Comics #3, CGC NM 9.4, off-white to white pages, $25,300.
  • WOW Comics #1, Mile High pedigree, CGC NM 9.4, off-white to white pages, $39,100.
  • Crypt of Terror #17, Gaines File pedigree, CGC NM+ 9.6, cream to off-white, $18,457.50.

Original art posted strong results as well, with some high-profile pieces realizing high-dollar bids. Especially significant were:

  • Hal Foster, original comic strip art for Prince Valiant, dated 12-17-44, $20,700
  • Steve Ditko, original art for Amazing Spider-Man #10, complete 22-page story, $161,000.
  • John Romita, Sr., original cover art to Amazing-Spider-Man #69, $41,400.
  • John Romita, Sr., original cover art to Spectacular Spider-Man #2, $63,250.
  • Johnny Craig, original cover art for Crypt of Terror #17, $37,950.
  • Dick Sprang and Charles Paris, original art for Batman #56, complete 13-page story, "The Riddle of the Seven Birds;" $34,500.
  • Frank Frazetta, original oil painting, "Carson of Venus," $74,750.

Movie poster collectors weren't forgotten, either, with exceptional results on many lots, including:

  • The Black Cat, Universal 1934, half-sheet, $43,700.
  • Gone With The Wind, MGM 1939, one-sheet, $18,400.
  • Mickey's Pal Pluto, United Artists 1933, one-sheet, $43,125.
  • Tobor The Great, Republic 1954, one-sheet, $4,025.
  • The Adventures of Captain Marvel, Republic 1941, one-sheet, $4,600.
  • King Kong, RKO 1933, French one-panel, $14,950.

For more information, and for complete results, please visit the Heritage Comics Auctions website at

All photos and cover photo courtesy, Heritage Comics Auctions. HCA is located in Dallas, Tex., and specializes in rare, high-grade comic books, vintage comic and animation art, illustration art, movie posters and comics-related collectibles. Call 214-252-4288 or 214-252-4392 for information about auctions or consignments.

Amazing Man #5
comic book, rated NM 9.2,

Original oil painting,
"Carson of Venus,"
by Frank Frazetta, $74,750.

Complete 22-page original art by Steve Ditko to Amazing Spider-Man #10, $161,000.


Original cover art to Spectacular Spider-Man #2 by John Romita, Sr., $63,250

Batman #1, $57,500.

Captain America #1 comic book, $41,400.

United Artists' Mickey Mouse poster, 1933 one-sheet, $43,125.


Original cover art to Amazing Spider-Man #69 by John Romita, Sr., $41,400.



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