The Action #1 CGC 9.0 Auction Starts Tonight

Here are a few final updates before the auction kicks off.

  • The liquidity requirements have been dropped by $1,000,000. Whether this is strategic or is down to lack of interest at the perceived $3,000,000 price tag is unknown.
  • Mark Seifert posted details on the actual timeline of this book in the Census. It appears that it was in the census as an 8.0 for two and a half years and then, in the next update, showed up as a 9.0. If this is true then the book was in the census all along and CGC only held up the grade bump until July. This is still damn confusing.
  • Vincent Zurzolo from Metropolis/ComicConnect was talking down the chances of this book on CNBC. While I've been skeptical of the higher end of people's predictions (anything over $3,000,000 would surprise me) the numbers he's throwing around seem low. Unless people are bluffing there's a legit bidder floor for this book right around the previous record and I can't imagine the reserve isn't at that level as well. Assuming the book was shopped around at over $1,000,000 after the Kansas City sale )As an 8.0) selling it for $1,500,000 now makes no sense.

Anyway, get your popcorn ready. Once this book sells, I'm going to bite the bullet and revamp my list of the world's most valuable comic books with new estimates. Should be fun.

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Updates on the eBay Action #1


I've learned a couple of things since my last post and I thought I'd share an update.

  • The book was in the census for two and a half years. It was only held back from the census after the upgrade in order to coincide with San Diego, the Overstreet Price Guide and the launch of eBay's page on the auction.
  • Accoring to Gator on the CGC forums the book will be starting at .99 with a reserve well below the $3,000,000 minimum bid/reserve we were speculating on earlier. This is a good move as far as I'm concerned.
  • The book sold in 2010, after the Kansas City copy for over a million dollars. We still don't have a confirmed price, but it must have been competitive to the other books that were selling at the time.

And… it starts in 5 days!

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Thoughts on the New Action #1 CGC 9.0. Will This Be the First $3,000,000 Comic Book?


I was in Paris when this news broke, which is probably good because I would have lost a day to the news that CGC had graded a new Action Comics #1 CGC 9.0 and that it would be for sale on eBay.

On comic book drama

The scan above is from a pull-out spread in the Overstreet Price Guide that came out around the same time. The timing of all these releases was aided by the fact that the book was hidden from the CGC Census after being graded in February.

Which is the first piece of interesting (and controversial) information about this book that came out over the past week.

The second is that the book was previously graded 8.0 four years ago when it last sold in a private sale. It never appeared in the census at that time and has remained hidden until now. This ability to keep books out of the census came as a surprise to people and was seen as a serious issue by a number of folks on the CGC Forum. While I'm not happy with it I'm also not so sure how much damage this practice can really do as anyone who's serious enough to buy an Action #1 has to have some sense that there's a hidden well of copies outside of the census. Still, I'd rather have as much transparency as possible, so I'd love to see CGC end the practice of keeping books out of the census. There are already enough problems in the census with ghost books living on well after they've gone on to live in a new, upgraded, holder.

Beyond that, it's crazy to me that this book sold that recently and was graded 8.0 at the time. Somewhere in the past four years the book got a one point bump and is now poised to break the record for the highest price paid for a comic book. I would love to know what the sale was for in 2010. Considering the timing it has to have been a pretty significant number.

On the book

Bump or no bump this is a beautiful copy of Action #1. It's got white pages and it's not a weak designation. Structurally it's also very sound. It presents really well. This is probably the coolest book in a CGC holder (in addition to being set to become the most valuable. )

This is clearly at least the second best known copy of Action #1. That's rarefied air right there.

On the auction

It looks like the book will have an opening bid or a reserve of $3,000,000. That's the number that people have to prove they have in liquid assets in order to pre-qualify to bid. I think that's a realistic number to aim for, but it seems like an aggressive approach to selling the book. Maybe it won't matter here because this is a unique item, but I've never felt great about the performance of auctions on eBay that are either high reserve or start in with a minimum bid that's over GPA. This is 40% (give or take) over the previous record.

I want to see the book sell, so I'm hoping my misgivings about the format are misplaced.

My real hope is that this is somewhat staged in that there's a known entity ready to break the ice on the book who they know will be willing and able to buy the book. What I would really prefer would be a true auction, starting in at .99 and 100 bids later it breaks $3,000,000, but it's not my book to sell, so there it is.

I'm officially confused about eBay as a venue, by the way. I know that the fees on eBay are much lower on paper than any of the other auction houses, but I can't help but think that the flow of information around this book would have been more positive if the book was being auctioned in this month's Comic Connect Event Auction or at the current Heritage Signature Auction. Of course, with a $3,000,000 book, every percentage point counts, so maybe the low fees on eBay beat out any other concern.

Just a few days until it goes live. I'll be covering the book until it sells, so keep your eyes on the site to get my take on this historic auction.

Posted in $100,000 Club News, cgc, comics, dc, ebay, golden age, superman | Tagged | 1 Comment

Heritage August 2014 Auction Highlights


This is another Heritage auction that feels like it's more about original art than comics. Starting, for me at least, with the image above. To me that's one of the great Wrightson horror covers. It's a real belt and suspenders horror image. Just the guy chasing the kids with the bloody ax is pretty creepy, then Wrightson adds in a bandoleer of severed heads to make sure you're kept up at night.

As always what follows are just few of the many lots that have caught my eye in one way or another (minus the ones I've bidding on :) )

Brian Bolland Batman:The Killing Joke Page 14 Original

A significant page from a historical perspective. Super memorable. I don't think I'd like to have this one hanging on the wall because it's so terribly depressing, but it's still a humdinger of a page.

Kevin Eastman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pin-Up Original Art


Pre-#1 artwork. I'm a fan of the raw style they did for these books. I was blown away by TMNT back in the day.

This IS something I'd like to hang on my wall :)

Strange Tales #110 Northland pedigree (Marvel, 1963) CGC NM

It's one of the great shames (alongside All Star #8) of all the big 1st appearances. IF this had Doctor Strange on the cover it would be even a cooler book. Don't get me wrong. It's a super cool book, but it would be even more awesome with Doctor Strange on the cover.

Planet Comics #1 (Fiction House, 1940) CGC VG+ 4.5 Off-white


No commentary needed from me. It might not be Action #1, but it's a classic book.

The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (Marvel, 1979) CGC MT 9.9 Off-white

I think this is a great book. I'm not in the market for it myself, but in general I think ASM 194 is a cool, cool book.

Exciting Comics #60 Mile High pedigree

You can't beat this comic book. Schomburg airbrush cover x Nedor x Edgar Church.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #12 Cover B – Sara Richard 1

A unique comic (1 of 1) with art by the excellent Sara Richard. I'm curious what this will sell for.

Posted in cgc, Classic Covers, comics, edgar-church-collection, heritage, marvel, original art, pedigrees, schomburg | Tagged , | Leave a comment

$100,000 Club Data Updated with Comic Connect Event Auction and the $320k Hulk #1 CGC 9.2

Just like the title says, the $100,000 Club data is updated with results from the recent Comic Connect Event Auction and the standalone sale of the Hulk #1 CGC 9.2 for $320,000.

That Hulk #1 sold previously at Heritage. Whoever bought it there made a handsome profit on the book. Buying the book for $125,000 in 2009 and selling it for $320,000 in 2014 is a strong ROI no matter what your business.

As an aside, I myself won this beauty in the Comic Connect auction. I can't wait to get my hands on it.


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Newly Discovered New Book of Comics #1

This image was sent to me as a result of my free comic book appraisal page. It's not for sale and I haven't gotten a better image than this, but I still think it's interesting enough to share. It's a copy of New Book of Comics #1 from 1937 found in a basement along with some other papers and a low grade copy of Superman #6. This book is listed as "rare" by Overstreet and warrants a Gerber 8. There are also only 9 copies in the CGC Census. Neat book.


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More Silver Age Pedigree Keys Added (Strange Tales 101, 110 and Tales to Astonish 35)


I added three new silver age keys to my Existence and Grades of Silver Age Key Books From the Major Pedigree Collections list.

Which is pretty cool.

As always I love to hear about new books either for this list or for the $100,000 club. I can't do this stuff without help from all of you so keep up the awesome work.

Posted in $100,000 Club News, comics, dc, marvel, pacific-coast, pedigrees, silver age, western penn, white-mountain | Leave a comment

The Current Heritage Auction is Dominated by Original Art


I can't remember seeing a Heritage Signature Auction so dominated by original comic book art. This one is clearly an original art auction with some comics tossed in for fun. There have been some other auctions with strong original art lots, the Shamus collection is the noteworthy example, but those auctions all seemed to have a strong set of comics attached as well. This is a little different.

Obviously the Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel Hulk #180 page with the first image of Wolverine is going to get a lot of attention. It's already at $227,050.00 with some time left to run. Even if it ends at this number it will be a significant original art sale. I still think it has some room to run, too. People might just go bonkers for that page.

Still, even beyond that there are some great pieces that are pushing original art to the top of the charts in this auction. There's a Dave Cockrum and Bob McLeod X-Men #94 page, a Bill Watterson Calvin and Hobbes Daily and the dramatic Frank Miller Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2 page pictured at the top of this post.

Quite a lineup right there. Should be a fun auction to watch.

Posted in batman, heritage, miller, original art, records, x-men | Leave a comment

Cool Comics Scanned From My Collection of Old Auction Catalogs

Feast your eyes on some books that, for the most part, sold in the 1990s and early 2000s in different auctions. These all struck me, for one reason or another, as interesting books to share.

Showcase #4 Mohawk Valley, Sotheby's 1995

At this point, Showcase #4 was still a hot book. This lot sold for $34,500.

Unrestored FN Detective 27, Sotheby's 1997

Gorgeous book, no?

Fantastic Four #1 CGC 9.4, JP The Mint

Obviously, this is my favorite of all the books that went through JP's hands.

High Grade, Restored Action #1, Sotheby's 1996

A restored VF+ 84. Apparently just the cover needed to be reattached, which… is a curious issue for a book as nice looking as this one. Still, how gorgeous is this book? It's crazy nice.

Posted in $100,000 Club News, auctions, batman, dc, golden age | Leave a comment