Heritage August 2017 Auction Preview with Podcast Episode #2

It's that time again! Heritage! Auction!

Silver Age Books from the Collection of Mister Magik Woo

I spent some time talking about comics with the one and only Mister Magik Woo earlier this year and as part of that wide-ranging and fascinating conversation, I came away with some interesting details about the Marvels in this auction. According to Magik the books were purchased in a lot of 170 books from a pulp dealer at a comic show in Portland. They represent the choice selection out of an original owner collection of about a thousand books. Once in Magik's hands they've stayed in his climate controlled storage, nestled in specially designed mylars until heading down to Florida to go through the door's of Steve Borock's Magic Grading Kingdom.

Because of that chain of ownership, going from the discerning original owner to Magik's own climate controlled storage, these books present very well. Don't get me wrong, I think all of the Magik Woo books we've seen so far have shown great quality, both in terms of the number on the label and aesthetic quality. Even with that track record, these Marvels show remarkably well.

Let's take a look at a few of my favorite examples.

The Amazing Spider-Man #14 (Marvel, 1964) CBCS NM/MT 9.8 White

If you're one of those people who automatically discounts CBCS books, because CGC is tougher overall (and is in a tougher phase compared to previous CGC eras), you need to take another look at this particular book. To me it's as good as or better than the $55k CGC 9.8 copy. Considering it's nearly matched that copy as of this writing (sitting at around $52,000,) it seems at least two people out there agree with me. A stunner.

The Amazing Spider-Man #5 (Marvel, 1963) CBCS NM+ 9.6 White

This book has great preservation and is one of the most attractive copies of this book I've ever seen.

As an aside, I remember seeing a newsstand fresh copy of this book 30 years ago. It was the first Silver Age book I'd ever seen that looked like it was fresh off the shelf. That copy was for sale with a #6 for something like $1000. That seemed crazy to me at the time.

The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (Marvel, 1967) CBCS NM+ 9.6 White

A glorious (glorious!) copy of one of my favorite books of all time. The richness of the colors on this classic cover are a perfect example of the stunning preservation of the Magik Woo books. He bought well and kept them well. You can't ask for more.

Fantastic Four #48 Verified Signature (Marvel, 1966) CBCS NM+ 9.6

Just copy and past my previous comment. Another killer copy of one of my favorite books.

Realistically, I could just list all the Magik Woo books and just start drooling. Check them out. The overall preservation and look and feel of the books out of his collection are just over the top. Spider-Man collectors take note, especially. These are some of the best looking copies you're likely to see.

Original Art

Fred Ray Superman #12 Cover Original Art

I have no idea what this will sell for. Predicting Golden Age original art seems like insanity to me so I'm staying away as a general rule. That said, I think this is a phenomenally cool piece. It presents well and ticks off a lot of boxes for Golden Age art. It's a smoothly rendered, patriotic Superman cover from the very dawn of the super hero era. You can't ask for anything more.

Dave Gibbons Watchmen #12 Splash Page 3 Original Art (DC, 1987)

This is a dramatic image from a dramatic sequence of one of the most influential comics of all time. It too checks a lot of boxes.

Paul Pope Batman: Year 100 #3 Front and Back Cover Original Art

In hindsight I think it's a little weird that Paul Pope got to run wild with Batman the way he did with this book. It was a fun series, for sure, and this image captures the intense, visceral vibe of the series. It just seems a little weird, that's all. The big companies go through phases where they're more or less experimental. I feel like DC took a cool chance with this one.

Stephen Platt and Marlo Alquiza Prophet #7 Cover Badrock

Platt was the biggest artist in the world for about a year. Lots of detail was the selling point. Here's a prime example of what he was up to.

I wonder if it's one consignor is or if it's just a general trend of Platt being offered up for sale. He's become a regular at Heritage recently.

Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz Battle Scars #1 Cover

For those of you who don't follow new comics, Battle Scars #1 introduced Phil Coulson and Nick Fury jr. to the 616 Marvel Universe. I hunted down a CGC 9.8 copy of this book. I'm not about to step it up to get the original art, but someone will and they'll be happy about it, I'm sure.

Other Comics

Man O' Mars #1 (Fiction House, 1953) CGC FN/VF 7.0

Seriously. You love this book. What a cover? I've owned a copy of this book for many, many years and it's one of the last books I would sell. I love it.

Four Color #386 Uncle Scrooge – File Copy (Dell, 1952) CGC NM- 9.2

A 9.2 copy of this book sold for $3,500 in December of last year on eBay. You get what you pay for? Sure, Heritage's fees are higher than eBay, but, a 9.0 of this book sold at Heritage in May for $3,824.. Just about 10% more for .2 less grade.

Heritage is also selling a 9.0 in this auction. I bet both books outstrip that eBay result from last year.

Detective Comics #359 (DC, 1967) CGC VF 8.0

Here's one of those books that makes me feel like an idiot. I've liked this book forever and could have stretched to buy a nice copy any number of times over the past 20 years. Like many books it's doubled in value over the past few years and I'm left looking at a lesser copy or much bigger whack to my wallet. Obviously, you can't win them all and you can't buy everything at the best price.

It's still a bummer.

Rare Birds

The following books are both new(er) and tough to find. These are cool comics. I think.

Batman #608 Retailer Incentive Edition – Signature Series CGC 9.8

I think this is a great, modern book. I'm not the biggest fan of Hush as a character or this series (other than the art of course!), but the reality is this series was a big deal at the time and the fact that this is 1/300 makes this a cool, valuable book.

Spider-Man #1 Gold Edition 2nd Printing – Signature Series CGC 9.8

This is not the rarest or most desirable of the Spider-Man #1 variants, but it's still interesting for me to see any copy of this book selling for big bucks. There were so many copies of the standard editions, we just always assumed it would be a dog (other than the Platinum copy.) That turned out not to be the case as some of the other variations have proven to be a lot tougher than expected to find (the Gold UPC being the other, big-ticket example.)

Wolverine #145 Nabisco Variant Cover – Signature Seriess

This was a mail-in giveaway, so there are a lot less of this Nabisco variant than there are of the other copies. Interestingly, the census on this book is much higher than the other versions of this book. That's just down to how valuable it can be. Signature series 9.8s can hit up to $2,000. I'm not sure what Stan Lee will do for this book, but it's still worth watching.

That'll do for now. As always the Heritage Auctions are full of surprises, so I'm sure I'll have something interesting to write (and speak!) about in a couple of weeks.

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