Auction Highlights #98

Comic Link Winter Featured Auction

The comic book portion of the ComicLink Winter Featured Auction ended Thursday March 2nd. This was an impressive auction loaded with books I really wanted!

The tiara and the flowers went to a stunning CBCS 9.0 Amazing Fantasy #15 that closed at $240,222. I think this was a very important listing for CBCS, I’m sure they are happy with the result.

Let’s look at some top 50 tidbits:

  • You could have called this the Spidey Auction, 17 of the top 50 (34%) featured the web crawler,, including the top book and the 3rd top book
  • The Golden Age matched Spidey’s output in the top 50 with 17 showings
  • The major Marvel Keys showed up 14 times
  • The Bronze Age showed up 3 times
  • There were 4 restored books  and 1 qualified book in the top 50
  • And an important ratio to watch in the future, there were 44 CGC graded books and 6 CBCS graded books in the top 50

OK let’s look at a few results.

Pep Comics #26, MLJ Magazines, April 1942 Graded by CGC at 2.0 with Off White to White pages sold for $5,365.00.

I was watching this one closely, wanted it but a buddy was already bidding so I stayed away.

This is a monster book, 1st appearance of Veronica Lodge. Veronica is no support character, she is central to the whole Archie concept. This book has been worth money for a while and as of this auction there are only 11 with a CGC Universal grade. This copy puts you in the top 9 copies available. Check out the nice post about this book on CBD’s Undervalued Spotlight.

Advantage Buyer

 

Jungle Action #5, Marvel Comics, July 1973 Graded by CGC at 9.8 with White pages sold for $790.00.

This is a reprint of Avengers #62 and I don’t see the value being this high. The last 9.8 Avengers #62 sold for $896 (though that was 4 years ago and not a fair comparison – so I take that back).

It’s Jungle Action #6 that starts the Panther stories.

Advantage Seller

Dime Comics #1, Commercial Signs/Bell, February 1942 Graded by CGC at 2.0 with Off White pages sold for $3,100.

So I won this book. I think I did the right thing.

Demand for the Canadian Whites is spotty but it is most definitely growing. Some random run issues, albeit with good grades and strong cover were getting over $2,000 during this auction. I figured that Dime Comics #1 was one of the major keys of the whole Whites era. 1st Johnny Canuck, the template for Canadian patriotic heroes.

Obviously biased but …Advantage Buyer

 

Daredevil #1, Marvel Comics, April 1964 Graded by CGC at 9.6 with Off White to White pages sold for $23,750.00.

This book snuck by me, out of my price range but I’d have borrowed from someone if I’d have won it for this amount. This is an easy and clean call…

Advantage Buyer



X-Men #70, Marvel Comics, June 1971 Graded by CGC at 9.8 with White pages sold for $2,436.00.

Is there some sort of secret X-Men reprints club competing for the best Registry Set?

I saw that beautiful Adams art CGC 9.8 X-Men #65 go for $1,135 and I thought for sure there must be.

Advantage Seller

 

So? What did you get ?

Walter Durajlija Written by:

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

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13 Comments

  1. AFTA Comics
    March 3, 2017

    Thanks for this update! Here’s my take on a couple of things you’re curious about: Jungle Action #5 might be a reprint, but it’s still the first Black Panther in his own series. Imagine if the first issue of Spider-man were a reprint of AF #15..would it be worth less than issue #2?

    X-Men #67 – 93 were shoved into 4 for a dollar boxes in the 1970’s ( I was there and rescued as many of those books I could find) and so mistreated PLUS the print run of these books were 1/4 of what the rest of the series was, they just are not out there in high grade. A few years ago, I sold a duplicate run of these books and received 3X OPG for them.

  2. March 3, 2017

    Great rebuttals AFTA. My 2 Advantage Seller books are both reprints! Shows what I think of reprints I guess. Scarcity is obviously an important factor but content has to trump all in my view.

    Your ASM #1 as a reprint versus the value of ASM #2 is an interesting point. I recently picked Superman #4 as Undervalued because it was the 1st book in the title with all original content – and look at the value of Superman #1 (though Sup #1 had some new material)! Point taken.

  3. March 3, 2017

    My first comment before I post another one about the actual auction: I agree with Walter entirely on the X-Men reprints. I see various flavors (or flavours, for those running this site) of price action, each driven by their own kind of scarcity. I think the X-Men reprint flavor could be called “junk scarcity”. (As I think about this, this appellation also applies in a way to the whole Golden Age, since all comics were considered junk, disposal culture, hence their scarcity.) NOBODY wanted these books in the past – I was pretty young when they were published, but even then I saw them as a crass attempt by Marvel to draw you in with a nice cover, then stick you with an antiquated rerun. As the other poster points out, these were treated as readers for decades, with no significance. Now of course they are rare in high grade, and so the high grade copies are “collectible”.

    However, I would continue to avoid them because they are “collectible” in the same way that any rare detritus is – they have very little relevance to either the fictional historical timeline of comics or the historical interaction of comics with the broader culture. Within the hard core collecting community they have meaning, but if they are leaving people like Walter and me scratching their heads, they are presumably even more questionable to the “new money” coming into the collecting community, either middle-aged men with more liquidity available to reignite their youthful interest, or a broader group who are taking more of a cultural history viewpoint. Clearly the new entrants would generally rather buy an 8.0 Hulk 181 for $2k, even if there are thousands graded at that value and above, rather than a weird reprint from 1971, regardless of grade/scarcity. If a few of these reprint collectors give up/fall on hard times/die, it will create a huge impact on price that might be unrecoverable – the “run book” problem intensified, as these are “run books” without original stories.

  4. Steve V.
    March 3, 2017

    Congratulations Mr.Durajlija on the undervalued Dime # 1 key pickup. Dime #1- 2.0 – complete, is not so rare, and with orbiting coffee stains, tape, and top-chips show a well loved specimen, but, unquestionably simply a must-have grail to whites collectors. Other bargains include cover appearances by the Queen and the Knave of whites : Nelvana, and The Penguin.- respectfuly Wow 16 and Triumph 20-25. Key issue superhero cover appearances continue to rise above the rest. What astonishes most is that endless mid-grade cover appearances of the likes of Tang continue to be absorded without collector fatique.-advantage seller on the Tangs, Purple Rider and Jeff(who) Waring covers. The buyers of the Luckys were Lucky at low prices with upside. Freelance and 3 Aces are picking up steam. My parting thought is that interest in whites as a cureosity is apparantly waning, in favor of core interest in golden DC superhero. Now whites are accepted and prices settled, so have found their rank and file in the great relative-value pecking order. Will Whites hold as have maximum $15,000 key issue price ceilling for Nelvana #nn 1945, relative to $3,000,000 Action 1938 #1- representing a value of 1/2 % ? Or, do any classes of whites have untapped-un recognized potential for price supper-growth.

  5. March 3, 2017

    Fantastic insights chrismeli, thanks for sharing in the conversation. I’ve always said buying based on scarcity of the CGC grade is folly since strong results usually lead to an increase in supply as owners of nice copies realize the book is worth the investment in grading costs.

    Steve V, I think Whites still have a ways to climb. These are early days in the development of a strong collecting community. Results are sporadic for sure with surprises on both ends of the price spectrum but I attribute this to lack of supply and a developing collector base.

    You are right though in that certain issues are differentiating themselves as the keys in the Whites collecting strain. I think mid grade copies of Triumph Adventure #1 and #2 as well and Better #1 would all best the results of the Nelvana compendium.

  6. March 3, 2017

    Anyone know how much the AF 15 9.0 sold for?

  7. March 3, 2017

    On the auction itself:

    I had grand designs to go after a whale, but I chickened out. The whales I looked at:
    – All Star #3 CGC 5.5: I gave up when this was in a Heritage Auction last year, and boy was that a bad call. I nearly exactly called the finish price in this auction ($28.25k), but while it may now be on-market, it was way too much for me.
    – Captain America Comics #2 CGC 7.0: Believe it or not, I called the finish price within one dollar (I said a round $16k). It was way underbid with just a few minutes to go, and I was prepared – I bid $14.5k. With seconds to go I was outbid. In this case I was not prepared to pay my estimate, so I wasn’t particularly unhappy.
    – Captain America Comics #46 CGC 5.0: Along the lines of my previous post, this book is the other end of the spectrum – a fairly rare book with culturally critical topic. In this case I just couldn’t bring myself to pay up even though my price estimate was $12k (it went for $10.75k). I might regret this, but I am going to keep my eyes open for another copy.
    – Marvel Feature #1 CGC 9.8 white: a perfect copy, and I had a hard time estimating price (it looked to me like it could go anywhere from $2.6k to $7.4k), but above $5k I felt my money was best spent elsewhere.
    – More Fun #55 CGC 8.0: Again I had trouble estimating where this would go, I thought it could go anywhere $15k-$30k. In this case I have a vibe that the book is weakening, so I was only comfortable at the low end of this range. Again I came in just before finish with a bid of $16k when the book was sitting around $12k, and again I was beat (went for $18.9k).

    As I say above, the only one I am really second-guessing is CAC #46. I don’t think this book is going to decline, and if comics make it to the “cultural artifact” status that I think is possible, I see the possibility of extreme appreciation.

    So what did I get?:
    – Batman #217 CGC 9.6: Adams cover, Dick Grayson goes to college and Batman closes up the Batcave. I am reading _The Caped Crusade_ by Glen Weldon, and his coverage of this issue probably influenced me. I think the price was good ($400) for a dark cover a relatively few in high grade.
    – Captain America Comics #27 CBCS 6.0: “To Berlin” – I love this cover and I think a lot of others do as well, because the $3.4k price is high for a 6.0. After I lost on CAC #2 I had mere seconds to decide whether to slightly bid over my $3.2k estimate for this book. I don’t think that this is anywhere near CAC #45 in significance, but it is way up there in terms of WW II covers.
    – Detective #356 CGC 9.8: I might end up regretting this one, but it is a nice Infantino cover from an interesting period, with only two 9.8 copies, and anecdotally it seems like red covers like this one tend to show flaws. For $1.2k this compares well with the many (currently eighteen) 9.6s that sell for $250-$300.

    There is a further postscript: I had watched all of the Marvel Mysterys and bid on some, but was not willing to go near/above my estimates, so I didn’t take anything. (#63 CGC 5.5 was particularly hard on me, going for $3.1k just after I had dropped out on bidding on a 7.0 just last weekend when it went above $4k – more chickening out.) After they finished I started reviewing their prices and comparing them to available for sale copies. In two cases GPA had links to Quality Comix listings of comparable issue at slightly lower prices, and these literally sold before my eyes. Lucky (hopefully) for me, GPA doesn’t have good eBay links in all cases, so I was able to snag a MM #11 CGC 6.0 for $1.85k just after a 5.5 finished in the auction well above my estimate at $2.3k. Maybe this was just a bidding war, and the ComicLink price isn’t going to make it to GPA, but the age/scarcity of this book make me fairly confident that it’s at particular risk for a huge drop.

    Finally, on the last point, my anecdotal sense is that while run books are generally out of favor, late 30s/early 40s issues from #2 to around #10 (hopefully #11 re above) are particularly strong these days. As many others have commented, it’s unlikely that many more of these are going to come to light, and along the lines of my “cultural significance” arguments, my guess is that these “first volume” issues are being viewed as the rare bedrock on which a large part of our current culture was built. As I write this, a top Bloomberg story is “20th Century Fox is dealing with mutant succession issues.” Trade in those Shakespeare first folios…

  8. March 3, 2017

    Lots here to chew on chrismeli,

    Man I remember just a few short years ago bidding on a 6.0 All Star #3, I stopped at $9900, I think it went for $10,500. Great book.
    I agree with your view on Cap #46, it is a book that will continue to pull away from the issues around it and from other Golden Age issues in general. Collectibles like these seem to get a life of their own at some point.

    Nice analysis on your estimates too. I was following the TOS #39 CBCS 9.0 with a friend in Montreal who was bidding on it, it had not hit $20 K yet and I called $30k. That was a good looking book.

    As I say above, the only one I am really second-guessing is CAC #46. I don’t think this book is going to decline, and if comics make it to the “cultural artifact” status that I think is possible, I see the possibility of extreme appreciation.

    I like your pick ups, Bronze Age Bats are great books, I won the Beatles cover #222 at 9.2 for $400.

    I think time will help your CAC #27, I get buyers remorse too when I get to top end of range but time usually works in our favor – though not with speculative hot tomalies.

    Question, do you take the time to scope out books for sale on other sights before the auction even starts? I know it would be time consuming but the pay offs could be great.

    Trade in those Gary Unger rookie cards is more like it, heroes never age – though they do sometimes change gender…

  9. March 3, 2017

    That was an absolutely steller auction this go round.Tons of great books.I picked up a Tomb of Dracula #1 CGC 9.6 for $465!Advantage me and a lovely Silver Surfer #1 CGC 9.2.Still shooting at a couple pieces of art as well!

  10. March 3, 2017

    Thanks for your response Walter. I do try to keep abreast of comparables available when I can, but the number of possibilities makes it daunting. One book I was watching this way in this auction was Showcase #4. If this had gone crazy in 7.5, there is a 5.5 out there that could have been attractive, but the 7.5 maintained last year’s levels. (Also the pretty poor performance of FF 1 9.0 spooked me.)

    One of the biggest distortions I saw last year was the bidding war for (I think) later All Winners in high grade, when there were a bunch of slightly lower grade sitting around for sale at far lower prices. They were gone within the hour. The eBay seller from whom I bought the MM #11 has sold down about half his inventory since last night, including a #63 5.0 for $2.3k. I can’t decide whether that one or #11 was the better call. I picked up WF #9 last weekend (Hitler/Mussolini/Tojo), so at least I am not completely without WW II baddies.

  11. March 3, 2017

    That’s a sweet deal on that ToD Dennis, and you just can’t stay away from those Surfers can you ??

    Chrismeli I really wanted that Better Comics V3 #1 with the baby bagging Hitler and Tojo. I recently bought back a Captain Marvel Jr. #13 because of that football Hitler, Mussolini Tojo cover. I’m wondering how many Golden Age covers there are with the Axis leaders, I can think of quite a few.

    I run the ICE comic exchange site and our dumb GPA feed is broken, should be fixed next week, We have about 150 recently posted graded books not showing up on the GPA search strings. Frustrating because these auctions always drive buyers to GPA and GPA always points to seller with available copies.

    We just threw up a Detective #432 9.8 up for $550. Auction closed at $684 for that book and had our reporting feed been working I would have expected that book to be scooped up off of ICE by the under bidder. So I know what you mean re these auctions helping out eBay sellers. On the bright side there are a lot more great auctions to come.

  12. March 4, 2017

    I’m a sucker for Surfers Walt!The 9.6 SS#4 slipped out of my fingers!The TOD #1 was definitely a steal.That run is destined to have a resurgence in my view.

Make It Good.