Sold-Out Comics & Comic Art Auction Brings $9.5 Million at Heritage Auctions

Princess of Mars painting sells for $1.2 million; Pokémon sets hits world record Sept. 10-13

DALLAS, Texas (September 14, 2020) – A milestone masterpiece painted by a legend. An early-days version of a familiar video-game title. A boxed collection of gaming cards sold for a world-record amount. Hundreds of comic book covers and interiors and other original pieces penciled by comers and legends alike. And a parade of titles stretching from the comic book’s infancy to its dynamic, evocative modern day.

That and so much more was offered during Heritage Auctions’ four-day Comics & Comic Art event, which ran Sept. 10-13. And when the auction came to an end, the total prize realized was as awesome as the assortment presented: $9,509,226.

Just as remarkable was the number of bidders who placed bids for this auction via the Dallas-based auction house’s website throughout the event: almost 4,400.

“Of the 1,074 lots offered in the sale, not a single one went unsold,” said James Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Auctions. “That means we are bringing the right pieces to market at just the right time.”

The auction began with Frank Frazetta's painting The Princess of Mars (1970), one of the most identifiable and influential pieces of the artists' storied career, sold Thursday for $1.2 million. It was a remarkable and thrilling kick-off to Heritage Auctions' four-day Comics & Comic Art event.

Frazetta's Princess wasn't alone in smashing pre-auction expectations during the event's first session. Lee Elias' now-iconic artwork adorning the cover of Chamber of Chills No. 19 (Harvey, 1953), published in 1953, sold for $174,000 after a spirited round of bidding. That was almost twice its original estimate, and Page 9 from Journey Into Mystery (Marvel, 1968) No. 112 sold for $120,000 — no surprise, given the artists involved (the legendary Jack Kirby and his longtime inker, Chic Stone) and the characters (Hulk and Thor). And John Buscema and George Klein's splash page for The Avengers (Marvel, 1968) No. 58 sold for $90,000. This piece came but two years after Black Panther's debut in the Jack Kirby-drawn Fantastic Four (Marvel) No. 52 in 1966, and marked the second solo splash featuring T'Challa. Buscema's pose, that of the Panther stalking his prey, would define the character for decades to come, in the comics and on screen as portrayed by the late Chadwick Boseman, felled Aug. 28 after a 4-year battle with colon cancer. Buyers also snapped up milestone issues: A CGC VG+ 4.5 copy of Superman No. 1 (DC, 1939), sold for $348,000. The issue of Action Comics No. 7 (DC, 1938) that was central to the federal court case involving the copycat Wonder Man (Fox) sold for $204,000. And a copy of The Incredible Hulk (Marvel, 1974) No. 181 graded CGC NM/MT 9.8 realized $49,200.

Sealed Pokémon Box Set Sells for World-Record $198,000 

A rare sealed Pokémon booster set broke a world record for the set during the first day of the event when it sold for $198,000. The Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999) soared well past its pre-auction estimate of $80,000+ during the advance bidding before the auction's live bidding even began. "Sets like this one, especially in such extraordinary condition and sealed in shrinkwrap, have become undeniable rarities,” said Jesus Garcia, Assistant Comics & Comic Art Operations Supervisor at Heritage Auctions. "The previous record, of $78,000, at Heritage Auctions was set in was set in February 2019. To see this result – more than doubling the previous mark – just shows the popularity and demand for these cards show no sign of slowing down.” The first set ever made, this booster box comes from a very low print and includes 396 cards spread through 36 booster packs, each of which contains 11 cards. Because the set is unopened, it is likely that most or all of the cards are in Gem Mint condition.

Additional highlights include but are not limited to: 

Heritage Auctions’ next Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction is Nov. 19-21, with consignments accepted through Sept. 29. Bidding will open approximately Oct. 30 on HA.com.

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Heritage also enjoys the highest online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,250,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

For breaking stories, follow us: HA.com/Facebook and HA.com/Twitter. Link to this release or view prior press releases.

Hi-Res images available: 

Eric Bradley, Public Relations Director

C: 469-271-2849 or [email protected]

Related news

25 Sep 2020

Comic books carrying CGC grades Claim Top Results in Heritage Auctions’ September Comics & Comic Art Auction

Nearly all of the top comic books sold in Heritage Auctions’ September 10-13 Comics & Comic Art Auction, including the top 100 based on prices realized, each carried a CGC grade.

Read more

25 Sep 2020

The Hero Initiative’s ‘Batman 100 Project’ Raises Nearly $100,000 For Comics Creators in Need

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions celebrates Batman Day with a big win for heroes of the industry raising nearly $100,000 to help comic-book creators

Read more