Marvel Comics #1 Auctioned

by Jeff

BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ableauctions.com (AMEX:AAC) announced today that it will host Heritage Auction Galleries’ Vintage Comic Books and Comic Art auction on August 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, 2007, at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, located at the world famous Camden Yards, and on eBay Live Auctions through its subsidiary iCollector.com.

Taking centre stage will be the Marvel Comics #1 Pay Copy (Timely, 1939) CGC VF/NM 9.0. This comic is the holder of the Guinness world record for the most valuable comic book. The comic is referred to as the pay copy or “payout copy” because it’s the one used by the Lloyd Jacquet studio (aka Funnies Inc.), which produced the comic in its entirety for Timely, to record how much each contributor was paid, on which date and with which check number.

For instance, the handwritten notation on the cover tells us that cover artist Frank R. Paul received $25 to draw this now-legendary cover. Also noted on the interior pages are payments to Bill Everett (for the Sub-Mariner story), Carl Burgos (for the Human Torch story), Ben Thompson (Ka-Zar), Paul Gustavson (the Angel), and others, all dating from late July 1939. Yes, this comic is the first newsstand appearance of all four of those classic characters, and it’s also the first comic book by Timely (later known as Marvel).

Also highlighting this event will be Carl Barks’ “First National Bank of Cibola” oil painting original art (circa 1987). Based on his 1954 saga for Uncle Scrooge #7, “The Seven Cities of Cibola,” Carl Barks painted this awe-inspiring, opulent scene of glittering, buried treasure. Before there was an archeologist-hero such as Indiana Jones to unearth the hidden treasures of the ancient world, it was up to those dauntless ducks, Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie to bring home the prizes of the half-forgotten past.

The auction house will also be showcasing Carl Barks’ “Spoiling the Concert” oil painting original art (1973). “Spoiling the Concert” was Carl Barks’ 65th painting and the 11th “money bin.” Unlike many Barks paintings, “Spoiling the Concert” has never been reproduced as a print or limited edition lithograph, nor as part of a calendar, or in any other format. It is emerging from a private collection for the first time in 30 years. Several focal points of this dazzling composition are arranged so as to lead the eye around the design in a circular movement, with the cash register serving as the main focal point. Poor Donald can hardly be expected to do much work while Uncle Scrooge sings at the top of his voice. In addition to the money bin details, including many individual coins, this painting is aglow with rich lighting effects.

Heritage Auction Galleries, established in 1976, is the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer with over 300,000 online bidder members at their web site, HA.com. They offer a wide range of Coins, Currency, Comics, Movie Posters, Antiques & Decorative Arts, Fine Art, Sports collectibles and Political Memorabilia. Their goal is to provide their customers with the largest selection of high-quality collectibles and fulfill their mission in providing the Internet’s most indispensable trading platform and source of information for serious collectors, investors and dealers.

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