Each week during Heritage’s weekly Sunday and Monday comic auctions, there are always a few books thrown in. In the past Heritage has offered fans horror icons, science fiction masterpieces, and everything else. These weekly auctions are full of unique, fun, and sometimes rare finds. Don’t overlook the book tag on the weekly comic auctions — you’ll miss out on some gems!
Victor Hugo was no stranger to telling stories about people who society would deem to be “unfit”. The French writer penned Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Man Who Laughs, which was published in 1869. Eventually, the novel would go on to inspire a number of films, including the 1928 American silent film of the same name.
Hugo’s other aforementioned works would also become stage shows as well as films, and while The Man Who Laughs isn’t as celebrated as Les Miserables or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the look of the main character, Gwynplain, would go on to inspire one of the most celebrated comic book villains of all time — The Joker.
This photoplay edition was released in 1928 to coincide with the silent film. The novel features images from the movie. A similar copy sold for $500 via Heritage in March of 2012. While this book may not be particularly rare, it would make a great piece for any Hugo, or Batman, fan. Heritage notes this book as being in Fine/Very Fine condition.
What else can be said about Ray Bradbury? He is one of the most celebrated authors of our time, having written novels such as Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes, as well as countless short stories. He also wrote stories for pulp magazines such as Planet Stories and Amazing Stories.
Dark Carnival, his first book, is a collection of short stories, first published in 1947. This copy is especially note-worthy: it’s the first edition, and it’s signed by Bradbury himself. Per Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, Dark Carnival is #7 on the 35 most valuable Arkham books.
In February of 2022, a similar, unsigned copy sold for $2,880. In February of 2008, another signed copy sold for $4,182. This is both a worthwhile investment piece, as well as a holy grail for collectors. Heritage notes this copy as being in Very Good/Fine condition.
First editions are always fun to collect — especially when they’re signed by the author. This first edition of The Eye and The Finger is one of 1,617 copies printed, making it a scarce book to behold. The book itself is a collection of short horror, fantasy, and science fiction stories. Many of these stories were first printed in popular pulps at the time, including Weird Tales, Argosy, and Astounding Stories. This book went out of print in 1946, and per the Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, is #22 out of the 35 most valuable Arkham books.
Adding to its value is the author’s signature on the front flyleaf. Heritage has sold similarly unsigned books in the past, with the most recent auction ending at $137 in March of 2016. Past copies of this book sit comfortably under the $250 price tag; it’s been a few years since Heritage has had a copy — and it is signed. This could be a sleeper hit for this auction. Heritage notes this book as being in Very Fine condition.
Are you a book collector? Bidding on something we should keep an eye on? Let us know in the comments below!