A superb collection of high-grade anti-communist comic books from the 1950s, from The Collection of Todd Warren, will make for an esoteric and interesting corner of Heritage Auctions
Feb. 24-25 Signature® Vintage Comics & Comic Art Auction. All are being sold without reserves.
The youth of America was seen as fair game for the ever-gathering storm of Soviet and Chinese Communism in the 1950s, said Steve Borock, Consignment Director at Heritage, and concerned patriots wanted to make sure the nations future was not compromised by those dark forces.
How better to combat those nefarious influences than through comics books, which every kid in the 1950s was religiously reading. Add in the bonus that these comics were free a bonus to any kid who save nickels and dimes to buy the latest Superman or Batman and publishers figured they had direct access to those impressionable young minds.
Mr. Warren, a collector based in Pennsylvania, assembled the rare collection over the course of a 20 year period. The result is nothing less than a pop culture survey of the reaction to the Red Scare in post-war America.
Blood Is The Harvest from 1950, which shows a Red Army firing squad on the cover, is a very rare book according to the Overstreet Price Guide, only 13 copies exist, said Borock. It turns out that Todd Warren had four of them. There are fewer copies of this then there are of Action comics #1!
Another rare title in the auction is If The Devil Would Talk, with only 80 existing copies. Theres also The Red Iceberg, a study of how communism is fighting for world domination from the 1960s.
These are a real time capsule of the Cold War days, said Borock, from the time period when comics were obviously considered one of the more effective ways to reach a mass audience.
Other comics from Mr. Warrens collection in the same vein, which will appear in future auctions, are How Stalin Wants Us to Destroy America, Is This Tomorrow, Double Talk, and Two Faces of Communism. Mr. Warrens collection also includes many other notable esoteric comics that are much sought-after by collectors. There are three copies of the rare digest-sized early graphic novel It Rhymes With Lust, including the highest grade copy, an 8.0. Also included are the highest graded copies of the two issues of Candid Tales, a rare spicy digest-sized comic.