The first selections from the Don/Maggie Thompson Pedigree Collection hit a combined $835,384 to lead $5.8+ million in comic books and original comic art at Heritage Auctions
. Every one of the 1,700 lots found a buyer during the Nov. 21-23 auction in Beverly Hills, including a 9.6 copy of Tales of Suspense #39 which changed hands for a stunning $262,900.
The auction was bookended by a $1.3+ million offering of animation art, drawings, and concept paintings in Heritage's second Animation Art Signature® Auction this year. However, it was the debut of the Don & Maggie Thompson Pedigree collection that stole the show, garnering headlines worldwide due to its quality and the passion of its owners. The Thompsons were responsible for launching as well as participating in several publications that brought readers closer to creators, characters and fellow fans. Starting with a mimeographed one-sheet called Harbinger in 1960, the two produced a variety of other publications until both jointly edited Comics Buyer's Guide until Don's passing in 1994. Maggie then served in an editorial role until the end of the publication's run earlier this year.
"I've handled a lot of collections during my time at Heritage but this one is extra special because Maggie is a special lady," said Steve Borock, Senior Consignment Director for Comics at Heritage Auctions. "She spent her lifetime collecting comic books and the payoff is great. My phone bidders were ecstatic with their wins. I can't wait to see how her books perform in February."
Leading the collection was The Avengers #1, CGC NM 9.4, for $89,625. The Thompson's original cover art for Conan the Barbarian #4 saw intense action by 21 bidders before selling via the Internet for $87,235. A Thompson Pedigree copy of Journey Into Mystery #83, CGC NM- 9.2, ended at $77,675. A copy of The Incredible Hulk #1, CGC VF+ 8.5, reached $58,256.
"This first installment of what I'm calling "My Pedigreed Adventure" has been rewarding in more ways than one," Thompson said. "Heritage Auctions has consistently displayed unvarying kindness and knowledge. Its experts permitted me to profit from my hobby without ever treating my treasures solely in terms of their market value."
Bidders kept laser focus on additional high-grade examples of key books, as a copy of Detective Comics #33, CGC VF 8.0, realized $68,712 and copy of Strange Tales #110, CGC NM+ 9.6, marking the first appearance of Doctor Strange, was pursued by 15 bidders to end at $44,812. Another famous first, Amazing Fantasy #15, CGC FN/VF 7.0, presenting the origin and first appearance of Spider-Man, quickly sold for $33,460.
Among the top lots of a diverse selection of original comic art is Weird Science #15, with art by Wally Wood, from 1952 sold for $71,700 following interest from 18 bidders. Frank Frazetta's The Tempest, an oil painting depicting an iconic image of modern fantasy art, sold for $65,725 and a rare and original hand-painted cover for Uncle Scrooge #43 by Carl Barks sold for $53,775.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:
A complete nine-page story featuring Uncle Sam and original art by Will Eisner and Lou Fine for National Comics #13, 1941, sold for $53,775.
Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's original art for Batman: the Dark Knight Returns #4, featuring Superman, Batman and Alfred the butler, 1986, sold for $52,281.
Brent Anderson's Fantastic Four cameo in the original cover art for X-Men Annual #5, 1981, brought $44,812 and likely a new record for the artist.
A Peanuts Christmas Sunday comic strip original art by Charles Schulz, dated Dec. 21, 1991, realized $31,070.