The original artwork from Wolverine's first ever appearance in The Incredible Hulk #180, on the final page of the issue, Page 32, drawn by Herb Trimpe, will set a world record price for a panel page of American comic art when it crosses the block on May 16 as the centerpiece of Heritage Auctions
' Signature Comics & Comic Art auction.
As of the writing of this press release the piece has a $190,000 bid, easily eclipsing the current record price of $130,000, the hammer price paid in 2012 at Heritage for Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott's 1966 Silver Surfer Half-Splash Page 3 original art from Fantastic Four #55.
"This is legendary artwork, long thought missing, that is the one and only debut of indisputably one of Marvel's most popular and enduring characters," said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. "In 1983, as a teenager, our consignor was given this artwork by Herb Trimpe, and it's remained in his possession ever since. Inspired by generosity shown him by Trimpe more than 30 years ago, the consignor will donate a substantial portion of the after-tax proceeds from the sale to the Hero Initiative, the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in financial need."
Heritage is also working with The Hero Initiative in this auction to sell a very special piece, the Hero Initiative Blank Page Project Mural Specialty Piece Original Art Group (2013), an incredibly large specialty piece, 9 feet by 13 feet, from which all proceeds will go to benefit the charity. The mural, estimated at $8,000+, is super-packed with signed comic character portraits by some of the greatest talents in the field.
The top comic book offering in the auction comes in the form of an exceedingly rare copy of Wonder Comics #1 (Fox, 1939) CGC NM 9.4 (estimate: $50,000+). The first hero to ride Superman's coat-tails was Wonder Man who made his debut in this very issue, on the stands at the exact same time as Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27. Publisher Victor Fox was immediately slapped with a lawsuit by DC (national Periodical) for infringement on their character Superman, causing Fox to withdraw his creation from future issues.
"Wonder Comics and Wonder Man were the first Superman imitator, prompting the first though not the last legal action by DC to defend its copyright," said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President of Heritage. "This is the finest known copy of the issue and we expect that top collectors will be aggressively coming after this comic. We're not likely to see another one like this again."
Further highlights include Steve Ditko's Amazing Spider-Man #22 Page 10 Original Art (Marvel, 1965), featuring Spidey in one of his most iconic poses of all time in the fourth panel (estimate: $50,000+), Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon Sunday Comic Strip Original Art, dated Aug. 28. 1938 (King Features Syndicate, 1938), a piece used to create a USPS 1995 comic strip classics stamp (estimate: $50,000+) and Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers' Incredible Hulk #5 Tyrannus "Beauty and the Beast" Splash Page 1 Original Art (Marvel, 1962), expected to bring $40,000+.
For only the third time ever, Heritage will be offering the original art to a Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, this one dated May 9, 1987 (Universal Press Syndicate, 1987), estimate at $20,000+.
"Watterson famously almost never parted with art from his collection," said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations for Comics and Comic Art at Heritage. "This is only the second original daily we've been fortunate enough to offer and we fully expect an onslaught of bidding activity for this choice piece."
Further highlights include, but certainly are not limited to:
Winsor McCay Little Nemo in Slumberland Sunday Comic Strip Original Art dated 1906 (New York Herald, 1906): Estimate $40,000+.
All-American Comics #16 (DC, 1940) CGC VG- 3.5: The key first appearance of Green Lantern. Estimate $20,000+.
Dave Cockrum and Bob McLeod X-Men #94 Page 2 Original Art (Marvel, 1975): From one of the most collectible comics of the 1980s. Estimate $20,000+.
Robert Crumb and Rory Hayes "San Francisco Comic Book" Advertisement Original Art (1970): Gary Arlington's San Francisco Comic Book Company was one of the first comic shops in America. His store was the gathering place for not only fans but most of the San-Francisco based underground comic book artists: Spain Rodriguez, S. Clay Wilson, Rory Hayes, Simon and Kim Deitch, on and on. He assembled a fantastic collection of EC art, Underground art, and EC comics, the first part of which is offered in this auction. Estimate $15,000+.
Captain America Comics #1 (Timely, 1941) CGC Apparent FN+ 6.5: Estimate $12,500.