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Hake's Americana to offer sensational original comic-book art and rare early comic books
1940s Kellogg’s Pep cereal “Movie Star” premium button sign with LOA. Provenance: archives of premium creators Sam and Gordon Gold. Est. $400-$700. All images provided by Hake’s Americana.

YORK, PA.- In the second of three online auctions designed to commemorate Hake’s Americana’s 50th year, the Pennsylvania-based pop culture specialists will host a July 11-13 event focused on rare comic books and original comic art. In March, the firm’s golden jubilee year was launched with a million-dollar sale led by early political memorabilia, the category on which Hake’s was founded.

“Our July auction is right in step with what’s currently making headlines at the box office, and that’s superheroes – most notably, Wonder Woman,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Americana. “The Wonder Woman film has already well surpassed half a billion dollars worldwide, and its run is far from over. With this in mind, our July auction includes a scarce issue of All Star Comics #8, featuring the first appearance of Wonder Woman. To collectors, this is one of the key Golden Age comics. Prices for this issue have been steadily increasing.” Acknowledged as one of the most important issues in the history of DC Comics, All Star Comics #8 is estimated at $20,000-$35,000.

Hundreds of comic books will be offered, most of them either CGC or CBCS-graded and with price points to please all pocketbooks. For those who want quality but are still working their way up to higher end of Silver and Golden Age books, a well-advised choice might be Lot 1362, a 1984 first printing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. In CGC 9.4 NM condition, and one of only 3,000 copies that were printed in the first run, this Modern Age classic is expected to sell for $5,000-$10,000.

Sensational original artworks from important artists lie at the heart of Hake’s July 11-13 auction, with a selection of literally hundreds of one-of-a-kind pieces of daily and Sunday comic strip art, plus comic book covers, interior pages, animation cels and specialty items. Presenting an extraordinary buying opportunity, Lots 1412 through 1433 consist of Mike Zeck’s original cover art from Captain America #265 followed by the original art for all 21 interior story pages. “If a collector wanted to own the art for the entire issue, that option would be available to them if they bid on and won all 22 lots,” said Winter.

Mike Zeck is a respected comic book artist who has worked for both Marvel and DC Comics. For the cover of Captain America #265, published in January 1982, Zeck created an action-packed scene that includes not only the title character, but also Spider-Man, Nick Fury, the villainous Sultan, and others. The cover art is estimated at $20,000-$35,000, while estimates vary for the 21 story pages, based on the significance of the scenes depicted. Hake’s catalog provides extensive descriptions for each of the pages.

Eight lots of original art by Greg Hildebrandt are entered as Lots 1456 through 1463. “Greg Hildebrandt’s work has always been appreciated. He has an avid following,” said Winter. “If a collector wanted to pick up some of the best available pieces of original Hildebrandt art, the time would be now.” The auction selection includes both a painting and pencil drawing of Harley Quinn and The Joker, two works depicting covers of Old Man Logan, the cover art for Black Panther #5, 75th anniversary pencil cover art (variant) for Captain America Steve Rogers, pencil cover art (variant) for Deadpool v. Punisher #1, and original mixed-media art for Daredevil Crucifixion.

Other noteworthy original art includes a Fleischer Studios Superman hand-painted publicity cel, $5,000-$10,000; and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez original art for a DC Comics Justice League of America licensing style guide, $5,000-$10,000.

Music posters continue to rise in popularity with each successive Hake’s auction. Among the standouts in the July sale are an original pictorial poster advertising a 1968 Doors concert at Detroit’s Cobo Hall, and a colorful, boxing-style poster for a May 22, 1955 concert starring Bill Haley and His Comets. Each is expected to make $2,000-$5,000.

The top sports item in the sale is a sensational 1905 real-photo postcard of the Negro League Cuban X-Giants that includes Hall of Famer Frank Grant. Early in his career, Grant was a star player in the International League, shortly before Jim Crow restrictions banned African-American players from organized baseball. The postcard is the only extant example of the only postcard known to include Frank Grant’s image. Provenance: Richard Merkin collection. Estimate: $10,000-$20,000

Hake’s sales always include toys and Disneyana, and in this auction, a Saalheimer & Strauss lithographed-tin Mickey Mouse mechanical bank blends the best of both worlds. One of four variations of Mickey banks produced by the German manufacturer, this example known as the “Smile Please!” version, could attract a winning bid of $10,000-$20,000.

Other auction highlights include 600 lots of political memorabilia, with the centerpiece being an 1860 Lincoln/Hamlin 33-star flag, ex Leon Rowe collection, $20,000-$35,000; and 100+ lots of 1930s-1970s art, cereal box flats, premiums, signs and prototypes from the archives of legendary concept developers Sam and Gordon Gold.

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