The Comics Code Authority, formed in 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America, allowed comic publishers to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States. The code was voluntary, but widely recognized as the unofficial standard of comic content decency.
Harvey was a prolific publisher of comics and one of the few publishers to survive the 1950s near destruction of the industry. A selection of the elusive Black Cat Collection will come to auction for the first time Nov. 4 in Heritage Auctions
' Black Cat Collection and Pre-Code Horror Showcase Auction.
Painstakingly curated by Gabriel Vaughn, it consists of some of the highest-graded books of the era, a time during which the comic industry almost met its destruction.
Vaughn's fascination with Black Cat Comics #50 started an obsession that lasted for years. Due to his prominence on Instagram, and his keen eye for grade, rarity and desirability, Vaughn brought the Pre-Code Horror genre into mainstream collecting. Now he is selling one of the most sought-after Pre-Code Horror collections known to exist.
"I can't imagine or possibly count the amount of records that will be broken over the next year of selling Gabe's books," Heritage's Comics Consignment Director Brian Wiedman says. "This is just the first sale of many and already, so many great books are included."
One of the highlights from the collection is the Shock SuspenStories #6 (EC, 1952) CGC NM/MT 9.8 with off-white to white pages. With its hooded vigilante featured prominently on the cover, this outgrades the Bethlehem, Crippen, and two Gaines File copies.
Also included in this auction is a copy of The Thing! #15 CGC VF+ 8.5 with off-white pages as well as a copy of Venus #16 CGC VF+ 8.5 with cream to off-white pages.
Quickly moving from ridicule to legendary status, the Black Cat Collection includes many prominent and recognized pedigrees, including but not limited to: Gaines File Copies, the Mile High Pedigree, the Crippen Pedigree, the Spokane Pedigree, the Rockford Pedigree, the Crowley Pedigree, the Bethlehem Pedigree and others.
"It is so rare that someone obtained so many different pedigree books from so many different sources, that every time I think I have seen the limit, another shows up," Wiedman says.