Comic Collection Earns $3.5 Million at Auction
According to the Wall Street Journal, a man found his late great-uncle’s comic collection in a basement closet that had comics from the Depression Era. On Wednesday, the majority of Billy Wright’s collection sold for $3.5 million at auction.
Wright’s collection of 345 comics consisted mostly of those published between 1936 through 1941. Several were prized issues that collectors are always on the lookout for. These included issues such as the Action Comics No. 1 issue that included Superman’s first appearance and Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics No. 27. This particular Detective Comics issue sold for $523,000 alone and was the highest earner in the auction.
When Wright purchased the comics, they sold for 10 cents; but many in his collection are now worth well into the six digit range. The Journal stated:
Experts say Wright’s collection, which included 44 of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide’s top 100 issues from comic’s golden age, was remarkable for its number of rare issues, but also because it was compiled by a single person in childhood who kept it in good condition until his death in 1994 at age 66.
Other comics that were sold from the collection on Wednesday included: Batman No.1 from 1940 for $275,000; Captain America No. 2 from 1941 which had a picture of Hitler on the cover and sold for $114,000; and the No. 1 Action Comics sold for $299,000. Michael Rorrer, who found his great-uncle’s collection, was amazed at the amount that the comics sold for. Out of the 345 comics in the collection, 227 sold for about $3,466,264. The rest of comics will be sold over the weekend and are expected to earn another $100,000.
Lon Allen, who is the director of comics for Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, was shocked at the collection that had been compiled and taken care of throughout the years. He oversaw the auction in New York City. When Rorrer’s mother, Lisa Hernandez, contacted Allen he said, “It was kind of hard to wrap my head around it.”
Experts did not believe that collections like this were still in existence, and many of the issues in Wright’s collection are believed to only have less than 100 copies left in existence. Paul Litch, the primary grader at Certified Guaranty Company, said, “There were some really hard books to find that were in really, really great condition,” and, “You can see it was a real collection. Someone really cared about these and kept them in good condition.”