Issue of the day: Batman comic makes a mint at auction

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HE is the caped crusader who springs into action to keep Gotham City safe from harm. Now Batman has managed to make a mint at auction, with a historic comic selling for more than $2 million.

 

Kapow!

Indeed, the Batman comic is admittedly extremely rare and in tip-top condition, but it’s still an eye-watering price to pay for a comic.

 

It’s a historic edition, though?

Although it doesn’t feature the first appearance of Batman, the comic, published in 1940, was in demand for a variety of reasons, including the fact it marks the first appearance of the iconic villain, The Joker, as well as the debut of Catwoman.

 

What did it sell for exactly?

The final price – including the buyer’s premium – was  $2,220,000.

The sale marks a record price for a copy of Batman #1, and is the second highest price ever paid for a comic in a public sale. 

 

What else drove up the price?

Sold by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions in the US, the comic is regarded as a pristine issue, dating from the “golden age” of comics and a time which also saw them published on cheap paper that would not be expected to hold up over time. However, its pages were in fine condition.

 

Golden age?

The period from 1938 to 1956 is regard as “the Golden Age of Comic Books”, covering a timeframe when modern comic books were first published and rose in popularity, the superhero archetype came into being and a raft of enduring characters were introduced, including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

 

The previous record?

That was held by an issue of “Detective Comics #27”,  an American comic book of the Detective Comics anthology series known for debuting Batman. It fetched $1.5 million at auction in November. 

 

The comic joins an elite club?

This issue of Batman #1 had been in the hands of one collector for more than 40 years, after he purchased it in 1979 at a comic store for $3000 and bequeathed it to his son when he passed away last year. It now joins an elite $2 million club. Actor Nicolas Cage owns “Action Comics #1”, featuring the first appearance of Superman, which was the first comic to be sold publicly for over $2 million in 2011. Another Action Comics #1 sold for $2,052,000 in 2018.

 

The industry has taken a hit from the pandemic?

Comic stores are no longer able to be venues for enthusiasts to congregate, so in-store sales have plunged, but comic stores have reported surging mail orders, noting that as consumers have been spending less on holidays and leisure, ardent fans have focused on building up their collections.

 

Fans are leaning on their love of comics at this time?

Nachie Marsham, of American comic book publisher IDW, said: “We believe that the market is strong. The world is unpredictable and often dangerous and being able to look at not only storytelling, but comics and graphic novels, is a wonderful thing, now more than ever.”

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