While Superman’s debut in Action Comics #1 from 1938 grabbed all the headlines, it was Frank Frazetta’s “Death Dealer 6” painting that walked away with more than $1.7 million at a Chicago-based comics and arts auction.
Heritage Auctions reports Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics #1 sold for $573,600, which was nearly $80,000 less than its estimated value of $650,000 prior to Thursday’s sale. This version of what many consider one of the “Holy Grails” of comics’ condition was rated as being a four out of 10 by the Certified Guaranty Company — CGC Comics.
Back in 2014, a copy of Action Comics No. 1 sold for $3,207,852 in an online eBay auction. This version was rated a nine out of 10, and was said to be in “pristine” condition.
On the other side, Frazetta’s science fiction and fantasy piece “Death Dealer 6” sold for nearly three times its estimated sale price at $1,792,500. The painting was estimated to net $600,000 before the May 10 auction. Another notable sale was a Batman comic from 1940 featuring the debut of both Joker and Catwoman that sold for $227,050.
Heritage reports that all together, the comics and arts auction accounted for $8,395,272 in sales on Thursday in Chicago. For a full rundown of items and sale prices, click here.
“This auction has a chance to be among the largest comics auctions of all time, if not the largest,” Heritage Auctions Comics director Barry Sandoval said in a news release prior to the event.
“It will be in a vibrant city that is easy to reach from just about anywhere, and we have an extremely strong collection of valuable comic books that will draw the attention and interest of comics collectors from just about everywhere.”
Other items sold at the event include several early Playboy issues, with #1 signed by Hugh Hefner, Action Comics #7 and Batman #1.
— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) May 11, 2018