SAN FRANCISCO – PBA Galleries Sale 582, “Fine Books in All Fields with Illustrated & Children’s Books,” took place on March 24. Along with a variety of other illustrated books, the sale featured a collection of comic books from the late Wayne Martin, an avid collector of autographs, books and ephemera from many fields.
The highlight of the comic collection was a very fine copy the rare 35-cent variant of Marvel’s Star Wars No. 1 from 1977, which sold for a record-breaking $7,200. This comic is considered to be one of the most valuable and sought after comic books of the Bronze Age (1970-1985). Marvel typically tested price increases on a limited basis before rolling out the increase to all titles, and approximately only 1,500 copies of the first printing priced at 35 cents are thought to exist; all others being priced at 30 cents.
This was the first major comic collection offered by PBA and the results lived up to expectations, with many of the comics bringing impressive prices. The comics brought a high level of attention from potential buyers.
Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.com.
Another rare item that performed well was a pristine copy of the first printing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles No. 1 (below), which sold for $3,900. This book was the beginning of what would soon become a phenomenon in the 1980s and ’90s, spawning popular films, cartoon show and video games. The book features the origin and first appearance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Splinter and Shredder, with a wraparound cover by creator Kevin Eastman. Only 3,000 copies were printed of this independent rarity, and it is hard to find in good condition. It is considered one of the most sought-after books from the Copper Age (1985-1991) of comics.
A unique item in the collection was a copy of Dick Lupoff’s history of comics, All In Color For a Dime, which sold for $1,440. The book in itself is not particularly valuable, but Wayne Martin spent over a decade filling the book with autographs and sketches from the legends of the comic book industry. The book is signed by the author and over 100 comic industry giants. Signatures include Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Marion Zimmer Bradley, R. Crumb, Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Jaime Hernandez, Marv Wolfman and David Prowse (Darth Vader). The volume is also signed by many artists along with sketches of the characters they are famous for.
The X-men made a good showing as well, with a very nice copy of Giant Size X-men #1 going for $1080. The book is a highly collectible milestone of Marvel Comics, featuring the first appearances of many of the X-men’s most popular characters, including Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus and Thunderbird. This is the first issue of the X-men to feature the fan favorite Wolverine.
PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books every two weeks. For more information contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or firstname.lastname@example.org.