CRANSTON, R.I. – Record were shattered in an online-only Spring Comic Book & Toy Auction held April 4 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, along with Altered Reality Entertainment and Travis Landry, Bruneau & Co.’s director of pop culture. Three copies of the comic book Tales to Astonish all brought record prices, for a combined $9,500. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
The top lot of the auction was a copy of Tales of Suspense #39 (Marvel Comics, March 1963), graded CGC 4.5 out of 10 for condition and featuring the origin and first appearance of Iron Man. The comic book (above) had cream and off-white pages and came housed in a 12¾-by-8-inch CGC case. It went to a determined bidder for $9,250 – a record.
The record-setting copies of Marvel Comics’ Tales to Astonish included Tales to Astonish #27 (below; January 1962), featuring the first appearance of the Ant-Man, graded CGC 3.5 ($3,875); Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960), featuring the origin and first appearance of Groot, graded CGC 5.0 ($3,750); and Tales to Astonish #1 (Atlas Comics, January 1959), featuring a Stan Lee story and cover art by Jack Kirby and Christopher Rule, graded CGC 4.0. The book gaveled for $1,875.
The auction was loaded with hundreds of graded rare comic books, generous key book lots, many Marvel and D.C. comics and a great collection of tin key-wind, friction and battery-op Japanese robots and tin toys. Some nice original comic art also came up for bid.
“Absolutely phenomenal, that is the only way I can describe this auction,” Travis Landry said. “The bidding action for all the major key comic books was intense, with several records being broken. The first Iron Man, Ant-Man and Groot were all show stoppers. The results proved that.”
Kevin Bruneau, the president of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, added, “Even amid a poor global economy and the insidious COVID-19 virus, the pop culture market stood strong. While stocks may be falling, people are investing in other tangible assets. We can’t wait for our next auction.”
Illustrator Dan Green’s original artwork for the graphic novel Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa was a single panel featuring Dr. Strange in Shamballa, surrounded by wisps of red wind with surreal biomorphic faces towering over him. The circa 1986 watercolor, with an image size of 13 inches by 5¼ inches, proved to be the ultimate Dr. Strange collectible. It hammered for $2,750.
Anything having to do with Spider-Man is a surefire crowd-pleaser. A copy of Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man #8 (January 1964), featuring the first cover and appearance of the Living Brain, plus an appearance by the Fantastic Four, graded CGC 2.0, changed hands for $3,240.
Two highly desirable comic books sailed past their $2,000 high estimates. One was a copy of Detective Comics #168 (February 1951), with the first appearance of the Red Hood identity and origin of the Joker, CGC 2.0 ($2,040).
The other was a copy of Marvel Comics’ Incredible Hulk #181 (November 1974), featuring the first full appearance of the Wolverine, CGC 7.0 ($2,400).
Due to the Governor of Rhode Island’s orders regarding COVID-19, all Tuesday Appraisal Days and Thursday DiscoverIt auctions, normally held in the Bruneau & Co. gallery in Cranston, have been postponed until at least May 1. Also, the planned May 2 on-site estate auction and May 7 Pokémon and trading card auction have both been postponed. Watch the website for details.
For details contact Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-533-9980.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/