MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J. – Kevin Smith was a comic book guy before he was a filmmaker. When he was in the throes of creating what would be his debut and his breakthrough, Clerks, he sold his comic book collection to underwrite its production.

After he hit it big, Smith remained a comic book guy. He used some of his earnings from Clerks to purchase a comic book shop in Red Bank, New Jersey, rechristened it Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash after a pair of minor characters who appeared in Clerks, and relaunched the shop in January 1997. It has since moved locations a few times within Red Bank, but Smith has maintained it to this day while pursuing his Hollywood career.

On Wednesday, September 27, prizes from his personal comic book collection will be offered at Bodnar’s Auction Sales in an event dubbed Kevin Smith’s Comic Art Collection! Each of the 171 lots comes with a certificate of authenticity (COA) signed by Smith, and each lot starts with an opening bid of just $10. Smith will also attend a live broadcast of the sale, ready to furnish comments and insights as only he can.

A percentage of the auction proceeds will support a scholarship fund at the Kubert School, an accredited technical school in Dover, New Jersey that teaches cartooning, sequential art and classes on aspects of the comics industry. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The lot with the highest estimate is original comic book art from issue #161, page 22 of Daredevil, penciled by Frank Miller and inked by Klaus Janson and depicting a lively and dynamic fight scene between Daredevil and Bullseye. Estimated at $20,000-$40,000, it had been bid up to $21,000 as of September 22 and had 67 watchers on LiveAuctioneers.

Smith has written comic book storylines in addition to his adventures in film and brick-and-mortar retail, and original art from one of his most-respected titles will feature in the auction: Green Arrow: Quiver. Written for DC Comics, Smith literally brought the original Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, back from the dead in this tale. Several lots are devoted to Matt Wagner’s cover art for the series, among them the mixed media color art for issue #11, which is estimated at $1,500-$3,000.

And if that wasn’t enough, the auction lineup contains six lots of original comic book art from the revered DC/Vertigo title Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman. All come from issues late in the run of the series: four from #64, all of which were penciled and inked by Teddy Kristiansen; one from #60, which was penciled by Mark Hempel and inked by D’Isreali; and one from #69, in which Mark Hempel handled both tasks. Lots 50-52 feature the key Sandman character of Morpheus, aka Dream. All six Sandman pages have individual estimates of $1,000-$2,000.