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Comic books, pop culture, fashion and art join forces in Jan. 28 auction

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The ‘Great Wall of Comics’ displayed at Urban Culture Auctions, a division of Palm Beach Modern Auctions. Photo credit: PBMA Staff

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. – On Saturday, January 28, Urban Culture Auctions, a division of parent company Palm Beach Modern Auctions (PBMA), will offer bidders 90 lots of prized comic books, including many key issues. Key issues – those featuring character debuts and major narrative moments – are especially sought after by collectors and can command significant prices compared to others in the same series.

The top prize amongst the comic books is a coveted copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, featuring the first appearance of  Spider-Man

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Amazing Fantasy #15, featuring the debut of Spider-Man, CGC 5.0. Estimate $45,000-$60,000. Photo credit: PBMA staff

“When speaking with our consignors in the genre, we realized there is one constant across age groups, locations, and lifestyles: they recall in vivid detail how their collections began,” said said PBMA co-owner Wade Terwilliger. “In a sense, that beginning is a key issue in their own narrative.”

Comics, with their larger-than-life heroes and villains, combine narrative and art in a way that has been transformative for kids through successive generations. Said one consignor, “The first book that really left a mark on me was DC’s ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ number seven. Back then, comics were like the Greek myths to me. It was 1985, and the story was so complex. It felt so COOL to be taking all this in as an eight-year-old. All the different versions of the different characters, their faces were discernibly unique. George Perez’s art was brilliant. I scrambled to get any issue I could, rode my bike to Gwen’s Paperbacks in Snellville (Georgia), but couldn’t assemble the whole story simply from the spinner rack. Once I was old enough to get a job, I researched and found them all.”

comic books
The Fantastic Four #4, features first Silver Age appearance of Namor, CGC 2.5. Photo credit: PBMA staff

David Lang, a collector local to Urban Culture Auctions/PBMA, had another classic story to share about the selection he consigned to the sale. “My first saved dollar went to baseball cards and my second to comics, until I graduated high school in 1967. On my first college break, I came home to find they had been discarded. Of course, I was crestfallen. Years later, I started the project of locating my favorite issues and characters and reassembling my collection. Amazing Fantasy number fifteen is a particularly special issue for me as the introduction of Spider-Man. I felt a kinship in his high school experiences. He was a major part of my childhood, and the story still holds up. I hope the issue goes to someone for whom it is just as meaningful.”

comic books
CHROMA aka Rick Wolfryd (b. 1953-) in collaboration with Huichol artisans, Darth Vader sculpture, 48in high. Estimate $2,500-$3,500. Photo credit: PBMA staff

Some of the many key issues to be offered include Marvel’s Fantastic Four #4, #48 and #52; The Amazing Spider-Man #14 and X-Men #101 and DC’s Justice League of America #9. Many are CGC or CBCS graded; small groups of ungraded comics will be offered as well. In addition to comics, the sale offers collectibles for a range of interests, including KAWS and Takashi Murakami art toys, pop art prints by listed artists such as Richard Bosman, Bruce Nauman, Chiho Aoshima, and Mr. Brainwash, original works by Purvis Young and Howard Finster, Freddy Wittop’s Broadway costume designs, a small selection of furniture and decorative objects and finally, a collection of men’s designer sneakers by Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo and Alexander McQueen.

comic books
Louis Vuitton men’s green leather high-top sneakers. Estimate $150-$200. Photo credit: PBMA staff

The auction titled Comics, Culture, Fashion & Art: 1950s-Present will be held on Saturday, January 28, starting at 12:00 noon ET.  View the full catalog and bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

Palm Beach Modern Auctions is a boutique auction house specializing in modern and contemporary art, pop culture, design, luxury and decorative goods. The saleroom, exhibition space and forthcoming sister gallery are located at 1217 N. Dixie Hwy., Lake Worth Beach, FL 33460. For additional information about any item in the auction, email info@modernauctions.com or call 561-586-5500.

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