Heritage Auctions’ comics sales total $79M in 2019

Frank Frazetta’s ‘Egyptian Queen,’ was first published as the cover the comic magazine ‘Eerie,’ issue #23, in 1969. It sold for $5.4 million at Heritage Auctions’ May 16-18 Comics & Comic Art Auction in Chicago. Heritage Auctions image

DALLAS – Auction sales for the Comics & Comic Art Department at Heritage soared to a record $79,332,770 in 2019, with sell-through rates exceeding 99% as measured both by value and by number of lots. The total was the highest ever in the 18-year history of the department, and represented a jump of more than 35% above the department’s previous record of $58,544,323 which was set in 2018.

Numerous records fell in 2019, further strengthening Heritage’s position as the largest comic books and comic art auctioneer in the world.

Among the records that fell in 2019 was Frank Frazetta’s 1969 masterpiece Egyptian Queen, published first as the cover for Jim Warren’s popular comic magazine, Eerie, issue #23 in mid-1969. The painting tripled the previous price record for any piece of American published comic book art when it sold for $5.4 million at Heritage’s May 16-18 Comics & Comic Art Auction in Chicago. The previous record been set in 2018 by Heritage for another fantastic Frazetta cover, Death Dealer 6, at $1,792,500.

That total of $15,121,405 in realized sales at the Chicago auction in May also set a new world record for any individual comics auction, besting the previous $12,121,036 record, which had been set by Heritage in the May 2108 auction. Amazingly, Heritage nearly broke the record again when its Nov. 21-24, 2019 Comics & Comic Art Auction in Dallas realized $14,744,367.

Heritage Auctions’ Dec. 13-15 Animation Art Auction was the highest-grossing Animation Art Auction of all time, with sales totaling $2.96 million. The total blew away the previous record of $2.09 million, which was set by Heritage Auctions in June 2019.

Other Heritage Comics Department highlights include:

Marvel Comics #1, Windy City pedigree, (Timely, 1939) CGC NM 9.4 off-white pages: $1,260,000.
– Hergé (1907-1983) Les Aventures de Tintin, Tome 1 Tintin au Pays de Soviets Couverture: $1,125,000.
Captain America Comics #1, San Francisco pedigree, (Timely, 1941) CGC NM 9.4 off-white to white pages: $915,000.
– Neal Adams Batman #251 cover The Joker original art (DC, 1973): $600,000.
Superman #1 (DC, 1939) CGC VG/FN 5.0 cream to off-white pages: $456,000.
– Jack Kirby and Chic Stone Fantastic Four Annual #2 splash page 1 Doctor Doom original art (Marvel, 1964): $288,000.
– Jack Kirby and Syd Shores Captain America #103 cover Red Skull original art (Marvel, 1968): $288,000.
– Frank Frazetta Creepy #17 cover painting original art (Warren, 1967): $264,000.