Superman/JFK comic book cover art auctioned for $112K

Curt Swan original cover art for Action Comics #309 featuring Superman family and JFK disguised as Clark Kent. Probably the only remaining original art from this controversial issue, which came out the week after President Kennedy’s assassination. Estimated at $50,000-$75,000, it sold for $112,015. Photo: Hake’s Americana & Collectibles

Curt Swan original cover art for Action Comics #309 featuring Superman family and JFK disguised as Clark Kent. Probably the only remaining original art from this controversial issue, which came out the week after President Kennedy’s assassination. Estimated at $50,000-$75,000, it sold for $112,015. Photo: Hake’s Americana & Collectibles

YORK, Pa. – Richly visual, historically significant and unique in the dictionary sense of the word, the original Curt Swan cover art for Action Comics #309 helped rewrite the record books at Hake’s when it closed at $112,015 on day three of the company’s Nov. 19-21 auction. The sale achieved $1,346,848 (inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium), making it the highest-grossing Hake’s auction since the company’s launch in 1967.

An extraordinary treasure to comic art collectors, Swan’s eye-filling cover art for Action Comics #309 is believed to be the only surviving original art from the issue DC Comics tried to recall in the week following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Coincidentally, the issue’s storyline – which included all of the members of the “Superman family” – focused on The Man of Steel’s friendship with President Kennedy, disguised as Clark Kent.

“While there was nothing at all disrespectful about the comic book’s portrayal of JFK as Clark Kent, a comic book is still entertainment, and its release might have seemed inappropriate at a time when America was grieving over the death of its president,” said Hake’s General Manager Alex Winter. “Although DC Comics did its best to recall the issue, the distribution process was already too far along for it to be stopped. As a result, Action Comics 309, and the cover art we sold, will always have a connection to history.”

In claiming top-lot honors, the Swan cover art became the second-highest-priced item ever sold by Hake’s. On September 27, 2007, the Pennsylvania-based firm auctioned a pair of rare, giant display dolls of Walt Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse for $151,534.35.

The auction also contained rare 1920s-’30s Disney toys from the collection of the late children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak.

Online: www.hakes.com

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Curt Swan original cover art for Action Comics #309 featuring Superman family and JFK disguised as Clark Kent. Probably the only remaining original art from this controversial issue, which came out the week after President Kennedy’s assassination. Estimated at $50,000-$75,000, it sold for $112,015. Photo: Hake’s Americana & Collectibles

Curt Swan original cover art for Action Comics #309 featuring Superman family and JFK disguised as Clark Kent. Probably the only remaining original art from this controversial issue, which came out the week after President Kennedy’s assassination. Estimated at $50,000-$75,000, it sold for $112,015. Photo: Hake’s Americana & Collectibles