Archie Andrews, the lead character of the Archie comic books, proved he can hold his own on the auction floor, and even exceed, the likes of Spider-Man, The Hulk and The Batman. At Heritage Auctions’ Signature Vintage Comics & Comics Art Auction a CGC-certified 8.5 copy of Archie Comics #1 brought a world record price of $167,300 (including 19.5% Buyer’s Premium). It’s no superhero book, and that’s what made this sale all the more surprising. This amount exceeds the priciest of Spidey and Hulk comic books sold at Heritage, which brought in excess of $125,000 each.
It sold to a West Coast collector who has been collecting Archie comic books for decades. I’ve been collecting Archies for 40 years, the collector said, and over the years I’ve become much more selective as far as condition. I’ve been looking for a high-grade Archie #1 for some time, and this is the first I’ve come across that I’d feel good about owning. It’s not going to leave my possession until I die.
The issue is considered the first teen comic book by Overstreet. While Archie had appeared in other comics before (his first appearance was Pep #22, cover-dated 12/41), they were anthology titles where he shared space with adventure stories. Also, Archie had never been the sole cover feature of a comic before this. This series is still going strong today, over 600 issues later. Bob Montana provided cover and interior art for the issue, which featured the first appearance of Mrs. Andrews and what you might call the “origin” of Veronica.
The Heritage auction reached a total of $4,270,483, with more than 2,375 bidders vying for 1,262 lots. Some other notable works that brought in the big bucks were the five original production proof pages from Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of “The Bat-Man” in 1939, found in 1975, in an old steamer trunk (destined for the landfill) brought $69,011,while a 1976 painting of Uncle Scrooge in his massive money bin went for $179,250. Other items that sold well included R. Crumb’s original art for the two-page story, “Kitchen Kut-Outs,” from Zap Comics #1 which went for $47,800.
In an impressive feat of Internet technology, Heritage Auctions provides anyone who creates an account the ability to watch the sale live and bid on items in real-time from their computer. [Heritage Auctions]