A copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, the 1962 first appearance of Spider-man, sold at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on Feb. 18, 2016 for $454,100, a record price at public auction for the comic. The Near-Mint, 9.4 CGC copy claimed top lot honors in Heritage’s $5.7+ million Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction. The copy was purchased in 1980 by New York area collector Walter Yakaboski, a comic book collector, who had the opportunity to buy a handful of key early Marvel comic books for the very tidy sum of $10,000 – a good bit to spend in those days.
Among them was the copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, the landmark first appearance of Spider-Man. The portion of the trove it is figured today they he spent on Spidey is about $1,200.
This copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 was not known to the collecting hobby before this auction, as Yakaboski kept it almost perfectly preserved in a safe deposit box for 35 years. The book was purchased by an anonymous collector. Another Spider-Man comic from Yakaboski’s collection drew serious attention as a 1963 copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 sold for $110,537.
“It’s a superbly preserved copy of one of the most sought-after comic books in the world,” said Lon Allen, Managing Director of the Comics Department at Heritage. “It’s worth well more than its weight in gold. There are very few like this one.”
Other highlights of the sale include a copy of Detective Comics #27 (the first appearance of “The Batman”) which shocked the auction room floor when it hammered for $167,300, despite its 4.5 CBCS grade and extensive restoration. John Romita Sr.’s original cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #62, which sold for $179,250. The original cover art for Daredevil #9, by fan favorite Wally Wood, sold for $149,375 to the phone. Todd McFarlane’s lush original cover art to Amazing Spider-Man #309, a classic 1988 cover featuring four characters, sold for $54,970, and the original art from page 15 from Amazing Spider-Man #49, a joint page by masters John Romita Sr. and Mike Esposito, ended at $53,775.