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Press Release - November 24, 2020

From ‘Peanuts’ to Pokémon, Batman to the Mario Bros., Heritage Auctions Makes History During Four-Day Event

Several notable records were set during the Dallas-based auction house’s Nov. 19-22 Comics & Comic Art event

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Peanuts Strip World Record Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, Texas (Nov. 24, 2020) — Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 19-22 Comics & Comic Art auction was one for the record books.

By the time the four-day, $14.2-million event wrapped on Sunday afternoon, a few world records had been set in several categories. A copy of Detective Comics No. 27 sold for $1.5 millionthe highest price ever realized for a Batman comic book. A sealed Pokémon First Edition Base Set Booster Box nearly doubled a recently set world record when it collected $360,000. And when it sold Friday for $156,000, a sealed copy of the Super Mario Bros. 3 variant release toppled a previously set high score for a video game by more than $40,000.

"Considering how many years collectors have searched for a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 from the first production run, it comes as little surprise that this was the next game to topple the previous world record,” says Heritage Auctions’ Video Game Director Valarie McLeckie.

It should be noted, too, that Super Mario Bros. 3 didn’t merely set a world record, but served as the centerpiece of the world’s first-ever million-dollar video-game auction.

The Peanuts gang also got in on the action during the Comics & Comic Art event.

A Charles Schulz strip from Nov. 17, 1950 – only the 40th strip in the series’ run, and by far the oldest Heritage has ever offered – sold for $192,000, setting a record for the highest price ever paid for daily Peanuts panels. Snoopy — then a young pup who, as it turns out, originally belonged to Shermy! – was all bite in an auction worth barking about.

"As it’s exceedingly rare to see such an early-days Peanuts, we are thrilled but not altogether surprised to set the world record for a piece of Schulz art,” says Matt Griffin, a consignment director in Heritage’s Comics & Comic Art department. "The price realized proves the enduring appeal of Charles Schulz's work, which remains as beloved and essential today as it was 70 years ago."

Almost 5,500 bidders participated in the four-day event that garnered worldwide attention even when it wasn’t setting records.

Jim Lee Uncanny X-Men cover art Heritage Auctions
Indeed, renowned illustrator Jim Lee took to Twitter Friday afternoon when his and inker Scott Williams’ iconic cover art for The Uncanny X-Men No. 268, featuring Captain America and Wolverine and Black Widow, sold for $300,000. Noted DC Comics’ Publisher and Chief Creative Officer, "This cover could have been yours for $650 back in 1990! That’s a 46,053% return on investment.”

Lee ended his tweet with some streaming-tears emojis and a YOLO hashtag.

The four-day event was thrilling from start to finish: Not only was the bidding fast and furious on almost every one of the nearly 1,800 lots offered, but Heritage introduced to the market some never-before-available and hardest-to-find items that sparked enormous interest and attention. Among the biggest hits of the star-studded event:

Artist Douglas Shuler’s original art for the Magic: The Gathering "Demonic Tutor” card, which realized $168,000. This was one of five iconic offerings from the Len Osborne MTG Collection making their respective debuts at auction.

A seldom seen copy of Action Comics No. 7, graded CGC VG 4.0, which sold for $144,000 — almost twice the highest price listed in the most recent Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide for a modest-condition copy of Superman’s second cover appearance.

A nearly perfect CGC 9.8 Batman No. 181, from 1966, realized $90,000 — the highest price ever paid for a Silver Age Dark Knight. (For this, perhaps, we can thank Poison Ivy, who makes her debut in this book).

And Todd McFarlane’s original art for Page 17 from 1990’s Amazing Spider-Man No. 328, which brought $120,000 in its first public sale. This dazzling page, like Lee’s X-Men cover, came from the collection of Jeff Nason, who began buying original artwork when he was in high school and 30 years later decided to share them with the collecting community.

Nason’s was not the only formidable collection included in the Comics & Comic Art event.

The four-day auction also included only a part of Randy Lawrence’s headline-making, award-winning Alfred Pennyworth Collection — most famous, until now, for having been stolen from a South Florida self-storage locker in January 2019. Lawrence spent nearly two years, almost entirely by himself, tracking down the purloined collection ranked among the finest in CGC’s Batman registry.

Once returned, Lawrence decided to consign the entirety of the collection to Heritage, which auctioned off some 200 Golden Age titles from the Alfred Pennyworth Collection during the four-day event. Those books alone shattered pre-auction expectations by realizing more than $1 million — and there remain hundreds more Batman books to come from Lawrence’s collection in January and February events, including his Silver Age titles.

"Our expectations were high across the board, but every category of the auction brought some results that were double or triple what we thought we could reasonably expect,” says Heritage Auctions Vice President Barry Sandoval. "It’s a great time to be a seller right now.”

Click here to see all the results from the Nov. 19-22 Comics & Comic Art event.

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Heritage also enjoys the highest Online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,250,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.


Robert Wilonsky, Director, Corporate Communications
214-409-1887; RobertW@HA.com

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