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Sept. 6 no-reserve auction packs a punch with vintage comic books

You can get comics delivered to your iPad or phone, but there’s something special about rifling through boxes or racks of printed, physical comic books. That sense of specialness is enhanced when the comic books are vintage, and date from times you never knew or barely existed in. It gives the sense that the stories are bigger than you – that they were there before you were born, and will be there to delight your great-grandchildren.

On Monday, September 6, starting at 7 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will hold an 147-lot sale titled No Reserve Rare Comics.

Superman #233, est. $5-$500

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Daredevil leads superheroes in comic book sale Feb. 12

Jasper52 will sell 112 vintage comic books, many from the industry’s Silver Age (circa 1956-1970), in a no-reserve online auction on Friday, Feb. 12. Because this auction has no reserves, the high bidder on each lot will prevail.

Daredevil #16 VG-. Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Sal Buscema: creating dynamic comics

NEW YORK – Marvel comics are arguably the gold standard of comics and one of the company’s most talented and prolific artists has been Sal Buscema.

The younger half of a dynamic duo, to rip a phrase right from comics, Sal can credit his older brother, John, for giving him his start in creating original artwork for Marvel, where he was already working as an artist. Sal’s own talent, first as an inker and then as a penciller, cemented his legacy in the comicsphere and his original illustrations, comic panels and comic book covers have been eagerly sought after by collectors.

A key Bronze Age Marvel comic is this ‘Defenders #1’ from August 1972 with cover by Sal Buscema, Jim Mooney and Sam Rosen. This issue marked the first appearance of Necrodamus and made $1,711 + the buyer’s premium in November 2019 at Hake’s Auctions. Photo courtesy of Hake’s Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

Born in 1936 in Brooklyn, N.Y., Sal grew up reading comics like Prince Valiant, which he credits as being an influence on his artistic style. After graduating high school, he did some commercial art work and served in the military before joining his brother at Marvel in 1968.

“Sal Buscema is one of the old-school Marvel artists whose work really dominated in the 1970s,” said Todd Sheffer, production manager at Hake’s Auctions in York, Pa. “He worked on numerous Marvel titles and there aren’t many that he didn’t touch at some point. Well known for his Defenders run, Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, his work is eagerly scooped up by collectors when it comes to market.”

The title splash page of ‘Defenders #11’ featuring Sal Buscema and Frank Bolle artwork brought $15,000 + the buyer’s premium in March 2015 at Heritage Auctions. ‘A Dark and Stormy Knight,’ was the final chapter in the Defenders vs. Avengers story arc. Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

“He is definitely a fan favorite when it comes to collecting,” said Travis Landry, specialist and auctioneer at Bruneau & Co Auctioneers in Cranston, R.I. “He has done a lot of iconic covers and important story lines. His career has been since the early Silver Age [of comics] before there was even Marvel Comics.” Both Sal and John’s art was a fixture at Marvel from the Silver Age through the Bronze Age.

A 1992 comic panel by Sal Buscema, ‘The Spectacular Spider-Man – The Valley,’ sold for €1,300 + the buyer’s premium at Urania Casa d’Aste in June 2020. Photo courtesy of
Urania Casa d’Aste and LiveAuctioneers

One of his most iconic covers is Silver Surfer #4, which features a great battle scene between Thor and the Silver Surfer on the bridge in Asgard, says Landry. From the X-Men to the Defenders and the Avengers, all of whom have crossed over to the small and big screen, Buscema has worked on many iconic characters and important storylines.

“He is always going to be a top five, top 10 name in Marvel because he has touched every important character,” he said.

Buscema’s art “has a crisp line with attention to anatomy and proportion and he has been a penciller and inker, both of which help define his classic work,” Sheffer said. “Some of his covers have brought tens of thousands of dollars over the past several years and he’s even hit the $100,000 mark with a cover [a cover for Submariner #35 from 1971]. Pages can bring upward of $10,000 for key characters, but there are more modern pages that can be had in the $300 range, thanks to the large volume of work he produced. So, for his many fans, it’s still possible to have an original page for a reasonable price, even for the newer art collector.”

Introducing the Grandmaster into the Marvel universe, Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger created this circa 1969 artwork for ‘Avengers #69.’ It earned $3,750 + the buyer’s premium in April 2018 at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Photo courtesy of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and LiveAuctioneers

For collectors, while individual tastes will vary, there are certain types of original art that generally have an order of values. Desirability of comics is often dependent on the artist, the character depicted and content. When looking at particular pages created for a comic book, pages with auction scenes, especially battle scenes by characters in costume, will rate higher than static posed characters, not in costume. Covers tend to bring the highest prices followed by double-page splashes, splashes and panel pages.

This signed Sal Buscema original comic art with storyboard for ‘Marvel Two-in-One Presents’ ‘The Thing and Ghost Rider,’ published March 1975, realized $1,600 + the buyer’s premium in October 2017 at Quinn’s Auction Galleries. Photo courtesy of Quinn’s Auction Galleries and LiveAuctioneers

A title splash page of Defenders #11, featuring Sal Buscema and Frank Bolle artwork, brought $15,000 + the buyer’s premium in March 2015 at Heritage Auctions. Titled “A Dark and Stormy Knight,” this story was the final chapter in the Defenders vs. Avengers story arc and this page features iconic characters like Iron Man and Captain America as well as the Hulk, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer and Valkyrie.

Buscema’s original art overall continues to appreciate in value. Citing Avengers #69 as an example, which Bruneau & Co. auctioned off in April 2018 for $3,750 + the buyer’s premium, this comic book would likely sell for double that figure today, Landry said. “The comic market is on an upward trajectory for any good Marvel property and even DC Comics, which have been softer over the past decade, but they definitely are still appreciating in value.”

Fantastic team-ups mark comic book auction Dec. 20

Superheroes team up in a no-reserve comic book auction that Jasper52 will conduct on Sunday, Dec. 20. Nearly 300 lots of vintage comic books will sell to the highest bidder, no matter the price. The first pairing featured in the auction comes in Green Lantern #76 co-starring Green Arrow, a fellow DC character, in a groundbreaking series dealing with various social and political issues in America.

‘Green Lantern #76,’ co-starring Green Arrow, VG+. Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

No. 1 issue of ‘Supercar’ stars in online comic book auction

Action, adventure and laughs await winning bidders in a no-reserve comic book auction that will be presented by LiveAuctioneers on Sunday, Dec. 6. Among the star lots is the scarce No. 1 issue of Supercar. Because this is a no-reserve auction, the high bidder wins the lot, no matter how low the price.

Supercar #1, VF-, 1962. Jasper52 image

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Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

No. 1 issues stand out in comic book auction Nov. 15

Jasper52 will conduct another no-reserve comic book auction on Sunday, Nov. 15. The bulk of the nearly 200 titles consists of Marvel and DC Comics superheroes, but Disney and Archie fans will find a nice selection of their favorite comic characters as well. Because this is a no-reserve auction, the high bidder wins the lot, no matter how low the price. Bid absentee or live online exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.

The Shadow #1: VG. Jasper5The Shadow #1: VG. Jasper52 image2 image

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Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Superheroes prevail in Jasper52 comic book auction Nov. 1

Action heroes and diabolical villains are featured in a Jasper52 comic book auction on auction Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1. These no-reserve auctions consist of more than 400 vintage comic books.

‘Avengers #15,’ VG-. Jasper52 image

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Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Fantastic Four headline Jasper52 comic book sale Oct. 10-11

Jasper52 will present a pantheon of superheroes in a two-day online auction of rare comic books on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11. Fans of the Fantastic Four will have the opportunity to fill holes in their run of this landmark Marvel comic book on Day 2 as all 170 lots are devoted to “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” title.

Fantastic Four #3, the first time in costume, first appearance of Miracle Man, VG. Jasper52 image

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Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

#1 issues showcased in no-reserve comics auction Sept. 20

Among the scare titles entered in a no-reserve online comic book auction that will be conducted by Jasper52 on Sunday, Sept. 20, are a handful of #1 issues – the key to every collection. The prized #1 issue often has the highest value of any series. And, in a no-reserve auction, the highest bidder wins the item, no matter the price.

Ms. Marvel #1, VG-. Jasper52 image

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Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Jasper52 presents classic comic book auction Aug. 9

Superheroes and arch-villains abound in a no-holds-barred comic book auction that will be conducted on Sunday, Aug. 9, by Jasper52. This no-reserve online auction of 273 vintage comic books features several #1 issues and a few first appearances by notable characters.

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.