A CGC 6.5-graded copy of Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939), the first appearance of Batman, realized $567,625 as the lead lot in Heritage Auctions $4.3 million Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction on February 21-22, 2013 at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America) in New York. Heritage also conducted its inaugural Animation Art Signature Auction, which realized more than $925,000, giving the category a $5.3 million trio of auctions.

“This is the third best result for a comic book that Heritage has ever seen,” said Steve Borock, Senior Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions, “and shows that comics are a market right now where significant appreciation can occur within a short span of time; this copy of Detective Comics #27 brought $45,000 more than another copy in the same grade that we sold a year ago.”

John Romita, Sr.’s original cover art for Amazing Spider-Man #121 sold for $286,800.

“This is the best piece of 1970s comic art we’ve ever auctioned and the price reflected that,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations for Comics and Comic Art at Heritage. “It’s also number four on our all-time list of prices realized at Heritage for a piece of comic art.”

Dave Gibbons’ original artwork for the cover of Watchmen #1, which came to auction via The Shamus Modern Masterworks Collection, realized $155,350. It was sold along with Gibbons’ original cover art for Watchmen #2 and #3, which added another $60,000+ between them in prices realized for the trio.

“Heritage had a lot of agents on the phones when this one came up, and there was much back-and-forth bidding before it sold,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “The best news of all is that we still have the other nine Watchmen covers to sell in 2013.”

Among the other notable sales, Bill Watterson’s 11-3-86 daily Calvin and Hobbes original comic strip art realized $65,725, a CGC 3.5 Batman #1 sold for $50,788, and Brian Bolland’s original comic art for Page 38 from Batman: The Killing Joke closed at $47,800.