The vintage comic books and comic art market is healthy and thriving at Heritage. The auction house has announced that their Comics & Comic Art Department’s 2018 yearly total set a new world record of $58,544,323.
This total marked their highest yearly sales total in the department’s 17-year history, illustrating the continuous growing demand for rare, key comic books and original comic and animation art. Their sales saw a 32% increase in sales from 2017 and sell-through rates exceeded 99% by value and number of lots.
“Our results in 2018 exceeded our loftiest expectations,” Heritage Auctions co-founder Jim Halperin said. “Part of the gratification when reflecting on 2018 is the variety of our success: we were able to realize exceptional prices on individual comic books and original art, but were fortunate that the results were not top-heavy. We also established new records for the most valuable comics auction and most valuable animation art auction ever held, and set a new record with our weekly auctions three times during the year.”
The Comics & Comic Art Auction in May saw the sale of Frank Frazetta’s original art for Death Dealer 6, which brought $1,792,500. That total is nearly triple the previous amount paid for a piece of comic art in the U.S. The total for that auction reached over $12 million in sales, setting a new world record for an individual auction.
The John Romita Sr. and Frank Giacoia original cover art for Amazing Spider-Man #100 drew bids from three dozen collectors before it ended at $478,000. This total exceeded their preauction estimate by nearly 20% and established a new world record for a Silver or Bronze Age Marvel cover bought at a public auction.
A new record for art by famed Disney artist Mary Blair was set when her Cinderella Magic Coach concept painting hammered for $60,000 in June.
In July, bidders pushed Kaja Foglio’s Magic: The Gathering: Arabian Nights Shahrazad card original art to $72,000 during one of their weekly auctions.
On the animation art front, their December auction achieved $1,956,926, which set a new company record.
Their weekly internet comics and art auctions frequently saw lots sell for five-figure prices. Three of those Sunday auctions throughout the year set new auction records, with the August 5 sale at the top with $466,512. Among the sales was a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 3.5 that soared to $20,400.
“The days of Heritage Auctions’ weekly auctions offering lower value lots exclusively are over,” Halperin said. “We average about 800 lots per week, and it no longer is a rarity for some lots to crack the five-figure plateau. Our collectors know the value that exists in many of the offered materials, some of which are fresh-to-the-market personal collections. So, while there always are outstanding deals to be had for collectors of all levels, our weekly auctions now include many exceptional items, which routinely set new price records.”