NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Q. What's rarer than the exceedingly rare first Superman comic book, Action Comics #1, of which only 100 copies exist (some of which have sold for over $1,000,000)?
A. Hand-colored production art of its cover—the sole surviving piece of original artwork from the iconic 1938 comic.
It's called the Action Comics #1 Silver Print Proof. It's museum quality, and its historical value makes it nearly priceless.
After being closely held in a private collection for 25 years, that collection is going up for auction this week.
"This is one of the rarest, most historically significant items we've offered," says Stephen Fishler, founder and co-owner of ComicConnect.com.
What's a silver print? To save money, Golden Age publishers would produce cheap prints of black-and-white line art for color artists to fill, so editors could choose the best color palette. Such prints were routinely discarded, making production art exceedingly rare.
In this case, the color artist, Ed Eisenberg, literally rescued the print from the trash. He held it for decades before selling it to Gary Witkin, who compiled his portfolio over the course of decades. Nashville based Witkin, who served as CEO for Service Merchandise, began collecting as a child.
The collection includes:
With a CGC rating of 8.0, this is the highest-graded conserved copy of Action Comics #1 in existence.
Once Action #1 proved to be a hit, DC quickly launched a series named after their new star. Since Action #1 soared beyond the reach of many buyers, collectors have gravitated toward this inaugural issue to complete their collections. Estimated value: $50,000.
Comic book artifacts don't get much rarer than this. Racked by repeated publisher rejections, Superman's young creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, mimeographed their earliest stories for private distribution. This collection of their five fanzines is one of two existing sets. An early prototype of Superman—as a Lex-Lutheresque villain—appears here.
The Hidden Valley auction is on now and ends December 6. ComicConnect.com is the leading online comic marketplace.