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Rare ‘Magic’ ‘Alpha Black Lotus’ card sells for $27,302

magic-black lotusWe’ve become accustomed to reading about rare comic books — even those found in the walls of old houses — fetching high prices at auction, but it may come as a surprise to learn that collectors are laying down big bucks for certain Magic: The Gathering cards, too. (Or maybe it’s not so surprising; I admit my knowledge of the game is limited to glimpses of people playing it in the back of comic shops.)

WhatSellsBest reports that a 1993 “Alpha Black Lotus” card sold this week on eBay for $27,302, apparently not because it adds 3 mana of any single color of the player’s choice to his or her mana pool, but rather because it’s so rare: just 1,100 were released. In addition, the 20-year-old card is in mint condition, receiving a grade of 9.5 from Beckett.

Widely considered the Holy Grail for Magic collectors, a 9.5-graded “Alpha Black Lotus” previously sold for $25,000, according to the video below from Graded Magic Cards.

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Ron Marz kicks off Comics for Tots auction

Ron Marz with toys that were purchased with proceeds from last year's Comics for Tots auction

Ron Marz with toys that were purchased with proceeds from last year’s Comics for Tots auction

Writer, and Comic Book Resources columnist, Ron Marz (Silver Surfer, Green Lantern, Witchblade) has kicked off his fourth annual Comics for Tots auction on eBay. The first round of items, which can be found here, includes original art by Stjepan Sejik, Scott Kollins, and Darryl Banks, as well as a Joker action figure. Marz announced the sale Wednesday on Twitter, and he says more items are on the way. Once shipping costs are paid, all the money will be donated to Toys for Tots.

Last year’s Comics for Tots event raised $2,300. “We purchased and donated multiple loads of toys for the local Toys for Tots effort, everything from action figures to dolls, board games to sports equipment, books to iPods,” he wrote. “This is all possible because of you. We were able to make Christmas brighter for some children in need.”

(via Comicbook.com)

What do you do with 46,000 comics?

Hulk 181There’s a bit of irony to this story of a comics dealer and a collector going to great lengths to acquire an intact comics collection … which they apparently intend to break up by selling off the comics individually.

Matthew Lane, the reporter who got the story for the Kingsport, Tennessee, Times-News, puts the allure of the collection right in his lead:

Imagine coming across a rare comic book collection, complete runs of Marvel and DC dating back to the beginning of the Silver Age of Comics. The first appearances of Spider-man, Iron Man, Wolverine, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.

Indeed, that’s what makes this collection so interesting — its completeness. Seeing an entire run of issues, watching iconic characters pop up in the context of their times, is a special experience (albeit one that can now be duplicated fairly easily with digital comics). The collection of more than 46,000 comics seems to have attracted some attention among dealers, and it was ultimately purchased by retailer Brian Marcus and collector Charles Bond.

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Comics A.M. | Maggie Thompson puts rare comics up for auction

Journey Into Mystery #83

Journey Into Mystery #83

Auctions | Comics industry legend Maggie Thompson plans to put up for auction 524 comics from her personal collection. Thompson, who with her late husband Don was a longtime editor of the Comics Buyer’s Guide, estimates that she has 10,000 comics, all stored in a special vault-like addition to her home, which she built using the money from a previous sale, of Amazing Fantasy #15 (the first appearance of Spider-Man) and the first 100 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man. Bidding on the first batch of comics, which includes The Avengers #1, Journey into Mystery #83 (first appearance of Thor), The Incredible Hulk #1, and original cover art from Conan #4, begins today. [The Associated Press]

Comics | ICv2 releases the results of its White Paper (previously reported at Comic Book Resources), which tracks comics and graphic novel sales in all channels. Briefly, the report shows that sales of comics and graphic novels are up, manga is up dramatically, and digital comics sales continue to increase — although growth is slowing a bit, which is to be expected as the base increases. [ICv2]

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Is there anything Tom Hiddleston can’t do? (Besides defeat Thor)

hiddleston-ebay

Embracing his role as Marvel’s god of mischief with an infectious glee, Tom Hiddleston has demonstrated his talent as a showman, a storyteller, a singer, a teacher, a celebrity impressionist, and a dancer. And now the actor shows that he’s a bit of an artist, too.

A self-portrait of Hiddleston as Loki is being auctioned online to raise money for the United Kingdom’s Great Ormond Hospital Children’s Charity, with proceeds going to help with refurbishment, the purchase of equipment and the funding of research. The drawing isn’t half-bad, either.

With a little more than a day to go, the high bid is £2,334 (about $3,757 U.S.).

Auction launches to help Steve Niles after flooding

steve nilesAn eBay auction has launched to benefit writer Steve Niles, whose Austin home flooded last week following heavy rains in Central Texas. He, his wife, musician Monica Richards, and their pets are now staying in a friend’s guesthouse.

Organized by writer Matt Miner, the auction is expected to arrive in two, and possibly three, waves, beginning with such items as 30 Days of Night original art by Ben Templesmith, original painted pages from Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who — Assimilation by J.K. Woodward, a Black Widow illustration by Phil Noto, comic-book script reviews by Scott Snyder and Ron Marz, and signed comics by the likes of Chris Burnham, James Tynion IV, Jamie S. Rich, Greg Pak and J.M DeMatteis. Visit the auction page for the full listing.

“I’ll keep doing auctions as long as comics pros want to send me stuff,” Miner said. Professionals wishing to contribute items for the auction should contact Miner.

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Perfect ‘Futurama’ send-off: original art auction for a good cause

futurama art

Given that Wednesday is the series finale of Futurama — at least until it’s resurrected again — it seems only appropriate that we showcase  this eBay auction of a piece of original art by Bill Morrison, signed by him, series creator Matt Groening, Producer Lee Supercinski, Executive Producer David X. Cohen and the entire cast.

Anyone who attended the Futurama panel last month at Comic-Con International, where Groening used the piece to “cheat” in his draw-off against animation director Edmund Fong. (You can see the video below.)

The current bid for the drawing, which measures 48 inches by 36 inches, is $1,125. All proceeds from the auction will benefit TLC (Tiny Loving Canines), a nonprofit small-dog breed rescue in Simi Valley, California. The auction ends Sept. 8.

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Comics A.M. | Salt Lake Comic Con expects 40,000 in first year

Salt Lake Comic Con

Salt Lake Comic Con

Conventions | Next week, Salt Lake City will get its first comics convention, Salt Lake Comic Con, which has already sold a reported 23,000 tickets (the event’s website says 20,000). But founder Dan Farr expects attendance to far exceed 40,000, surpassing the 33,000 recorded for New York Comic Con’s inaugural year.[Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune]

Conventions | Oni Hartstein, the co-founder of Intervention, talks about why she established the Washington, DC-area convention and why its DIY aspect sets it apart. [Comic Riffs]

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Frank Miller’s ‘Dark Knight Returns’ #2 cover sells for $478,000

Frank Miller's original cover for "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises" #2Frank Miller’s original cover for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2 sold at auction last week for $478,000, The Associated Press reports. Initial expectations had placed the price at more than $500,000.

Although Heritage Auctions has sold other original art from the landmark 1986 DC Comics miniseries — a page from Issue 3, featuring Batman and Robin in mid-air, fetched a record $448,125 in 2011 — this was the first cover to ever appear at auction. It’s also the only one from the four-issue series to be rendered completely in pen and ink by Miller.

A near-mint copy of 1940′s Batman #1, featuring the first appearance of Catwoman and The Joker, went for $567,625 at the same auction. A similar copy sold for $850,000 in 2012.

The record price paid at auction for a comic is held by a near-mint copy of Action Comics #1, which fetched $2.16 million in 2011.

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You could own Dan Harmon’s Iron Man suit from Comic-Con

dan harmon-im1

If you read about, or saw, with envy Community creator Dan Harmon’s triumphant return to Comic-Con International wearing a custom-made, if somewhat haphazardly constructed, Iron Man costume, now’s your chance to make it your own. OK, maybe you don’t envy it; maybe you’re just a die-hard fan of Harmon or the NBC comedy. Whatever the case, the suit is being auctioned on eBay.

It’s legitimate, as the seller appears to be Rob Schrab, Harmon’s longtime writing partner and creator of Scud: The Disposable Assassin, and the Community creator announced the auction himself on his website. If you still somehow question the costume’s authenticity, the top of the chest plate is signed by Harmon and — better still! — it “Smells like Dan!” What more proof could you ask for?

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Charlie Adlard’s Walking Dead 100 Project cover sells for $12,100

hero-initiative-wd-cropped

Charlie Adlard’s cover for The Hero Initiative’s Walking Dead 100 Project sold this morning on eBay for $12,100, the most of any piece auctioned to date.

Image Comics printed blank covers for The Walking Dead #100, and The Hero Initiative commissioned 100 artists to create original drawings on them. The pieces have been auctioned online since June 4 at a rate of 10 covers a week, with the proceeds going to the industry charity, which provides a financial safety net for comics creators.

Adlard, who has drawn The Walking Dead since Issue 7 in 2004, is joined on the project by such artists as Kevin Eastman, Dale Keown, Peter Krause, Jeff Lemire, Ted McKeever, Mike Norton, Sean Phillips, Paolo Rivera, Fiona Staples and Ben Templesmith (you can see the full list of artists, and their entries, on the Hero Initiative website).

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Cover for ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ #2 goes up for auction

Frank Miller's original cover for "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" #2

Frank Miller’s original cover for “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” #2

Frank Miller’s cover for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2 is expected to sell at auction next month for more than $500,000, The Associated Press reports.

While Heritage Auctions has sold other original art from the landmark 1986 DC Comics miniseries — a page from Issue 3, featuring Batman and Robin in mid-air, fetched a record $448,125 in 2011 — this is the first cover to ever appear at auction. It’s also the only one from the four-issue series to be rendered completely in pen and ink by Miller, “with no significant painted elements or overlays.” Heritage characterizes it as “artistically the best of the four.”

“For fans of modern comics, this drawing is where everything really begins,” Heritage Vice President Todd Hignite tells The AP.“This moment defines Miller’s Dark Knight, and the modern day perception of Batman, like no other drawing.”

The auction also includes a 9.2 graded copy of 1940′s Batman #1, which marks the first appearance of Catwoman and The Joker. A similar copy sold for $850,000 in 2012.

The record price paid at auction for a comic is held by a near-mint copy of Action Comics #1, which fetched $2.16 million in 2011. Online bidding is expected to begin July 12, with the auction held Aug. 1-3 in Dallas.

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Comics A.M. | Pair of ‘Peanuts’ Sunday strips sells for $78,200

peanuts

Auctions | The original art for two Peanuts Sunday comics, one of them autographed by Charles Schulz, sold for a combined price of $78,200 at auction on June 6. [artdaily.org]

Creators | Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon, who are doomed to be forever yoked by the parenthetical phrase “no relation,” reminisce about the days when they were paid for their work in beef, and talk about their digital-first strategy, serializing Zander’s Heck and Kevin’s Crater XV in their monthly digital magazine Double Barrel before releasing them in print. Mark Waid drops in to praise the Cannons for their digital strategy, saying, “If you let the audience access your material over the Web rather than force them to search — often in vain — for a retail outlet, they’ll be your fans for life.” [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

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Minnesota man finds another vintage Superman comic in wall

superman4As unlikely as it may sound, the Minnesota man who in December discovered a copy of Action Comics #1 in the wall of a 75-year-old home just unearthed another vintage Superman comic — in a wall of the same house.

But while that 1938 issue featuring the first appearance of the Man of Steel fetched $175,000 last week at auction, this new find is expected to sell for much, much less: Sure, it’s Superman #4, from spring 1940 … but it’s in two pieces.

Contractor David Gonzalez and his wife Deanna purchased the abandoned house in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, for $10,100, outbidding the neighboring restaurant, which planned to use the property to expand its parking lot. While demolishing a wall, David Gonzalez struck gold amid newspapers from the 1930s that had been used for insulation, and uncovered a copy of Action Comics #1 that ultimately received a CGC grade of 1.5.

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‘Action Comics’ #1 found in wall of house sells for $175,000

action comics-gonzalezA copy of Action Comics #1 that a Minnesota man discovered in the wall of a 1938 house he was renovating sold at auction Tuesday for $175,000.

Contractor David Gonzalez and his wife Deanna purchased the fixer-upper in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, for $10,100, and while demolishing a wall David found the rare comic amid newspapers used for insulation.

Although the comic might’ve received a CGC grade of 3.0 in the condition it was discovered, that dropped to 1.5 when the back cover was ripped in an exchange between Gonzalez and his wife’s aunt. “That was a $75,000 tear,” Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the New York City auction house ComicConnect, told the Star-Tribune last month.

Still … $175,000. That’s what a CGC-graded 2.0 copy fetched at a December 2012 auction held by Comic Connect.

About 100 copies of Action Comics #1 are thought to exist, but relative few are in decent condition. A near-mint copy owned by Nicolas Cage sold at auction in 2011 for a record $2.16 million.

According to ComicConnect, Gonzalez plans to continue the renovation of the house, but vows he’ll never sell it.

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