Earliest Superman cover art sells for $287,000

The earliest known cover art to feature Superman has provided the highlight of Heritage Auctions' February 20-22 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction in New York.

Guardineer Action Comics Heritage
Superman is the archetype of all comic book superheroes, making original cover art extremely desirable

The cover, created by Fred Guardineer, was designed for Action Comics #15 (1939) and sees Superman coming to the aid of a US submarine in trouble. It sold for $286,800 to lead the sale.

With Superman the archetype of all superheroes, the Action Comics series in which he made his first appearances is a favourite among top-level collectors. It is also believed the cover art is the earliest extant to feature Superman, making it a must-have for those looking for a strong investment piece.

The comic book from which the cover art originates is itself ranked #67 in the Overstreet Top 100 Golden Age Comics list, with a value of $30,000 in NM 9.2.

The second highest bids of the sale were seen by Amazing Fantasy #1, the first appearance of Spider-Man, which made $191,200 in VF/NM 9.0 condition.

Tales of Suspense is one of the most beloved comic book series of all time

More cover art included Jack "The King" Kirby and Frank Giacoia's work for Talkes of Suspense #84, a fantastic Silver Age piece that sees the reintroduction of Golden Age hero Captain America alongside Iron-Man, with an appearance from the "most daringly different supervillain of the year", the Super-Adaptoid.

The piece sold for $167,300; Jack Kirby original art is among the most coveted for any collector.

An unusual appearance in the top-sellers was a three-page Robert Crumb story for Zap Comix entitled Ducks Yas-Yas, which made $101,575. Crumb's artwork, which kickstarted the Underground Comix movement and was hailed by the 1960s counterculture, rarely appears at auction.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some wonderful comic and illustration art for sale.

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