One of the greatest collections of Silver Age Marvel comic books, property of renowned collector Doug Schmell, is to be auctioned on July 26-27.
Schmell's illustrious collection has been painstakingly compiled since childhood and once contained virtually every title from Marvel's Silver Age. The Beverly Hills sale comes following Schmell's decision to sell, which he has attributed to timing.
In an interview with Scoop, Schmell revealed: "The fact that comic books as a whole have reached a peak in the public consciousness, culminating with the record-breaking weekend of The Avengers [film]. I have seen the rise in prices of high grade Silver Age Marvels over the years and it just seemed like now was the ideal time to sell."
However, Schmell's collection will not go to auction in the near-perfect state it once was, after he recently sold his complete Amazing Spider-Man run in another auction. He also traded his finest known copy of Fantastic Four (CGC 9.6) to fellow collector Tom Brulato in 2008 for a lower-graded copy (CGC 9.4) and a cash sum.
Even with these prized omissions, the highlights of the collection are still impressive. Given the recent success of the film, Schmell's Avengers run, which spans issues #1-100, is expected to sell with spectacular results. With 89 of the issues graded CGC 9.8 and the remaining 11 at CGC 9.6, eager collectors are sure to snap up any issue they can.
Similarly, the 9.6 graded Tales of Suspense #39, in which Iron Man makes his first appearance sporting bulky grey armour, is to command high bids prompted by the character's new found popularity.
Schmell's X-Men #1 issue is expected to be another major draw, also spurred by the successes of the popular Hollywood film franchise. Graded 9.8, the issue is expected to top the record-breaking price set by a 9.6 graded issue, which sold privately for $200,000 in 2011.
Despite the sale, comic book fans need not worry about Schmell's future in the business, as he has no plans to bow out just yet. Schmell has said he plans to focus on his company, Pedigree Comics, and help his customers acquire equally impressive collections.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a brilliant collection of comic art here, which includes this rare autographed drawing of Snoopy by Charles Schulz.