Comic Books on March 26th

On March 26th, 2020, PBA Galleries will host their debut Comic Book Sale. Sale Director Ivan Briggs has assembled top tier overlooked gems in the world of comics, including rare or unique. The auction will feature EC, Kurtzman, Pre-Code Horror and Undergrounds, and a collection of silver age Marvels from a single owner who bought them off the stands in the 1960s. Over 340 lots span pre-Code horror comic books of the 1950s, Robert Crumb signed comics, signed prints, original comic art, and more.PBA Galleries is able to provide a distinct venue for these undervalued and underappreciated comic magazines and art.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4 * 3.0 * 1st Doc Ock

Sale highlights include Weird Mysteries #5(CGC certified 7.5, one of the highest-graded copies). “Bernard Bailey’s cover epitomizes the pre-Code publishers’ ethos of “anything for a dime.” The sheer nerve and gall of it is staggering,” remarks Sale Director Ivan Briggs. “Lurid, distasteful, and unseemly: it’s everything one wants in a pre-Code mag.” The distinct cover depicts a mad scientist removing the brain from a severed head ($15,000-$20,000). Seven lots of material from the Estate of Harvey Kurtzman are headlined by Kurtzman’s original roughs to George Evans’s “Guynemer!”This extremely rare lot showcases seven pages of one of only seven surviving sets of Kurtzman vellum layouts. According to Briggs, “It’s an artistic seismograph, in which is recorded Kurtzman’s artistic process. It is quite unlike any other EC item currently on the market” ($5,000-$8,000).

The sale does not shy away from controversy by including the work of Robert Crumb, a legendary comic talent recently under fire for his edgy content. Examples of his work in this sale include printer Charles Plymell’s own copy of Zap #1. The book is documented by Plymell as one of the very first copies to roll off the press ($1,000-$1,500). Trina Robbins, first lady of the underground, has been critical of Crumb’s work for years. Her contribution to our sale, “Wonder Person Gets Knocked Up!” features a thinly-veiled Wonder Woman dealing with a recalcitrant boys’ club of super-sexists. PBA intentionally will spotlight both artists’ point-of-view, and the results of bidding on each lot will provide a thermometer for their place in the canon of modern collecting.

ZAP COMIX #1, PLYMELL 1st Printing * CGC 7.0

Other highlights include The Complete RAW Vol. 1 Limited Edition Boxed Set,a fine press edition of Art Spiegelman’s alternative commix anthology wonderfully bound in buckram and morocco in a special solander box with recessed cavities to hold additional material. This copy is one of ten copies from the Optics Press ($2,000-$3,000). EC’s rarest comic book, Shock Illustrated,will be available in one of 100 copies hand-collated and stapled by the EC staff in order to satisfy subscriber orders. The remainder of the 250,000 print run was pulped, as the publisher lacked funds to have them bound ($2,000-$3,000). A high-grade copy of the Amazing Spider-Man #14(1st Green Goblin)represents the debut of Spider-Man’s archfoe, scripted by Stan Lee and illustrated by Steve Ditko ($3,000-$5,000). 

Auction previews are available by appointment. PBA is accepting consignments in pre-Code horror, golden age, silver age, platinum age, key internationals and R. Crumb, as well as original art and comic-related ephemera (including vintage comic-related photos). Contact ivan@pbagalleries to inquire.