Lot 45 of 340:
MISTER MYSTERY #1 * CGC 7.5 * River City Pedigree  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,800
$1,500 - $2,500




Aragon Publications

September, 1951


CGC certified: Pedigree Grade. VF- (7.5). Off-white pages. Small amount of dried glue on spine of cover. Tony Mortellaro & Charles Stern art. Ross Andru & Mike Eposito cover & art. River City. The River City collection comprised about 4000 comics, including many horror and sci-fi titles. Many were sold by the collector's widow before their provenance was noted, and numerous unidentified River City books are in circulation. River City books can be identified by distinctive distributor's markings, typically in grease pencil but in this case in lead pencil.

"Great art by some guy who draws a lot like Kurtzman; if anybody can tell me who this artist is I'd sure appreciate it." -EC, MAD and Pre-Code HORROR Comics of the 1950s [Green Apple: 1997].

Glad to oblige: the Kurtzman clone is Charles Stern, who drew this issue's "Television Ghost." According to Bill Schelly's Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America, Stern was once roommates with Harvey Kurtzman. Maybe that's why Stern's story of spousal murder with a TV twist so closely resembles Kurtzman's own TV terror tale, "The Mysterious Ray from Another Dimension!" (Weird Fantasy #4). In fact, Stern's art on "Television Ghost" is so Kurtzmanesque, there are those who claim the story is actually by Kurtzman (see: "Mr. Monster's Comic Crypt: The Men Who Would Be Kurtzman," Alter Ego #119, 2013).

CGC census: Two copies graded 7.5. Only four copies graded higher. Top 6 copy. Comparable CGC sales: One 7.5 sold: $1793 (Aug., 2017).

Consignments Accepted for PBA's Next Comic Book Auction. Golden Age, Silver Age, Pre-Code, Original Art, Interesting Ephemera Sought. Contact [email protected] for details.

March 26th Comic Book Sale catalogues available. Supplies Limited. Softcover catalogue limited to 200 copies ($45 + $5 postage/handling). Hardcover limited to 26 lettered copies, dust jacket, special limitation plate ($150). Contact [email protected].

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Any individual comic book lot (not group lots) graded by PBA is guaranteed to match a CGC grading as follows: If the buyer wishes to have the comic CGC certified, the buyer must pay the CGC fee and PBA invoice in full within seven days of the auction. PBA will send the comic to CGC within 10 days after the sale date. If the comic returns with a CGC grade lower than the PBA grade, the lot may be returned for a full refund of the sales price (hammer + buyer's premium). The CGC fee is nonrefundable. If the buyer chooses to return the lot for a refund, this must be done within seven days of notification of the grade discrepancy.