Levine Collection to be Auctioned Off

So the collection went on the block at Sotheby’s on March 30th. Anybody found out what the “hammer” price was?

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I didn’t find anything. Most recent hit was yesterday.

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Oh, I understand the reasons for slabbing, I get the purpose…it’s just isn’t ever going to suit my own. I have no need for “comic book paperweights!”

@Kon-El, I would never judge another’s hobby habits, just not for me. By my way of thinking, sealing something off forever isn’t saving it for prosperity…it’s sort of the opposite…unless someone like me way down the road goes ahead and gets that sucker back open so “prosperity” can enjoy said artifact.

Comics aren’t just the cover, so I would never set one up to just be enjoyed that way. I would have to have a gander inside at least once.

But I’ve also never purposely bought more than one issue of a comic, so what do I know?

But, this massive collection sure sounds neat. Too bad it’s weighted down by all those modern books.

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I generally agree, but I would make an exception for something like a near-perfect copy of Action Comics #1. At that point, it’s kinda like putting the Declaration of Independence behind glass. Sure, you can’t access the treasure map on the back, but at least it will last for generations to come.


But you can still see all its pages!


@ralphsix @AlexanderKnox All of these things have been scanned. If the interior of Action #1 is needed for future generations it’s there, yeah? That’s my angle anyway.

Some comics are so important and so rare I can’t imagine letting a human handle one beyond the grading process. I hope I’m clear when I say there are fewer than 100 issues that would make the list.

I’m not trying to be confrontational. If I came across that way earlier I would like to apologize. Passion not frustration. Text causes that to be lost in translation.

It’s just… Someone flipping through Action Comics #1 is the equivalent of someone doing the same to a copy of Nicolaus Copernicus’ “On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres”. Personally, anyway.

I might be a little too protective. Anything before 1950 is an antique and something about my brain makes me want to treat them that way. If that makes sense.

P.S. Back to this collection. Considering the past max auctions on the key issues in it I’d imagine $20 million isn’t impossible.


cue Yoda burning down the ancient Jedi tree :stuck_out_tongue:

I wonder if we really should get the price disclosed or not. It seems like the prices in general rise whenever this stuff happens, and frankly, I’m sick of comic speculators. :wink:


@AlexanderKnox I agree. I especially dislike movie speculation prices. Why in the world is Eternals 1 going for $1,000 on eBay? The movie could be junk, and I’ve never, ever met a geek who claimed to be an Eternals fan before. Not once.

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I just read that Levine sold this collection a decade ago and has nothing to do with the auction. They still call it the Levine collection. I thought that was interesting.

How does an online auction work at Sotheby’s? Is it like an eBay auction where it goes on for a week and ends on time?

Another thing I’d wonder about, and I’d hate to think this would happen…what if the buyer decides to break up the collection and sell the individual issues? I know pedigree comics sell for multiples of guide sometimes. Would an issue from this collection be highly desirable? Could the buyer turn a multi million dollar profit? I know it depends on what he buys it for. Or she. Probably won’t happen but it makes me shudder.

It doesn’t make me shudder at all. I guess I’m not too invested in the true artifacts from this collection, like Action 1, staying with any of the modern comics.

@Kon-El, we just have different viewpoints. Having something that historic locked in plastic for all time doesn’t sit well with me. Both our views are completely respectable in my opinion.


@ralphsix Agreed. Mine is seriously ingrained. I grew up in a sports memorabilia and car collector family. Vehicles that don’t move except to roll onto the showroom floor kinda stuff. Guess it kinda carried over. :grimacing:


I open all of my statues and toys, too. All of them!!!


@ralphsix I love ya, man, but I just panicked and barfed in my mouth a little. :wink:


I keep my slabs in a waterproof/fireproof safe with silica packs in a climate controlled room. I don’t really worry about environmental damage. I don’t have slabs with intentions of selling them in the future though. I have key Teen Titans issues and Young Justice issues. Just for me cause I’m geeky that way.

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We certainly are different. I come from a long history of custom cars, in my opinion, they are meant to be driven. Trailer queens are not cars, they’re sculptures.

I attend the longest running “cars & coffee” event, known as “donuts derelicts”. Every car there is driven and some of them are painstaking restorations or massive customs. One of the guys drive down a Morris (as in Mini) pickup truck, probably the first mini truck of its kind. Only one on 100 right hand drive that were imported into the US. He’s tubbed it and dropped a small block Chevy in it. It as rare, if not rarer than Action #1. But, he’s doing something truly unique.

Comics are meant to be read. As for antiques. People have a Louis the 17th table and actually dine off it. (Ok, people with a hell of a lot more money than me.) when you touch an antique, you reach back through time and are connected to all the people involved in its history. You also become part of its history. That is what makes antiques so valuable. Their history. Their provanace.


I think the value in the collection is that it is a complete collection. Breaking it up would lower its value.

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I like perfection in print. It takes me ages to choose a birthday card with good edges. I’m also medicated for obsessive…mmm…behavior. I think I’ve said in the past growing up I would buy a “reader” copy and an “archive” copy.

I’m of both worlds. I believe comics should be read and archived. Luckily we have digital now. All comics can be read and archived simultaneously. I also have a very strong memory and of the thousands of comics I’ve read the only two series I’ve ever revisited are Sandman and Moore’s Swamp Thing run.

I wouldn’t have a collection at all if comics were just for reading. I’d just read them and donate them. Part of why I love comics is the hunt for the pristine copies. Again, I’ve done this with only 12 or so issues, but it’s part of what I enjoy about it.


I think we’re probably going to know what it sold for at some point whether we like it or not.

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@c-m-woodworks.91222 What condition is this collection in?

I’ve heard it before that some collectors liberate comics from their slabs on principle. Ya know, because comic books are meant to be enjoyed. And because grading is still subjective. If you’re buying a big dollar comic book you should be able to evaluate it yourself, inside and out. CGC is not infallible.

Not a lot of people are saying that now. Maybe some collectors. Probably not any dealers at all. Slabbing a book actually adds resale value.

I’ve always thought there were two sides To collecting valuables. Enjoying and appreciating what you collect, and coldly evaluating its worth. Slabbed comics are worth more money today. I don’t necessarily agree with the reasons, but I can’t deny the facts.

Some people still crack open slabbed books. You can always send them to be graded again. Or pressed and then graded if you want to. No one takes valuable toys out of the package, though.

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