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Piggy-backing on the box office hype of The Amazing Spider-Man, bidding has opened at Heritage Auctions for Todd McFarlane’s original cover art for Spider-Man no. 1, “The Legend of the Arachknight,” which was published on August 1, 1990.
Comic fans with hundreds of thousands of dollars to spare have 19 days left to bid for the cover. The website closes bidding at 10 p.m. CT, July 25, before the piece is brought to live auction on July 26.
Bidding for the original art already stands at $195,000.
As “one of the most famous covers” Heritage Auctions have “had the privilege to offer,” it has a sure place in comic history. The issue sold 2.35 million copies when it debuted, a sales figure not seen by any comic book since the 1950s and the most ever for an issue featuring Spider-Man.
Not a bad turn for its creator, who was formally rejected by the comic book industry over 700 times before becoming Marvel’s golden goose.
The cover features Spidey in an iconic crouch, tangled in intricate, painstakingly-drawn webbing.
The piece is piping hot property, the product of McFarlane’s full creative control as writer as well as artist. The crowning detail is his signature in bold on the lower border.
The cover from the 21-year-old issue has long been owned by Gareb Shamus, the founder of Wizard magazine and the Wizard comic conventions.
Shamus left faint marks of blue and gold pencil in some areas almost like an attempt long ago to add shading, but it’s still in “excellent condition.”
The winning bidder should reckon it’s worth every cent they put down, which may or may not touch the record price for American comic art set on May 5, 2011, when a full page from Frank Miller’s classic 1986 mini-series Batman: The Dark Knight Returns sold for $448,125.
See a larger version of the cover below.
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