Debut edition of Spider-Man comic could fetch $400K at auction

CALVERTON, N.Y. -- Walter Yakoboski scraped together nearly every penny he made as short-order cook in 1979 to begin buying a small collection of rare comic books for $10,000, hoping his boyhood passion could one day pay off as an investment.

See Full Article

That day may soon be here.

Yakoboski's copy of "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15 from 1962 -- which introduced the world to Spider-Man -- could fetch $400,000 or more when it goes up for auction later this month.

"This is the first time I really sold anything," said the 60-year-old Yakoboski, who wants to use the proceeds to buy his late father's 17-acre vegetable farm in Calverton on eastern Long Island.

He insisted that the fact that he was recently laid off as a supermarket baker after more than 27 years is not the reason he's selling now.

"I have had it for 36 years and it's just time," said Yakoboski, who is also is selling a 1963 Spider-Man, as well as two "Fantastic Four" editions and a "Justice League of America," which combined could bring an additional $75,000.

But the crown jewel is the "Amazing Fantasy" issue, which Yacoboski originally purchased individually for $1,200. Its cover, featuring a price of 12 cents, shows Spider-Man clutching a villain in one arm and swinging from his web with the other.

Stan Lee and Steve Ditko co-created the web-slinger and his alter ego, the educationally gifted but awkward Peter Parker, whose life changed forever when he was bitten by a radioactive spider. It paved the way for Spider-Man adventures on television and the big screen.

Lon Allen, managing director of the comics department at Dallas-based Heritage Auctions -- which is conducting the sale Thursday -- said there are probably 4,000 to 5,000 copies of "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15 in circulation. But Yakobski's copy is in nearly mint condition.

"It was graded 9.4 on a scale of 1 to 10, that's what makes it super desirable and really special," Allen said. "Whoever buys this comic will be joining an elite club."

Allen said a private collector reportedly paid $1.1 million for a near-mint copy of "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15 in 2011, but estimated the $400,000 or more Yacoboski's edition may fetch could be a record for a public auction of the comic book.

Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of New York-based Metropolis Collectibles, said the $1.1 million sale -- which he was involved with -- involved a comic book graded higher at 9.6.

"This book will do great; it's an incredibly important book," said Zurzolo. "When you have a sale like this there is a residual effect on the entire market, so that also makes it very exciting. It's definitely a special book."

Yacoboski admits he never thought about such a payday when he began reading comic books as a child, sometimes sneaking away from trips to the library to visit a nearby comic books store.

The collecting of rare editions continued as an adult and Yacoboski says mother thought it was a crazy way to spend his hard-earned money. His most cherished copies were stashed in a bank safety deposit box -- he still has 38 prized editions left -- while lesser comics fill cabinets in his Middle Island, New York, home.

Heritage Auctions' Allen credits Yacoboski for having a good eye for what might become valuable. He said while others sought to buy entire collections, Yacoboski targeted what he thought were the highest quality and rarest comics.

"The best stuff always outpaces the market, and he bought the best stuff," Allen said. "That was genius."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Oscar-nominated Syrian cinematographer barred from entering U.S.

    Entertainment CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. immigration authorities have decided to bar entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer whose harrowing film about his nation's civil war, "The White Helmets," has been nominated for an Academy Award. According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by The Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security has decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khatib from travelling to Los Angeles for the Oscars. Source
  • Kesha to star in cartoon series

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kesha is stepping into the animated world to voice a character in new U.S. series Highly Gifted. The Tik Tok hitmaker will join Drake Bell and Ron Funches among the voice actors in the semi-autobiographical comedy series, based on the experiences of cartoon creators Daniel and Jeremy Lehrer, known as the Lehrer Boys, participating in programs for highly-gifted students. Source
  • Amal Clooney shows off baby bump

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    George Clooney’s pregnant wife Amal glowed on the red carpet at the Cesar Awards in France on Friday as she debuted her baby bump in public. The British human rights attorney is expecting twins with the Ocean’s Eleven star and she showed off her growing figure in a sleek, custom-made white strapless Atelier Versace gown, which featured an ombre feathered skirt. Source
  • Clooney, in Paris, jokes about Trump's Paris comments

    Entertainment CTV News
    PARIS -- George Clooney, attending the Cesar Awards in Paris, apparently doesn't agree with President Donald Trump that Paris isn't what it used to be. "Yes, no one wants to go to Paris anymore because it's horrible here, apparently," Clooney quipped with a smile as he stood next to his wife, Amal, on the red carpet. Source
  • Dance scenes in movies can be tricky, but sometimes magical

    Entertainment CTV News
    Oscar front-runner "La La Land" opens with a bang, or should we say a burst -- of leaps and pirouettes, not to mention bicycles sashaying along the roofs of automobiles. It's not easy to stage a successful dance scene for the cameras -- especially on a highway interchange -- but when such a scene works, it can be memorable. Source
  • 'Jeopardy!' contestant flips the bird at Alex Trebek on air

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    It appears as though a university student found a way to give smarmy Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek the finger live on air. Stanford undergrad Viraj Mehta, a finalist on the show’s College Championship edition, slyly snuck the middle-digit salute into a diatribe about geometry and pizza, working a near-perfect bird into the final few seconds. Source
  • NPH playing Egg Russian Roulette on Fallon and more late-night highlights this week

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    1. Zach Galifianakis bugs James Corden at work The last time Zach Galifianakis visited The Late Late Show, James Corden told the comedian that he could come back whenever he wanted. But James wasn’t expecting him to pop by unannounced while the late-night host prepared for the show on Wednesday night. Source
  • 'The Bachelor’s' Nick Viall meets the parents and more reality-TV highlights this week

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    . Meet the parents The four remaining women left vying for Nick Viall’s heart on this season of the Bachelor seemed to think the 36-year-old software salesman was good enough to bring home to meet the parents, as that’s exactly where he went this week. Source
  • Oscars 2017: Who will win and who should win

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Is it time for the Oscar pool at work? Let’s check out the betting news from sources including Jimmy Shapiro (quoting Bodog) and Dan Grody, whose handicappers hail from sportsbettingexperts.com The big prediction? It’s still a sweep for La La Land, a movie we have tried and failed to get behind, adorable though it may be. Source
  • Damien Chazelle recounts 'La La Land's' dance to the big screen [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    La La Land – starring Miles Teller and Emma Watson as Sebastian and Mia, instead of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone? That was the song-and-dance coupling at one point in the staggered history of this year’s most awarded movie. Source