Yet Another Detective 27 Up For Sale?!?

By | Wednesday, October 27, 2010 5 comments
Apparently, yet another Golden Age DC comic is up for auction. A copy of Detective Comics #27 that not only has a CGC rating of 7, but is known to have had exactly one owner. Sacramento resident Robert Irwin bought the issue for the original cover price of ten cents from a news agency owned by the father of a friend back in 1939. He's had it in a box with 1930's issues of National Geographic and Popular Mechanics. Bidding will run through mid-November and it's expected to sell somewhere in the $400,000 range.

I have two things to comment on here. First: ANOTHER one? Seriously? We just did this back in February! How rare is this book really?

Second: Where the #$@%*#@!!! are people getting the kind of money you need to be able to sell these types of books? I have a good job, pay my bills, don't splurge on extravagances (or anything else, for that matter) and I don't even make a third of what the current bid is, much less whatever the final might be. If you have $400,000 to blow on a comic book during a recession, you are an asshole. You know, how about a few bucks towards a charity? Any charity. Personally, I'd suggest the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund but the Hero Initiative does good work too. You want more personal, how about helping one of the several comics folks who are having trouble making the rent right now? I won't even laughingly suggest sending money to me this time -- there are more people out there with more dire needs than me. Could I use some more money? Sure, but I'm okay right now.

In all seriousness, to whoever is putting in six figure bids on a comic book: I'm sure you've got a comfortable income and feel justified in splurging on yourself by buying a really rare comic book. I get that. And I'd wouldn't be surprised to learn that you DO actually donate quite a lot to various charities, and that $400,000 is a drop in your financial bucket. But, really, I have loved comics my whole life and I would be honored to own a copy of Detective #27, but that money can go to SO MANY better places. Even if you split it seven or eight ways, I'm sure that would still benefit those people I cited earlier a great deal more than you might think.
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I don't know, maybe they are the kind of rich insane genius who needs a copy to put in their apocalypse vault.

Matt K said...

"Where the #$@%*#@!!! are people getting the kind of money you need to be able to sell these types of books? I have a good job, pay my bills, don't splurge on extravagances (or anything else, for that matter) ..."

Where are they getting the money? Probably from some combination of perverse incentives, economic rents and in some cases outright fraud.

Welcome to the Winner-Take-All Economy, where the elite can buy copies of Detective Comics #27 and the rest of us are lucky if we can scrape up the change to buy a brand new comic book every now and then.

Hooray for innovation, eh? ;-)

Matt K said...

Also, compared with what, say, Meg Whitman is going to spend on what will probably be a losing campaign for governor of California...

Whatever the final price of this comic is will probably be a relatively thrifty indulgence. :D

Steven said...

It's likely that whoever buys this book has also donated to charity annually more than most people make in a year.

Charities are a serious tax deduction.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little late to this party, but I wanted to address the points you made in your post.

I believe there is a fellow in Pennsylvania known as "the Dentist" who owns many of the highest-graded copies of various key Golden Age comics, so that may give you an indicator of who can afford them. Dentists, doctors, financiers, business people.

Also, whoever bought this comic did give to a charity--he provided $400,000 to an elderly man in Sacramento who will use the money to pay off his mortgage.

--Thelonious Nick