Original Owner Selling 10c 1939 Batman Comic He Bought as a Boy


From the press release:

A 7.0 CGC-graded copy of Detective Comics #27, the famous and very valuable first appearance of “The Batman,” consigned by Sacramento, CA native Robert Irwin, the original owner – the very person who bought it off the newsstand for 10 cents in May 1939 – will be sold at public auction in Dallas on Nov. 18. It is estimated at $400,000+.

“It’s amazing to consider that the seller of this comic book, Robert Irwin, is the same person who bought it off the stands more than seven decades ago,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “This is the first time that’s ever happened for one of these huge comic books.”

More incredible, perhaps, is realizing that it’s the only comic book that Irwin kept from the hundreds he and his brother purchased over the years. When asked why he kept this particular comic book, Irwin’s replied was simple:

“I don’t know,” he said. “I must have just liked the cover.”

That simple attraction the now iconic Bob Kane graphic means the 10 cents Irwin spent on it as a 13-year-old boy in will now come due as an investment that will realized a return than can be measured in hundreds of thousands of percentage points – certainly better than even the highest performing stocks.

“Imagine yourself as a kid, and you buy a comic book, read it and put it away,” said Jerry Stephan, Consignment Director for Comics at Heritage. “Now imagine you put it away for decades before realizing, more than 70 years later, that your foresight, that the one comic you kept from your childhood, that you tucked carefully away, has emerged as one of the great pop culture treasures of history.”

Mr. Irwin’s copy of Detective #27 is the latest in a line of super-powered comic books to emerge in 2010. It was, in fact, the worldwide media coverage of a copy of Detective #27 that Heritage sold for $1,075,000 in February of this year that made him decide the time had come to auction the book. After re-discovering that he had kept the comic more than six years ago, Mr. Irwin knew he had something special, especially after being offered $100,000 by a collector.

Smartly, though, he refused the offer, held on to it for another half decade more, and now stands to make considerably more. As of right now the bid on the comic book stands at $262,900 (with Buyer’s Premium), with almost 3,000 page views – a tremendous amount of views for any auction lot. In fact, if the comic were to sell today it would be the fourth highest price ever paid for a comic book in a Heritage auction.

“The good news for Mr. Irwin,” said Jaster, “is that there are still well more than two weeks to go before the day this book crosses the block.”

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.

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