Official Press Release
Frank Frazetta’s original 1955 artwork for Weird Science-Fantasy #29, considered by many comic art fans to be the finest comic book cover of all time, has been sold in a private treaty sale for $380,000 – almost certainly the most ever paid for a single piece of original American comic book art – to Heritage Co-Chairman and Co-Founder Jim Halperin, a collector known to own one of the finest comic book and original comic art collections in the world. It was an outright purchase for immediate payment, with no trade-ins involved.
“Knowing I’m a huge Frazetta fan, and a rabid EC collector, Stephen Ferzoco and Rob Pistella, the agents for the family, approached me as soon as they asked them to sell this piece,” said Halperin. “I was thrilled to pay their asking price, which, although it set a new record by a wide margin, actually seemed quite fair for the ultimate EC cover.”
This amazing cover is also the first major piece of Frazetta art to come up for sale since his death on May 10 of this year. His original art, already valued at a premium, is almost certain to continue drawing record prices when truly iconic pieces like this one are released for private sale and public auction.
Weird Science-Fantasy #29 (EC 1955) Is Frazetta’s only solo cover for EC, though he also inked the Al Williamson-penciled Weird Fantasy #21 cover, which is also among the dozens of original EC covers by Wally Wood, Johnny Craig, Graham Ingels, Al Feldstein, Jack Davis and other comic art legends in Halperin’s personal collection.
“Frazetta did a total of 42 comic book covers, many of which are no longer thought to exist as original art,” said Halperin, “though WSF #29 is by far his most famous.”
Originally conceived as a Buck Rogers cover for Famous Funnies, and drawn in 1954, this cover was never published by Eastern Color. Instead it was later used by Bill Gaines’ EC Comics in 1955 in a slightly altered form – helmet replaced by blond hair, and one of the attackers was given more hair. It is almost universally regarded as the most iconic Atomic Age (late 1940s through mid-to-late 1950s) comic cover, and was called “the most outstanding cover ever put on a comic book,” by acknowledged EC authority Russ Cochran.
The previous record for a single piece of American comic book art is believed to be the Wally Wood cover to EC’s Weird Science #16, which Heritage sold via private treaty in April 2008 for $200,000. Some might argue that the cover to MAD #30, which Heritage sold for $203,150 the following November, broke the Weird Science #16 record. That, however, was two pieces – front and back covers – and it was really a painted Magazine cover, which is not technically comic book art.
“I want to thank Stephen Ferzoco and Rob Pistella for offering me first shot, and also Heritage comic art experts Ed Jaster and Todd Hignite for advising me on the transaction,” added Halperin. “I have no plans to resell it anytime soon.”
Heritage Auctions, founded by Steve Ivy and Jim Halperin, is the world’s third largest auction house and by far the largest collectibles auctioneer, 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.