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Auction to draw comic collectors

Ross Martin of Marvel Auctions is sorting through a thick comic book collection to be auctioned Thursday in Richmond. - Matthew Hoekstra
Ross Martin of Marvel Auctions is sorting through a thick comic book collection to be auctioned Thursday in Richmond.
— image credit: Matthew Hoekstra

Most of the comic books filling tables at Marvel Auctions could be had for a dime—at least in the 1960s.

They're worth more today to collectors, who will be at the Richmond auction house Thursday to bid on an estimated 6,000 issues up for grabs.

Never before has Marvel offered such a collection, according to auctioneer Marlin Martin. First editions and consecutive editions of mostly half-century old comics in various condition—some worth hundreds of dollars each.

"For a collector that's looking at continuous run material, there certainly is that here for them. For those who are starting out collections, it's obviously quite advantageous to them because you're not running around all over," he said.

Between Batman, Spider-Man, Superman and Doctor Strange are lesser-known collectable titles, including Metal Men. In issue No. 1—whose cover price is 12 cents—robots Gold, Lead, Mercury, Platinum, Tin and Iron battle their first evil foes, the Missile Men.

Although the hobby of comic book collecting isn't what it once was, there are still plenty of collectors out there, said Martin. Some collect for the thrill of the story, others for profit. Still others, said Martin, are in it for nostalgia.

"It's kind of like, we've got our house paid off, we've got money, and I remember as a kid paging through these and reading them. We just didn't realize they'd be worth anything at that time, or we would have saved them."

The March 13 public auction begins at 5:30 p.m. at 4080 Vanguard Rd.

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