Heritage Auctions Last 150 Comics from Chuck Rozanski's Famed Mile High Collection

Tue, November 8th, 2011 at 3:34pm PST

Comic Books
CBR News Team, Editor

Official Press Release

The Mile High Collection. It’s one of the most revered names across all corners of the vast world of collecting.

It was a miracle find in Denver, CO, in 1977 by a young comic book dealer, Chuck Rozanski; it made collectors re-think their hobby, made a total success out of its finder – and out of many others who the books passed to over the years – and now, almost 35 years after it was pulled from obscurity, The Mile High Collection is coming to an end.

“I was presented with what I felt was a unique opportunity to provide my company, Mile High Comics, with a vast amount of space for future growth,” said Rozanski. “This sale has already allowed us to put a down-payment on a 65,000 square foot warehouse in Denver that we desperately need for our 8,000,000+ comics. I simply had to do it. Selling my most prized comics and artwork really hurts, but as adults, we all have to be pragmatic at times...”

The last 150 comic books from that watermark grouping will cross the auction block as part of Heritage Auctions Nov. 16-17 Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction in Beverly Hills, and they are expected to bring upwards of $200,000+, more than enough for Rozanski to put a substantial down-payment on that building and to make some comic book collectors very happy along the way.

“This last grouping of comics are the ones that Chuck has kept over the years because he personally loved them,” said Steve Borock, Consignment Director at Heritage. “The Action Comics #1 and the Detective #27 are long gone, but these books have special meaning to Chuck, and collectors have waited 30 years to get a crack at the Red Raven #1.”

That’s not to say that there aren’t some key titles still left, otherwise how could they add up to so much? It’s just that, in terms relative to the value of the rest of the collection, as it has been sold and re-sold through auctions, dealers and collector-to-collector over the years, they are a fraction of the value – albeit an important one.

Among these books, all of which are creating substantial buzz with top collectors, the one that is generating the most interest is a Near Mint copy of Red Raven Comics #1 (Timely, 1940), an historic one-shot that hit newsstands before the first issues of such classics as Captain America Comics, Sub-Mariner Comics and Human Torch Comics. It features the first signed work by Jack Kirby, along with his pioneering, distinctive stylings on the cover, the first of countless renderings that earned Kirby "King" status among generations of comic fandom. It is expected to bring well more than $25,000.

Another comic generating serious excitement is Rozanski’s copy of The Spirit #22 (Quality, 1950) CGC NM+ 9.6. For fans of Will Eisner's iconic crimefighter, this just may be the ultimate comic book version, surpassing all the Sunday newspaper sections and later series, not to mention that it features one of the most famous comic book covers of all time, the gorgeous femme fatale Skinny Bones. It is estimated at $15,000+.

"I’m certainly far from happy about it, but just walking around our huge new building does comfort me,” said Rozanski. “Whether that comfort will hold up after the auction actually occurs, is yet to be seen. There will be other great collections, but only one Mile High. It is the standard by which all other comics collections will be forever judged.”

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $750 million, and 600,000+ 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.

TAGS:  heritage auctions, mile high comics, the mile high collection, chuck rozanski

 
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