$100 K for a single comic book?
They may be called "comics", but the money they're generating at auction is no laughing matter.
They're halfway through a 2-day event at Ameristar Casino being conducted by Mound City Auctions, and auctioneer Rob Weiman, reports that on Sunday, they sold a copy of "X-Men #1" for $101,000.
A copy of "Avengers #1" sold for $62,000, and Weiman says the total haul from Session 1 topped $490,000.
On Monday, it's more of the same.
"Justice League of America #1 graded at 8.5 (on a scale of 10)...that one we've been hearing a lot of buzz about from the guys who've been here to buy them," Weiman says. "I would say that one might go for as much as $30,000."
But the big fish in Monday's lot is expected to be a copy of "Amazing Fantasy #15", coveted by collectors because it's the first appearance of Spider-Man.
Even though it's only rated 8 out of 10 in part because it has some "off-white pages", Weiman anticipates the final selling price to be between $50,000 and $80,000, if not higher.
What makes grown men (and the buyers are almost exclusively male) shell out five figures for a single comic that's only 22-pages long and they'll likely never read?
"They're modern-day mythology, is what they are," Weiman submits. "It's the same as any other valuable collectible. A lot of people use them as sort of a hedge fund, an investment so to speak."
"Just like you can take your money and put it into foreign currency, stocks, bonds, gold."
And are comic books "art", or just pop culture?
Weiman casts his vote for "art".
"It might not have seemed that way up until recently," Weiman admits. "But in a lot of cases, I would say that there is definitely artistic quality and artistic integrity in the world of comic books."
For more information about Session 2 of the comic book auction at Ameristar Casino, go to www.moundcityauctions.com.