The Sky’s The Limit for the Upcoming Mile High Comics Auction

*** $1.5 million ***

Cover to Action Comics #1 from Coverbrowser.comThat’s how much a high grade copy of Action Comics #1 auctioned for this spring. Which, incidentally, was the third comic THIS YEAR to be auctioned off for AT LEAST $1 million.  A copy of Detective Comics #27 sold for $1.075 million in February, and just prior to that a different copy of Action Comics #1 went for $1 million even.

I’m sure for the vast majority of people reading this column, you’re thinking…”What a waste.” I mean, imagine if you will what else you could buy for $1.5 million, right? Most of us are struggling with justifying the $3.99 cover price that’s becoming the industry norm. We’re wondering if we would be willing to pay $1.99 for a digital copy, much less a MILLION AND A HALF dollars for one singular issue. Oh, and keep in mind it’s an issue that you would be criminally insane to ever touch with your hands much less open to read.

But I’m going to be honest with you…I LOVE seeing stuff like this. Not because I’m a firm believer in comics as an investment. I think the 90s all but killed that notion and, save for the occasional low print run indie book, I would 100% recommend against anyone buying a newly printed book thinking it’s going to be worth more than you paid. No, I love this because it celebrates and immortalizes the ARTFORM. It means that there are people with deep pockets, who so value the history of this medium that they’re willing to spend a fortune to possess a piece of that history.

I’m guessing I don’t need to let you know that Action Comics #1 featured the first appearance of Superman, and Detective Comics #27 was the first time we laid eyes on Batman (for all you kids reading this, I’m talking about Bruce Wayne…not Dick Grayson). And while they’re the best known (and most valuable) comic books, they’re hardly the only ones.

To that end, Chuck Rozanski, the owner of Mile High Comics, has announced plans to sell the remaining 44 issues from his treasured Mile High/Edgar Church collection at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. From his press release:

Red Robin #1 Cover from Kirby Museam site
In 1977 I was blessed to discover the Mile High/Edgar Church collection of 18,000 extremely high grade "Golden Age" comics, all of which were published between 1935-1953. This collection has become legendary in the comics world (as well as within the entire spectrum of all collectibles) as being one of the most valuable antique finds of all time, with a current estimated market value exceeding one hundred million dollars. While most of the comics from that one collection were sold by me decades ago when their market prices were but a tiny fraction of today's values, I steadfastly held on to 40+ key issues for the past 34 years in my own private comics collection, including the highest-graded copy remaining in the world of the 1940 RED RAVEN #1, one of the rarest Timely/Marvel first issues ever published, and the entire twenty-two issue run of the THE SPIRIT, released by comics legend Will Eisner between 1944 and 1948.
After having experienced two life-threatening episodes of West Nile Fever-induced encephalitis of the hypothalamus (a severe swelling of the brain) during the past seven years, however, I have been made acutely aware that estate planning now needs to be a priority for me. That realization led me to the painful decision earlier this year that I should finally agree to pass on these incredibly rare and wonderful comics that have brought me so much joy for the majority of my adult life, to another passionate comics collector. To launch the sales process, I will be bringing all of my remaining comics from the Mile High/Edgar Church collection to this year's incredible San Diego Comic-Con International, the largest and most prestigious comics convention in the world, with over 125,000 avid comics fans attending. The combined price that I will be asking for my last remaining Mile High/Edgar Church comics will be in excess of one million dollars. That amount is significantly above their current Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide estimates, but in a world where lesser condition copies of ACTION #1 (the first Superman appearance) and DETECTIVE #27 (the first Batman comic) have recently sold at auction for over one million dollars each, it does not seem unreasonable for me to be asking a similar price for the last remaining unsold key issues from the most renowned comics collection of all time. If my beloved comics do not sell in San Diego, then they will most probably be sold at auction, later this fall.


Rozanski is a fascinating human being and one of the comic book industry’s most notable success stories. As the story goes, Chuck was a local comic book retailer back in the 70s when his wife took a phone call from a realtor who discovered a huge batch of old comics at a property and wanted Chuck to come take a look, and perhaps buy them in order to get them off the property. The owners had ZERO interest in getting rich off them. They wanted Chuck to buy them on the spot, for cash, and were more concerned with getting them off the property than they were about any potential resale value. Long story short, it was the mother lode. It turned out to be more than 18,000 of the most valuable Golden Age comic books ever created. And the owner had done what so few did…he kept them well preserved. Edgar Church was a commercial artist and collected these comics as reference material. But it became clear he was more of a hoarder, as tens of thousands of these books were stacked up and locked behind a padlock, unread, for years.

Rozanski went on to sell most of those books, and they make up a not insignificant portion of the high end Golden Age market today. Yet, he kept FORTY-FOUR books. Out of 18,000. So imagine, if you will, what this is going to mean for the high end market? I don’t generally go to San Diego and I’m now dying to go just to see them and be a small part of the process.

In the immortal words of Ice-T, Don't Hate the Playa, Hate the Game.


Jason is a mutant with the ability to squeeze 36 hours into every 24-hour day, which is why he was able to convince his wife he had time to join the iFanboy team on top of running his business, raising his three sons, and most importantly, co-hosting the 11 O'Clock Comics podcast with his buddies Vince B, Chris Neseman and David Price. If you are one of the twelve people on Earth who want to read about comics, the stock market and football in rapid fire succession, you can follow him on Twitter.


  1. I hope Nic Cage is there for Mr.Roznaski sake. Maybe this time he can pick up a real Action Comics #1.

  2. Timely arcticle Jason. Well done. 

    Apart from the rarest and best conditional golden age and silver age key issues, I wonder in general if spending top dollar for very old comics is a waning. Similar to the sports card collecting universe, I am sure the Honus Wagner, poster child card for rare cards, will always attract dollar, it seems to me the trading card market will die out as the collectors themselves do. Will the same fate befall vintage comics? Sure, Action #1, Dectective #27, Amazing fantasy #15, Showcase #4, etc will likely always have value. But will do you think the majority of availabel Golden Age and Silver Age issues will retain their value in 10 years time? I am skeptical.

    Do we know  how strong the market is these days for vintage comics (compared to 10 years ago, 20 ago, etc, adjusted for inflation)?


  3. Nice article brother.

    Go gets me that Red Raven if you have some extra coin in your pockets!

  4. I love Chuck’s e-mail/newsletter that chronicles his journeys purchasing comics. Lately though I have to say that he has far too many pictures of and musings about his new semi-hot assistant in that newsletter. Little creepy.  

  5. It’s pretty amazing how long Mile High Comics has been in business after all these years. I remember those one page ads in my comics during the 80’s. I think I ordered some comics now that I think about it!

  6. that’s very cool.  I think it’s the dream of every comic fan to find a box of old comics in some little old lady’s attic that has been forgotten for years.