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Second City Collection Auction Highlights:
Mystery Tales

 
In the dark, dismal period when comics were nearly defunct, driven from dizzying heights by waning readership, competition from television, and a constant barrage of harassment from government officials and busybody social advocates, the only genre that seemed to sell was the mystery anthology format, a neutered, watered-down version of the pre-code weirdies that angered parents and delighted restless pre-adolescent boys. Desperately trying to keep the struggling Atlas Comics (formerly Timely) afloat, a young and scrappy Stan Lee feverishly banged out endless variations on ghost stories, twist endings, campfire tales, and macabre parlor tricks, all carefully designed to fit within the current comics code, and all rigidly remaining below the six-page mark, to pay as little as possible for the lurid artwork demanded by a readership still giddy from pre-code horror mania. Somehow, during all of this, Lee and company managed to keep Atlas alive long enough to become the juggernaut of pop culture that would soon be known as Marvel Comics.
 
      
 
 
Mystery Tales is likely the rarest of these anthologies, a cult classic full of nightmare visions, dark imagery, sweaty manias, providing a blueprint for what would become the Marvel house style. Slowly morphing from a cheap knockoff trying to steal dimes on a newsstand crowded with horror and sci-fi comics, the title soon became a testing ground for the talent that would take comics by storm. While old hands like Jack Kirby and new tyros such as Steve Ditko would get all the acclaim, the stalwart draftsmen whom Stan Lee kept fed and clothed thanks to these rough little gems were the real unsung heroes, as talents such as Gene Colan, Joe Sinnott, Don Heck, Paul Reinman, Dick Ayers, and countless others carefully built the Marvel house style within these pages, aided by illustrative giants like Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Bill Everett, all of whom contributed knockout gems. All the while, Lee bided his time, throwing freelance work out when he could, keeping the bullpen ready and waiting for glories that were sure to come.
 
Originally turned onto the series thanks to its use in the cult TV show Lost, the curator of the Second City collection fell madly in love with this wicked, moody mini-masterpiece of weirdness and tried to snap up copies of these extremely rare treasures whenever and wherever possible, making this the single most exhaustive and definitive collection of Atlas horror comics we’ve ever encountered. We’re very happy to share this wonderful collection with the collecting community, and are proud to give this unsung, historically significant series its well-deserved due. As rarity has become king, and knowledgeable collectors become more and more eager to find the scarcest and most-obscure comic treasures, we feel titles like this are due to explode in popularity.
 

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The auction end-dates are as follows:
Session 1 (Action Comics #1 - Avengers) June 11, 2018
Session 2  (Avengers) June 12, 2018
Session 3  (Avengers - Fantastic Four) June 13, 2018
Session 4  (Fantastic Four - Sgt. FuryJune 14, 2018
Session 5 ( Shadow - Yellow ClawJune 15, 2018

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ComicConnect is currently accepting consignments for their next major auction. Contact them today to reserve space as it is on a first-come first-served basis. Call toll-free 1.888.779.7377 or e-mail their staff at support@comicconnect.com. Cash advances up to $5 million are available.

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ComicConnect is currently accepting consignments for their next major auction. Contact them today to reserve space as it is on a first-come first-served basis. Call toll-free 1.888.779.7377 or e-mail their staff at support@comicconnect.com. Cash advances up to $5 million are available.