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Event Auction XL Highlights: Key Comics Collection
#1 CGC X-Men Registry Set in the world!
 
ComicConnect is honored to bring the highest registered X-Men collection on the CGC census to our distinguished clientele. Every issue in the Key Comics Collection is breathtaking and will include a deluxe Certificate of Authenticity. Most are top of census copies, with white pages, perfect centering, and many of the other qualities that make comic collectors’ mouths water. This group of X-Men issues is the lifelong passion of our consignor, Robert Letscher, as he explains his fascinating story in his own words.
 
 

Consignor

Robert Letscher, consignor of the Key Comics Collection

“I’ve collected X-Men for as long as I can remember. When I was a child my father was in the Air Force and we moved at frequent intervals. As a result, at each new school I attended, I always felt left out, as if everybody else was part of the group, and I was a stranger, stuck on the outside, looking in. I was always short and skinny, and had asthma, leading to me sometimes being bullied. When I read my first X-Men comic, it immediately resonated with me, as they too were ostracized, and rejected by society. Yet, they had special powers and could thrive, outside the rules and supervision of the general public. I immediately began seeking out more issues of this exciting title. My mother was an antique dealer, and I’d go with her to flea markets and estate sales, and would diligently seek out comics, typically a stack of 8 or 10 issues for a dollar. I can still recall my excitement upon perusing my purchases, and I’d jump up and down enthusiastically each time I scored an X-Men comic. My parents and teachers were impressed with my large vocabulary for my age, and I purposely refrained from disclosing that I’d learned many of the big words from the mouth of the ever-loquacious Beast!
 
 
      
 
I fondly recall having a comic-loving classmate in the mid-seventies, who showed me his fresh copy of X-Men #94 shortly after it was released. My eyes must have popped out of my head as I was unaware that Marvel had rebooted the series! He was rather attached to it, so he insisted on getting my high-grade copy of Avengers #57 in trade. I was reluctant, but I went through with the deal, and read that “new team” issue again and again, and made sure not to miss any more issues. Another kid at my school offered me his like-new copy of Giant-Size X-Men #1, but he asked an astronomical price of ten dollars, so I had to track down a copy through other sources to obtain one for a reasonable rate. Around this same time, I devoured the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and became more aware of the size and scale of the hobby. Eventually, in the eighties, I graduated high school and started setting up at small conventions, to sell and trade my extras. I fondly recall how proud I’d feel when I sold a comic “for guide” that I had picked up cheap at a garage sale, or when I’d obtain a nice X-Men from another dealer with proceeds from my sales.
 
X-Men 94
X-Men #94 CGC 9.8 NM/M
QES Certified
Throughout the years, I aggressively pursued upgrades wherever I could find them. I didn’t have deep pockets, so I’d sometimes feel despondent if I’d locate a copy of X-Men #1 that was nicer than my own but priced just out of reach. When CGC came on the scene, I decided to get my set certified, and immediately started fervently upgrading when, to my dismay, many of my comics were not graded at the top. During the subsequent years, I bought and sold countless vintage X-Men, mostly certified, always comparing them to my current “best ever” copy and, in time, I was able to upgrade most issues after #94 to look “mint,” and have pure white pages to boot with the exception of some of the unmatched CGC Mint 9.9s and 10s that had Off-White to White pages. Even my low numbers and reprint issues typically looked nicer than the numeric grade suggested or were from a pedigree or had whiter paper or brighter colors than others I’d owned in the same grade.
 
My intention was to continue to track down additional top-grade examples and eventually have the finest copy extant of every single issue of the groundbreaking 544 issue series, including the Giant-Size #1 and 2 along with the first twenty-five annuals. Unfortunately, fate has intervened in the form of a very serious health condition. Although it pains me deeply to part with my life’s work, I feel it would be irresponsible of me to not take steps to provide for my terrific family. My loving wife has been with me through thick and thin, and I know she is my true soulmate, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have met her. My oldest daughter has grown into a fine young lady with great character and has been tremendously supportive throughout my health challenges, and my little daughter who is eight is a wonderful blessing, always sporting a smile and sense of wonder along with an innocence that warms my heart.
 
My hope is that my fellow mutant fans will get the same thrill that I always had when they fill in that hole in their set or finally get that upgrade they’ve been seeking.”
 
 
      
 
Continue reading below for two indepth interviews
with the consignor of this amazing collection.
 
 
 
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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Mesa dad auctions beloved (and valuable) X-Men comics to pay medical bills
 
Written by Stephanie Innes, courtesy of the Arizona Republic  Click here to go directly to AZCentral.com's article
 
 
Robert Letscher fell in love with comic books as a child and always had a particular fondness for Marvel Comics' X-Men — "mutants" born with special powers they use to fight evil.
 
The 55-year-old Mesa resident's collection includes the first 1963 issue of X-Men, when key characters Professor X, Magneto, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel and Iceman were introduced.
 
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Mesa man puts valuable collection of comic books up for auction to pay for cancer treatment
 
Written by Tim Gallen, courtesy of the Pheonix Business Journal  Click here to go directly to the Journal's Article
 
Robert Letscher has spent his life collecting mutants. While that may sound like something out of a science lab, these mutants are the stuff of science fiction and fantasy — specifically comic books. Letscher, a Mesa resident, has quietly dedicated decades to cultivate one of the most preeminent collections of Marvel Comics' original "X-Men" series.
 
But starting on Aug. 19, Letscher, 54, will auction off his beloved collection of more than 500 books to help pay for ongoing medical bills surrounding treatment for cancer. It wasn't an easy decision.
 
"It really broke my heart a lot to sell them because I envisioned always having them," he said. "Although, in the back of my mind I knew someday I would want to retire and that would be my retiremenet because I’ve never had any interest in the stock market and don’t have a 401(k) or pension or anything like that."
 
Last year, Letscher was diagnosed with lymphoma. Eventually, the cancer spread to his throat and beyond, which necessitated a removal of his esophagus and stomach. He now eats through a feeding tube, though doctors were able to repurpose part of his stomach into a gastric conduit that allows Letscher to swallow small bites of food and liquids, though he must sit up straight to get things down. And without a stomach, the food goes straight into the intestine.
 
"If I can last, my body might adapt and I can get the flavor of foods I like," he said. "Maybe just one or two bites, very small ones."
 
 
      
 
 
Letscher's collection is estimated to be worth around $500,000, said Vincent Zurzolo, COO of ComicConnect Corp., the New York auction house handling the sale of Letscher's books.
 
"But I think we might be surprised," he said. "Certain books might do a lot better than we’re imagining. Certain books will because of how beautiful they are."
 
Letscher's collection stands alone for its quality, rated by the Certified Guaranty Co., a leading third-party grading service for comics and other collectibles.
 
"This type of collection has never been brought to market before," Zurzolo
said.
 
The online auction for Letscher's collection at ComicConnect.com kicks off Aug. 19 for bidding and ends Sept. 13. Unlike other auction companies, Zurzolo said ComicConnect doesn't charge a buyer's premium, which allows bidders to place higher bids. That puts more money in the pockets of their sellers and consigners. The auction house does charge a 10% seller's premium, he said, which is how it earns its money.
 
While the multibillion-dollar success of the live-action films from Marvel Studios in the past decade has helped bolster the market, Zurzolo noted vintage comics from Marvel always are popular among collectors — particularly those from comics' Silver Age, which encompasses books published between 1954-1970.
 
"That would have to be because it was the Marvel age of comics," he said. "Guys like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Stan Lee all started creating these amazing characters that have such great stories and that still touch people in such an amazing way."
 
During that period, a host of popular characters and groups debuted including the Avengers, Spider-Man and Letscher's personal favorite, the X-Men.
 
 
      
 
 
Over the decades, the X-Men have served as allegories for marginalized groups of all kinds. That outsider status is part of what drew Letscher to the characters.
 
"I think because they were kind of outcasts and different from the rest of society, the X-Men really resonated with me," he said. "And very quickly it became my favorite title. By the time I was 10 I was doing everything I could to trade for more X-Men."
 
That desire for X-Men stories gave Letscher an early economics lesson in the law of supply and demand when he traded comics with kids in the neighborhoods in which he grew up.
 
"The neighbor kids kinda took advantage and made me trade two for one if I could get an X-Men [book]," he said. "Because they knew how much I loved it."
 
In subsequent years, Letscher sought out more pristine copies of his favorite comics, often trading up or buying better condition copies while selling his duplicates.
 
"I became more of a speculator in the '70s," he said. "I remember When 'X-Men' 137 came out. I used my allowance and bought it at the Lone Star Ice House. I read it and was so blown away. I thought it was one of the best comics ever."
 
The impact of that issue spurred Letscher to go back and buy a second copy. "That was my first time buying a duplicate as purely speculation or investment," he said.
 
The comic, which was a double-sized issue, sold for 75 cents when first released.
 
"Years later, I sold it for $10," Letscher said.
 

      

 

Overall, the collectible comics market remains robust and strong, Zurzolo said, adding comics have gained a reputation as legitimate investments in line with fine art.
 
"It is an alternative form of investment that’s become increasingly understood and respected," he said, noting ComicConnect has sold a number of books for more than $1 million. It was the first comic auction house to sell issues for $1 million, $2 million and $3 million among a handful of other seven-figure price points in between, he said.
 
The most expensive comic ever sold was a copy of "Action Comics" No. 1, which featured the debut of Superman. Originally published in 1938 for 10 cents, a copy of "Action" No. 1 sold on ComicConnect a few years ago for more than $3.2 million.
 
By the time he graduated college, Letscher's hobby had become a passion and eventually the way he made a living.
 
"I had bought so many collections, that by the time I completed college at the University of Texas in San Antonio, I started setting up at various conventions to sell and trade the duplicates and titles that I wasn't interested in," Letscher said. "Then, in the late '90s, I started selling on eBay, too, and quickly was earning enough to support our very modest
lifestyle."
 
While he never struck it rich, the unconventional profession allowed Letscher to stay home with his children.
 
"[I] wasn't getting rich, by any stretch," he said. "But it allowed me to stay home and raise my daughters, and I have maintained a special bond with both kids that might not have been possible if I was away from the house at work full time."
 

Click here to view the entire Key Comics Collection

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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.