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Event Auction XXXVIII Highlight:
Complete Centaur Collection

Fans of Golden Age comics know the crucial role Centaur Publications played in the early days of the comic industry, helping establish the format of the comic book, publishing the first single genre title, Detective Picture Stories, and even creating the first masked crimefighter, the Clock. The scrappy imprint also introduced Dr. Mystic by Siegel and Shuster, a character that predated Superman, along with other beloved cult heroes such as Amazing Man, the Arrow, the Eye, and the Fantom of the Fair.

A favorite of collectors of the rare and esoteric treasures of the Golden Age, it is with great pleasure that ComicConnect brings this fascinating complete collection to their clientele. Centaur could arguably be the first dedicated publisher in the comic book industry, which is why the imprint is of such great historical importance. One may never see all of these books together again at one time, making this a very special Event Auction for discerning comic book investors.

 
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CENTAUR COLLECTION HIGHLIGHT:
AMAZING MAN COMICS
 
    
 
Trained by Tibetan monks to be the perfect specimen both physically and mentally, John Aman burst into action in the pages of Centaur Comics as Amazing Man. He was Bill Everett’s eccentric barrel-chested creation, a heady mashup of Houdini, the Shadow, and Superman, and exactly the kind of inventive and unique hero Centaur needed to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Thanks to sporadic distribution and wartime paper drives, this imaginative and lushly illustrated series survives in low numbers, making it irresistible to collectors who thrive on the scarce and unusual. This selection of hard-to-find issues is sure to stand out, even in this auction so crowded with grails and rarities! 
 
      
 
The most legendary of all, of course, is the wartime lunacy of issue #22, the famous Green Nazi Ape cover by Paul Gustavson. The comic is very nearly a textbook example of war-era propaganda, rife with Axis imagery, larger-than-life heroism, and apocalyptic mayhem – and a damsel in distress doesn’t hurt. Rarely seen in acceptable condition, if at all, this unrestored 7.5 copy is colorful and attractive, a magnet for serious collectors. Also of note are the seminal first issue (#5, as #1-4 were never published), Everett’s surrealistic giant hand vs. submarine cover (#6), and what is likely the historic first-ever Nazi WWII cover published (#9). 
 
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CENTAUR COLLECTION HIGHLIGHT: 
AMAZING MYSTERY FUNNIES

    

Born of a merger between several moderately successful pulp and comic publishing houses, Centaur Publications was short-lived, lasting only the scant years of the major World War II comic book craze. But, in that time, some of the art form’s finest illustrators passed through their scrappy lineup, including future Timely superstars and DC pioneers like Bill Everett, Fred Guardineer, and Basil Wolverton. 
 
The flagship title of their lineup, Amazing Mystery Funnies, was an incubator for many of the ideas and archetypes that would come to define the Golden Age of comics. Sci-fi, action, westerns, jungle adventure, and other pulp-derived yarns burst forth from its overstuffed pages. As Centaur fought for paper, printing presses, and newsstand space, print runs were low and distribution was spotty, making this title among the rarest of classic comic series, and thereby highly desirable to collectors of the historically significant and the extremely scarce. 
 
      
 
This grouping of super-rare treasures is one of the very few times you’re likely to see this many copies in one place – few collectors have managed complete runs of this incredibly scarce series, making this a can’t miss opportunity. Among the highlights of this selection are the legendary first issue, with a young Everett channeling Buck Rogers in a classic sci-fi cover; the classic bondage/torture cover of V2 #2; the first appearance of the Fantom of the Fair in V2 #7; the beloved robot battle cover of V2 #11; and an incredible find, a promo copy from 1942 with Amazing Man #23’s cover and an issue #24 interior, an extremely rare example of surviving promotional material from the period. Most especially, take a look at the stunning 8.5 unrestored copy of V2 #5, one of the rarest of Everett Golden Age covers, and among his finest, in the nicest non-pedigree example we’ve ever laid eyes on. This is a truly stunning copy of a sought-after classic.
 
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CENTAUR COLLECTION HIGHLIGHT:
FUNNY PAGES TO FUNNY PICTURE STORIES
 
      
 
Comic books changed with such speed and force in the Golden Age that it’s a wonder readers could keep up from month to month, and this selection of incredibly rare issues from Centaur Publications acts as a crash course in the early history of the four-color medium. Funny Pages and Funny Picture Stories both operated under the most basic and descriptive of series titles, as the early comics were little more than elaborate versions of the traditional newspaper “funny pages,” often reprints of popular strips and swipes of established pulp characters, the covers of these comics show the wild and varied genres and stories that the early medium embraced. 
 
      
 
While the first appearance of the Clock lurks within Funny Pages #6, the cover is an example of the rough, genial barnyard slapstick readers expected from early comics, and it took some time for the pulp/adventure heroes to take center stage on the series’ covers. When they did, the results were evocative and cinematic, as with the classic Funny Pages #42, featuring the title’s other popular hero, the Arrow, who also bursts into action on the cover of V3 #10. If heroes didn’t work, maybe jungle action would, gorillas were (and still are) crowd pleasers, as on the oft-copied V3 #9. Even classic western imagery would move copies, as seen on the exciting Funny Picture Stories V3 #2. Finally, note the classic cover for the first issue of that series, as the Clock appears front and center to the delight of crime comics aficionados. Centaurs are among the rarest of the rare, and command top dollar and motivated bidders. We’re sure collectors of rarities will be quite pleased with the treasures in this auction.
 
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CENTAUR COLLECTION HIGHLIGHT:
KEEN DETECTIVES TO LITTLE GIANT
 
      
 
Another batch of insanely rare Centaurs in this session, including more WWII covers and delightful obscurities! First up, a selection of issues from Keen Detective Funnies, wherein the small publisher featured its crime and detective characters (appropriately enough) such as the Clock, believed to be the first masked character created specifically for comic books; and the delirious the Eye, who rivalled the Spectre as the last word in Golden Age surrealism. Formerly Detective Picture Stories, the first issue, #8, is just one of the many highlights, as is the classic bondage/torture cover of #18, one of the nastiest of war-era sadism covers. Do not overlook the legendary issue #20, with the Eye blazing justice, and rather lethal laser rays, across a landscape littered with paratroopers and cowboys; which, okay!!! 
 
      
 
Also featured is the very scarce Liberty Guards Comics, boasting one of the most sought-after of WWII covers, featuring an all-out assault on Washington DC by nefarious Axis forces. The explosion of interest and value in wartime covers in the past few years practically guarantees that this copy will attract fierce bidding. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Finally, the childlike wonder and charm that jump-started the comics era is on display in the incredibly rare Little Giant Comics #3 and 4 shown here. As #3 is digest sized, it’s extremely tough to find, making this blue-label mid-grade copy a very rare treat indeed; and #4, with its (unsurprisingly) raucous hockey cover, is not only the highest on the census, but one of only two CGC has ever laid hands on, which attests to its extreme scarcity – it may be the rarest Centaur, and, well, that’s saying a lot.
 
 
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 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.