Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chicorel Collection of Golden Age Comic Books today

May 21, 2009
Posted by Noah

As we speak I am preparing to go downstairs for the opening of this week’s comic auction, which starts with the amazing Golden Age comic book collection of one Ralph Chicorel. Perhaps you’ve read about it on our home page or comics page at, or maybe you saw the nice story Jamie Stengle of the AP wrote about the trove and its amazing journey.

Ralph’s story is one of those one in a million, suitcase-of-money-falling-from-the-sky things that we all wish could happen to us. Basically it’s this: he collected the original Golden Age comics off the newsstand, kept them carefully and moved on with his life. In 1970 he sold half of the collection to raise money for a family move. He got about $3500, a tremendous sum for comics at the time. He didn’t have time to dig up the other half of the collection before the auction, moved, became a successful businessman and forgot about the books.

Almost 40 year later he dug up the trove and contacted Heritage. It’s expected the amazing collection will bring upwards of $500,000, and I believe it – I’ve seen these things and they are indeed, as Al Milgrom put it, “some of the mintiest books I’ve ever seen.” It helps a lot that Ralph and his family are here, at Heritage for the auction, and that he’s about as nice as you’d want someone with such tremendous foresight and good luck to be. I love this story, am glad to be on the periphery of it and am glad that I get to witness such a thing and see that the word gets out about this collection.

As for the comics themselves, I don’t know where to start, except to say that they are all amazing books. From the Marvel Comics #1 to the Marvel #9 to the Batman #4 and #7 to any number of awesome comics in between, it’s a real treat. The color on many of these is still magnificent, and the prices are relative bargains. There are the sexy ones, mentioned above, that will get the high five and six figure prices, but it is the books that are going to go for $2000-$5000 that will prove the true future boon to their erudite buyers.

Yes, these are the type of comic books that make even the most seasoned veterans of the industry – meaning the guys in the Heritage comics department – sit up and take notice, even betray a little excitement. Barry Sandoval, the Director of comics, put it best when he likened the finding of this collection to the Time machine fantasy of many a comic book geek. All they want is to go back in time and buy the comics off the stand, first issue, put it straight into an air-tight containment device, and bring them back in time to add to their collections. There doesn’t have to be any more destiny tampering than that.

Is it so much to ask? Just a couple teeny tiny comic books?

The good news is that, today, we get the chance to see what those time-pilfered comics would actually bring.

Click on the title of this post to leave a comment.

-Noah Fleisher


  1. FYI - The auction went off smashingly yesterday and ralph's tremendous efforts paid off with a $500,000 afternoon. Not bad for a couple hours on a beautiful sunny Dallas afternoon on Turtle Creek. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

    -Noah Fleisher, 5/22/09

  2. Congratulations Uncle Ralph. You deserve it and are the BEST!
    Ricky B