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Alaska man selling rare copy of Batman No. 1

August 2, 2010 12:46:28 AM PDT
A comic book buff in Alaska is selling one of his prized possessions: a rare copy of Batman No. 1, published 70 years ago.Mike Wheat of Fairbanks put the comic book on the auction block through Heritage Auction Galleries, and online bids have already reached $35,000.

Because it's in mint condition, experts say it could end up selling for more than $40,000.

Interested? Online bids will compete with a live auction, which is set for Thursday.

The second and fourth Batman issues also will be part of Thursday's auction. They are expected to bring more than $5,000 combined.

Wheat, a retired city wastewater treatment plant operator, said he considers the Batman comics an investment. He said it feels like the right time to sell.

"I just decided it's time for someone else to have it," he said.

The Batman No. 1 comic book was discovered after local businessman Ron Jaeger bought an old dresser at a garage sale in the early 1970s, then kept it in storage for a few years. When Jaeger finally brought it out, he noticed one of the drawers didn't slide easily.

Three comic books and a few old issues of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner were tucked beneath the drawer and a quarter-inch piece of plywood. The haul included a copy of Batman No. 1, Superman No. 17 and an old issue of a Red Ryder Western comic.

Wheat already had a reputation as an avid comic collector in 1974, and Jaeger sold him the comic books for $300.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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