Edgar Church’s Historic Copy of Detective Comics #6, Up for Auction

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It’s the most important and valuable comic book collection ever unearthed. The Edgar Church / Mile High comic book pedigree is a collection of almost 15,000 comic books 1937 to 1957 amassed by Denver, Colorado commercial illustrator Edgar Church. The collection, much of which has been preserved in incredible high grade, has become the stuff of legend since it was discovered by longtime retailer Chuck Rozanski (also known as Bettie Pages) and began to hit the collector market in the late 1970s. The Church copy of Action Comics #1 is widely considered the most valuable comic book on the planet, and the collection as a whole set the standard for the sale of high-grade Golden Age comic books for decades. Likewise, copies of key or otherwise important comic books from the Edgar Church pedigree have often been held in private collections, unseen by the market at large, for years or decades — and Detective Comics #6 certainly qualifies as important. An early issue of the longest-running comic book series in American comic book history, there’s a historically unique a Detective Comics #6 Mile High Pedigree – Trimmed (DC, 1937) CGC Apparent FN- 5.5 Slight (C-1) Off-white to white pages up for auction at the 2022 March 27-28 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122213 from Heritage Auctions.

Detective Comics #6 Edgar Church Pedigree.

As hard to imagine as this may be today, there were only 11 comic books on the newsstands when Detective Comics #6 hit in mid-July of 1937 (according to Library of Congress copyright records). So it’s no surprise that Edgar Church was just getting started buying comic books at this time, and he actually may not have been an active buyer that July when Detective Comics #6 hit the news stands. It is believed that some of the earliest comics in the collection were purchased by Church second-hand rather than directly off the newsstand — thus accounting for the lesser condition of some issues of the early portion of the collection. According to the original Church collection master list made available online by Rob Larsen, Detective Comics #3 is the first issue of the series present in the collection, and the run doesn’t become consistently high grade until around Detective Comics #9. And according to the Heritage Auction archives, Detective Comics #6 is the earliest issue of the series from the Church pedigree that they’ve ever offered.

Hitting the news stands about nine months before the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics #1 and over 20 months before the debut of Batman in Detective Comics #27, Detective Comics #6 contains work by Superman creators jerry siegel and Joe ShusterDC Comics founder Malcolm Wheeler Nicholson, Vin Sullivan and Creig Flessel among others, plus a Speed ​​Saunders cover by Flessel. It’s a historic early issue from one of the most important comic book series ever published, and adding to this copy’s stellar provenance, it was also once part of the incredible collection of noted historian Jon Berk.

While this isn’t a typical high-grade Church comic book, when it comes to the earlier-months 1937 portion of the collection, lower grades are essentially the norm — and you’ll be hard-pressed to acquire an earlier issue of Detective Comics from the Church collection than this Detective Comics #6 Mile High Pedigree – Trimmed (DC, 1937) CGC Apparent FN- 5.5 Slight (C-1) Off-white to white pages up for auction at the 2022 March 27-28 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122213 from Heritage Auctions.

Detective Comics #6 Edgar Church Pedigree.
Detective Comics #6 Edgar Church Pedigree.

Detective Comics #6 Mile High Pedigree – Trimmed (DC, 1937) CGC Apparent FN- 5.5 Slight (C-1) Off-white to white pages. We rarely see Mile High pre-Batman Detective issues, and Gerber rates this issue a “7” (“scarce”) on its Scarcity Index. Creig Flessel cover and art. Joe Shuster art. CGC notes, “Restoration includes: small amount of color touch on cover. (Right Edge of Cover Trimmed) From the Collection of Jon Berk” Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $1,500; GV 4.0 value = $3,000; FN 6.0 value = $4,500.

View the certification for CGC Certification ID 2021934001 and purchase grader’s notes if available.

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Posted in: Comics, Heritage Sponsored, Vintage Paper | Tagged: dc comics, detective comics, Edgar Church, golden age

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