Few people have taken comic collecting as seriously as Ian Levine. A well-known British DJ and producer, Levine has spent the last several decades amassing one of the most comprehensive libraries of DC comic books in existence. Now, one lucky (and well-off) fan has the chance to own the fruits of his labor. Starting today, Sotheby’s is putting Levine’s collection of more than 40,000 DC issues up for sale.
Levine’s collection spans 80 years of DC history, starting with New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1. That issue was published by DC’s immediate predecessor, National Allied Publications, in 1935. Naturally, the collection also includes the first appearances of the characters who would form the backbone of the DC universe. Bidders can find the debuts of Superman and Batman, along with Wonder Woman’s first cover appearance, in Action Comics #1, Detective Comics #27, and Sensation Comics #1. And that’s not even scratching the surface of what’s available. The collection’s offerings stretch from DC’s 1930s Golden Age all the way to more contemporary issues published in 2014.
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Unfortunately, potential buyers can’t just bid on one issue. Sotheby’s is auctioning off Levine’s comics in a private sale and only as a “single lot.” In other words, it’s all or nothing. Given the collection’s expansiveness, expect it to fetch a large price when the auction finally closes. Back in 2014, a copy of Action Comics #1 set a new auction record for a comic book when it sold for #3.2 million on eBay. Anyone looking to give Levine’s collection a new home is going to need deeper pockets than that.
Aside from his comics obsession and his music work, Levine is also a diehard Doctor Who fan. He’s actually played a significant role in several episodes of the series getting added to the BBC archives. When the show was nearly canceled in the 1980s, he made several public appearances to protest the network’s decision. Levine has also produced a number of special features included on Doctor Who home video releases.
You can read more about Levine’s DC collection here, then tell us what you think in the comment section!
Recommended Reading: Superman: The Golden Age Vol. 1