One of the best parts of collecting vintage comics and art is that the hobby never fails to surprise you. There's still plenty of undiscovered country out there: rare comics you've somehow never heard of before, art that nobody realized had survived until now, collections that have to be seen to be believed. Today's case in point is the collection of Jon Berk, coming up for auction at ComicConnect starting on May 15th.
Berk is a well-known collector and historian in vintage comic collecting circles, and I've admired the way he's shared the knowledge of his discoveries and research for going on 25 years now. One of his best-remembered pieces of research was in finding and interviewing the man behind the famous Lamont Larson collection, for example. Over on the Collector's Society message boards, he's been posting scans from his collection for over a decade now — and I still think I've only seen a small fraction of it there.
ComicConnect gets it right in their press release here: Berk is indeed a steward of the medium. That's something that can be said of very few collectors, and while I'm sure this auction is a bittersweet moment for him, I hope he takes some satisfaction from the notion that he's done much to foster a true appreciation for comics and comic art in generations of collectors to come.
ComicConnect will host a gallery showing of the Jon Berk collection, opening Saturday, March 11th 7pm-10pm with complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages at Metropolis Gallery, 36 w. 37th St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10018. After the opening, the gallery will be open to the public Tues–Fri, 11:00am – 5:00pm until June 2nd. The auction itself will begin online May 15th at ComicConnect.com, and end June 12 through June 16.
Jon Berk is known and respected throughout the comic book community as not only one of the most knowledgeable collectors and historians around, but also one of the true class acts in the hobby. A true gentleman and steward of the medium, Jon spent nearly a lifetime amassing one of the most impressive collections in the world of vintage comics and art. ComicConnect is proud to present The Jon Berk Collection Auction Preview for your viewing pleasure at Metropolis Gallery.
While he was a superhero comic book fan since he was a boy, Jon didn't get serious about collecting until his law school days. Back then, he could pick up back issues for a quarter a piece. Now a civil trial attorney, Jon has acquired over 20,000 comics including some of the rarest books our graders have ever seen and, hands down, the most impressive and valuable collections of original comic art ever offered at auction.
"The original Cover art to Planet Comics #1 by Lou Fine, Pep Comics #30 by Bob Montana and All New Comics #8 by Alex Schomburg will blow your mind away" stated ComicConnect COO Vincent Zurzolo. In addition to the wondrous collection of original art, visitors to the auction preview gallery will also find copies of Action Comics #1, Detective Comics #27, Captain America Comics #1, Fantastic Comics #3 Church Copy, Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1, Fawcett Flash Comics #1, and dozens more.
"I have known Jon for over thirty years as a fellow historian, fan, client, and friend. I am truly humbled to have him entrust the solemn task of bringing his collection to market. It is an understatement to say it is one of the greatest, deepest and richest collections, not only in value but in historical significance I've ever had the privilege to be involved with" exclaimed ComicConnect CEO, Stephen Fishler.
With one of the most famous collections in fandom, Jon was interviewed in 2005 by Forbes magazine where he was described as a collector "with the seriousness of a historian and the zeal of a kid," a description he heartily embraces. When asked to give advice to collectors, he stated "Don't have feet of clay. A lot of this stuff comes around just once. You've got to be ready to go for it." And boy, howdy, did Jon Berk ever go for it.
"Whether you are a collector, investor or just a fan, I invite you all to enjoy my collection at this amazing auction preview. I built this collection to honor the legends behind and on the pages. Now it is time for me to share the collection with the next generation. I hope you will appreciate and safeguard it as much as I have" shares owner, Jon Berk.
In addition to the has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed cover to Planet Comics #1, the ComicConnect auction preview in conjunction with Metropolis Gallery will showcase art from Jack Kirby, Alex Schomburg, Jerry Robinson, Steve Ditko, Carmine Infantino, and so much more.
Items will be available for bidding May 15th, ComicConnect's completely online auction will end June 12th through June 16th. For more information on the auction or other questions email ComicConnect at firstname.lastname@example.org.