Comic book buff selling rare copy of Batman No. 1

In this undated photo provided by Heritage Auction Galleries, a 1940 Batman issue #1 comic book owned by longtime Fairbanks, Alaska comic book buff Mike Wheat is shown. Wheat has put the rare comic on the auction block through Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries, where it's expected to fetch more than $40,000. (AP Photo/Heritage Auction Galleries)

August 1, 2010 6:32:11 PM PDT
A longtime Alaska comic book buff is selling one of the gems in his vast collection, a rare copy of Batman No. 1 published 70 years ago.

Mike Wheat of Fairbanks has put the 1940 comic book on the auction block through Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries, where it's expected to fetch more than $40,000. Online bids already have climbed to $35,000 for the book, believed to be one of fewer than 300 still in existence.

Online bids will compete with a live auction 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, says he considers the Batman comics an investment. He says it feels like the right time to sell.


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