Online bidding for the auction begins February 2, with the physical auction itself to be held February 21-23.
The Watchmen #1 cover is the jewel of the collection, which apparently comes from the family of Wizard magazine founder Gareb Shamus. The first page of the series sold for more than $30,000 in 2010, which is more than a full collection of the Watchmen covers reportedly went for in 1993, before the market for original comics art exploded.
Record after record has fallen in recent years, with another piece of the Martin Shamus Collection, a Todd McFarlane Amazing Spider-Man cover, selling for more than $650,000 this summer.
“My biggest surprise wasn’t the price paid for a piece of my artwork, though being part of a new record is quite flattering,” artist McFarlane said at the time. “Instead, what has surprised me more is the level to which comic book artwork has recently entered into the mainstream. Obviously, the success of many comic-related movies has helped in this process, but the fervor and level to which Stephen Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo were willing to financially commit themselves is a testament that our medium can stand side by side with any other art form.”
The same auction will feature the John Romita cover to Amazing Spider-Man #121, “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” a key cover that also has a reportedly close tie to the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man movie sequel.