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Comic capers

When you were little who did you want to be? Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman or the Black Widow? And what was your particular superpower to crush the baddies?
12th November, 2021

Comic collection passion assets

It has been an epic year as the two most popular superheroes slugged it out to see who would make the biggest splash.

In April 2021 Action Comics #1,in which Superman made his first appearance, was sold for $3.25 million. This rare DC Comics edition, which sold for 10 cents when it was released in 1938, explained how Superman came to earth from another planet and went on to become Clark Kent - it was a breakthrough publication that kickstarted the superhero genre. That first issue had a print run of 200,000 copies and it is thought there are only around 100 copies left in existence.

But in September 2021 the nimble wall crawler and his alter ego Peter Parker leapfrogged over the Man of Steel. The finest known copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, which introduced Marvel Comic's Spider-Man to the world in 1962 and originally sold for 12 cents, sold for US$3.6 million. The issue details how Peter is bitten by a radioactive spider which gives him his iconic superpowers.

All this interest and activity has shown the depth of passion and commitment to comic collecting. Pannapictagraphists are inspired by their favourite hero, the design of a comic and the challenge to complete a series. When actor Nicolas Cage changed his last name from Coppola (his uncle is Francis Ford Coppola) he was inspired by Marvels character Luke Cage, also known as Power Man, who first appeared in Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 in 1972. A long-time comic fan he amassed an impressive collection some of which was sold at auction in 2002 for $1.68 million. Other comic fans include actors Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson and television presenter Jonathan Ross.

Established in 1991 ILS World's private client team is experienced at working with clients who include collectibles as part of their investment portfolios providing advice on trust and specialist company formation as tools to safeguard the pieces for owners and future successors. The growing number of online auctions has also boosted the appeal of passion assets. Due to the complexity of managing such luxury assets where necessary we partner with external accredited experts to ensure we are providing our clients with the best advice.

What made the recent sale of Amazing Fantasy #15 particularly special was it was graded CGC Near Mint+ 9.6 making the 1962 Marvel comic one of only four copies ever to receive such a high grade. Until the recent auction the most expensive copy of Amazing Fantasy # 15 was the CGC Near Mint 9.4-graded copy sold for $795,000 in 2020.

The ILS World private client team has a great deal of experience supporting many passionate collectors and we collaborate with acknowledged industry professionals such as storage experts who know that comics need to be stored in cool, dark places as sunlight can bleach pages and heat and moisture can also be damaging. Storing comics in cardboard boxes, or using backing boards, is also problematic as they are both sources of acid which can react badly with the fibres in the paper.

The ILS World team is made up of highly trained and experienced professionals assisting clients with:

• Multi-jurisdictional company incorporation
• Establishing and administering a trust
• VAT and Customs compliance
• Comprehensive administration of the ownership structure
• Management and financial reporting
• VAT and accounting services
• Provision of directors, registered offices and registered agreement/company secretary
• Acting as a trustee
• Import and export services
• Acquisition
• Sale
• Storage
• Maintenance and upkeep
• Valuations
• Inventories.

ILS World is a global provider of independent fiduciary services who successfully advise private clients including individuals, trustees and family offices on asset protection, wealth management and succession and estate planning.

We act in the long-term interest of our clients and pay careful attention to the quality and personal service we deliver.

Our private client team works hard to create long-term relationships and provide the highest level of service. We do this by being approachable, flexible and pragmatic. We offer regular face-to-face meetings as required and provide direct contact with a senior member of the team. Staff have diverse backgrounds, skills and interests and their professional experience together with their "can-do" attitude means they understand that wealth and business is inextricably linked.

Our private clients often require an international strategy and as a global business with offices in several key jurisdictions we are well-placed to provide a cohesive service. Our network includes offices in:

• British Virgin Islands
• Hong Kong
• Isle of Man
• London
• Portugal.

For further information please email privateclient@ils-world.com

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Please note: ILS World does not offer tax advice and would therefore recommend you obtain your own tax advice. If you require an introduction to a tax adviser we would be happy to assist.