By Deanna Harris
Eighty years of adventures by Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon are expected to draw world wide attention as they go under the hammer this month.
The original owner of the huge collection, Tom Mackie, had a life long fascination with the tales created by American cartoonist Alexander Raymond.
Mr Mackie died two years ago and his family have decided to put the collection of about 10,000 comics under the hammer and into the hands of other collectors who share the same passion.
Francis McWhannell, from Webb's auction house says the collection is a fascinating look at the era which Mr Mackie grew up in.
“It is quite fascinating to look through the more than 80-years of comics because they were influenced by what was happening at the time.
“For Tom, the fantastic adventures of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon were not just a landmark development in science fiction, they also captured the spirit of his youth and evoked memories of the period which he grew up in,” says Mr McWhannell.
Mr Mackie grew up during World War II, which has made these comics even rarer as paper collections during the war saw many destroyed.
“There are very few collections like this around.
“These are science fiction history.”
The collection of 354 lots of possibly up to 10,000 comics was mostly editions of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers but also included other classics such as Hurricane Hawk, Jungle Jim, Brick Bradford, Flyin' Jenny, Secret Agent X-9, Prince Valiant, Mandrake the Magician, Rip Kirby, The Phantom, Silver Starr, Tarzan, Yarmak, Anthony Fury, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Popeye, Billy Bunter and Tom Merry.
Mr McWhannell says it is hard to know how much the collection will go for but some rare comic issues could reach about $400 each.
The collection will go under the hammer on Sunday, October 24, the same week as the Armageddon Expo in Auckland.