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WIRE Buzz: First Batman comic sells for record price; Pac-Man chomps into Hall of Fame; more
A copy of Detective Comics No. 27, featuring the first-ever appearance of Batman, sold at auction for $1.5 million today. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this beats the previous record for that legendary 1939 issue, set a decade ago when a copy went for $1.075 million. Both copies were handled by Heritage Auctions.
The Detective Comics No. 27 copy that sold on Thursday was not restored but still categorized as "fine/very fine 7.0" quality by the Certified Guaranty Company. It's just one of two 7.0 copies in existence, with only five other unrestored comic books graded higher since CGC began rating them.
Heritage Auctions vice president Barry Sandoval told THR he wasn't surprised at the stunning sale, saying, "This is one of the best copies you will ever see of one of the most important comic books ever published."
The Dark Knight's introduction came via a story called "The Case of the Criminal Syndicate" by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and the Caped Crusader proved so popular that he got his own self-titled book in 1940 while continuing to star in Detective Comics.
While this copy of Batman's debut did go for a jaw-dropping price, it's still not the most expensive comic ever sold: that honor belongs to a 9.0 copy of Action Comics No. 1, featuring the debut of Batman's colleague and friend Superman, which sold in 2014 for a whopping $3.2 million on eBay.
Speaking of the Caped Crusader, the Comic-Con Museum has selected just its second inductee into the Museum's Character Hall of Fame, following 2019's premiere inductee, Batman. Who could it be now? Superman? Captain America? Spider-Man?
No, folks, it's...Pac-Man!
Yes, that's right, the Museum is skipping over the legends mentioned above as well as countless others to instead induct a little round video game character with a non-stop mouth and a voracious appetite. To be fair, though, Pac-Man is celebrating his 40th anniversary this year, and the little guy is being honored for the "enduring impact he has had on the video game industry and the role of storytelling in games," according to the museum's release.
Pac-Man was created by Toru Iwatani, a Japanese game designer, and the game was first released in Tokyo in May 1980. It arrived in the U.S. in October of the same year and became a pop culture phenomenon, as well as one of the highest-earning video arcade games of all time. The game has yielded more than 30 sequels and spin-offs as well as a vast array of merchandise, two TV series, movie appearances, and original music.
Eddie Ibrahim, Senior Director of Programming for the Comic-Con Museum, said, "We thought Pac-Man would be the perfect addition to the Museum Character Hall of Fame because he inspires a sense of nostalgia in many of us and even though he is turning 40, he is still highly relevant in pop culture today."
An online induction celebration will take place on Thursday, Dec. 17, starting at 4 p.m. PT, featuring a mix of live elements and pre-recorded segments. The Comic-Con Museum in San Diego, where Comic-Con International is usually held every July, is scheduled to officially open its doors in 2021.
French director and horror specialist Alexandre Aja is going to direct a new film called Elijah for Searchlight Pictures. According to Deadline, the story follows a young boy who invites a mysterious man into his house, thinking that the man could help his ailing mom. But strange things begin to happen and the boy soon learns that the stranger isn't what he's supposed to be after all.
Aja and his writing partner, Gregory Levasseur, rewrote the original script by Cory Goodman (The Last Witch Hunter) on the way to production.
Aja had a sleeper hit last year with Crawl, in which a young Florida woman must fight to save herself and her father from both rising flood waters from a hurricane and some nasty local alligators. The film cost just $13.5 million to make and earned an impressive $92 million. Aja's other genre features include Mirrors, High Tension, Horns, and remakes of The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha. He's in post-production on his latest film, 02.
Strangely, while Searchlight is known mostly as the arthouse arm of what used to be 20th Century Fox (before it was absorbed by Disney), the indie film label is aiming more for the horror market lately, scoring with last year's Ready or Not and preparing to release the macabre-looking Antlers (produced by Guillermo del Toro) in 2021.