October 12, 2017
Comic book thief caught by crime-fighters
by Taylor Sperry
According to sellmycomicbooks.com (which, sure), the most valuable comic books were published during the genre’s “Golden Age” (1938 to 1956). Leading the pack is Action Comics #1, featuring the origin and first appearance of Superman and boasting a record sale of $3.2 million dollars. But by the time you get past the Silver, Bronze, and Copper Ages to the “Modern Age” (1992-present), the values are naturally more modest, with the priciest comic book in that category, The Walking Dead #1, fetching just (“just”) $11,000.
So, what exactly did sixty-four-year-old handyman Francesco Bove steal when he walked off a job with a reported $239,000-worth of comic books and comic book art?
For NJ.com, Justin Zaremba reports that Bove, who was hired by Marvel Comics executive Joseph Quesada to address water damage caused by a broken pipe, instead moved with his girlfriend into Quesada’s unoccupied home, where he stole valuable comic art, and “sold several pieces… to dealers and auction houses before fleeing the United States and heading to Italy.” One of those pieces is believed to be a Daredevil book (from the “Silver Age,” with a record sale of $37,000 for Daredevil #1).
On Tuesday, Steve Janosky of NorthJersey.com reported that police had “arrested Bove at his Brooklyn residence without incident.” He is being charged with burglary and assault. Reports that authorities were assisted by some sort of bat-like vigilante armed with detective skills and a fierce commitment to justice could not be confirmed.
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.