Long time readers of this blog already know that some of America's finest choose to keep their identities secret.
But even the greatest four-color adventurers must doff their hoods to the unknown hero who donated the original Steve Ditko art for Amazing Fantasy #15 -- the first appearance of Spider-man! -- to the Library of Congress' Prints and Photographs division.
As in "gave it away for free to the people of the United States of America!"
We will never know just how much cash our hero gave up by not selling the 24 pages of original interior artwork at auction.
But I can tell you that the current record holder for the highest comic book art ever sold in the world -- a single original 1932 Hergé painting for the cover of “Tintin en Amérique” -- sold on March 30 for over US$1,014,000.
So we are probably talking about a gift worth millions of dollars.
And the irony of the most valuable work of Steve Ditko -- a notorious proponent of Ayn Rand's laissez-faire capitalism cult -- being socialized via a donation to a branch of the U.S. government is simply too delicious for words.
Update - Well-argued speculation about the identity of The Man who donated Ditko's artwork.
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