Sunday 24th May 2015,
Comic Booked

A Pedigree of Pedigrees

Comic Booked Guest Writer 08/05/2012 Features, Reviews

I have all my USPS deliveries sent to my Father’s home. This includes any postal mail from Heritage Auctions, like the latest flyer that showcased the Doug Schmell/ collection. I expected CGC to make a notation on the label when I see a book advertised as a pedigree, but what makes this collection a pedigree? Many of my graded New Mutants are from the Golden State Collection.  This pedigree notation was not marked on the label but marked on the slab by a golden sticker.

The scans on the advertisement have no such notation, after some minor research I realized this isn’t so much a pedigree collection as much as it is a collection of pedigrees which include Pacific Coast, Twin Cities, and White Mountain to name a few. At the moment I cannot afford any of the books on auction (if I ever will). Of course the Daredevil #1 and #7 are both books I would love to upgrade. Why is Heritage Auctions selling off a collection that could easily be sold on the above mentioned, and then there is the question who is Doug Schmell anyway? I tried to find some answers.

Heritage Auctions mentions Schmell, the owner of, has been putting his high-grade collection together for more than 20 years. A successful comic collector and dealer, he carefully and deliberately selected Heritage when it came time to let go of his personal collection. Doug reveals “After watching Heritage become, by far, the world’s largest comics auction house, I knew that it was the perfect choice for me to sell my private collection to realize the highest prices and have no conflict for the consigners on my site,”

I don’t know Doug Schmell. I knew of his name by the many times I would peruse the website when I was trying to find books to complete my New Mutants collection. The home page shows a nice notation that he won the CGC award for achievement in comics back in 2006.  On the registry he goes under the name Captain Tripps and was ranked #2 before the auction ended. A registry member added two different journals on the CGC Collectors Society journal boards about who Doug Schmell is. After reading the first journal and then reading the second (which was a legal document) I had a good idea at the mistakes this man made, which caused his disbarment for embezzling funds from his clients (not to offend anyone but I use the term mistake not to hide the criminal conduct but because I do not have the full amount of facts).

Steve Borock, Senior consignment Director at Heritage Auctions, previously a President of Collectible Group LLC knows him a little better “I’ve watched Doug piece together this fantastic collection across the more than 20 years I’ve known him, and already knew that the collection was amazing. When I went to look at the entire collection as a whole, and saw just how expansive it was, I knew I was looking upon a thing of amazing beauty”.

Did Doug Schmell use the misappropriated funds to purchase a house, lavish trips, some nice cars, or even a few old comic books? Was the choice to use Heritage Auctions actually some kind of legal loop hole or was he forced to use a rival auction site? It’s not like comic books of this caliber could ever be sold on e-Bay. Are these comic books being sold because he wants to sell them or because some repercussions from his disbarment is forcing him to sell them, or were the comic books never an issue because let’s face it, how much is a comic book anyway?

CGC was only around for about six years during the time Doug Schmell went through his legal battles. 2006 was not only the same year that Douglas Schmell was disbarred, but he also won the award from CGC for Achievement in comics. Comics have yet to hit over a million dollar, the first one only happened last year. I couldn’t even tell you when the first comic passed the $100,000 mark.  Without trying to get into Doug Schmell’s head on the why of his legal issues but, why get rid of such a great collection?

Thanks for Reading


PS. For the full article from Heritage… 

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