Friday, February 03, 2006

Hawkeye pedigree

HAWKEYE - The Hawkeye collection surfaced in Mason City, Iowa around 1984. There were two primary buyers during the original disbursement: Joe Smejkal and Mike Tekal, two collectors who did not know each other. Two middlemen were involved, and the collection was sold piecemeal very slowly. As a result, very little documentation exists on the Hawkeye collection. To compound problems there are no indicative markings or characteristics associated with a Hawkeye book. What little is known about this collection came from Smejkal and Tekal themselves.

In 1984 a person named Leroy sold Smejkal a small batch of high grade DC's. Seeing that the books were gorgeous, Near Mint, white paged copies, Smejkal called Leroy back and bought as much as he could afford. Over the next few months Smejkal purchased a small batch of ten to twenty books at a time. During this time Leroy was selling to other collectors as well, of whom Tekal was one. Tekal was purchasing books in a similar fashion as Smejkal, receiving about ten books a week, and paying only in cash. As it turned out, the original owner, completely unknown, had sold his collection to one person, who in turn sold it to Leroy. By estimate, there were around 1,000 comics in the collection, consisting predominantly of DC's and spanning the years 1939 to 1950. Some keys present included All-Star #3, Superboy #1, Adventure #72, More Fun #101, Mask #1, World's Best #1, and reportedly the best existing copy of Captain Marvel #1.

Six years later a second, smaller accumulation surfaced from the original owner, numbering about 100-150 books. Although exhibiting gloss and white pages typical of the first collection, the average grade was only about Fine. Smejkal purchased all of them and subsequently sold them to another collector.

IDENTIFICATION-Hawkeye copies exhibit no markings whatsoever. Because of this and a lack of a master list Hawkeyes can be tough to identify. Fortunately, because Smejkal has owned the majority of them, he can readily identify most any books in question.

Incidentally, Smejkal's Hawkeyes were stored in mothballs during the 1980's and have a very distinctive mothball smell. Although sketchy, this is one way to identify a Hawkeye previously owned by Smejkal.

DESIRABILITY-Hawkeyes are beautiful, Near Mint books with full gloss/colors and white pages. They are so comparable to Mile Highs, there is a report that one collector actually attempted to forge a Hawkeye into one. The forgery was discovered when someone matched the mothball smell of the pages with the Hawkeye collection.

Originally, Hawkeyes sold for 1.5x to 2.0 guide. This multiple now hovers around 3.0x guide.

--from Matt Nelson's

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