Heritage Auction Galleries appoints Lon Allen as Managing Director of Comics and Comic Art

Heritage Auctions has announced the promotion of Lon Allen to Managing Director of Comics and Comic Art.

“Lon has been with Heritage for eight years now and has grown along with the Comics group to become an outstanding Consignment Director and leading specialist,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “Lon will be working with the staff to continue to grow the Comics group, and we wish him continued success.”

In his tenure with the Heritage Comics Division, Lon has been instrumental in bringing some of the biggest and most important comic collections to auction that the company has seen, and been a key factor in Heritage’s ever-expanding comics market-share. He discovered the Davis Crippen collection, which realized an astounding $1.9 million, the Pinnacle Hill collection, which contained the Detective #27 comics that sold for $1.075 million in February of 2010 – a world record price for a comic sold at public auction. Lon was also involved in the estate of Don Vernon, which brought $1.2 million at auction, and was instrumental in bringing the Kerby Confer collection of Disney Art to Heritage, which will be sold at auction in August 2010.

“Working at Heritage has been an incredible education and a tremendously exciting time,” Allen said. “I very much look forward to what the future brings for this dynamic department. I can’t wait to see what amazing comics and comic art we uncover going forward.”

In a certain sense, Allen was born to be a comics specialist, considering his initials are actually JLA (James Lonergan Allen), a trio of letters he shares with the diminutive moniker for the Justice League of America, one of the great comics titles of all time. In fact, Allen’s first full-time comics business was named JLA comics, which was formed in 2000. In the beginning of his collectibles career, however, Allen was more interested in sports cards than comics.

“I collected comics to a small degree in the early 1980s,” he said. “X-Men, G.I. Joe, etc., but was more interested in late 1980s baseball cards. I started going into the local comic book shop in Kirksville, MO in 1991, where I went to college, and got to be good friends with shop owner Robert Dennis.

Allen started helping Dennis set up at conventions in 1992 and quickly started travelling to shows all over the country. Once at these shows, he started buying up collections. He soon started setting up his own booth at shows and by 1994 owned in excess of 25,000 comics. After moving to the Kansas City area in 1995, while having a full time job, he became an early adopter of eBay, before going full-time in the business, as stated above, in 2000.

In early 2002 Allen’s eBay business caught the attention of Heritage Co-Founder Jim Halperin, who asked him to come to Dallas to help put together Heritage’s third comics auction catalog.

“I came down here to ‘help out for 2 weeks,’ but by June 1 had accepted a full-time position. I started out as a cataloger and part time Consignment Director and, by 2005 was promoted to Director of Sales.”

Lon is a noted specialist in the business, whose advice has been sought by numerous publications and media outlets over the past eight years. He has also been an Overstreet Advisor for eight years and is a senior advisor to both GPAnalysis.com and Nostomania.com.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com

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