A single page of artwork from a 1984 Spider-Man comic book has sold at auction for a record US$3.36 million ($4.94m). Mike Zeck's artwork for page 25 from Marvel Comics' Secret Wars No. 8 brings the first appearance of Spidey's black suit. The symbiote suit would eventually lead to the emergence of the character Venom. The record bidding on Friday, which started at US$330,000 and soared past $3m, came on the first day of Heritage Auctions' four-day comic event in Dallas. The previous record for an interior page of a US comic book was US$657,250 for art from a 1974 issue of The Incredible Hulk that featured a tease for the first appearance of Wolverine. Also on Friday, one of the few surviving copies of Superman's debut, Action Comics No. 1, sold for US$3.18m, putting it among the priciest books ever auctioned. None of the sellers or buyers were identified.
Conscripts in Norway have been ordered to return their underwear, bras and socks after the end of their military service so that the next group of recruits can use them. The Norwegian military this month said it is struggling with dwindling supplies, in part due to the pandemic. The Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation said because of "a challenging stockpile situation, this move is necessary as it provides the Armed Forces with greater garment volumes available for new soldiers starting their initial service". Press spokesman Hans Meisingset said that with "proper checks and cleaning, the reuse of garments is considered an adequate and sound practice". Until recently, the roughly 8000 young men and women who every year do their military service returned their outer clothing but were allowed to leave barracks with the underwear and socks they were issued.
Sometimes it pays to tip the barman. A tourist made a big impression in a Key West, Florida, bar by ordering drinks three times on New Year's Eve without leaving a tip. That enabled the staff to easily track him down after police released webcam video showing vandals setting fire to a Christmas tree. The arson caused more than US$5000 in damage to the city's landmark buoy marking the southernmost point in the United States, and sent the island's "coconut telegraph" gossip chain into high alert, the Miami Herald reported last week. Like other locals across the city, bartender Cameron Briody watched the video, and recognised the 21-year-old man who had stiffed him at Irish Kevin's on Key West's famous Duval St. "I knew immediately that I had served him and that he had used a card, so his name would be on the slips," Briody told the Herald.