WILLOWBROOK, IL - The record-breaking December 2005 auction of close to $14 million was just a sign of things to come in 2006. MastroNet, Inc., the nation's premier Sports and Americana auction house has announced two notable industry events. The first is that the company has been renamed Mastro Auctions. The name change, effective immediately, reflects the company's expansion into new collecting markets and its ability to provide a full range of contemporary auction services, including live sales and real-time online events. Originally a sports memorabilia auction house, Mastro Auctions successfully entered the Americana market in 2001 and is currently expanding into other collectible markets.

"The company is an industry innovator in terms of the internet, and there was a time when the 'net' portion of the name had value and provided meaning to our customers," explains Doug Allen, president of Mastro Auctions. "But today strong, real-time online capabilities are a given for most successful businesses. The new name focuses instead on what we do better than anyone in the industry, the business of high-end auctions."

The second, and more significant Mastro Auctions announcement relates specifically to the comic book market. Mastro Auctions has created a new division to proactively pursue and establish a dominant position among buyers and sellers of comic book and comic related material.

According to Allen, establishing a Mastro Auctions comic book division is one of the company's expansion goals. "Because of our strong reputation in other collecting markets, high-end comics have previously found their way to our auctions and done exceptionally well," said Allen. Indeed, the auction house has recorded significant comic book results in the past including the sale of a high grade s Detective #27 for $278,000. "But the plan was always to develop a focused, dedicated effort," continued Allen. "We just wanted to wait to until we had all the right pieces in place to officially enter the market with the level of quality service and expertise the collecting public expects from Mastro Auctions."

Key to the creation of the new Mastro Auctions comic book division was securing an individual up to the task of developing and operating it. Allen has announced that Chris Porter, a well-known and respected industry expert, has been chosen to build and lead the company's new comic book division. Many in the hobby recognize Porter as a long-time sports card expert employed at various auction houses and companies throughout the last decade. But what few people know is that Porter's personal passion since childhood has been collecting comic books.

"Chris is the ideal combination of experience and enthusiasm to head the effort to establish and differentiate Mastro Auctions as a major force in the comic book collecting industry," said Allen. "We believe the blend of his personal and professional knowledge will be instrumental in bringing innovation to the process of comic book collecting."

And according to Porter, a fresh approach in the comic book collecting is exactly what he intends to develop and establish at Mastro Auctions. "Today's vintage comic book buyers and sellers have been limited to a few sources," said Porter. "We intend to introduce a real, better alternative to the current market, that will allow for a more fluid transaction process."

As far as specifics regarding what that alternative will include, one of the items Porter cites is an emphasis on client service, an approach that comes at the entire effort with the heart and mind of a comic book collector.

"I understand comic book buyers and sellers better than most, because I've been in both roles," said Porter. "I think there is a real need in the market for a knowledgeable, experienced industry voice that is committed to building relationships and not just treating contacts, collections and/or individuals as a one-time money-making deal."

Also of importance says Porter is creating a trusted source that does a better job of evaluating comic books and how to best position them for maximum visibility and potential in auctions. "There is no doubt that Mastro Auctions has perfected the buying and selling strategy for other types of collectibles," said Porter. "One record price after another and thousands of satisfied buyers and sellers provide the proof. By applying those same principles to our comic book consignments, we expect the same results."

In addition, Porter expects excellent results and exemplary customer service to lead to the establishment of Mastro Auctions as a valuable industry resource for all comic book collectors. "One thing builds off the other," said Porter. "As we provide more valuable services and generate results, our pool of industry information will increase. We are confident that in a short period of time, Mastro Auctions will be a leading, quotable source for where the comic book collecting industry is, and where it is going."

Porter, who has established relationships with many of the leading comic book dealers, is currently securing material for the first major Mastro Auctions comic book sale, tentatively scheduled for August 2006. The Mastro Auctions' comic division will provide the ideal forum for high and medium quality comics. "While everyone wants the best of the best, we understand that medium condition comics make up the lion's share of the market," said Porter. "Our commitment to this collecting market will be unprecedented."

For more information on the new Mastro Auctions' comic book division, to consign, just to introduce yourself and talk comics, please contact Chris Porter at 231-946-8510.