A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman has sold for $317,200 in an Internet auction. The previous owner of Action Comics No. 1 bought it for less than a buck. It’s one of the highest prices ever paid for a comic book, a likely testament to the volume’s rarity and its excellent condition, said Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the auction site ComicConnect.com and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles. The winning bid for the 1938 edition, which features Superman lifting a car on its cover, was submitted Friday evening by John Dolmayan, drummer for the rock band System of a Down, according to managers at ComicConnect.com. In addition to being a musician, Dolmayan is a dealer of rare comic books. The auctioneers said he acquired the Superman comic on behalf of an unidentified client.
Only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 are known to exist and they seldom come up for sale. “Maybe in a booming economy, it would have done a hundred grand more, but in this economy, I think the price is great,” Fishler said. The man who had previously owned the book purchased it in a secondhand store in the early 1950s when he was nine years old. He paid 35 cents.