Tag Archives: Action Comics #1

Fine Copy of Action Comics #1 Fetches $956,000 At Auction

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A fine copy of 1938’s Action Comics #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, sold at auction Thursday for $956,000, exceeding expectations.

Graded 5.5 out of 10 by the Certified Guarantee Company, the comic is described by Heritage Auctions as having cream to off-white pages, rust-free staples and a brightly colored cover. However, there’s a 1.5-inch spine split at the bottom, which likely prevented the copy from receiving a higher grade. Still, it was expected to sell for “only” about $750,000.

“Having seen many ‘Action’ #1’s over the years, I am deeply impressed with this copy’s eye appeal,” Matt Nelson, CGC’s primary grader, said in a statement. “The book presents as a considerably higher grade than 5.5, lacking the usual fading, staining or creasing commonly seen on mid-grade copies. White and bright, this ‘Action #1 is one of the best looking among the remarkably rare pool of unrestored copies in the world.”

Of course, $956,000 is nowhere near a record price. The finest known copy of Action Comics #1 (9.0 CGC) sold in 2014 on eBay for $3.2 million, rocketing past the previous record of $2.16 million paid in 2011 for a copy once owned by actor Nicolas Cage.

According to Heritage, this copy came from the collection of an East Coast comic book fan who had purchased it in the 1990s for $26,000. Neither the seller nor the buyer wished to be identified.

About 100 copies of Action Comics #1 are known to exist. Of those, only about 30 are unrestored.

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Action Comics’ #1 Sells For Record $3.2 Million

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The finest known copy of Action Comics #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, sold late this afternoon on eBay for a record $3.2 million. It’s the first comic to fetch more than $3 million at auction.

The previous record price of $2.16 million was paid in 2011 for a copy of the same comic once owned by actor Nicolas Cage. While both are rated 9.0 by the Certified Guaranty Company, the Cage issue had “cream to off-white pages”; this one is considered to be in pristine condition. They’re the only two copies of Action Comics #1 to receive that high of a rating.

This copy was acquired several years ago in a private sale by Darren Adams of Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Washington, and stored a temperature-controlled vault. He said the original owner bought the comic  from a newsstand in 1938, and then kept in a cedar box for about four decades until a local dealer in West Virginia purchased it in an estate sale. The issue then passed to a third person, who held onto it for 30 years.

Adams, the comic’s fourth owner, said he recently turned down an offer of $3 million, opting instead to sell it on eBay. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury.

An opening bid of $1 million was submitted Aug. 14 within four minutes of the auction’s opening; by the midway point of the 10-day sale, the price had risen to $1.95 million. Bidding reached the $2 million mark on Aug. 18, after which activity slowed for a few days.

There are thought to be only about 30 unrestored copies of Action Comics #1 in existence. The issue, which also included the first appearance of Zatara (overshadowed by the introduction of the Man of Steel by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster), sold on newsstands in 1938 for 10 cents.

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Man Finds Priceless Copy of Action Comics #1, First Superman Comic Book, Hidden In Walls of A House

A Minnesota man stumbled upon pages from a rare copy of Action Comics #1 inside a wall of a home he was renovating — a find that is worth at least tenfold what he paid for the house itself.

David Gonzalez, 35, of Hoffman, Minn., was busy tearing out insulation in the garage of a $10,100 fixer-upper he purchased, when the home renovator noticed old newspapers and comic book pages lining the wall last January. Though he wasn’t exactly a comic book fan, the discovery looked valuable.

“I brought my wife’s auntie to see the house and she got excited, she said oh, look, this is worth money,'” Gonzalez told the News by phone from Minnesota. “I said, I know, don’t touch it, don’t touch it,’ and she kept grabbing it and grabbing it.

“Just leave it alone! Little pieces kept breaking off.”

It took him several months, but Gonzalez tracked down a collectables trader in Tampa Bay named David Alexander and drove down to Florida to have the issue appraised. His grab of the issue from his wife’s relative’s hands ended up downgrading the value on a 10-point scale from 3.0 to 1.5, but the issue has already drawn a high bid of $127,000 on the auction site, ComicConnect.com. The auction runs through June 11.

The quality of the comic book Gonzalez found isn’t high — 1.5 on a 10-point scale — but it’s still considered special because it’s an original. The ComicConnect site describes the edition as “the most important comic book in the history of comic books” and “the introduction of the archetype of all other heroes to come.”

In 2011, a pristine copy of the same comic book with a grade of 9.0 made headlines around the world when it sold for the record price of $2.16 million.

When first published back in 1938, the comic book sold for 10 cents.

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