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Old Feb 23, 2010, 11:38 AM   #1
mscriv
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Superman's debut comic book issue sells for $1M

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NEW YORK A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold Monday for $1 million, smashing the previous record price for a comic book.

A 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books, was sold from a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names. The issue features Superman lifting a car on its cover and originally cost 10 cents.

The transaction was conducted by the auction site ComicConnect.com. Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the site and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles, orchestrated the sale.

Fishler said it transpired minutes after the issue was put on sale at around 10:30 a.m. Eastern time (1530 GMT). He said that the seller was a "well known individual" in New York with a pedigree collection, and that the buyer was a known customer who previously bought an Action Comics No. 1 of lesser grade.

"It's considered by most people as the most important book," said John Dolmayan, a comic book enthusiast and dealer best known as the drummer for System of a Down. "It kind of ushered in the age of the superheroes."

Dolmayan, who owns Torpedo Comics, last year paid $317,000 for an Action Comics No. 1 issue for a client. Others have sold for more than $400,000, he said, but this copy fetched a much higher price because it's in better condition. It's rated an "8.0 grade," or "very fine."

Dolmayan said he didn't buy this copy but he wishes he could have.

"The fact that this book is completely un-restored and still has an 8.0 grade, it's kind of like a diamond or a precious stone. It's very rare," he said.

There are only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 believed to be in existence, and only a handful have been rated so highly. It's rarer still for those copies to be made available for sale.
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I grew up collecting comics in the 80's and 90's. I'm not surprised to see the first appearance of Superman fetch such a high price with the trend of superheroes and comic characters becoming more mainstream due to all of the movies that have hit in the past decade. Understandably, this is just a collector to collector sale, but hopefully it's good for the business as a whole.
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 01:20 PM   #2
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it's amazing that a comic book has a higher resale value than a BMW, Mercedes Benz, audi, or a ferrari......

except for the case of a rare 1960's ferrari which sold for like $400 million i think.... not sure, but it's more than a million.
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 02:16 PM   #3
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I've never really understood the passion for collecting comic books or baseball cards. Just can't see why anyone would pay that kind of money for a comic book.
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 03:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ucfgrad93 View Post
I've never really understood the passion for collecting comic books or baseball cards. Just can't see why anyone would pay that kind of money for a comic book.


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There are only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 believed to be in existence, and only a handful have been rated so highly.
That line really sums it up. Lots of money+rarity=big selling price. A lot of people enjoy owning "only 1 of 100 left in the world".

Any bets on who bought it? The article says it was a "well known individual" in New York with a good collection already, and they already bought one of these in a lesser condition. I'm guessing Jerry Seinfeld, since he loves Superman, and has a lot of money. Does he still live in New York?
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 05:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ucfgrad93 View Post
Just can't see why anyone would pay that kind of money for a comic book.
Would you agree a first edition of Shakespeare would be worth that much? I've read a fair bit of Shakespeare, and there's a lot of dry, turgid, impenetrable blather, with some damn good bits. But it sells for around 3 million a copy (around $5million).

I would argue that Superman #1 has far more cultural relevance to today's USA than a Shakespeare #1. It lies deep in the beating heart of the national self-image of the world's global hyperpower, delineating the archetype of how America perceives itself, and the role it projects for itselfl, and the vocabulary that it uses on the public stage.

$1 million easy.
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 05:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mscriv View Post
LINK

I grew up collecting comics in the 80's and 90's. I'm not surprised to see the first appearance of Superman fetch such a high price with the trend of superheroes and comic characters becoming more mainstream due to all of the movies that have hit in the past decade. Understandably, this is just a collector to collector sale, but hopefully it's good for the business as a whole.
sort of off-topic, but you should read
"the amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay" one of the best books i have read in quite a while.
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by steve2112 View Post
That line really sums it up. Lots of money+rarity=big selling price. A lot of people enjoy owning "only 1 of 100 left in the world".

Any bets on who bought it? The article says it was a "well known individual" in New York with a good collection already, and they already bought one of these in a lesser condition. I'm guessing Jerry Seinfeld, since he loves Superman, and has a lot of money. Does he still live in New York?
I am also thinking Mark Hammell when I read this. I know he has a huge collection and I can't remember if he had a number one or not.
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Old Feb 24, 2010, 07:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve2112 View Post
That line really sums it up. Lots of money+rarity=big selling price. A lot of people enjoy owning "only 1 of 100 left in the world".
That is good to know. I should draw an original SuperHulk comic make a thousand copies then burn over 900 copies and say that there are only a few dozen on the planet left.
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