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February 24, 2010

Action Comics #1 sells for $1,000,000

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Written by: Eli
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This past Monday a copy of Action Comics #1 sold at auction for $1,000,000.


ComicConnect.com auctioned this rare book, which will be on display at its New York City location for the media to view until its new owner claims it. After that, it’s unlikely that this beauty will be seen in public again. It hasn’t been spotted for the past 15 years, since it was last sold, for a measly $150,000. This auction set a new high dollar mark for the sale of a comic book. No other comic has sold for more money. Ever. In fact, this sale’s closest competitor is a few hundred thousand dollars away. Owning the first appearance of Superman is a dream that will be realized by a ridiculously small amount of comic lovers.

This book also introduced the world to the characters Lois Lane and Zatara, father of current DC Comics hero Zatanna. Two important, if almost completely neglected, highlights of this rare and historic book.

This book is over 70 years old, having been published in 1938. As you might imagine, there aren’t too many copies lying around. There are believed to be about 100 of these Action Comics #1′s still in existence. The copy sold on Monday stands out from the rest due to its condition, being one of five known copies above a 4.0 (VG) grade. It received a rating of 8.0, just below the highest certified rating for a copy of Action Comics #1, 8.5 (VF). To put this in perspective, a copy graded at 6.0 (Fine) sold for $317,000 last March.

Some see this sale as a validation of sorts for the comic medium. Is the million dollar mark a point at which a comic book can be reckoned along with the classic works of fine art? Should Action Comics #1 now be included in discussions of fine art right alongside the works of Monet, Picasso, da Vinci, and the like? Should it have already been included in that discussion?

If I were the guy with a million dollars to spend on something like this, I’d take Action Comics #1 every time. For all of us who may never get to see one of these in person, above is a pic of the book in question. This is what an unidentified buyer has just paid $1,000,000 to acquire.

Eli Anthony