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Dueling auctions continue: Action #1 goes for $1.5 million

Monday, March 29, 2010

by John Jackson Miller and T.M. Haley    Bookmark and Share

Before last month, no comic book had sold for more than $1 million. Since then, there have been three. ComicConnect, which kicked off things last month with a $1 million sale of Action Comics #1 (the first appearance of Superman) announced today that it has sold a higher-graded copy for $1.5 million.

Last month's copy was graded 8.0 (Very Fine) by Comics Guaranty; this copy was graded 8.5 (VF+). That's an incredibly subtle difference in condition, one most civilians (and many people in the business!) wouldn't be able to see. According to the CGC Census, this copy is the highest rated unrestored copy of the book in existence; there is a restored 9.0, but many collectors do not find restored copies as desirable.

This beats the $1,075,500 record set a little over one month ago (and only three days after the first Action #1 sale) by Heritage Comic Auctions for an 8.0 copy of Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman.

According to ComicConnect, for 50 years, the comic book was buried in a stack of old movie magazines from the 1930s. “Because it was tucked inside a magazine, it was well protected all those years,” said Stephen Fishler, company founder. “That’s why it’s in such remarkable condition.”

While The Comics Chronicles is not an aftermarket site (although John is an Overstreet advisor), these moments are notable reminders of how the comics of the past continue to attract interest in the present. We are talking, again, of an appreciation rate of more than 1 billion percent over cover price. Not many collectibles have that kind of return on investment after 70 years!


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