November 14, 2011

Rare comic book estimated to sell for $1.5 million


If you were idly speculating whether Super Man would side with the 99% you can now be certain that the “Man of Steel” is decidedly of the 1%.

A long-lost, stolen in fact, copy of Action Comics #1 has turned up after going missing for over a decade. The incredibly rare comic book (of the original 1938 print run of 200,000 only 100 are believed to be extant) was stolen 11 years ago from a collector and rediscovered in April when at a California auction of delinquent storage spaces.

The crown-jewel of comic book collecting, Action Comics #1 is not only the first instance of the modern super hero comic but also the first appearance of Super Man. The auction of the incredibly valuable comic is being handled online by, which is operated by Steve Fishler. Fishler was interviewed for an AP article on the action and summed up the rare comic thus:

“It’s an iconic milestone of the 20th century,” said Stephen Fishler, CEO of and Metropolis Collectibles, of the issue, which was published in 1938 and cost just 10 cents. The auction at lasts through Nov. 30.

The issue for sale has a story of its own that wouldn’t be out of place in the pages of a comic book plot, either. Twice before it set the record for the most expensive book ever — it sold for $86,000 in 1992 and then $150,000 in 1997. That, Fishler said, was a nod to its near mint condition.

“It is clearly one of the finest and that it’s held the record for the most expensive book ever sold, speaks to that,” he said of the issue, which is graded a 9.0.

Initial estimates of the comic put it selling for somewhere between $1 million to $1.5 million. With 17 days to go on the auction the comic has (at the time of writing this) already reached a high bid of $1,306,000.

Any interested bidders can go here to take part in the action. But it might be better if you went here instead.


Paul Oliver is the marketing manager of Melville House. Previously he was co-owner of Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia.