Comics Action Uncovers 2nd Copy of 1st Superman

. April 18, 2009

Unthinkably, it’s happened again. Another original-owner copy of Action Comics #1 — the very rare, very first Superman comic book — has come to light. And it’s still in the possession of the Midwest man who, as a 9 year old boy, bought it off the newsstand for 10 cents. That was 1938.

Flash forward: 2009. Just last month, an original edition of this historic collectible sold at auction for a record-breaking sum of $317,200. It made news across the globe. In fact, it was word of the sale that led to the discovery of this second copy.

“It’s unheard of these days for an unknown copy of Action Comics #1 to surface,” says Stephen Fishler, CEO of ComicConnect.com, the auction company that handled the sale of first book and now is managing the sale of the second.

“Due to all the press surrounding last month’s sale, we received thousands of inquiries from people who thought they had an original. Almost all of them turned out to be reprints.”

“But one of them didn’t,” adds Vincent Zurzolo, ComicConnect’s COO. “Lightning struck twice.”

Amidst all those callers was one that stood out: an 80 year old gentleman. He and his brother — who passed away last autumn — had purchased the book fresh off the newsstand more than 70 years ago. And all these years, they held onto it.

When the surviving brother heard about last month’s sale, he struggled to remember the “secret hiding place” where they had tucked the book away. After three weeks of searching, he found it.

There are only about 100 original copies of Action Comics #1 — considered the Holy Grail of comic books — in existence. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, it launched our culture’s enduring fascination with comics and superheroes.

“There were no superheroes before this book.” says Fishler, who created the industry’s 10-point grading scale. “It’s the single most important event in comic book history.”

Despite the poor economy, or perhaps because of it, comic books sales remain strong.

“When the stock market is soft, people gravitate to hard assets–which includes collectibles like coins and comic books,” notes Zurzolo. “Almost everywhere, sales are falling, but we’re actually seeing an increase in orders.”

The online auction has begun with a starting bid of $1 and is offered without reserve. It concludes on May 1. You can follow the action at http://www.comicconnect.com/?surl=eventAuction.

Needless to say, the comic book world is abuzz with news of this second surprise. For all the disappointed collectors who bid unsuccessfully on last month’s Action Comics #1, it marks an extraordinary second chance.

And more than ever, collectors can’t help but wonder… what other treasures remain out there, hidden in attics and trunks? In classic comic book tradition, it remains a cliffhanger.

Web site: http://www.comicconnect.com/

Category: Auction News

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