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ComicConnect - The First Company

To Sell a Comic Book for $1 Million

It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane… It’s the First Million Dollar Comic Book! 

February 22, 2010

They said it couldn’t be done. They said that no comic book—no matter how rare—would ever sell for $1,000,000. This week, they were proven wrong. And in the midst of a recession, no less!  

That’s because ComicConnect.com, one of the industry’s leading online auction/consignment sites, just sold an extremely rare, top-condition copy of the world’s most coveted comic book for exactly $1,000,000. That figure is more than three times higher than the prior record-holder, also set by ComicConnect.com.

That comic book, of course, is Action Comics #1, which marked the debut of Superman in 1938 and promptly changed the course of pop culture forever.

This particular copy has been in a private collection for more than 15 years, and it’s likely to disappear again once it’s been turned over to its new owner. However, ComicConnect.com will allow the media to view it briefly in its New York City showroom (873 Broadway, Suite 201, 212-895-3999). The showroom is also home to ComicConnect.com’s affiliate, Metropolis Collectibles (metropoliscomics.com), the largest vintage comic book dealer in the world.

“It’s the Holy Grail of comic books,” says founder Stephen Fishler, one of the leading experts on collectible comics.

“Before Action Comics #1, there was no such thing as a superhero or a man who could fly,” notes Fishler, who created the 10-point grading scale which today is used universally to evaluate the condition of comic books.

“It’s the single most important event in comic book history,” adds ComicConnect.com co-owner and COO, Vincent Zurzolo.

Only about 100 copies Action Comics #1 remain in existence, and of those 100, only two have received a grading of 8.0 (Very Fine) or higher. This particular book is one of them, making it among the rarest of the rare.  

Up until now, the record-holder was another Action Comics #1, this one with a grading of 6.0. It sold on ComicConnect.com for $317,200 in 2009.

According to the Overstreet Price Guide to Comic Books—the industry bible—Action Comics #1 is indisputably the highest-valued comic book of all time. In second place is Detective Comics #27, which marked the first appearance of Batman in 1939. An Action Comics #1 graded 8.0 or higher is priced about 25% higher than a comparable Detective Comics #27.

Until last week, some collectors weren’t aware of the existence of this million dollar copy. Fishler, however, knew it well, because 15 years ago, he sold it for $150,000. 

But why the big jump in price?  “High-grade copies are rarely, rarely offered for sale,” explains Zurzolo. “When they do come on the market, you can expect to see a big leap in value.  I knew that someday, there would be a seven figure comic book sale, and I dreamed of being part of that historic moment. But I didn’t think it would happen so soon, particularly given the current state of the economy.”

Imagine: back in 1938, this very comic book sold for ten cents, its sole purpose to entertain a child. 72 years later, some very fortunate adult is willing to spend $1,000,000 for the privilege of owning it—something most experts believed would never happen.

“Is it worth it?” says Fishler. “Absolutely. There is nothing else like it.”

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Press Excerpts
News of this historic sale was reported around the world in dozens of languages, and across thousands of newspapers, radio stations, television broadcasts and websites. Below is just a sampling of original articles and publications of newswire stories.

 

TIME
Briefing: Verbatim (March 8, 2010)

HINDUSTAN TIMES

Superman’s Debut Comic Book Sells for $1 M (February 24, 2010)

NPR
I Found A Million-Dollar Comic (In a 5 and 10 Cent Store) (February 24, 2010)

WGN RADIO
MP3 Gary Colabuono Interview on $1M Action Comics #1 Sale (February 24, 2010)

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
First Superman Comic Sells for $1 Million (February 23, 2010)

AGI (ITALY)
Fumetti: Venduto A 1 Milione Di Dollari Il Superman N. 1 (February 23, 2010)

AOL NEWS
First Superman Comic Sells for $1M (February 23, 2010)

BOSTON GLOBE
Comic Book of Steel (February 23, 2010)

CGCCOMICS.COM
$1,000,000 Sale of Action Comics #1 CGC 8.0 Shatters Records (February 23, 2010)

CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Superman's Debut Comic Book, Printed in 1938, Sells in NYC for Record-Shattering $1M (February 23, 2010)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
What Pop Culture Item Are You Saving for a Big Payoff? (February 23, 2010)

FORBES.COM
Superman’s Debut Sells in NYC for $1 M (February 23, 2010)

GEMSTONE SCOOP
Action Comics #1 Graded 8.0 Sells for $1 Million (February 23, 2010)

MONTREAL GAZETTE
Superman’s First Comic Fetches Record $1M (February 23, 2010)

MTV.COM
Superman Break The Bank As 'Action Comics' #1 Sells for $1 Million (February 23, 2010)

NEW YORK POST
Superman Debut Gets Big Red ‘S’ (February 23, 2010)

THE GUARDIAN
First Superman Sells for $1M (February 23, 2010)

THE NEW YORK TIMES
Superman’s Debut Comic Sells for $1 Million (February 23, 2010)

THE SUN
‘Super’ Comic Fetches $1 Million (February 23, 2010)

VILLAGE VOICE
The First Action Comics Sold for Record $1 M (February 23, 2010)

WALL STREET JOURNAL
The First Superman Comic Sells for $1 Million (February 23, 2010)

XINHUA (CHINA)
Superman Comic Sells for $1M (February 23, 2010)

ABC NEWS
Superman's Debut Comic Book Sells in NYC for $1M (February 22, 2010)

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Superman’s Debut Comic Book Sells in NYC for $1M (February 22, 2010)

BBC NEWS
First Superman Comic Sells for $1 M (February 22, 2010)

BBC RADIO
MP3 Sound Bite on Action Comics #1 (February 22, 2010)

BUENOS AIRES HERALD
Superman Comic Fetches Record US $1 Million (February 22, 2010)

CBS NEWS
Superman's Debut Comic Book Sells in NYC for $1M (February 22, 2010)

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
The First Million-Dollar Comic Book (February 22, 2010)

CNNMONEY.COM
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane… It’s a $1 Million Comic Book (February 22, 2010)

COMICBOOK.COM
Action Comics #1 Breaks Record for Collector Site (February 22, 2010)

CRAIN'S
Superman’s Debut Sells for $1 Million (February 22, 2010)

HUFFINGTON POST
Superman Comic Book Sells for $1 Million (February 22, 2010)

LA TIMES
Action Comics No. 1 Sale Pushes Superman to New Heights (February 22, 2010)

MSN
Superman’s Debut Comic Sells for $1 M (February 22, 2010)

PEREZ HILTON
Rare Superman Comic Sells for a Million! (February 22, 2010)

PR NEWSWIRE
It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s the First Million Dollar Comic Book (February 22, 2010)

REUTERS
Superman Comic Fetches Record $1 Million (February 22, 2010)

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
Superman’s Debut Comic Book Sells in NYC for $1M (February 22, 2010)

SCIFIWIRE.COM
First Superman Comic Fetches a Crazy Record of $1 Million! (February 22, 2010)

SEXUALITY IN ART
Action Comics #1 - First Appearance of Superman – Sells for a Record One Million Dollars (February 22, 2010)

TVN 24 (POLAND)
Superman Bije Nowy Rekord (February 22, 2010)

USA TODAY
Superman’s Debut Comic Book Issue Sells for $1 M (February 22, 2010)

WASHINGTON POST
Call the Daily Planet! Superman Comic Book Sells for Record $1 M (February 22, 2010)

YAHOO!
Superman’s Debut Comic Book Sells for $1M (February 22, 2010)

YAHOO! FINANCE
It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s the First Million Dollar Comic Book (February 22, 2010)