A copy of Action Comics #1, graded CGC 9.0 with white pages and the best-graded copy ever evaluated by grading service Comics Guaranty Corporation, was sold for the highest price ever paid for a comic book. The auction for the 1938 comic, featuring the first appearance of Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster at the cost of $3,207,852.00.
In a fascinating turn of events, the new purchase was made by Metropolis/ComicConnect, themselves reputable dealers of vintage comic books, and auctioneers of the previous record-holder — the Nicolas Cage copy of Action Comics #1 which they auctioned in 2011 for $2.16 million. It is unknown at post time whether or not they have made this new purchase on behalf of a client, whether they intend to keep it for themselves or put it up for sale at a later date [Update – Stephen Fishler subsequently told CBS News, “We’ll find a happy buyer for it. It could be an investor or a hard-core comic collector who has been trying to buy.”]. Notably, Metro/CC owners Vincent Zurzolo and Stephen Fishler are no strangers to making a splash as buyers at major comic auctions, having been the winning bidders on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #328 for a record $657,250 in 2012 at Heritage Auctions, to name one example.
It is the first comic book to break the $3 million barrier, and the sixth comic book to sell for over $1 million. The previous record holder, the Nicolas Cage copy (also a CGC 9.0, but with cream to off-white page quality designation), sold for $2.16 million in November 2011 from ComicConnect. ComicConnect also sold an Action Comics #1 CGC 8.5 for $1.5 million in March 2010, an Action Comics #1 8.0 for $1 million in February 2010, and an Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man) CGC 9.6 for $1.1 million in March 2011. Heritage Auctions sold a copy of Detective Comics #27 CGC 8.0 for $1,075,000 in February 2010.
Remarkably, the record sale for a comic book has jumped by nearly a factor of ten in the past five years. Before the million dollar barrier was broken in early 2010, the record sale for a comic book stood at $350,000 for seven years — set by the Marvel Comics #1 CGC 9.0 Pay Copy in 2003, a mark later equalled by the Flash Comics #1 CGC 9.6 Edgar Church copy the next year. Then, on February 22, 2010, the Action Comics #1 CGC 8.0 Kansas City copy sold for $1,000,000. High-end record sales of many key Golden Age and Silver Age comics have climbed sharply since that time.
Many serious collectors like to know the backstory of their prized possessions, and high-grade copies of Action Comics #1 have had their share of interesting histories. The Nicolas Cage copy was stolen from Cage’s home and was missing for a decade before being recovered by police from a man who found it in a storage locker. The Edgar Church copy, part of a treasure trove of high-grade comics purchased in 1977 by Mile High Comics owner Chuck Rozanski, has been sitting ungraded and virtually unseen in the hands of a private collector for decades. No decent scan or photo of the Church copy — widely considered the most valuable comic in existence — has ever been made public on the internet, though the few knowledgeable individuals who have seen it claim it is undoubtedly the best copy known to exist.
SOURCE: Bleeding Cool