Superman's debut comic book sells in NYC for $1M

Associated Press Modified: February 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm •  Published: February 22, 2010
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NEW YORK (AP) — A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold Monday for $1 million, smashing the previous record price for a comic book.

A 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books, was sold by a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names. The issue features Superman lifting a car on its cover and originally cost 10 cents.

The transaction was conducted by the auction site ComicConnect.com. Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the site and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles, orchestrated the sale.

Fishler said it transpired minutes after the issue was put on sale at around 10:30 a.m. Eastern time. He said that the seller was a "well-known individual" in New York with a pedigree collection and that the buyer was a known customer who previously bought an Action Comics No. 1 of lesser grade.

"It's considered by most people as the most important book," said John Dolmayan, a comic book enthusiast and dealer best known as the drummer for the rock band System of a Down. "It kind of ushered in the age of the superheroes."

Dolmayan, who owns Torpedo Comics, last year paid $317,000 for an Action Comics No. 1 issue for a client.

That purchase is considered the "official public record" for a comic book sale, said Mark Zaid, the marketing director for the Comic Book Collecting Association, which was launched Monday. There have been other private sales in the $300,000 to $450,000 range, he said.

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