Value is an interesting concept, but regrettably it's one that most of us come to understand slightly later in life. Though none of us would like to admit it, heeding our parents advice early on regarding taking care of our belongings would have, in all likelihood, saved us a great deal of money. That theory seems to have been evidenced in spades over the weekend, as an incredibly well-maintained comic book shattered prior auction records when it sold for roughly $3.2 million. The copy of "Action Comics No.1," a 1938 comic that is indisputably the most valuable in the world, was sold by a Washington man in an online collectibles auction ending Sunday, August 24.
"Action Comics No. 1" is thought by many to be single-handedly responsible for creating the American obsession with superheroes, an infatuation that still permeates all corners of our culture today. Published in 1938, the comic book features the debut of the most loved of all American superheroes, Superman. This issue, according to USA Today, was originally written by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and sold for 10 cents at the time of its publication more than 75 years ago. When the comic was first published, roughly 200,000 copies were printed and less than 100 are believed to currently be in existence. This specific print was owned and sold by Darren Adams, a collector who owns a comic book shop in Washington and says he paid seven figures for his issue several years ago. Certified Guaranty Company, an agency that grades the quality of collectors items, ranks Adams' copy as a 9.0 out of 10, according to NPR. Only six issues of "Action Comics No. 1" have ever been ranked over a 6.0.
Adams auctioned his rare comic on a popular online bidding site. According to USA Today, he opened the auction with a starting bid of 99 cents, but the bids reached $1.6 million in less than two hours. The Washington Post indicated that, prior to the auction, Adams made it clear that he was hoping to see the issue sell for over $3 million. Late in the evening on Friday, August 22, the bidding for the comic book reached $2.2 million, then a final, frenzied drive in bidding on Sunday brought the total winning bid over the $3 million mark. Ultimately, Adams' issue of "Action Comics No. 1" sold for exactly $3,207,852, with 1 percent of the total proceeds going to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which provides aid to individuals with paralysis or spinal cord injuries.
The Nick Cage connection
In a twist of fate and fame not unlike the "seven degrees of separation" game, actor Nicholas Cage has a connection to this sale. Cage formerly held the record for most expensive comic sold when, in 2011, he sold an issue of "Action Comics No. 1" to an undisclosed buyer. Cage's issue went for roughly $2.16 million, a record that Adam's' has now surpassed.
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