It's a bird, it's a plane ... it's a $1 million comic book

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Since he started selling comic books at age 16, Vincent Zurzolo had only dreamt of selling a million-dollar comic book.

Monday was his lucky day. That was the day that Superman hit the jackpot.

superman_comic_auction.03.jpg
The $1 million comic book

"It is the single most important event in comic book history," said Zurzolo, who co-owns auction site ComicConnect.com with founder Stephen Fishler.

Zurzolo and Fishler posted a rare copy of Action Comics #1 on their site Monday morning. It was the issue where the Man of Steel made his debut in 1938. They were selling it on behalf of an unnamed collector. Within one minute, Zurzolo said, another unnamed collector bought it for $1 million.

That price is more than three times the previous record, set last year by a lesser-quality version of Action Comics #1, which ComicConnect sold for $317,200. Monday's $1 million sale was for a very rare edition, because it was in much better condition. Only about 100 copies of Action Comics #1 are known to exist, and of those, only two are in such good shape, Zurzolo said.

For comic book lovers who have struggled to elevate their trade to the level of fine antiques, paintings and even collectible coins, record-breaking sales make for a big victory. In the last year, Zurzolo said he's seen more non-comic fans than ever purchasing rare copies as investment vehicles during the recession.

"When you look at what happened to real estate, the stock market and in banking, people are terrified. They're making no money in the banks, they're not sure about real estate, and the stock market is like playing roulette," Zurzolo said. "With comic books, they feel a lot more confident."

"Now we've hit a point where you can lump us in with fine art," he added.

About 15 years ago, the copy of Action Comics #1 sold Monday went for $150,000. In its original state in 1938, it would have sold for about ten cents. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,356.87 288.00 1.69%
Nasdaq 4,644.31 96.48 2.12%
S&P 500 2,012.89 40.15 2.04%
Treasuries 2.15 0.08 3.72%
Data as of 5:39am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.26 0.54 3.23%
General Electric Co 24.43 0.00 0.00%
Apple Inc 109.41 2.66 2.50%
Cisco Systems Inc 26.81 0.22 0.85%
Microsoft Corp 45.74 0.58 1.28%
Data as of Dec 17

Sections

That number will likely grow as the Obama Administration eases restrictions with the Communist country. More

Laurie Segall sits down with Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian and founder of AeroFS, Yuri Sagalov, to discuss how immigration reform could bring more skilled tech workers to the U.S. More

News startup The Skimm announced a new round of funding, 1 million active readers, and plans to expand into a 'lifestyle brand.' More

Congress waited until the last minute to decide what to do with a slew of expired tax breaks. They extended most of them, and a handful will affect individuals directly. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.