Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

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

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,374.76 23.38 0.14%
Nasdaq 4,733.50 -16.48 -0.35%
S&P 500 1,951.13 2.27 0.12%
Treasuries 2.17 -0.02 -1.14%
Data as of 4:57am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.94 0.09 0.57%
Apple Inc 110.37 -1.97 -1.75%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 10.13 0.23 2.32%
Intel Corp 29.08 0.48 1.68%
Frontier Communicati... 5.52 0.31 5.95%
Data as of Sep 3
Sponsors

Sections

Americans are transforming how they eat -- paying more attention to the origins of their food and how it's made. And Kimbal Musk is at the forefront of a movement that is accelerating the rate of change. More

The Labor Department releases its August jobs report on Friday, and it will have big implications for the Federal Reserve. More

The BauBax travel jacket, with 15 built-in features, needed $20,000 on Kickstarter, but got $9 million. More

Pimco's famous fund once managed by star manager Bill Gross has less than $100 billion in management for the first time since 2007. More