Think comic books are just a cheap, fun hobby? Think again!
A rare, unrestored copy of Superman #1 from 1939 was graded by the CGC (Certified Guaranty Company, LLC., an independent third-party comic book grading service that determines the value of comic books, magazines and lobby cards) at VG+4.5. On the CGC grading scale, a 4.5 out of the best possible score of 10 (which is considered “gem mint”), a 4.5 is considered “very good+”—while this may fall relatively low on the scale, it still made it the most expensive comic book sold on eBay in 2016, selling for a whopping $358,500 in a live auction in November by Heritage Auctions.
In the same auction, a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (one of the top Silver Age Comics) with a grade of 9.6 sold for $262,900, a Golden Age copy of Batman #1 that featured the first appearances of both Catwoman and The Joker had a score of 5.6 and sold for $239,000, and a Golden Age Flash Comics #1 with a 6.5 grade sold for $107,550. Other comics sold during the auction include a 1941 copy of More Fun Comics #73 that sold for $104,562, a 1938 original Sunday comic strip of Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon that sold for $95,600, a 1986 Bill Watterson Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that sold for $88,675, and a copy of Robert Crumb’s 1971 Thrilling Murder Comics #1 “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” a four-page story that brought in $143,400, setting a new world record for the artist.
While the issue of Superman #1 may have had a lower grade than the others, it’s rarity makes up for the quality. Out of the estimated one million copies that were printed in 1939, very few were known to have survived in this grade or better, and the issue has ranked third in the Overstreet Buyer’s Guide “Top 100 Golden Age Comics” list.
Do those numbers all seem pretty high? They’re nothing compared to a pristine copy of Action Comics #1, which featured Superman‘s first-ever appearance, and sold at a 2014 Heritage eBay auction for $3.2 million dollars. Heritage Auctions is the largest collectibles auctioneer and the third largest auction house in the world. Established in 1976, Heritage offers a wide range of US and World coins, fine art, comic books and comic art, entertainment and music memorabilia, jewelry, photography and more.
Who knew that your old comic book collection could be sitting there, quietly amassing a fortune? Better dust off those slip cases and get them graded!
YouTube Channel: Great Lake Auctions
Featured image via Wired
h/t Bleeding Cool