Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Action #1 Sells for ONE MILLION BUCKS!
Everyone has reported on this major sale that occurred yesterday. The above copy of Action #1 sold for $1,000,000. Unprecedented. Unbelievable. The start of a trend I'm sure. More key issues in high grades will follow the lead, it's just a matter of time. Detective #27 will be the next to hit that mark or close to that mark, I'm thinking, along with Superman #1. This Action #1 is one of two known to exist in this grade of 8.0. Could you imagine what would happen if a 9.0 surfaced? Geez, just speculating about teh possiblity is mind-blowing.
This is both exciting and a little sad at the same time. It's now at the point, that many of the key early appearances will be priced way out of the fan's pocketbook. It's been like this for some time, especially in the Golden Age market, but given enough time we might see some more significant jumps in the Silver Age market. The Silver Age key appearances will never go for the dollar amounts of the key GA books because the GA books are older of course and less of the GA books are known to exist. Don't forget the paper drives during WWII laid claim to many of the GA books.
Quick personal story. My mom owned a copy of Sensation Comics #1 (first full Wonder Woman story in her own book, her 2nd appearance overall) and my uncle owned a copy of Action #1 way back in the day. Both of those books ended up in a paper drive. It was the patriotic thing to do, everything was being recycled that could be during WWII. This was such a common practice, I'm amazed that we have as many copies of these old GA books that we do. According to sources, there are 800 copies of Action #1 known to exist, in varying grades. Remember this is out of the original 200,000 copies that were printed.
Granted, if everyone that had owned a copy of Action #1 or Sensation Comics #1 or Detective #27 had actually saved them, they would be worth less, most likely never hitting the $1,000,000 mark. The real question is what if anything does this mean for the industry as a whole? Not a whole heck of a lot. It's nice to see comics making the news, almost on a daily basis now, but will this help or hurt in the long run? Maybe this will encourage folks to go digging through grandma or grandpas boxes of misc. ephemera a little more thoroughly. This kind of story also causes folks to start thinking that THEIR comics must ALSO be worth millions of dollars because the news says so! Not really understanding that it is only a few books that have such a high value. And to add to the confusion, Action #1 has been reprinted quite a few times, and of course, some folks will only half paid attention to the news report and then immediately jump to the conclusion that Superman #1 is worth a million. Do you have any idea how many version of Superman #1 are out there? I'm not just talking about Superman #1 from 1939, I'm talking about the sheer volume of Annual #1's, Special #1's, and the bazillion mini series featuring Superman with a number one of the cover. Crack open a copy of the current Overstreet to see what I'm talking about. There are pages of these things listed, pages.
If only my mom had saved her Sensation Comics #1, that would have been something. Would I have encouraged her to sell it or would I have encouraged her to keep it? Personally, if we had had that in the family, I would have begged her to let me read it as a kid, so I'm sure it would have only been in a 6.0 or less, but still, just to have that baby in the family would have been exciting. Any family lucky enough to have an Action #1, or other key Golden Age book in the vault, rejoice! It looks like it's going to pay off big time! My advice to those who own any of these books, get them CGC graded and send them off to Heritage Auctions. Their newest catalog is full of great books, and now after this Action #1 sale, their next batch of auctions will be even more impressive. Everyone will be trying to sell their big GA boys. Will the market be able to support all these high-ticket items hitting the market at the same time? Things are definitely going to get interesting.