Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

August 26, 2014

Someone Bought A Super-Nice Copy Of Action Comics #1 For $3.2 Million Dollars On eBay

imageAs might be expected, Kevin Melrose at Robot 6 has the best, most link-laden, most concise report on the sale of a copy of Action Comics #1 on eBay by Darren Adams, owner of a Federal Way comics shop that seems to specialize in graded merchandise of this sort. I don't understand the numbers used in grading and so I don't want to perpetuate their legitimacy in such specific terms until I'm convinced it's a real thing, but this was reportedly a slightly better copy than the copy of Superman's first appearance owned by the actor Nicolas Cage, a comic that went for slightly over $2 Million in 2011.

The recent resurgence in high-end collectible comics has been sort of fascinating to watch. There's obviously still interest in that market, at least enough to drive feature articles and some staggering sales moments. It seems like that the idea that all comics go up in value has taken a beating as so many comics from the 1990s and 2000s have found their way into that world of comics sales. I know that I used to count on having to spend $8, $10, $20 to fill in holes with just about any series I wanted to own; now there's a bunch of titles where I can patiently wait out picking up individual issues until I find them for a dollar or less. I was once told that with a very-focused-on-particulars generation getting older and dying, what is likely to endure and even thrive price-wise are significant milestones, actual rarities within that umbrella and character moments over creator contributions. I also have to imagine that a more significant and elaborate market for original comics art plays into this somehow, if only because an original art page should be more valuable than a mass-produced comic book because of its singular nature. I talked to two different creators and one collector that reported a life-changing windfall this year because of the development of the art market.

One thing that's different now is I'm guessing fewer comics readers choose to justify their interest in comics in terms of bottom-line dollars and cents, the way a lot of my generation of readers felt they had to growing up.
posted 8:15 am PST | Permalink

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