NEW YORK – A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman has sold for $317,200 in an Internet auction. The previous owner of Action Comics No. 1 bought it for less than a buck.
It's one of the highest prices ever paid for a comic book, a likely testament to the volume's rarity and its excellent condition, said Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the auction site ComicConnect.com and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles.
The winning bid for the 1938 edition, which features Superman lifting a car on its cover, was submitted Friday evening by John Dolmayan, drummer for the rock band System of a Down, according to managers at ComicConnect.com.
In addition to being a musician, Dolmayan is a dealer of rare comic books. The auctioneers said he acquired the Superman comic on behalf of an unidentified client.
"I imagine it's someone from the entertainment world," said Vincent Zurzolo, chief operating officer at ComicConnect and Metropolis Collectibles.
Only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 are known to exist and they seldom come up for sale.
"Maybe in a booming economy, it would have done a hundred grand more, but in the his economy, I think the price is great," Fishler said.
The man who had previously owned the book purchased it in a secondhand store in the early 1950s when he was nine years old.
He paid 35 cents.