If you've ever wanted to lay eyes -- but not hands! -- on the world's most expensive comic book, here's your chance.
The owners of Metropolis Collectibles and ComicConnect, who in August paid a record $3.2 million for a pristine copy of Action Comics #1, will display "the Holy Grail of comic books" on Thursday at their New York Comic Con booth (#2630). Alas it's only on Thursday.
The first comic to fetch more than $3 million at auction, the issue is one of just two copies of 1938's Action Comics #1 -- featuring the first appearance of Superman -- to be graded 9.0 by the Certified Guaranty Company (the other is the comic once owned by actor Nicolas Cage, which sold in 2011 for a then-record $2.16 million; however, its pages aren't considered "pristine"). Only about 30 unrestored copies of Action Comics #1 are thought to exist.
This copy was acquired several years ago in a private sale by Darren Adams of Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Washington, and stored a temperature-controlled vault. He said the original owner bought the comic from a newsstand in 1938, and then kept in a cedar box for about four decades until a local dealer in West Virginia purchased it in an estate sale. The issue then passed to a third person, who held onto it for 30 years. Adams said he turned down an offer of $3 million, and instead opted to sell the comic in a highly publicized eBay auction.
A portion of the proceeds were donated the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury.
Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of Metroplis and ComicConnect, said he and partner Stephen Fishler view their $3.2 million purchase as a wise investment. "We feel very confidently this was a good price and that we will be able to sell this for a profit," he said last month. "We really believe in the strength of the comic book market and that it has a long way to go.”
New York Comic Con will be held Thursday through Sunday at the Javitz Center in midtown Manhattan.