Robot 6

Man finds copy of ‘Action Comics’ #1 in wall of old house

action1When David and Deanna Gonzalez bought a fixer-upper in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, for $10,100, they never dreamed they’d find a treasure worth 10 times that amount hidden in an abandoned house.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that while demolishing a wall, David Gonzalez struck gold amid newspapers from the 1930s that had been used for insulation: a copy of 1938’s Action Comics #1, featuring the debut of Superman.

He says he knew immediately the comic was valuable, but he had no idea how much it was actually worth. He’ll know for sure in another 20 days, when an online auction ends for the CGC-graded 1.5 copy. The top bid is a $113,111; Gonzalez will receive about half of the final sale price.

Unfortunately for the father of four, that figure would be significantly higher if not for the actions of one of his in-laws. It seems his wife’s over-eager aunt snatched the comic, and when Gonzalez went to grab it, the back cover was ripped, resulting in what ComicConnect’s Stephen Fishler calls “a $75,000 tear.” Without the rip, the comic would have been graded 3.0.

Even with that extra damage, the discovery of a copy of Action Comics #1 in that condition — the auction listing says it “boasts bright, sparkling colors and sturdy off-white pages” —  is almost unimaginable.

“This is like a virgin comic in this instance,” ComicConnect’s Vincent Zurzolo says. “It’s so hard for anyone to fathom that, in this day and age, you could still discover a comic book that nobody has known about because this book was in a wall of a house for more than 70 years. It’s pretty miraculous that it even survived and it’s only had one owner.”

About 100 copies of Action Comics #1 are thought to exist, but relative few are in decent condition. A near-mint copy owned by Nicolas Cage sold at auction in 2011 for a record $2.16 million.



even though the guys in law lowered the value of the thing . he still came away with a big treasure a copy of action comics number one a very rare treasure no matter what condition its in.

What an imbecile of a woman his wife’s aunt must be.

Yeah, what an imbecile that woman must be for not realizing that accidentally ripping an old, bent up magazine with a superhero on it would earn her the ridicule of hobbyists on the internet the world over.. I only hope she continues to not know we exist.

Naw….She is still an imbecile.

Yeah, no kidding. Hell, the most pervasive myth about comics is “old comics = big money”…even if “hobbyists on the internet the world over” know that’s not true of most old comics, it’s a well known enough “fact” that the lady should have know she shouldn’t have been yanking on it, even if she didn’t know the comic in question was the first appearance of Superman.

Funny how we sometimes forget the most basic lessons that Mom & Dad teach us when we’re kids. The safest bet is to just not yank something from somebody else’s hand in the first place.

I don’t think the woman IS an idiot -we all do things by accident, but I bet she feels pretty awful.

I don’t think that she’s an idiot either. Lacking basic manners in that single moment perhaps, but not an idiot.

if you don’t know that a comic book from the 1930’s featuring Superman on the cover is at least of great value, you are an idiot.

I’m not up on the workings of auction houses, but why would he only receive “about half of the final sale price”? Do auction houses really take a 50% commission on sales of this nature? Is the ownership of the issue in dispute (I would think that as the owner of the house it was found in, Gonzalez would be considered the current owner of the issue). He’d almost be better off selling it on eBay.

Now that I read the original Star Tribune article, it seems that the dealer (from Florida?!) who is representing him is probably taking a big chunk of the proceeds.


May 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm

75000? Ouch.

“It seems his wife’s over-eager aunt snatched the comic, and when Gonzalez went to grab it, the back cover was ripped”

Are you all sexist *and* illiterate? If the above sentence is accurate, then the dude is at fault, not the “imbecile of a woman”.

Bill Tudor is right.
That is how I read it. I couldn’t figure out why you all are blaming her. Sounds to me like the reporter did a bad job of describing what happened because it sounds to me like it was Gonzalez who was “over-eager.” In fact, we can’t know who was at fault unless we were there to witness this because it was Gonzalez who the reporter talked to.

I am a comic geek. £_£ Just thipnk. Who’s fault was it really? But… HALF of the proceedings. HALF 0.5 50%. Why??

I blame the Aunt for the damage cause bottom line if it isn’t yours then don’t go grabbing at it without asking. Look with your eyes not with your hands.

I’d like to imagine I would keep this for myself. I just wonder how long I could manage it before temptation took it’s toll.

Bad mistake to ruin a rare find. It’s a valuable learning lesson. However, this owner is still gaining no matter what happens in the end.

Leave a Comment


Browse the Robot 6 Archives