The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

May 25, 2013

Rare Superman comic found in house insulation

— MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It's considered the Holy Grail of comic books: Action Comics No. 1 from 1938, featuring the debut of Superman. And David Gonzales found one mixed in with old newspapers insulating a house he was renovating in a small town in Minnesota.

Gonzales did some research that confirmed the comic with a cover showing the Man of Steel holding a car over his head was valuable, though it's not worth as much as it could have been.

The book sat undisturbed in the ceiling of the house in Hoffman for over 70 years. But a few days after he found it, Gonzales said, he got into a heated discussion with his wife's aunt about its value, and she wanted a cut of the money. He said he also grew irritated because every time she would turn a page, crumbs of paper would fall out.

Finally he said, he grabbed it and tossed it aside, accidentally tearing the back cover.

"I don't care about the money," he recalled telling her. "I don't care. It's my comic book. I can burn it if I want to."

Gonzales said his wife's aunt backed down when his wife warned her he was serious.

Partly because of the damage and partly because the book shows the effects of its long service as insulation, New York-based online auctioneer ComicConnect.com said it's graded 1.5 on a 10-point scale. By comparison, an Action Comics No. 1 that was graded a 9 recently fetched $2.16 million.

"Valuable comic books so often have almost magical — and in many cases, ironic — back-stories like this," said Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of ComicConnect.

Bidding on Gonzales' find was up to $137,000 as of Friday. Bidding will close June 11. Gonzales said he figures he'll get about half the sale price after the auction site and the Florida comic dealer he originally took the book to get their share.

Gonzales said he understands the ripped cover and other damage might have shaved $75,000 off the potential price. But he said that doesn't bother him.

"I'm not a hungry person about money," he said, adding that he'd rather work for it.

1
Text Only
Lifestyle
Poll

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Chocolate bunnies
Marshmallow chicks
Chocolate eggs with filling
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee