Photo of Action Book #1, worth $150,000
David Gonzalez was insulating an abandoned house he bought for $10,000 in Minnesota when he came across what turned out to be the Holy Grail of comic books in a pile of old newspapers buried in the wall because it was being used as insulation. The book was the Superman Action Comic #1 from 1938.
Gonzalez researched it and found out it was very valuable.
After showing it to his family, his wife’s aunt grabbed it from him in excitement, or for some more nefarious reason, and he grabbed it back, perhaps in anger, accidentally tearing the back cover of what had been a fairly well-preserved 70-year old book.
They seemed to be fighting over it but stories range on how angry they were with each other.
One story in the Washington Times claims he threatened to burn it if the aunt kept insisting he share the money from his find.
That tear cost about $75,000 – $150,000.
Normally a top grade #1 goes for $2.6 million but partly because the cover was torn and partly because it was used as insulation for decades, it was graded 1.5 and is now worth about $150,000. His book would have been graded a 3.0 without the rip.
Gonzalez said he doesn’t care and he’d rather work for the money. The house only cost him $10,000 and the book will go for 15 times that. It’s still a great find, tear and all.
Full story at the Star Tribune