It was recently reported in the news that a 1938 comic book that featured the first appearance of Superman sold in a private sale for over $1 million. The comic was the June 1938 issue of Action Comics. I was amazed when I heard it announced on television. I thought it was probably the highest that would ever be paid for a comic book.
But I was wrong. Only a few days later it was announced that the May 1939 issue of Detective Comics that introduced Batman was sold at auction for a whopping $1,075,500. Both of these characters have been popular over the years. There have been a large number of comic books featuring them since their introduction in the late ‘30s.
As a youngster, I was an avid reader of comic books. In fact, I believe reading comic books as a child was a factor in my later reading skills. I know nothing about the comics that are sold today. I know that some people collect them as a hobby and it isn’t just a kid’s thing today.
When I was a kid there was a variety of them. My favorites were of course the super heroes such as Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Aquaman and others. And I also enjoyed the Westerns featuring Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Lash LaRue, Whip Wilson, and many others. Incidentally comic books were a dime each and stayed that price for several years.
I can’t recommend the comics of today because I’m not familiar with them, their characters or themes. But I know that most of the comics of my day were wholesome entertainment for the young set. In them there was a stark distinction between right and wrong. The villain was always caught and brought to justice. The law always won. And there was always an interesting chain of events leading up to the arrest.
I bought a lot of comic books when I was a child and unlike many youngsters who swapped sure I don’t h them for others or gave them away, I kept most of them. I can’t help but wonder if I ever saw one of those that sold at so high a price.
The cover of the Action Comics that introduced Superman appears to show the Man of Steel hurling an automobile into a rock formation with men scrambling to get away. The Detective Comics that introduced Batman shows Batman hanging on a rope and swooping down on two apparent bad guys (one holding a gun) with the city skyline in the background.
Anyway, that is an almost incredible increase of value for those comic books. They were only a dime each when originally bought and now they are valued at a million dollars for one and over a million dollars for the other. I would certainly like to have some things to sell with that percentage of appreciation. So, for those of you that saved your comic books from when you were young, maybe you should check them out. You may just have a fortune in your closet.