I've covered the sales of a number of copies of Action Comics #1 since Bleeding Cool launched in 2009, and they are never, ever dull. From the mystery surrounding the Nicolas Cage copy, the drama of the current record-holding CGC 9.0 $3,207,852 copy — complete with the plot-twist of discovering that one collector had acquired both of those copies — bringing an Action Comics #1 to market is always an event. It's been that way since the late 1960s, when Manhattan comic book dealer Louis Cohen told an Associated Press business reporter that the going rate for an Action Comics #1 was $260, which seemed to kickstart the public's fascination with the most valuable comic book in the world.
The first appearance of Superman is of course our market-defining comic book in numerous different ways, and watching a copy come to market has become an enjoyable spectator sport — even for those who can only dream of affording a copy — since that day 60 years ago that Cohen helped inform the public that old comics were worth money.
"They're very scarce," Cohen told the Associated Press. "You can't buy them for gold."
Cohen was right, which is why many of the copies that have changed hands in the decades since have done so to great fanfare.
But last night's auction close of the Action Comics #1 CGC 8.5 provided some drama of a different sort. As I was watching the auction approach the final two minutes, the Comic Connect website seemed to waver under the load of the number of people watching the auction. It happens. No matter how much you prepare, you can sometimes get that unanticipated burst of traffic (a matter I'm slightly familiar with myself).
Vintage comic book auction house Comic Connect has decided to continue the auction of the Action Comics #1 CGC 8.5 as a result of this issue. The auction is now back on, and is set to close tonight at 7pm EDT, June 12.
"We received feedback from many bidders that they were unable to login and place bids on the Action 1 last night," Comic Connect's Vincent Zurzolo tells us. "It appears that due to the extraordinary high traffic volume our AWS servers were unable to keep up with the demand. The winning bidder noticed the same behavior and completely understood the situation and was willing to have us reopen the auction with significantly increased server capacity so that everyone can have an opportunity to bid. We are grateful for everyone's understanding and patience."
It's an unusual but understandable situation. When the site flickered back to life for me moments after the issue occurred, the auction had closed at $2,007,500 — certainly an impressive result and what would have been the 3rd highest price ever paid for a comic book — but as I told you last night, I did expect it to go higher:
Incredibly, even at $2,007,500, it's hard to view this sale as anything other than an outstanding deal for the buyer. With the top two CGC-slabbed copies both owned by one very serious DC collector who likely won't be selling them any time soon, this CGC 8.5 copy could well be the best copy to become available on the market for a very long time.
I'd also like to note that last night's winning bidder gets my vote for collector of the decade. This individual had the winning bid at auction close for one of the most valuable comic books that has ever been sold — and still got it at a great price. For a collector, there's no better feeling in the world. To recognize in that moment of elation that the auction should be re-opened in fairness to the seller and other buyers is gracious and impressive. Fairly played, whoever you are, and I'll be rooting for you to win again tonight.
Until then, the auction for the Action Comics #1 CGC 8.5 is back on. Last night's auction close was entertaining, and I expect tonight to be even more so. See you back here in 5 hours and 30 minutes from the time of this posting. [Update: the sale is now final at $2,052,000]