Thought to reach nearly a half of a million dollars on the open market, a rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold for a paltry $317,200 in an Internet auction. The winner of the auction? John Dolmayan, drummer for the rock band System of a Down.
Despite it not reaching it's expected draw -- blamed predictably on the economy -- it is still one of the highest prices ever paid for a comic book. The winning bid for the 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, whose cover features Superman lifting a car, was submitted Friday evening by Dolmayan, who is also a dealer of rare comic books. Dolmayan said he acquired the Superman comic on behalf of a client, declining to identify the client.
"This is one of the premier books you could collect," Dolmayan said in a telephone interview with the LA Times. "It's considered the Holy Grail of comic books. I talked to my client, and we made the move."
Dolmayan said the client has "a small collection, but everything he has is incredible."
Only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 are known to exist, and they seldom come up for sale. The previous owner, who sold it for "personal reasons," had originally purchased it in a secondhand store in the early 1950s when he was 9 years old. He paid 35 cents.