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Friday, June 16, 2023 

Speculator market continues to make a big deal out of selling classic Superman issues all over the place

Here we go again with another fluff-coated report, this one from ArtNet, about classic back issues being sold for higher and higher prices non-stop, here being 2 Superman pamphlets that I'd probably written about before:
“Comics are a great market,” Ken Goldin told Artnet News. “I’ve always been a sports memorabilia collector, but when you ask a 15- or 16-year old, ‘Who’s Hank Aaron? Who’s Mickey Mantle?’, only a few will know. But you ask ‘Who’s Superman? Who’s Spiderman?’, 100% are going to know. You go to Europe or Asia and, again, it’s 100%.”

As superhero movies continue to get made, he says, new people will no doubt get interested in the subject and “gravitate toward where it began.”

Superman #1, published by DC Comics in 1939, fetched $1.6 million after 18 bidders duked it out over a month. The cover shows the costumed superhero floating above the rooftops of a city. It’s the first newsstand comic book dedicated to a single character and Superman has sold more comic books than any other character, the auction house said, paving the way for the pop culture juggernaut with superhuman strength and incredible powers to dominate American entertainment to this day. [...]

Action Comics #1, first published in 1938 by National Allied Publications, a predecessor of DC Comics, sold for $1.5 million after 18 bids. The cover shows Superman holding a car above his head as gangsters cower and flee. Some observers have noted a resemblance to Pollaiuolo’s painting Hercules and the Hydra (c. 1475). [...]

The comic book has since become one of the most sought after items for collectors, regularly breaking auction records. Only about 100 copies of the comic book are known to have survived, the auction house said. One of them, owned by actor and Superman super-fan Nicolas Cage, was stolen from him in 2000, then later recovered and sold for $2.16 million in 2011.
Speaking of which, I'd almost missed this news from last month, that the Hall of Heroes museum in Elkhart, Indiana, reporting that classic comics stolen from their archives a few months ago have thankfully been recovered. That's certainly miraculous that pamphlets that were reportedly hard to insure have been found, and the thieves arrested.

But getting back to the main issue, it's a shame these other classic pamphlets in focus are still being traded in all directions on the speculator market, instead of being donated/sold to museums like the aforementioned Indiana archive. Seriously, this is downright farcical by now that we've still got folks making a joke out of their finances by buying something they don't intend to read, and likely don't intend to put on display in any kind of museum exhibition either. When will this joke ever end?

Also, what if moviegoers only became interested in the speculator market? That'd just compound the perception that moviegoers don't really care about the original comics, save for silly profiteering goals. Plus, despite what they say, kids not only aren't reading a lot of the newer comics, there's quite a few mainstream items that aren't suitable for them either, because of the wokeness that's clogging up the stories now. Their knowledge of who Superman and Spider-Man are could also be superficial at best, based on the PC situation of today.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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