Wham, Bam, Kerpow! Take that, you!!

Forgive us for indulging in a bit of onomatopoeia with the title above…you will recall seeing them in comics.  Just how serious is the business of comics can be gauged from this NYTimes.com report:

This is a lesson for all those parents who threw away their children’s comic books: Last Monday, a copy of Action Comics No. 1, in which Superman first appeared in 1938, sold for a record $1 million. That price was eclipsed on Thursday by the $1,075,500 auction of a copy of Detective Comics No. 27, where Batman made his premiere in 1939.

Not bad hauls for comic books that originally sold for 10 cents each.

And with a sale of US$ 1 million for a comic, the  recession has officially been damned!

The two comic books in question are:

We’ve just become aware that a system of ‘grading’ exists for valuing old comics. The man who developed it is  Stephen Fishler who created the community website www.comicconnect.com to enable a true market where buyers and sellers can have complete control over the transactions they make.

The condition of the Superman comic, sold by the auction house Comic Connect, was graded 8.0 out of a possible 10. Another copy, graded at 6.0, sold for $317,200 last year. The Batman book, sold at Heritage Auctions, was also graded 8.0. Fewer than 100 copies are believed to exist. A grade of 10 would signify a pristine book; an 8.0 indicates imperfections like a cover crease or stress marks on the spine.

Speculation is that only 100 copies or so of Superman’s first comic exist. “The opportunity to buy an un-restored, high-grade Action One comes along once every two decades,” Fishler said. “It’s certainly a milestone.”

Related reports from The Independent.co.uk, Kidglue.com, Timesonline.co.uk & the WashingtonPost.