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The $100,000 Comic Book

A Minnesota man finds a rare copy of the first Superman comic hidden inside the wall of his house.

By Joe Bubar

The famous costumed superhero Superman first appeared in _Action Comics No. 1_. (Courtesy of Comicconnect.com)

David Gonzalez, 34, was rebuilding an abandoned house in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, recently when he discovered a rare and incredibly valuable comic book in the most unlikely of places—one of the walls of the house.

The comic book, Action Comics No. 1 , is considered the most famous comic book in the world. It marks the first appearance of Superman. When it was released in 1938, the comic book sold for just 10 cents. Now in an online auction that ends on June 11, Gonzalez has already received offers as high as $137,000 for the comic book. That’s more than 10 times the price that Gonzalez paid for the house in which he found the book.


Superman was one of the first costumed superheroes. Over the past 75 years, he has appeared in radio shows, several TV series, a Broadway musical, and movies. So what was he doing in the wall of a house?

Years ago, while building a house, construction workers would sometimes stash newspapers inside the walls for insulation . Insulation stops heat from escaping through the walls, thereby keeping the house warm.

Gonzalez, who works in construction, says he always dreamed of finding something valuable hidden in the wall of a house. He even used to stash dollar bills in walls in hopes that someone would find them in the future.

But he never expected to find a copy of Action Comics No. 1 . It had been stuffed in the wall along with newspapers back when the house was built more than 70 years ago.

“I knew it was worth money,” Gonzalez told the Minneapolis Star Tribune . “But I had no idea how much.” It was only after he put the comic up for auction on the comic book auction site ComicConnect that Gonzalez found out just how valuable it is.


The comic book would be worth even more if not for an argument with relatives. During the argument, someone ripped the comic! That rip alone brought its estimated value down by $75,000. Copies of the same comic book that are in better condition have sold for more than $2 million.

But Gonzalez says he’s not upset. “I’m not a hungry person about money,” he told the Tribune .

He plans to use some of the money he’ll receive from selling the comic book to buy his dream car and pay for his wife to finish school.

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