10 Times Valuable Comic Books Were Found in Homes

In the world of comic book collecting, there are a few holy grails—the first appearances of Superman (Action Comics#1, 1938) and BatmanDetective Comics#27, 1939) and The Birth of the Marvel Universe (Marvel Comics#1, 1939) is the most important. Their importance lies not only in being the originators of the superhero genre, but also because they are extremely rare.

It’s amazing that these books have been found in the homes of some lucky people. You’d probably be more likely to win the lottery than to have these sitting around your house, but check your attic anyway. Let’s take a look at ten times that extremely rare and valuable comic books were found in an unsuspecting home.

Superman Saves the House

In 2010, a couple living in the American South was experiencing financial hardship. They had taken out a second loan on their home to fund a new business. However, the business had failed during the economic turmoil now known as the Great Recession. The bank was ready for foreclosure if they were behind on their payments. They began packing to prepare for the possibility of losing their home and moving. They found a few comic books while looking for boxes to pack their home. While most were not extraordinary, one comic book was an amazing find that would change their lives.

It was a copy Action Comics#1, the 1938 comic which introduced Superman to the rest of the world. Due to their expected fortune, the couple decided to remain anonymous and contacted ComicConnect to sell their book. Graded a 5.0 (Very Fine/Good) by the experts at Certified Guaranty Company (CGC), the lucky couple’s Action #1 ended up selling for $436,000. Superman was able save a house from foreclosure, which is an impressive accomplishment.[1]

9 Priceless Treasures Recovered from the Trash

In early 1977 in Boulder, Colorado, Chuck Rozanski took a phone call at this Mile High Comics store that would change his life—and the field of comic book collecting. A realtor called to inform him that he was selling his house and that a large collection needed to be sold immediately. Once Rozanski made his way to the home, he was shown a basement completely filled with stacks of comics—and he had to take all of them if he wanted to make a deal.

The collection was assembled in part by Edgar Church who was a commercial illustrator who bought almost every American comic book published between 1937-1957 in an effort to keep up with the latest trends in his field. Church’s family wanted the comics gone as soon as possible so that they could sell the home. Most of the comics were viewed at once and had a date written on them before being stored away. The result is what CGC calls “the most remarkable collection of vintage comic books ever discovered.” Featuring all the key issues of the era in some of the best conditions that have ever surfaced, the Edgar Church/Mile High Collection set the modern standards for grading and pricing rare comic books.[2]

8 The Action Comics #1 Use as Insulation

Deanna Gonzalez, a contractor, and David Gonzalez, his wife, purchased a fixer upper home in Elbow Lake for $10,100. He found newspapers that had been used as insulation when he was knocking down a wall. Amid the newspapers was an unbelievable find—a copy of Action Comics #1. The home was built in 1938, the year Superman’s first comic appeared on newsstands.

While not in mint condition, it’s still such a rare, valuable, and iconic book that it was bound to fetch a handsome sum. Unfortunately, an argument over the book’s value between Gonzalez and a relative led to the back cover being ripped off. The condition was reduced from a CGC rating of 3.0 down to a 1.5. “That was a $75,000 tear,” said Stephen Fisher of ComicConnect after the comic sold for $175,000.[3]

7 The Previously Unknown Comic Book

Marvel Comics and Movie Studios, the hugely successful comic book and movie company, was founded in 1939 by Timely Comics. Timely Comics was founded in 1939 and published its first issue in fall 2005. Marvel Comics#1, featuring Marvel charactersThe Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch are still available in print. Timely eventually evolved into Marvel Comics, and it was accepted that their legacy had started with Timely’s Marvel Comics #1. That is until 1974, when an unknown comic was discovered in the house of an art studio director.

Lloyd Jacquet was the head of Funnies, Inc., the studio that provided the artwork for Timely’s comics in 1939. After his death in 1974, his heirs conducted an estate sale and found six copies of the previously undiscovered comics among his possessions. Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly #1. It was later discovered that this comic featured the same Sub-Mariner story as that in Marvel Comics#1: It questioned the history of Marvel. What was the source of this book? It was a movie theater giveaway. The idea was discarded and the stories were eventually sold by Timely to be used in their early comics. Probably the rarest comic book ever found in a home closet, it’s also an important document of early Marvel history.[4]

6 Nicolas Cage’s Comic in the Storage Unit

Despite the fact that it is the most valuable comic bookThe world’s most rare copy of the book, only about 100 copies are known to exist. Action Comics#1 keeps popping up in the oddest places. This copy was technically not found in a home, but where you keep things that don’t fit in your house.

A beautiful copy of the book was found in an abandoned California storage unit in 2011. The person who bought the unit’s contents at auction immediately knew there was something up with this lucky find. After much investigation, it was discovered that the contents were stolen from Nicolas Cage in January 2000.

Cage is a passionate fan of Superman, comics in general, and Superman. At one point, he had two holy grails in his collection—pristine copies of Action Comics#1 Detective Comics#27, the first appearances Superman and Batman. Both were taken from his house on January 21, 2001. He had sold his rest of his comics collection during that time, but he still wanted his copy when it resurfaced back in 2011. Since his insurance company had covered the theft, it’s unclear if he was ever reunited with it. The “storage unit” Action Comics#1 was up for auction on 11/11/2011 However, it’s unknown if the seller was Cage, his insurance company, or the winner of the storage unit auction.[5]

5 The Allentown Pedigree

CGC recognizes outstanding collections of vintage comics that were originally purchased at newsstands and preserved by the original owner as “Pedigree Collections.” As of this writing, CGC has only granted the title to 61 collections. One of the most valuable pedigrees was found in a closet after being forgotten for decades. Many people have heard the story of Mom throwing away a great collection of comic books. But what if she actually saved them by storing them in a box?

That’s the story behind the Allentown Pedigree, named for the Pennsylvania town where they came from. An anonymous original owner had only purchased 135 comics when he was a child. Several key issues were found in this small collection, including Detective Comics #27, Marvel Comics #1, Captain America#1, and Batman #1. This places the collection’s origins from 1939 to 1941, when the original owner’s mother boxed them up and put them in the closet, where they remained undiscovered until 1987. They were then purchased by two comics dealers. Despite the fact that the collection was broken up and sold to many other owners over the years the Allentown Pedigree remains one of the most highly-graded collections in Golden Age comics.[6]

4 Treasure in the Hoarder House

We’ve all seen the houses of hoarders on TV, and it’s safe to say most of us would not want to go in to find out what’s in there for ourselves. Rene Nezhoda was a thrift shop owner in San Diego. He decided that it was worth going into a Los Angeles hoarder house due to the collection of collectibles. His efforts paid off as the house was filled with rare items of all types, including some highly sought-after 1960s comic books.

A copy of was among the treasures found in the trash. Amazing Fantasy#15, the first appearances of Spider-Man. It is also one of the most sought-after Silver Age comic books. There is a video of Nezhoda in a hazmat suit, working his way through many comic books and other valuable collectibles—and some other artifacts of a hoarder house. “There were also rats and rat poop,” Rene said. “I’ve bought a lot of collections and houses in my life, and I have never been overwhelmed, but this house makes me overwhelmed.”[7]

3 Closet Finds Worth $3.5 Million

Heritage Auctions has put up for auction an incredible collection of 345 pieces in 2011. vintage comic booksIt ended up selling at $3.5 million. Amazingly, they were only recently discovered from a closet where they had been sat for many decades. Michael Rorrer, a Californian, went to Virginia to assist his great-uncle in settling her affairs after her death. He found the comics in a basement closet.

Among the collection were key issues such as Action Comics #1, Detective Comics#27, and Batman #1. They belonged to Billy Wright, his great-uncle who bought them over a nine year period. CGC added this comic to its Pedigree Collection, and it was so impressive. The Billy Wright Pedigree is a potent reminder to always check basements and closets for any treasures that may be hiding in your family’s homes.[8]

2 Batman in the Attic

Most homeowners would find the idea of bats in their attic a problem. But when the bat in question is the iconic Batman, in his rare and extremely valuable first appearance, it’s a reason for celebration. A Pennsylvania man was cleaning out his attic in 2007 when he found a near-mint copy. Detective Comics#27, the comic which introduced the Caped Crusader world-wide. The book was then sold to Todd McDevitt of New Dimension Comics.

McDevitt claimed that he had been saving money since 1986 in preparation for when a very rare and valuable comic would come through his shop. McDevitt claimed that he was keeping his rare find in a bank vault after the 2007 sale. It’s unknown if he has since sold it, but with copies of Detective #27 now going for as much as $1.5 million, it wouldn’t be surprising if he had put it up for auction since then.[9]

1 The Promise Collection

The CGC Pedigree Collection’s newest collection is the largest, featuring over 5,000 Golden Age comics. It also contains one of the most touching origin stories. It’s about two anonymous brothers, Robert and Junie. Robert was drafted to the Army in the early 1950s to fight for Korea. Junie, his younger brother followed him and enlisted with the Army. Junie asked his brother for one thing—that if he didn’t make it home, he wanted Robert to take care of his comic book collections. Robert promised that he would. Junie was 21 when he was killed in combat. Robert kept his promise and packed all the comics up and stored them in the attic of the family home. They were forgotten about.

Nearly seventy years later, the comics were discovered in the attic. Realizing the enormity of Junie’s collection, the family transferred them to protective plastic bags while creating a catalog of its contents in a spreadsheet. In honor of Robert’s vow to his brother, CGC gave the pedigree the Promise Collection name. Some of the collection was sold off in 2021. The remarkable condition of nearly all of the books attracted significant attention from collectors.[10]

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