BY now you’ve probably seen this story about an Elbow Lake, MN contractor named David Gonzalez who found the Holy Grail of Comics—an Action #1—hidden among newspapers used as insulation in the walls of a house he was remodeling. Talks about lucky finds!
The copy has already been put up for auction at Comic Connect and bids are up to $135, 332 with 17 days to go.
What you didn’t see in the headline is the behind the scenes drama straight out of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre or A Simple Plan.
You see, the valuable comics was torn in a what’s termed a family squabble.
The comic could have been worth more had it not been for a heated argument with one of his in-laws.
When his wife’s aunt grabbed the comic book amid all the excitement of the discovery, he grabbed it back and tore the back cover. Experts downgraded the comic book’s condition to a 1.5 on a 10-point scale. To put that in comic-book context, a 9.0-grade Action 1 fetched more than $2 million recently.
Experts think the downgrade was worth $75,000—Comic Connect’s Stephen Fishler estimates the comics would have been graded at 3.0 without the tear.
According to the auction listing, the cover is actually detached, so it’s a bit more than a tear.
The moral of the story?
Don’t let your in-laws touch your valuables.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.