MINNEAPOLIS — It’s considered the Holy Grail of comic books: Action Comics No. 1 from 1938, featuring the debut of Superman. And David Gonzales found one mixed in with old newspapers insulating a house he was renovating in a small town in Minnesota.
Gonzales did some research that confirmed the comic with a cover showing the Man of Steel holding a car over his head was valuable, though it’s not worth as much as it could have been.
The book sat undisturbed in the ceiling of the house in Hoffman for over 70 years. But a few days after he found it, Gonzales said, he got into a heated discussion with his wife’s aunt about its value, and she wanted a cut of the money. He said he also grew irritated because every time she would turn a page, crumbs of paper would fall out.
Finally he said, he grabbed it and tossed it aside, accidentally tearing the back cover.
“I don’t care about the money,” he recalled telling her. “I don’t care. It’s my comic book. I can burn it if I want to.”
Gonzales said his wife’s aunt backed down when his wife warned her he was serious.
Partly because of the damage and partly because the book shows the effects of its long service as insulation, New York-based online auctioneer ComicConnect.com said it’s graded 1.5 on a 10-point scale.
By comparison, an Action Comics No. 1 that was graded a 9 recently fetched $2.16 million.
“Valuable comic books so often have almost magical — and in many cases, ironic — back-stories like this,” said Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of ComicConnect.
Bidding on Gonzales’ find was up to $137,000 as of Friday. Bidding will close June 11.
Native American vets memorial gets legislative push
WASHINGTON — Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, introduced legislation to reauthorize the construction of a Native American veterans memorial on the national Mall.
A quirk of the original legislation, passed in 1994, allowed for the construction of the memorial but did not allow the National Museum of the American Indian to raise funds — a predicament for a memorial required to be built with private funds on the museum’s property.
The new legislation allows the Smithsonian Institution to engage in fundraising and removes the responsibility from the National Congress of American Indians, a nonprofit organization originally tasked with finding resources.
The legislation was first proposed by the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
“American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians served in all of the American wars since the Revolutionary War,” Schatz said during a media call. “It is critical that we recognize their bravery and patriotism with a fitting memorial.”
Advocates noted that veterans memorials on the Mall do not recognize the contributions of Native Americans in American wars. Robert Holden, director of the National Congress of American Indians, said that while the Three Servicemen Statue at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial represents Caucasian, African-American and Hispanic service members, it excludes Native Americans, and does not fully depict their contributions. Planning for the size and scope of the memorial will begin if the legislation passes. The memorial would be on museum property, but the exact location has not been determined.
Actress Bynes accused of bong toss out NYC window
NEW YORK — Actress Amanda Bynes appeared disheveled in a long blond wig and sweats Friday in a criminal court where she was charged with reckless endangerment after police said she heaved a marijuana bong out of her Manhattan apartment building.
The 27-year-old former child star was arrested Thursday evening, after building officials at her midtown apartment called police to complain she was rolling a joint and smoking pot in the lobby.
The officers went to her apartment on the 36th floor where they said they saw heavy smoke and a bong sitting on the kitchen counter. They said she tossed the bong out the window in front of them, prosecutors said.
She then said to police: “It was just a vase,” according to Manhattan assistant district attorney Chikaelo Ibeabuchi.
“My client completely denies illegally throwing anything out of her window,” said Andrew Friedman, her attorney for the arraignment.
The judge released her on her own recognizance and gave her a July 9 court date.