About Joe And Nadia
The Collection Of Joe And
The story behind the highest graded (as of 8/2014) Action 1.
If you have read the story behind the Joe and Nadia Mannarino Collection on the prior page you can get a feel for how our personal collection was formed.
Left out of the broad overview are particulars in regards to specific items and how they were acquired. Needless to say, anyone who has collected for a decade or more can tell you that behind every item is a story. As we shall see, one such story has become relevant to quite a few collectors.
As mentioned, I began collecting in the sixties and
began earnestly collecting more valuable items in the 70's as I was exposed
to them through fanzines, price guides, conventions and other collectors. As
my income increased, I began to have the means to pursue them.
Usually, I had to find out where something was and make
a concerted effort through cash or trade to add it to my collection. As is
often the case in life, things do not work out in the order you plan them.
While I do not recall the exact date it was during the late seventies that I
received a call from a person that I believe had seen a wanted-to-buy ad. I
regret not pinning them down but in those days we ran ads in penny savers,
local papers and even on local media outlets as well as putting out as much
word of mouth as possible. The caller stated that they had a small
collection of old comics that had belonged to their father. One of the books
was Action 1. After asking them the standard questions in regards to size
and glossy cover and armed with the information about the makeup of the
other books that had never been reprinted, I decided to take the leap of
faith and fly down to West Virginia where the books were located. I should
also state that the owners had a full knowledge of the value of comic books
because they were looking for thousands of dollars. I now believe what had
prompted their call may have been the announcement or rumor of a Superman
movie in 1976 or 1977.
I rented a car and drove seemingly straight up to a
small town at the top of what was probably the
I was immediately struck by how flat the book was. It seemed smaller that any golden age book I had seen from that period. I thought that it was perhaps a modern reprint that I was unfamiliar with as compared to the Famous First Editions or the 1976 non-glossy reprint. I opened the book to count the pages and was immediately struck by how white the pages were. As I probed a bit more, I learned that the book had been in the same chest for as long as anyone in the family could remember and that it had belonged to their father who had since passed. I compared it in size to the other books and everything checked. Just a remarkably conserved book.
After some painful negotiation I agreed to pay their price and left with the books.
The Action 1, 2 and Planet 2 went immediately into my personal
collection. I had a lower grade copy and immediately placed that up for sale
to try and recoup my money. To put it in perspective, at the time I was
working in a bank earning $3.00 per hour trying to work myself through
The Action 1, 2 and Planet 2 went immediately into my personal collection. I had a lower grade copy and immediately placed that up for sale to try and recoup my money. To put it in perspective, at the time I was working in a bank earning $3.00 per hour trying to work myself through college.
Condition of the book- that extended out
from the book. There were two spine stress marks one very light one more
pronounced. I graded the book a Near Mint minus. Based on the exemplary
condition, I decided to store the book exactly as I had found it. We
purchased a Lane, cedar lined hope chest and stored the book in it.
Condition of the book-
that extended out from the book. There were two spine stress marks one very light one more pronounced. I graded the book a Near Mint minus. Based on the exemplary condition, I decided to store the book exactly as I had found it. We purchased a Lane, cedar lined hope chest and stored the book in it.
In the late eighties with our family growing we relocated to NJ and purchased a home. With all the upheaval as well as my collecting interests continuing to expand into original newspaper art, toys, animation, pulps and all things comic character related we considered our options. Years earlier, I had shown the Action 1 to a friend who from day one began bugging me about parting with the book. He became so persistent and unrelenting that I decided not to make that mistake again and mentioned or showed the book to very few collectors. However, as is so often the case, after much persistence I finally relented and sold the book.
Moving ahead two decades, I received a call from an individual stating he had purchased my old copy of Action 1 and was going to place it up for auction on Ebay in late August 2014. He wanted to know as many details as possible.
Cutting to the chase, the book was auctioned on Ebay and Sold for $3,207,852 by far a world record for any comic character collectible. I am often asked how this makes me feel. My response is the same, I could not be happier for the field I love.
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© 2014 Joe Mannarino
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