A Minnesota man is guaranteed to make at least 10 times the amount he paid for an abandoned home in Elbow Lake after finding the Holy Grail of comic books stashed in one of the home's walls, the Star Tribune reports.
David Gonzalez was gutting a fixer-upper he paid $10,100 for when he found some old newspapers used to insulate one of the walls. Contained within them was a copy of Action Comics #1, the comic book that features on its cover a new character named "Superman" lifting a car above his head.
Gonzalez, who lives in Hoffman, Minn., near St. Cloud, said he immediately knew the comic book was worth money, but "no idea how much." Elbow Lake is about 160 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.
Unfortunately, Gonzalez could be getting a lot more. According to the Star Tribune, he showed the comic book to his in-laws, and in the excitement of the discovery, his wife's aunt grabbed the comic book from him. When Gonzalez grabbed the comic back, he tore the back cover.
With the tear, the experts downgraded the comic book from a 3.o to a 1.5 -- which ComicsConnect co-owner Stephen Fishler called a "$75,000 tear."
Gonzalez, a father of four, said he spotted the abandoned house with a torn-up roof last winter.
According to the Star Tribune, Gonzalez, who works in construction and home remodeling, researched the owner of the house at the Grant County Courthouse who told them a nearby restaurant offered $10,000 for it.
Since the restaurant reportedly was planning on demolishing the house and making it a parking lot, Gonzalez offered $100 more and got it for $10,100.
To put the auction into context, a copy of Action Comics #1 with a grade of 9.0 commands an asking price in the upwards of $2 million.
The Hollywood Reporter says the first copy of Action Comics #1 to break the $2 million barrier at auction came in 2011, when a 9.0-graded copy owned by actor Nicolas Cage sold for $2,161,000.
See a photo of the Action Comics #1 copy found by Gonzalez below.