— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on August 14, Thursday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
Comic book fans, listen up.
The very first superman comic goes under the hammer today,
and its expected to fetch something in the 7-digit range..
CNBC's Morgan Brennan.
A rare issue of Action Comics Number One hitting the eBay auction block. This is the 1938 book where Superman makes his debut and because of that it is considered the issue that birthed the entire superhero genre. The last time we saw one of these issues sold was 2011, a copy owned by actor Nicholas Cage and that fetched 2.1 million dollars, making it the most expensive comic book ever sold. This copy is in even better condition and it is widely expected to break that record. Why? Well the market for rare comics is growing, approached as a collectible asset class like arts or stamps.
Vincent Zurzolo of Metropolis Collectibles, one of the top comic auction houses in the US says the space has really taken off since the downturn is more enthusiasts see it as a relatively safe place to park some cash.
SOT - seach :"zolo in/out"
"Probably 20 years ago, comic books were not seen in the same light that they are seen today. I think the advent of the movies, I think the increased visibility of comic book prices, the realized prices at market place have really helped to galvanize customers, bidders, people looking for alternative investments to find comic books."
His company is getting ready to sell early issues of Batman Series, The Detective Comics, owned by creator Bob Kane. Those are expected to fetch six figures a piece but keep in mind the majority of comic books don't ever actually appreciate. Many are worth mere pennies. The key is rare issues, the debut of celebrated characters or important plot twists and the older the better. The 1930s and 40s are considered the golden age of comics. Also important, they need to be in decent condition. Sealed is best and don't even think about opening it up to give it a read. Back to you.
The book is widely expected to fetch upwards of $2 million on Ebay.
I'm Qian Chen, reporting from CNBC's Asian headquarters.