Back in 1938, two young cartoonists from Cleveland sold the rights to Superman for $130. Amazingly, the paycheck was auctioned online on Monday and fetched $160,000. This check was the one that Detective Comics- DC Comics- wrote to Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster. Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of New York-based ComicConnect and the person which held the online auction said: The concept of the superhero was born with Superman, that $130 check essentially created a billion-dollar industry” referring to the super heroes who followed superman’s lead like Spider Man, X-Men and Batman. Zurzolo goes on saying: “The check for the rights to the American icon who stands for truth, justice and the American way is "the holy grail" for comic book fans and collectors” Also added: "Think about a world without Superman. Without this check being written, we’d never have a Superman, we’d never have a comic-book industry." Selling the rights for such a trivial price haunted Siegel and Shuster and their heirs who later on sued Warner Bros and DC Comics. Siegel, who died in 1996, and Shuster, who died in 1992, were childhood friends descending from the Jewish immigrants in Cleveland. They created the Superman character while they were young in their 20s. However, before making the sale to DC comics, they offered the character around but, they made the deal with DC Comics, eventually. To make it even worse for Siegel and Shuster, their names were spelled wrong on the paycheck which forced them to endorse it both ways in order to get paid.
The check was sold on behalf of the heirs of a DC Comics employee who left the check for decades in a dresser drawer. Months earlier, the comic book that unveiled Superman to the world was auctioned with a record of $2.16 million in December while it only cost 10 cents when it was published back in 1938.
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