The most sought-after comic books
November 29th, 2011
05:56 PM ET

Comic book collectors' holy grails

Comic book collectors with a couple million dollars to spare are currently bidding on the highest quality condition issue of "Action Comics" #1 known to exist.

The issue is a part of comic book, not to mention pop culture, history, as it is the first real appearance of a superhero in comics (Superman, of course).

The current bid is more than $1.3 million as of this writing, and the auction will end Wednesday evening. The auctioneers at will not confirm or deny that it is the issue that had been missing from Nicolas Cage's collection for 11 years. Its condition is graded on the CGC scale (the industry standard created by as a 9.0 out of 10.

If it sells for more than $1.5 million, it would beat the record previously set last year by another copy of "Action" #1.

Why do collectors shell out big bucks for these books? Click through the gallery above for the answer.

UPDATE: Bidding on "Action Comics" #1 has now exceeded $1.5 million.

FINAL UPDATE: This comic book sold for a record $2,161,000.

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Filed under: Comic Longbox
The store where cute addicts go to die: Japan LA
November 29th, 2011
05:12 PM ET

The store where cute addicts go to die: Japan LA

I only lived in Los Angeles for a few years, but as anyone who lives there can tell you, it has something for everyone.

The glitzy scenery of Hollywood, the movie studios of Burbank and the shopping paradise of Melrose were just a few of the places that I liked to walk at night, watching passersby and hoping to discover hidden secrets.

When it came to the holidays, shopping in L.A. was always fun but overwhelming. So many things to choose from! So many malls! So many options! It was on one of these late November days that I rushed down to Munky King, the premier designer vinyl collectible store on Melrose, in hopes of scoring a limited item for a friend.

Unfortunately, I missed out on what was a very limited supply, and so I wandered down the street back in the direction of my car trying not to let my feet drag with disappointment. And, lucky for me, instead of staying on Melrose, I decided to turn down a side street and take a shortcut.

Seeing Japan LA for the first time was the kind of thing that makes a Japanese culture addict stop in her tracks. Or at least, I stopped in mine. Cold. FULL POST

He's not a 'code monkey' anymore
November 29th, 2011
12:39 PM ET

He's not a 'code monkey' anymore

Who’s that bearded guy in the glasses and untamed auburn hair singing with thousands of fans in zombie voices?

That’s geek rock star Jonathan Coulton. You may not have heard of him, but to his fans "JoCo" is as much a household name as CoCo. Coulton got that way by writing songs about zombies, coding, gaming, math, technology and science fiction.

He’s got a new album out, “Artificial Heart,” which turns out to be a bit of a departure from his claim to nerd fame. Instead of zombies eating brains or creepy dolls that follow you, Coulton has been thinking a lot about turning 40. The result is a set of songs that are more mysterious, even to Coulton himself, than what he’s written in the past.

“It’s about the complicated nature of adult relationships and work and self-image,” he told us at Dragon*Con in September, with Paul and Storm (the opening band at many of his concerts) seated beside him. “It’s about being a grown-up. It’s about being a sad, old, not very relevant grownup.”

“Geeks can be grown-ups, too,” Storm chimed in. FULL POST

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Filed under: Fandom