A couple of years ago, I received what seemed like a fairly odd call from a patron. This person had found several of the library's books in a dumpster up in Seattle and had called out of concern that they might have been stolen. Sure enough, the books had been checked out and never returned. This is common enough, but to migrate up north and then wind up in a dumpster? And they were in like-new condition, which made it even more odd. I mean, the person who had checked them out was still linked to them, meaning they owed late fees and the cost of the books themselves, so why not save yourself some money and turn the books in if you're going to just throw them out? Stolen Superman found! What's hiding in your storage unit?
The good samaritan mailed them back to us and, after a quick cleaning, they were checked in. It's not the first time library books have had a roundabout journey back to us. We even had one paperback that had been found in an airport in the southwest and mailed back to us. But I get a kick out of these stories and it makes me think about all the traveling library materials must go through. Where have these books, movies, and CDs wandered to on people's summer vacations, family outings, and business trips?
So I really get a kick out of hearing that, after ten years, Nicholas Cage's ultra-rare Action Comics #1 has supposedly been found... and in a storage locker no less! This is the comic of comics, best known for being the first appearance of Superman, and less known for characters like Chuck Dawson, Tex Thompson, and Zatara Master Magician. It has sold at auction for $1,000,000. This comic getting stolen is a huge deal, if not for sentimental reasons, then definitely for financial ones.
It was recently recovered from a storage unit just north of Los Angeles, after the unit and its contents went up for bidding. When the comic was discovered, comics experts were contacted and it was eventually identified as the same copy sold to Cage more than a decade ago. The comic has since been taken in as police evidence and Cage is hoping to soon be reunited with it. The story may be featured on a future episode of Storage Wars.
Having spent the holidays helping clean out my mother's storage unit, which is admittedly clogged with stuff belonging to me and my siblings, I know that you can come across some awesome treasures. I found tons of high school photographs (so awkward!), books I'd forgotten I'd owned, and reams of Mad Libs I had filled out with my best friend over the years. Sadly, those have now made it up to my own house, with the hopes that I'll be able to archive them. Yeah, they'll never be near the value of Action Comics #1, but I still get a kick out them.
If you'd like to read more about Nic Cage's wandering comic, check out the coverage in Comics Alliance.