The oldest surviving piece of original Superman art sold at auction last week for $286,800. And, surprisingly, Superman co-creator Joe Shuster didn't draw it.

In fact, it's the cover to Action Comics #15, cover dated August 1939, and it was drawn by Fred Guardineer, one of DC Comics' go-to cover artists at the time. The cover depicts Superman underwater, saving a disabled submarine. When the issue was released, it sold for a dime.

The cover sold at a sale conducted by Heritage Auctions.

In the arena of original comic art, this sale is actually somewhat modest. The cover to 1932's Tintin in America, drawn by Tintin creator Herge, is the most expensive piece of comic art ever sold, at $1.6 million. A far more recent piece of art, Todd McFarlane's cover to the 1990 issue Amazing Spider-Man #328 (that's the one where Spidey is smashing the gray Hulk into a wall) sold for $675,250 in 2012.

You can compare Guardineer's original Action Comics #15 cover art to the colored cover below.

 

Heritage Auctions/DC Comics
DC Comics