A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold Monday for $1 million, smashing the previous record price for a comic book.

A 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books, was sold by a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names. The issue features Superman lifting a car on its cover and originally cost 10 cents.

The transaction was conducted by the auction site ComicConnect.com. Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the site and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles, orchestrated the sale.

Fishler said it transpired minutes after the issue was put on sale around 10:30 a.m. Eastern time. He said the seller was a ”well-known individual” in New York with a pedigree collection and that the buyer was a known customer who previously bought an Action Comics No. 1 of lesser grade.

”It’s considered by most people as the most important book,” said John Dolmayan, a comic book enthusiast and dealer best known as the drummer for the rock band System of a Down. ”It kind of ushered in the age of the superheroes.”

Dolmayan, who owns Torpedo Comics, last year paid $317,000 for an Action Comics No. 1 issue for a client.

That purchase is considered the ”official public record” for a comic book sale, said Mark Zaid, marketing director for the Comic Book Collecting Association, which was launched Monday. There have been other private sales in the $300,000 to $450,000 range, he said.

Monday’s copy fetched a much higher price because it’s in better condition. It’s rated an 8.0 grade, or very fine, on a scale that goes up to 10.0.

”The fact that this book is completely unrestored and still has an 8.0 grade, it’s kind of like a diamond or a precious stone,” Dolmayan said.

There are only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 believed to be in existence, and only a handful have been rated so highly. It’s rarer still for those copies to be made available for sale.

”The opportunity to buy an unrestored, high-grade Action One comes along once every two decades,” Fishler said. ”It’s certainly a milestone.”

The sticker shock was astounding to Fishler, nevertheless.

”It is still a little stunning to see ‘a comic book’ and ‘$1 million’ in the same sentence,” Fishler said. ”There’s only one time a collectible hits the $1 million threshold.”