David Gonzalez was taking down a wall in a fixer-upper house he had bought in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, when he made a most interesting discovery: tucked in among some old newspapers as insulation was a copy of Action Comics No. 1, the first appearance of a character named Superman.

As of Thursday morning, the bidding for the book, which Gonzalez is auctioning at ComicConnect, is up to $113,111. Not too bad for a piece of insulation.

“I knew it was worth money,” said Gonzalez. “But I had no idea how much.”

The 34-year-old father of four might have gotten a good deal more for it, too, if not for his dastardly in-laws. When Gonzalez showed his wife's aunt the discovered treasure, she grabbed it away from him. When he snatched it back, the back cover tore. This downgraded the book's official condition, which determines its value, from a 3.0 (out of 10) to a 1.5.

"That was a $75,000 tear," according to Stephen Fisher, who runs ComicConnect.

Gonzalez sees his discovery as a bit of karma. Over the last 10 years that he has been remodeling homes and doing other construction work, he has occasionally inserted dollar bills into the walls for future owners or builders to find. It is likely, though, that he never thought he'd find something quite like this, the most valuable comic book of all time. (In 2011, for example, a 9.0-graded copy of Action Comics No. 1 that belonged to Nicolas Cage sold for $2.1 million.)

“I am a humble, working guy, so I didn’t get too excited when I found it with old newspapers stuffed in the walls,” said Gonzalez. “Money won’t buy you happiness.”

Well, maybe just a little.

[Star Tribune]