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Rare Spider-Man comic surfaces at La Grange store

ChimerComics co-owner Steve Brown shows copy Amazing Fantasy which Spiderman was first introduced. | Viki Gonia~for Sun-Times Media

Chimera Comics co-owner Steve Brown shows the copy of Amazing Fantasy, in which Spiderman was first introduced. | Viki Gonia~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 9, 2012 9:23AM

The customer came in to Chimera’s Comics in La Grange a few months back with a paper bag full of old comic books.

Right away store co-owner Steve Brown found the hidden treasure inside.

“I knew what it was immediately,” he said. “I assumed it was a reprint.”

But it wasn’t a reprint. It was an original, first printing of the comic book “Amazing Fantasy,” in which Spider-Man first appeared in 1962.

Back then, it cost owner George Toman 12 cents. And it has been sitting in his attic for years.

“Ninety-eight percent of the time, people come in with a bag of books, and they’re junk,” Brown said.

Not this time.

Brown said comic books are graded on a 10-point scale. A copy of the same “Amazing Fantasy” comic book that rated 9.8 on the scale sold at auction for $1 million, Brown said.

A little wear-and-tear on Toman’s copy earned it a lower rating, but still made it pretty valuable.

“This one is worth $12,000,” Brown said.

Toman decided to allow Chimera Comics to display and sell the comic book on his behalf.

“He comes in every couple of weeks to check on it,” Brown says. “People are always looking for superhero stuff. There’s been a lot of interest in the book,” which is displayed in a frame behind the shop counter.

Before this, the previous “big” book carried at Chimera was a copy of “Amazing Spider-Man” worth $5,000.

“You know, nobody’s walking around with $12,000 in their pocket,” Brown said. “It’s probably going to take some time to sell it.”

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