Comic books have been published for over a century, and collectors categorize them into five ‘Ages’: Platinum (1897-1937), Golden (1938-55), Silver (1956-69), Bronze (1970-79) and Modern (1980-present). Rarity, title/issue, and condition determine value. Some popular titles include Spider-Man, Superman, X-Men, Batman, Green Lantern, and Incredible Hulk.
One of the first comic strips was Hogan's Alley, published in 1895 by Richard Felton Outcalt. This strip had the first 'speech bubbles,' and its lead character, The Yellow Kid, had his own book, The Yellow Kid in McFadden's Flats, printed in 1897. This book actually coined the term 'comic book,' and it marks the beginning of the Platinum Age, which ran until 1937.
Subsequent newspaper comic strips such as Mutt and Jeff were reprinted in the form of books, and publishers began experimenting with periodical (weekly) comic books, selling them for 10 cents at newsstands. These pre-superhero comics were mostly pulp stories - tales of detectives, criminals, exotic travel, and adventure. The first costumed hero was The Phantom, who debuted in 1936, and wore a purple costume and black mask.
The Golden Age began in 1937, and comic books, previously meant for adults, now focused more on youth. In 1938 a revolutionary new series, Action Comics #1, introduced Superman, the first comic book character with superhuman abilities. Batman followed a year later, in Detective Comics #27, grittier than Superman, and initially more of a mystery than a superhero comic.
Superman got his own book in 1939 (not shared with other comics), and this new format became the standard for American comic books. The Golden Age lasted until 1955, and introduced characters such as Captain Marvel, The Green Lantern, The Flash, Captain America, Wonder Woman, and The Spectre.
Next came The Silver Age, with the revamping of The Flash, who brought superhero comics back from their post-WW2 slump. During this era Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and other artists at Marvel created some of the best-known comics ever, including superhero teams like Fantastic Four, The Avengers and the X-Men. These comics are known for their characters having more depth, unlike the eternally optimistic heroes of the Golden Age.
Spider-Man first appeared in 1962 to great success, as he was a real, average person with a fantastic alter-ego that readers could relate to. Other characters introduced in this ...
The Bronze Age (1970-1979) broke a lot of rules. Black superheroes, such as the Falcon, appeared, as did foreign heroes like Banshee, Sunfire, and Nightcrawler. Comics as a whole got more 'real,' with The Green Lantern and the Green Arrow teaming up to take on real issues like urban crime and drug abuse. Innocent characters could get killed off, Superheroes could fight spirits, black magic, and more gritty, conflicted, and violent characters such as the Punisher and Wolverine.
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'Guardians of the Galaxy' seen as Marvel's biggest gamble to dateNew York Daily News, July 28th
Or as Vin Diesel, a lifelong Marvel reader before he was cast in the film, puts it: "Even us rabid comic collectors haven't heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy. You're okay if you haven't." Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige points to the naysayers...Read more
Peoria Comic-Con smaller than most, but at four times a year, it proves a 'win ...Peoria Journal Star, July 27th
PEORIA — The Peoria Comic Book Convention obviously doesn't have the grandeur that Rodney Stockham is accustomed to when he attends the big ones in Chicago and Pittsburgh, but it's a useful trip to fill in the gaps of his comic collection. Stockham...Read more
SDCC: Quentin Tarantino and a Blast of DynamiteComic Book Resources, July 27th
Hudlin said that, after "spending every day together for two years," he expected that he and Tarantino would "get back to our lives" after "Django." But then Tarantino called him, telling him that a friend had just given him his comic collection, and...Read more
Nightmare on Balgay: Dundee comic creator set to launch new horrorSTV Dundee, July 27th
unemployed when I started the Creepy Scarlett books and I used to run it as a web-comic. I then went self employed so I could keep working on it. While die-hard comic collectors might have an aversion to going digital, Graeme has thoroughly...Read more
Vin Diesel branches out to play a tree in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'New York Daily News, July 26th
Or as Vin Diesel, a lifelong Marvel reader before he was cast in the film, puts it: “Even us rabid comic collectors haven't heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy. You're okay if you haven't.” Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige points to the naysayers...Read more
What to collect at Comic-Con and beyondMilwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 25th
Comic and collectible comic dealers from all over the world attend the convention to share comics featuring superheroes, anime, humor, horror or the latest graphic novels. Comic collectors collect all year long, but the event offers the perfect...Read more
Attention Comic Collectors, Rare 'Action Comics #1' Hits Ebay in AugustMaximum PC, July 23rd
By the end of summer, a rare copy of Action Comics #1 featuring Superman's first appearance will change hands. The valuable comic is going up for auction on eBay where it will almost certainly fetch around $2 million, if not considerably more. Even...Read more
Virginia Vintage Comics Show set for SalemSouthwest Virginia Today, June 30th
Since 1998, the show has been promoted as the only Vintage Comics Show in the eastern United States. Show promoter Roger Mannon of Floyd, Va. Said “there are a growing number of comic book shows, and old comics can be found at toy, hobby and card ...Read more