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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site
Popeye's Thimble Theatre
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Comic Books
Source: Google News
Rare Superman book draws record $2.2 million bid: The long, 'cool' journey of ...Washington Post, August 22nd
Metropolis and Heritage Auctions have handled record-breaking vintage comic books. Yet Adams believed eBay could deliver a wider general audience. “I've done business with the major auction houses,” Adams says, but “I didn't want to simply stick with...Read more
GI Joe: America's Elite Disavowed: Volume 4 (Comic Book Review)BioGamer Girl Magazine, August 22nd
Readers can expect to learn plenty of information about the characters and the current situation before seeing the first major fight of the comic collection. As such, it's difficult for anyone to pick up G.I. Joe: America's Elite Disavowed: Volume 4...Read more
Trial set for December in death of elderly comic collectorComic Book Resources, August 21st
According to the Batavia, New York, Daily News, the trial of Rico J. Vendetti is scheduled for Dec. 5 in U.S. District Court in Buffalo. Dates still haven't been set for his four co-defendants. Vendetti is accused of hiring seven people to steal the...Read more
Homeowners Who Lost Tens of Thousands, Point Finger at ContractorNBC Connecticut, August 21st
a larceny investigation last year against Boffi, but detectives told the Troubleshooters the case was suspended a few weeks ago because he's been making restitution to the family that filed the complaint, including paying off a debt using vintage...Read more
First Superman Comic Breaks $2 Million on eBayartnet News, August 21st
A copy was stolen from actor and comic collector Nicholas Cage in 2000 and was recovered in 2011; it was then sold at ComicConnect for the record $2.1 million. The best known copy is believed to belong to an unidentified collector, affectionately known...Read more
'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' is driven by the dameBoston Globe, August 16th
The multi-tasking artist's stamp appeared on a few other projects in the interim — “300” adapted his hard-rocking sword-and-sandal vision, he directed the vintage-comics tribute “The Spirit,” and he spliced superheroes and post-9/11 rage in the indie...Read more
Friday Short ListRoanoke Times, August 13th
Since 1998 this show has been promoted as the only vintage comics show in the eastern United States. Part of proceeds will be donated to pediatric cancer research in memory of local children. There will also be a silent auction of comic, sports and...Read more
Original art from the greatest private comic collection on earthBoing Boing, July 30th
One evening several years ago my friend, the artist Coop, took me to the San Fernando Valley house of comic book art collector Glenn Bray. I was somewhat familiar with Bray, having read bits and pieces about his large collection. I knew that he was the...Read more