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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Read The $3.2 Million Copy of Action Comics #1 OnlineComicbook.com, October 24th
CDC grades the quality of vintage comics on a 1-10 grading scale. Copies that rank a 9.0 are categorized as “Very Fine/Near Mint.” The perfect 10 is referred to as “Gem Mint.” Action Comics #1 published in spring 1938, is 76 years old, making it's high...Read more
Comics convention moves to NormanNewsOK.com, October 23rd
Vintage comics on display at a previous Oafcon. Photo provided. “It was time to move the show,” organizer Bart Bush said. “And Norman has a great comic book base, so it will be good to be closer for the (University of Oklahoma) students to attend.” The...Read more
Jayne Dowle's sketch: BlackpoolPlace North West, October 23rd
Thursday morning on Waterloo Road in Blackpool and the street theatre would be worth paying money for. A young couple are arguing in front of the betting shop. He's staggering about waving a can of lager. She's yelling, ponytail bobbing up and down...Read more
Secret Wars Turns 30 - A Look Back At Marvel's First Major Inter-Title CrossoverBleeding Cool News, October 21st
While it could be said that Secret Wars was the pre-cursor to a huge bane in a comic collector's life (that of a comic lines multi-threaded series across all titles) and the annual 'huge' summer event that seems to be the trend now and while also it...Read more
The origin story of Comic Readers' Dana TilluszRegina Leader-Post, October 21st
He's even started a new comic collection, but this one is for Samantha. So, far he's selected Uncle Scrooge by Donald Duck creator Carl Barks, and Bone, a comedic fantasy adventure by Jeff Smith. “I think a lot of the stuff I'm going to read her is the...Read more
Chris Vandenbreekel, Special to The Free PressLondon Free Press, October 19th
The convention featured a cosplay contest, or costume competition, discussion panels and a bevy of vendors selling everything from vintage comic books to video games and comics drawn before customers' eyes. Among the vendors was Marwan El Nashar, ...Read more
Superheroes teach lessons in real science at Toonseum exhibitTribune-Review, October 18th
Each vignette is enhanced through the use of art reproductions, vintage comic books, movie props and artifacts with related scientific images and stories from the real world. For example, a metal version of Captain America's shield is accompanied with...Read more
And the world record goes to….Albany Times Union (blog), October 17th
It was on the 11 0'clock comic podcast forum that someone posted a link saying something about the world's largest comic collection and a guy is Australia and he had the world's largest collection of 65,000 comics and verified through the World Record ...Read more