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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A Master StorytellerPacific Northwest Inlander, April 23rd
Inspired by the German expressionism movement of the early 20th century, vintage comic-book art, Asian brush art and Mexican muralists, Siler's work is bold and vibrant in line, texture and color, creating eye-catching movement and rhythm. Viewers...Read more
Five Great Things to Do in Chicago This WeekChicagomag.com, April 23rd
We get a lot of vintage comic books at the Market and I want to see what the next big thing is. We also want to go to Baconfest. I'm a Hyde Parker, so I try to find stuff to do where I don't have to drive past Solider Field, and there's a lot going on...Read more
2014-04-23T13:16:00Z 2014-04-23T20:49:30Z An 'Incredible' productionBy ...Beatrice Daily Sun, April 23rd
Iris is an avid reader of vintage comic books, and especially enjoys the adventures of the Amazing Alexander, played by eighth-grader Adam Tjeersdma. One night, Iris is magically transported to the comic book world while Amazing Alexander finds himself...Read more
At Cyborg One, he takes comics seriouslyBucks County Courier Times, April 22nd
As a small niche shop off of the beaten path, Cyborg One struggles to accommodate both gamers and comic collectors. When Frazier, who had once dreamed of being a comic book artist, acquired the store in 2004, money was never part of the equation...Read more
New Flash Gordon Movie Being DevelopedIGN, April 22nd
According to THR, Twentieth Century Fox has picked up the film rights to Flash Gordon - the vintage comic book space adventurer whose exploits have been brought to TV and the cinema screens in various forms for almost 70 years. The most recent notable ...Read more
Photos: A Bigger, Better And Geekier Awesome ConDCist.com, April 21st
In the massive exhibition room, hundreds of vendors were set up, peddling everything from vintage comics to original art, collectible figurines, hand-crafted swords, and everything in between. It was a scene that could keep anyone occupied and...Read more
Dark Engine #1, Your Latest Shiny Shiny Hole In Your Comic Collection From ...Bleeding Cool News, April 15th
Dark Engine #1, Your Latest Shiny Shiny Hole In Your Comic Collection From Image Comics In July. Posted on April 15, 2014 by Rich Johnston · Tweet · Share on Tumblr · Comments · image. Ryan Burton and John Bivens have a new dark fantasy action ...Read more
A Theater Troupe That Performs Vintage Comic BooksLA Weekly, April 7th
In 1954, the massive, and popular, comic books industry changed forever. Those heavily visual narrative tales provoked outrage amongst the grown-ups who believed these books would lead to the ruin of a generation of youngsters. Psychiatrist Fredric ...Read more