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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Ashland comic shop hosts live painterIronton Tribune, November 28th
The Inner Geek, which sells both new and vintage comics and toys opened at the mall 18 months ago. Last week it moved into a larger storefront, which co-owner Jared Greer said was to accommodate expanded holiday business. Greer said business had ...Read more
Shoppers look for local Christmas deals downtownFoster's Daily Democrat, November 27th
Paesano said his vintage comic books are a big draw and “Magic, the Gathering” collectible cards are in big demand now that the 1993 game is regaining popularity. At New Beginnings Thrift Shop in Somersworth the Plaid Friday deal was 25 percent off an ...Read more
Top 10 Gifts the Wealthy Are Buying for the HolidaysGo Banking Rates, November 27th
Some of us might consider a cashmere sweater or a $100 piece of jewelry an extravagant gift. However, when the rich and famous shop for their loved ones for the holidays, many of them take gift-giving to a whole new level. Click through the slideshow...Read more
Shop local with our Tampa Bay area holiday gift guideTampabay.com, November 26th
Browsing through the treasures, you'll spot rows of vinyl records, Coca-Cola collectables, an endless array of 1900s home items, vintage comics, throwback decor and much more. With new-to-you inventory circulated through the nostalgic shrine each day, ...Read more
Ask LH: Is My Vintage Comic Collection Worth Anything?Lifehacker Australia, November 15th
Dear Lifehacker, Too many decades ago, I used to collect comics. I always thought they might eventually be worth something so I have quite a number of heavy boxes which have followed me through the years. There is no way I am ever likely to read them ...Read more
Comic Collection Monday #24: Invincible Iron Man #1 (2008)NewsOK.com, November 9th
In today's Comic Collection Monday, I'm taking a look at “Invincible Iron Man” #1, published May 7, 2008. In Comic Collection Monday, I'll post the cover of a comic book from my collection, along with a brief note about the issue - what I thought about...Read more
Comic Collection Monday #23: Rising Stars #1NewsOK.com, November 2nd
In today's Comic Collection Monday, I'm taking a look at “Rising Stars” #1 with a cover date of August 1999. In Comic Collection Monday, I'll post the cover of a comic book from my collection, along with a brief note about the issue - what I thought...Read more
Comics AM | Reward offered for return of stolen vintage comicsComic Book Resources, October 30th
Crime | A woman in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the return of her brother's collection of 280 vintage comics, including issues of Detective Comics, Batman, The Avengers and Captain America. Gail Munroe ...Read more