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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“Little Boy” and the Search for Faith in a Broken WorldCatholic World Report (blog), April 23rd
The first scenes brim over with old-time Americana—from vintage comic books to an apron-clad mother in pearls to posters of Uncle Sam. It's a nearly perfect world. Life is simple; the nation may be at war, but the battle-lines, even on the home front...Read more
Salina antique store damaged by fireKWCH, April 22nd
She says one of her vendors lost about $4,000 worth of vintage comic books. "Books, we are going to lose a lot of the books, and paper goods." Underwood is thankful for what she does have left, the support of the community and friends, who have rushed...Read more
Auction watch: Upcoming sales include coins, china, even comicsTribune-Review, April 19th
Also in the mix, dozens of vintage comics books hailing mostly from the late 1950s and early '60s, with titles from DC and Marvel. For the ladies in the crowd, 50 lots of jewelry should dazzle. The sales take place at the Gilpin Township Fire Hall...Read more
Big Wow! Comicfest: Families in superhero costumes turn out for old-fashioned ...Contra Costa Times, April 18th
Demand for vintage comic books is also on the rise. A record was set last year when the first comic book featuring Superman sold on eBay for $3.2 million. Many of the Big Wow! conventioneers Saturday were looking for their favorites or to buy comic...Read more
In the galleries: Moving toward the transcendentalWashington Post, April 17th
J.D. Deardourff's “Doritos Locos Tacos,” also at Hillyer, is based on vintage comic books, but he emulates their style rather than their content. The D.C. artist eliminates figures while emphasizing backdrops and the graphic shorthand for flames...Read more
Major comic collector teaches community college courseKCRG, April 9th
IOWA CITY — Since he was a little boy, Jerry Harrington has spent free time with a comic book in his hands. Even before he knew what he was looking at. “I remember approaching first grade with the goal of learning how to read,” Harrington said. “I...Read more
Comic Collector To Sue PGX Over Fantastic Four GradeBleeding Cool News, April 9th
ff CGC is the leading comic book collector grading and slabbing service. Naturally, where there is a market originator and leder, there will be competition. Such as PGX, which has come under controversy in the past. Well, here's a new one. A comic...Read more
Stan Lee Marvel comic collection exclusively unveiled at Reading gallerygetreading, March 28th
A new collection of iconic comic book covers created by Marvel Comics legendary writer and publisher Stan Lee will be unveiled at Castle Galleries in Reading on Saturday. The collection, on show at the Chain Street gallery from midday on Saturday...Read more