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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On the Books: RL Stine, comic publishers embrace the digital ageEntertainment Weekly, October 29th
That vintage comic isn't the only one getting the digital treatment. Toronto-based e-reader company Kobo has added more than 250 issues of Marvel comics to its virtual collection, including The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. “Marvel is excited ...Read more
Digital art marketplace picks up $1.9 mlnThomson Reuters' peHUB (press release), October 29th
If you want to buy digital art prints for your home or office or even possibly as a christmas present, Curioos is also launching two new collections this week: Man Cave and Post-Punk & Vintage Comics. About Curioos Curioos is a curated marketplace for...Read more
IRS tries to auction lotto winner's comics, walks away empty-handedComic Book Resources, October 29th
After Robert Sage won a $13 million jackpot in the Florida lottery in 2001, he said he planned to build a two-story house with a tennis court and enough room to store his 300 superhero statues and 14,000 comic books. But on Tuesday, he found himself in...Read more
Danny Stone :Royal Ramblings Does the London Film & Comic ConHuffington Post UK, October 29th
The film and comic conventions are an ageless extravaganza for comic collectors, film buffs and science fiction aficionados. There are rows upon rows of memorabilia, collectables and merchandise. Looking for an Oscorp T-Shirt or a signed Pulp Fiction ...Read more
Pipeline: "All-Star Batman and Robin" Re-Read, Episode OneComic Book Resources, October 28th
I love my comic collection. When I flip through the longboxes filled with 20 years' worth of comics collecting, I inevitably find things I forgot about or things I want to reread. They often spark memories of visits to the comics shop or artists...Read more
Able to leap tall buildings in a single boundGreensburg Daily News, October 28th
A number of the criteria for establishing the value of vintage comics will parallel the guidelines for valuing all old books. Comics are not necessarily of value just because they are old. Age helps, but remember to factor in rarity, popularity and...Read more
Oafcon 2014: Sunday reportNewsOK.com, October 27th
That's a big part of the fun of something like Oafcon – seeing vintage comics and memorabilia that otherwise you might only see at the largest of conventions, if at all. The show in a lot of ways is a throwback to the “old school” style of comic...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