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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Phoenix Comicon Dominates Pop Culture In The MetroModern Times Magazine, March 13th
I think that it sold for a bagillion dollars to some rich guy who wants to relive his childhood — to have that comic collection he always saw on TV. Guess what comics are for kids, get over it! 40,000 people, many of whom are full grown adults, get to...Read more
Legendary Comic Artist's Personal Collection Up for SaleThe Escapist, March 13th
A portion of artist Dave Cockrum's personal comic collection is being sold to help fund art school scholarship efforts. If you're any sort of fan of the X-Men then you owe Dave Cockrum a solid. A fairly legendary comic artist, he's credit with the co...Read more
Auction to draw comic collectorsRichmond Review, March 11th
Ross Martin of Marvel Auctions is sorting through a thick comic book collection to be auctioned Thursday in Richmond. — image credit: Matthew Hoekstra. Most of the comic books filling tables at Marvel Auctions could be had for a dime—at least in the...Read more
FEATURE: Taiwanese artist features on cover of 'ImagineFX'Taipei Times, March 11th
He uses “B.c.N.y.” as a pseudonym, and in the past his works have featured in Taiwan's Creative Comic Collection Journal, various magazine illustrations and video game graphics. According to Yu's Web site, his art has been exhibited at the Morocco ...Read more
Feared lost, original art of Wolverine debut foundIndiana Gazette, March 8th
A comic collector, he brought some issues drawn by Trimpe, hoping for an autograph. Trimpe obliged. As they left, the artist told him to wait. “He ran back upstairs to his studio and he came with this page of artwork in his hands,” Hignite said of ink...Read more
CAPS Stan Sakai Benefit Auctions Started Today - Go and Buy SomethingThe Outhouse, March 7th
The donations of original artwork and collectibles (including newly created art unique to this event, vintage comic book pages, comic strips, illustrations, animation art, limited edition statues, and IDW Artist's editions books) number over three...Read more
Shelf space is the final frontier in this week's Shelf PornComic Book Resources, March 1st
About two years ago my fiance and I moved to Chapel Hill, NC from Brooklyn so I could join a video game start-up. One of the advantages to our new home was much more space and large built in bookcases. Being a vintage comics and toy collector all my...Read more
'Hart of Dixie' season 3 video: See Scott Porter show off comic collectionCarterMatt.com, February 19th
More - It was already pretty clear to us that Scott Porter was a pretty cool guy when it was revealed that he was a pretty enormous “Survivor” fan. Now that we know that he also happens to be a huge fanatic of all things DC, he pretty much rises to the...Read more