Comic book collecting has been a favorite hobby for many...for many, many years! Do you collect vintage comic books?
Great! We believe that most people have a few vintage comic books tucked away somewhere.
Or perhaps, you're parents? Grandparents?
The term vintage comic books may have different meanings for some.
We collected most of the comic books shown on our site during the 1960's-70's. Little did we know back then that we had already started comic book collecting.
Regardless, we believe that everyone loves a good comic book. But how did all of this get started? Let's take a quick look! Plus, we've added a few extra pages related to comic book collecting that may be of interest to you. Check these out!
The origin of collectible comic books started back in the 1911 with the printing of "Mutt and Jeff" by the Chicago American.
Four-color comics were produced in 1929 by George Delacorte and sold as "The Funnies".
In the 1930's, other publishers began to follow suit, but with the Depresion and another major war looming, the popularity of comic strips never really took hold.
...with the exception of Superman, No.1, which was issued in 1938 by Action Comics. This vintage comic strip began, was to be known as, the Golden Age of Comics.
Batman, the Human Torch, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, and others were soon to follow the man with the big "S" on his chest. Do you see a theme here? Fantasy hero's!
Yes, we were looking for a hero to guide us! But, there were also many others to make us laugh, as well. Vintage comics, such as, Archie, Little Lulu, Bugs Bunny, and Blondie made us laugh then, and in some cases, still do!
This Golden Age lasted until after World War II, when America began to settle down and comic book collecting began to fade, somewhat.
As you can see here, not all comic books were intended for laughs.
Classics Illustrated (Featuring Stories by the World's Greatest Authors)featured the Classics. They were nicely illustrated and educational.
Published monthly by Gilberton Company, Inc. in the late 1960's, they sold for 15 cents a copy. There were 166 in all! Wow!(We have about six.)
We actually aquired these comic books from a bank.
Yes, our local bank gave these out from time to time, as free gifts to the kids.
Moving on...a new direction of comics began to emerge in the 1950's.
"Entertaining Comics", or the "EC Era" came about with comics such as, "Crypt of Terror" and "Weird Science". (We know, kind of weird, eh?)
Violence, crime, and sex became the story lines in many of these comics in order to "stir up' some new interest. Though, it was successful to some, many people reacted rather negatively to this "new" format in the comic industry.
In fact, in 1954, it lead to an investigation by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Julvenile Delinquency. Though nothing official was resolved, the major publishers took notice.
They formed the Comics Code Authority (CCA), a self-imposed organization to watch over...itself. Primarily, their function was to limit the use of violence, sex, crime, etc. in the creation of new comic books.
Great! Right? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some liked it, (parents), and others did not (creative artists).
Plus, don't forget, (and it is easy to forget this!) television was coming into its own! The attention span of the youth was being stolen by the "magic box". The history of comic books was in flux.
Enter Stan Lee, the mastermind behind Marvel Comics. He published Flash in 1956 and the revival of superheros was on again! And the Silver Age of comics!
Bring on Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, and others. Superhero's were back!
Marvel Comics took the ball and ran! They dominated the "Super Hero" concept and made it profitable for years to come...little did they know.
Throughout the 1960-70's, they took control of the comic book industry and soon became the largest comic book publisher in the world!
Here's another new comic book concept of the time. This mini-book, (one of a series of BIG LITTLE BOOKS), was published by Western Publishing Company in 1968. It has 248 pages and filled with colorful comics throughout.
Of course Warner Bros. created THE ROAD RUNNER. It has remained popular to this day, in many formats.
But, like everything else, the industry took a dive in the late 70's and early 80's and several publishers went out of business. Even Marvel and DC took a hit, but with cutbacks, survived.
Once again, the comic book industry was in a flux. In the 1980's, 90's, (and some might even say, even today), many comic book publishers were looking for yet another "new identity".
Let's just say that the last 20-30 years have been a "work in progress": new superhero's, political turmoil, global economy and environment/social issues are being addressed.
It's a new world in the comic world...or is it?
What about the "Other" Comic Books?
Other comic books, you say?
Why yes, let's take a look at those...comic magazines.
Actually, let's just mention one magazine and we think you'll understand...MAD Magazine!
Is collecting Mad Magazine considered to be a part of comic book collecting? Well, it depends on who you ask. But, for the purposes of this page, we'll say "yes".
Who hasn't picked up a copy of MAD magazine, at least once?
MAD magazine was first published in 1952, but the CCA didn't approve.
You see, MAD magazine was satirical in nature and did not "fit in" with the other comic books of the era. So, MAD changed the format (and size) of its magazine, and thus, bypassed the CCA.
They had their own, very unique niche, and it exploded with popularity.
Comic book? Yes, it was...in their own way!
Others tried to copy them. Some worked, some didn't. "Cracked", "Crazy", "Heavy metal", and others tried to duplicate the success of MAD magazine, but none to the same extent.
Mad Magazine was a leader. Most of the kids that we knew bought, and read them cover-to-cover. They memorized them. And then, went to school and talked about them!
Most kids couldn't wait for the next issue to come out. It was a combination of quit-witted writers, fantastic illustrators and graphics, current topical issues, and a whole lot of satire.
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Collectible comic books are a great investment. Really! This has been well proven over the years. Early vintage comic books from the 40's and 50's can be worth thousands of dollars. (even in less than perfect condition.
Study up, my friends! You have chosen quite a serious hobby! Comic book collecting can be, and is, a serious business to many!
We don't know much about comic book collecting, but we do know this: these people are serious! And for good reason. A well thought out comic book collection can be worth a lot of money.
Think it through, folks! Don't jump into this hobby blindly. Use your'e best judgement and buy your comic books wisely.