At one time or another each of us have read a comic book. Depending on the age growing up favorites could be Archie, Richie Rich, Superman, The Fantastic Four, Spiderman or Wolverine. Most original comics were meant to be read and tossed out. But, those who saved theirs are reaping profits.
All over the country there are comic conventions. You can find comic book store and comics at garage sales and flea markets. Everyone has favorites, but which ones are most sought after? There are a few to keep an eye out for that could bring you a small fortune.
One big one right now was a giveaway by the Southern California Edison Company of Los Angeles in 1954. It is “Donald Duck Tells about Kites”. Its value is about $2,000. A similar one was made by Pacific Gas and Electric Company was also produced and is nearly as valuable.
A complete set of Marvel Mystery comics from #1, which was published in 1939, through the last issue #92, published in 1949 is valued at close to $25,000.
Comics are classified into three time periods – the Early Period, the Golden Age and the Silver Age.
The Early Period obviously starts from the beginning of comics in 1895. Richard Outcault created “Hogan’s Alley” starring the Yellow Kid. His comics were strips found in newspapers. But almost immediately others started copying his idea and favorites such as Popeye, Blondie and Mickey Mouse were taken from cartoons and made into comic strips.
The oldest comic strip of Mickey Mouse on record is from 1937 the original drawing worth well over $2,500 today.
The first bound comics were made in the 1930s. Proctor and Gamble made them as advertising giveaways in 1933 and called them “Funnies on Parade”. They were reprinted comic strips of Joe Bazooka. Many Bazooka comics later became available in bubble gum and are collectible as well.
The first comics sold on newspaper stands were produced in 1934. These were called “Famous Funnies”. Some collections in mint condition are valued at $5,000 to $10,000.
The Golden Age began in 1938. Actions Comics introduced “Superman” and this began a change from funny comics to heroic comics. The most sought after of the Actions Comics are those that are either #1 or those in which new characters were introduced. Some examples are in Detective Comics #38 from 1940 that introduced Robin into the Batman and Robin comics; Whiz Comics #2 introduced Captain Marvel; and All-Star Comics #8 in 1941 introduced Wonder Woman. The values of these are in constant flux but bring in the thousands of dollars.
Some humorous comics held on to popularity against the superheroes and are still considered very desirable. In 1942 Pep Comics introduced Archie. It has been highly sought after and now with Archie proposing to Veronica, Archie comic books are regaining some popularity.
Some comics are also collected because of the artists. Certain artists began their sketches of various characters at certain times. Individuals often prefer certain renditions. For example Disney artists Carl Barks and Jack Hannah are considered two of the most popular and collected. Banks is best known for introducing “Uncle Scrooge”. Hannah’s version of Donald Duck is considered the best of the character.
The Silver Age began around 1956. These are best known as having ghoul type sci-fi or horror characters. Some collectible comics are “Crypt of Terror”, “Vault of Horror” and “Weird Sciences”. These were done by William M. Gaines, who later produced MAD Magazine.
Of course each age was different but did not stop the collections from the previous eras. The Silver Age had such super heroes as “The Incredible Hulk” and “The Amazing Spiderman”.
In the 1960s “Underground Comix” produced unusual comics often themed with sex or drugs. Some popular comics were “Zap”, “Bijou” and “E.Z. Wolf”.
Although the early comics are considered the most collectible by serious collectors, newer comics should not be overlooked. Whenever a character movie is made such as “Ironman”, those comics are searched out. This popularity is often short lived but one never knows what the future will bring.
I always recommend you start collecting the comics you most enjoy. From there your interests are sure to grow and so will your collection.
Source: Encyclopedia of Collecting