The Beano, Eagle, Dan Dare, Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, The Bash Street Kids, Dandy, Captain America, Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Incredible Hulk. We all remember these great comic book characters, scroll down and remember your favourites. In the 1930's free comics became popular mostly because of the depression.

Nobody could afford to buy comics. If you want to put your hands on a piece of Superman comics book history however, it's a different story. You'll find that there are plenty of valuable Superman comics still floating around on the market. Popular television shows like Smallville have definitely gone a long way to keep the love alive for the Man of Steel.

There is even a new breed of comics focused on Superman that can be found online and in comic book stores. The world of comics is evolving fast but the love of the Man of Steel stands as strong today as it was nearly eighty years ago.



Welcome to Pastreunited, here you will find hundreds of videos, images, and over 80 pages about all aspects of the 20th century. A great deal of the content has been sent in, other content is the work of numerous writers who have a passion for this era, please feel free to send in your memories or that of your family members, photos and videos are all welcome to help expand pastreunited's data base.

You may also add a dedication to a loved one if you wish, we have been on-line for many years and intend to be here for many years to come as new family members will take over the website, all content is regularly backed up to safe guard the content, so what are you waiting for send us an email and we will do the rest.




It’s generally accepted among collectors that the first comic book was FUNNIES ON PARADE, published in 1933. This was mainly a collection of newspaper strip reprints, featuring such favorites as Mutt & Jeff, Joe Palooka, Hairbreadth Harry, Reg’lar Fellers, and more. But for all intents and purposes, the comic book industry really started with the publication of ACTION COMICS #1 in June 1938.

This landmark issue, the first comic to present all-new material, saw the first appearance of The Man of Steel, Superman. The product of two teenage boys from Cleveland, Ohio, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman was an overnight sensation and forever transformed the fledgling comic book industry.

It is the publication of ACTION #1 that marks the beginning of the “Golden Age” of comics. The reason for Superman’s instant popularity in the late 1930s is obvious: during this time, America was a nation of immigrants.


Nicolas Cage


A while back, Nicolas Cage sold his comic book collection for $1.68 million. That's right $1.68 million! And yes, that Nicholas Cage!
This article lays out 4 secrets to his success that hardly anyone knew about -- but could do -- even if they didn't have a million bucks laying around.


For those living in a cave, Nicolas Cage is an actor and producer whose movies have raked in a billion dollars. He's a versatile actor and his movies appeal to everyone. He has been in action, drama, and comedy flicks. He has a number of film starring roles to his credit. Including: Windtalkers, Gone In Sixty Seconds, The Rock, Con-Air (my personal favorite!!!) just to name a few.
And he is a comic collector. And a very shrewd one....who not so long ago made a lot of money selling his collection.

Among the highlights of the collection that Nicolas Cage sold was a 1940 Detective #38 comic that featured the debut of Robin, for $120,750 over a price guide list of $45,000. A 1940 Mile High Copy of All-Star #3 featuring the first Justice Society of America sold for $126,500 against a value of $45,000. It included Action Comics #1 (first Superman from 1938) which sold at $86,250.It also included the Allentown copy of Detective #33, as well as the Mile High Adventure Comics #48, the first appearance of Hourman, and Captain America Comics #1. So clearly his collection included a treasure-trove for any collector of high-quality Golden Age material.


However, Silver Age material was also well-represented. He also sold his personal copies of Amazing Fantasy #15, featuring Spider-Man's first appearance, Brave and the Bold #28, which introduces the Justice League of America, Fantastic Four #1, Green Lantern #1, and X-Men #1, among a total of 141 comics he sold.
Nick reportedly made the decision to sell his collection after watching the market and deciding to when he wanted to sell. Indeed.

Now that this collection has changed hands, Cage plans to move into other areas of collecting, and he has a nice nest egg to bankroll that move.
What you can learn from Nicolas Cage? Here are a four tips you can learn from Nick, even if you don't have a million dollars laying around to play with...
(1) Invest in proven,, low-risk comic books. He invested rare, old comics in great condition that have have a proven track record of being high demand and whose value has risen steadily, though slowly over the years. Nobody can question his decision to invest in Action #1, Amazing Fantasy #15 or X-Men #1.
(2) Condition, condition, condition.

He also bought them in the best condition possible. The lesson here continues to be to invest in comics in the best condition you can find, that have proven in-demand track records. He specialized in what he knows about -- not what he doesn't know about. As you look at the comics described earlier, 95% of the comics Nick sold were first issues.


(3) Specialization. In all of his collecting, -- whether comics, coins or cars -- Nick specializes in first editions. He's researched first issues and he personally likes being or having the first of anything he deals with.


(4) Re-invest...but in what you know. It has been reported that he will take some of the profits that he's made from his $1.68 million sale in re-invest them in first editions of comics from the 1970s & 1980s because he believes these will be the hot areas for comic investors in the next few years.

If this is true, it does look like he's willing to take more risks now, and will be looking to re-invest in some "undiscovered treasures" but will still stick with what he knows -- which is first editions. He sold as soon as he was able to profit of $615,000 from this collection -- based on his original investment and what he paid the auction companies.


Captain Marvel Comic book


Captain Marvel is a fictional comic book superhero, originally published by Fawcett Comics and later by DC Comics. Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, the character first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940). With a premise that taps adolescent fantasy, Captain Marvel is the alter ego of Billy Batson, a youth who works as a radio news reporter and was chosen to be a champion of good by the wizard Shazam.

Whenever Billy speaks the wizard's name, he is instantly struck by a magic lightning bolt that transforms him into an adult superhero empowered with the abilities of six legendary figures; one from the Old Testament and five from mythology. Several friends and family members, most notably Marvel Family cohorts Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr., can share Billy's power and become "Marvels" themselves.


Hailed as "The World's Mightiest Mortal" in his adventures, Captain Marvel was nicknamed "The Big Red Cheese" by arch-villain Doctor Sivana, an epithet later adopted by Captain Marvel's fans. Based on sales, Captain Marvel was the most popular superhero of the 1940s, as his Captain Marvel Adventures comic book series sold more copies than Superman and other competing superhero books during the mid-1940s. Captain Marvel was also the first comic book superhero to be adapted to film, in a 1941 Republic Pictures serial (The Adventures of Captain Marvel).

Fawcett ceased publishing Captain Marvel-related comics in 1953, due in part to a copyright infringement suit from DC Comics alleging that Captain Marvel was an illegal infringement of Superman. In 1972, DC licensed the Marvel Family characters and returned them to publication, acquiring all rights to the characters by 1991. DC has since integrated Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family into their DC Universe, and have attempted to revive the property several times. However, Captain Marvel has not regained widespread appeal with new generations, although a Shazam! live-action Saturday morning television series featuring the character ran for three seasons on CBS in the 1970s.


Because Marvel Comics trademarked their Captain Marvel comic book during the interim between the original Captain Marvel's Fawcett years and DC years, DC Comics is unable to promote and market their Captain Marvel/Marvel Family properties under that name. Since 1972, DC has instead used the trademark Shazam! as the title of their comic books and thus the name under which they market and promote the character. Consequently, Captain Marvel himself is sometimes erroneously referred to as Shazam.

People were coming from all over the world in search of “The American Dream.” Superman, as the last survivor of the doomed planet Krypton, is the ultimate immigrant. It wasn’t uncommon for children to be separated from their parents during this time, either in their home country or once they got to Ellis Island. This is the feeling, of both adventure and uncertainty, that Siegel and Shuster, both the sons of European  immigrants, tapped into with their strange visitor from another planet.


The Funnies comic book


It’s generally accepted among collectors that the first comic book was FUNNIES ON PARADE, published in 1933. This was mainly a collection of newspaper strip reprints, featuring such favorites as Mutt & Jeff, Joe Palooka, Hairbreadth Harry, Reg’lar Fellers, and more. But for all intents and purposes, the comic book industry really started with the publication of ACTION COMICS #1 in June 1938. This landmark issue, the first comic to present all-new material, saw the first appearance of The Man of Steel, Superman.

The product of two teenage boys from Cleveland, Ohio, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman was an overnight sensation and forever transformed the fledgling comic book industry. It is the publication of ACTION #1 that marks the beginning of the “Golden Age” of comics. The reason for Superman’s instant popularity in the late 1930s is obvious: during this time, America was a nation of immigrants.


 TRUE CRIME COMICS


Comics publishers saw the writing on the walls. Suddenly, everyone was scrambling to find the hot new trend. Lev Gleason had been publishing CRIME DOES NOT PAY since 1942, and, a few years later had a blockbuster on his hands. Crime and gangsters were hot! Radio gave us “Dragnet,” “The Shadow,” “The Black Museum,” “Crime Classics,” and “Night Beat,” and comics were quick to jump on the bandwagon. CRIME EXPOSED (1948), TRUE CRIME COMICS (1947), CRIMES BY WOMEN (1948), THE KILLERS (1947), and many, many more crime titles littered the news-stands, fuelling the public’s insatiable appetite for “true crime” stories (an appetite that continues unabated to this day.

Witness the O.J. Simpson cottage industry and the ever-ongoing Jon Benet Ramsey investigation, not to mention the current phenomenon of court TV shows, such as “The People’s Court,” “Judge Judy,” and all their various imitators and competitors). The infusion of this new genre would prove to be the savior that the comics industry had been looking for. It would also prove to be its downfall.

Another trend in popular culture in the late 40s and early 50s was the horror film, which, in turn, gave birth to the science fiction movie. Horror films had lain dormant since the start of World War II. Who cares about vampires and werewolves when there’s a real monster to fight in Germany? Avon Publications tried to enter the horror comics niche in 1946, but EERIE, their sole offering, lasted only one issue.

But by 1949, the war was over, and monsters were making a comeback in both films and comics. 1951 gave us “The Thing.” “It Came From Outer Space,” “War Of The Worlds,” “Robot Monster” and “Invaders From Mars” terrified us in 1953, “Godzilla” first stomped Tokyo in 1954, and Cold War paranoia reached its height in 1956 with “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.”


 14th April 1950 was arguably the start of the silver age of comics, and in particular, with the birth of the Eagle. The Eagle and its characters have been well documented in books and more recently on the Internet. What I would like to do is take you back to a time before the Eagle comic had hit the streets. To a time when its founder, The Reverend Marcus Morris, was appointed as a vicar of St James's, Birkdale, Lancashire.

Marcus was born in 1915 and educated at Cheltenham and Brasenose College, Oxford, graduating in 1937. He was ordained at Liverpool Cathedral in 1939 after two years studying theology at Wyecliffe Hall and, in 1940, moved to Great Yarmouth.

After taking a number of positions he accepted the post of Vicar at St. James? in Birkdale - a suburb of Southport. With the position came the parish magazine which Marcus renamed The Anvil in 1946, and which gave him an outlet for his journalistic urges. He had long felt that parish magazines, which were the main written method of presenting himself to his followers, were dreary and ineffective.


The Eagle comic book

 
The comic first appeared on 26 July 1938 and was published weekly. During the Second World War, The Beano and The Dandy were published on alternating weeks due to paper and ink rationing. D.C. Thomson's other publications also suffered with the Oor Wullie and The Broons annuals falling victim to paper and ink shortages. Paper and ink supplies were fully restored shortly after the end of hostilities and weekly publication of The Beano and The Dandy soon followed.

As of 2007, over 3000 issues have been published. The Beano is currently edited by Alan Digby, who replaced Euan Kerr in summer 2006. Euan Kerr now edits the BeanoMAX, a version of the Beano for older readers. Its iconic characters such as Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, and The Bash Street Kids have become known to generations of British children. Earlier generations will remember other notable characters which have been phased out, such as Biffo.

Some old characters have made a return like Lord Snooty. The comics were distributed in some of the British colonies or former colonies as well. Because they were sent by sea mail, they would go on sale some weeks after the date shown on the cover. The comic holds the record for being the world's longest running weekly comic.


1950s war comics


Comic books were an easy fit for 1930’s America. They were cheap, easy to produce, and even easier to sell. With large booms in pulp, radio shows and comic strips, comic books were the next logical step. It was the arrival of Superman in 1938 and Batman roughly a year later that heralded not only the rise of superheroes, but the Golden Age of Comics.

The entry of the United States into World War II didn’t halt comic book reading – if anything it accelerated it, with heroes were throwing down with the likes the Nazis and dictators even before the bombs fell upon Pearl Harbour. Once the war began, comics weren’t just morale boosters – they were part of the war effort like any other industry.

Patriotic heroes like Captain America urged the purchase of war bonds, and entire runs of comics were bough from the stands and scrapped for recycling to help overseas troops. Though such sacrifices played their part in the “Greatest Generation”, they would have far-reaching ramifications on the comic industry in later generations – nearly forty years later.


 
The 1950’s dramatically altered the superhero landscape. Noted psychiatrist Frederic Wertham published “Seduction of the Innocent”, a book which pinned much of society’s ills on comics. He alleged Batman and Robin were homosexuals, and Wonder Woman was not only a lesbian, but also a threat to the woman’s place in the American household.

Wertham’s scathing criticism caused comic book sales to plummet. Grisly horror and crime comics like Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror were left crippled. The entire incident culminated in a Comics Code Authority that oversaw comic book content, and as a result, comic books for the next decade were largely sanitized.



Changes in technology furthered the development of the comic. The invention of photoengraving in 1873 made newspaper illustration relatively inexpensive. In addition, the size of the reading public grew, and at the turn of the nineteenth century, a wide range of comics became a staple in American life. In 1892, James Guilford Swinnerton's strip for the San Francisco Examiner was among the first to include continuing characters in a daily newspaper.

In 1893, Joseph Pulitzer's New York World published its first full-page color comic, and in that same year the New York Recorder also featured a colour page of comics. By the early 1900s, regular strips were appearing in the newspapers of major cities throughout the United States. Comics could be original or adaptations of literary works: in 1929, Harold Foster adapted Edgar Rice Burrough's 1914 Tarzan of the Apes for distribution by the Metropolitan Newspaper Service.

Art, we all know this word but how many of us knows what is art and what it contains inside it. Infact it has only a beginning,it has no end. There are different type of privileges and occupations in this world and the companies attempting to get their goal to keep stay and being up in their field by using art like marketing ,product promoting ,speech,communication etc.

Art is not a profession it is a passion, art is a language to communicate with others and it is a medium to express our imagination,emotions,concepts,ideas,feelings and have at last loud voice so that we can hear it's song. Comic art is one of the medium which is not only entertain to children but also could play a dynamic role to promote a story,screenplay, product and any kind of business with it’s functionality,uses and it,s effective and reflective modes.

Many companies like confectionery, beverages and advertising based organisations are getting benefits by it’s multidimensional results.For instance we should have a look at movies like 300,dark night,wanted,superman, spider-man hulk etc.these movies are totally based on comic art and not only made a history in entertaining world but also given a big financial business to the advertising and entertainment world.

Generally a comic book prepared by expert visualisers,illustrators (pencillers & inkers)and expert digital colourants and they follows the story and illustrate it according to the scene. Many comic companies have published the renowned writer's classic stories and converted into graphic novels like the invisible man,time machine,20,000 leagues under the sea,king Solomon's mines,master of the world,journey to the centre of the earth and have given a healthy and knowledgeable entertainment to the world.

There are many artists who have a big fame by their great job and giving a good entertainment to the world by their stylish and fantasy art e.g Boris vallejo,frank miller, Alex Ross , cartoonist pran and so on.At last we can say that art has no limits at all and we can share our thoughts and communicate with others by using it's language.


The Beano and The Dandy
The Beano comic

 
British comics typically differ from the American comic book in a variety of respects. Although historically they shared the same format size, based on a sheet of imperial paper folded in half, British comics have moved away from this size, with The Beano and The Dandy the last to adopt a standard magazine size in the late 1980s. Until this point, the British comic was also usually printed on newsprint, with black or a dark red used as the dark colour and the four colour process used on the cover. The Beano and The Dandy both switched to an all colour format in 1993.

Although originally aimed at the semi-literate working class, the comic eventually came to be seen as childish, and hence was marketed towards children. In today's market in Britain comics intended for teenagers or adults are considered to be more or less stretching the medium beyond its primary audience.
Historically, stories were of one or two pages in length, although now last longer and continue over a number of issues and period of time.


Whilst some comics contain only strips, other publications have had a slightly different focus, providing readers with articles about, and photographs of, pop stars and television/film actors, plus more general articles about teenage life, whilst throwing in a few comic strips for good measure.

Since the 1950s, it has been traditional that the most popular comics have annuals, usually published just in time for Christmas, and summer special editions.
In British comics history, there are some extremely long-running publications such as The Beano and The Dandy published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd, a newspaper company based in Dundee, Scotland. The Dandy began in 1937 and The Beano in 1938. They are both still going today.

The Boys' Own Paper lasted from 1879 to 1967. The intellectual span of British comics over the years has stretched all the way from the cheerfully moronic obscenities of Viz (adult) to the political awareness of Crisis (adolescent to adult) and the sound educational values of Look and Learn (children's).

There has also been a continuous tradition of black and white comics, published in a smaller page size format, many of them war titles like Air Ace inspiring youngsters with tales of the exploits of the army, navy and Royal Air Force mainly in the two world wars, also some romance titles and some westerns in this format.


Bash Street Kids


Iconic characters such as Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, and The Bash Street Kids have become known to generations of British children. Earlier generations will remember other notable characters which have been phased out, such as Biffo the Bear.

The comics were distributed in some of the British colonies or former colonies as well. Because they were sent by sea mail, they would go on sale some weeks after the date shown on the cover. The comic holds the record for being the world's longest running weekly comic.


Spiderman comics


Spiderman comics have always been on high demand because they are not only bought by children but also by adults who probably read them when they were kids as well.  Spiderman comics are a Marvel Comic original that made its debut in 1962 and was written and created by Stan lee and Steve Dikto.

In his first appearance in Marvel Comics Spiderman made his debut in a guest appearance spot, but would later have his own comic line. The Spiderman character real name is Peter Parker a quite and unsure fellow, who after he is bitten by a spider which had been used for experiments, which means basically the spider had been given different gene’s that made it stronger, faster and could sense danger when it was near and this what transferred into the young Peter Parker and transformed him to his alter ego the wise cracking, web sling Spiderman.

Spiderman comics became a big hit with the kids as well as with adults and this spun into two cartoons. One cartoon was about Spidey on his own and the other was him and iceman and was called the double duo, which actually was also a comic book. The cartoons then lead to a Spiderman movie which would later be remade in early 2000 into the Spiderman movies which we have come to love.

Spiderman also shares the scene with other characters like Mary Jane Watson who is Peter Parkers love interest, then there his Aunt and off course the bad guys like the green goblin and Dr. Doom as well as Doc Octopus. The suit of Spiderman has always been red and blue but there was a time the suit changed to black in 1984 when an alien material or matter attached itself to Spiderman’s suit.

Even with the emergence of popular entertainment outlets such as the internet and satellite television, comic books have maintained an impressive market share of consumer spending. There simply is no replacement for the unique way a comic can present a story and engage its readers. Because of this, comic book collecting has also grown in recent years with a new generation of readers enjoying this rewarding hobby.

For collectors who are just beginning, there are a couple of different approaches to take to the hobby. Some people are simply fans of a particular hero or publisher. They purchase comics for their own entertainment and don't concern themselves much with the after-market value of the publication.

Other collectors concentrate on acquiring limited edition or rare comics for the sake of achieving a return on their investment. This form of collecting usually requires an advanced knowledge of the market as well as the necessary funds to make large purchases.

There are five distinct eras of comic book memorabilia. The Platinum Age represent the oldest time period, dating between the 1800's and 1937. The Golden Age covers the years of 1938 to 1955. Silver Age comic books are dated between 1956 and 1969, and the Bronze Age occurred between 1970 and 1979. The Modern Age includes everything that was produced from 1980 through today.

time period is unique and distinctive in the way the publications were written, produced, and distributed. Obviously the older periods offer the most valuable items, but there are still plenty of rare and limited comics to be found in the Modern Age.


Collectable early comics


Most people who want to convert old comics to cash, regardless of whether they are a collector or they have discovered a stash in their attic, want to get top dollar for no effort. Unfortunately, back in the real world, the price you'll get will depend on the effort you devote to selling your comics. However, there are some tips that will help whether you just want quick cash or you're going to bring your A-game hustle. In this article I'll tell you three secrets to bringing home more money for your old comics.

My first tip is to sell your valuable comics individually, and bundle your cheap comics together. You want to extract the maximum value from your expensive comics while not accepting spare change for the rest. By selling your valuable comics individually, you'll be able to hold them back if the price isn't right. When bundling your cheap comics, you could split them by character, for example, so that with some luck someone will buy all your Superman comics because they're a Superman fan or because they want a specific issue.

My second tip is to try to sell your comics at as many different places as possible. There is a huge list of places you could sell your comics, such as eBay, Craigslist, Comicbookclassifieds.com, or at comic conventions or shops. If you try to sell your comics on eBay, and you're only offered chump change, you don't have to accept it. It takes no time at all to stick an ad on Craigslist or to pop in your local comic shop.

My third tip is to pay attention to how you present your comics. With your more valuable comics, this can mean submitting them to the CGC for grading. A comic that is professionally graded is more appealing to buyers. Equally, if you are selling your comics online, take good photos - that doesn't mean misleading buyers and hiding defects, but clearly presenting your comics. People are more likely to buy a comic that has several photos of the cover and inside pages rather than a comic with just a dark photo of the cover or no photo at all.


THE HAUNT OF FEAR comic book


THE VAULT OF HORROR, THE CRYPT OF TERROR, THE HAUNT OF FEAR… if it slithered, slimed, crawled, killed, maimed, or devoured, it found a home in the pages of these books. No idea was too twisted, no image too terrifying for Gaines’ Ghouls to illustrate for a white-knuckled public. “O. Henry”-style twist endings abounded: a baseball player who killed a rival was himself killed and his body parts used to play a midnight ball game.

In another, a dutiful wife found that her husband, the butcher, had sold tainted meat that had accidentally killed their son. Come the next morning, his remains are proudly displayed in the meat case, while she stands glassy-eyed behind the counter. And science-fiction wasn’t neglected, either. There were books like WEIRD SCIENCE, WEIRD FANTASY, and INCREDIBLE SCIENCE FICTION.

Rockets, spacemen, and a plethora of weird aliens populated these magazines, with all the promise of the newly-born Atomic Age.


But then the unthinkable happened. The publication of SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT in 1954 by Dr. Frederic Wertham rocked the comic-publishing world. Wertham claimed to be a crusader, obsessed with protecting America’s youth.

He claimed to have done a study of juvenile delinquents that “proved” comic books had turned them into criminals. Never mind that the majority of his subjects came from broken homes or from parents who had had unfortunate run-ins with the law; comic books, and comic books alone, were the scourge of the country and had to be wiped out.


The Magnet story book

 
British comics are direct descendants from serialised children’s papers of the early Twentieth century such as The Magnet and The Gem.  Although comics already existed alongside these magazines, there is a direct correlation between falling sales in serials and their growth in popularity.

When the paper shortages of the 1940s were lifted and the improvement of printing techniques allowed larger, clearer pictures to be produced, the comic began to replace the more outmoded format and presentation of the serialised story.

The American demand for pulp fiction; sold on news stands and corner shops, spread to the United Kingdom, where increased literacy amongst the lower classes additionally created a greater demand for inexpensive and accessible reading materials.

Pulp fiction and serials also presented another new facet; their distinctive short format. In comics this size and shape was translated into a journal comprising a twenty eight page layout. This provided a short space in which to present punchy, dynamic stories which had great success with the growing mainstream of new readers.

With the obvious bonus of imagery, the war comic in particular became popular, with strong emphasis on adventure, action, and the technical detail involved in drawing the machines of war. The comics’ format also capitalised on this innovative use of illustration and succinct format by inventing the distinctive ‘splash page’ introduction. This was an illustration which encompassed the entire first page and thus presented a far more vital introduction to the narrative6. Another essential element in the rise of the war comic, this device highlighted large-scale drawings of combat and machinery in action.


Comic books true stories


A comic book is usually a magazine that is made up of artwork coupled with dialog and regularly includes a concise narrative style. The very first comic book existed in 1934 in the United States, reprinting earlier comic strips from daily newspapers, which had established a lot of story telling devices that are now used in comics in the world today.

The term comic book emerged because the original book had been reprinted using comic strips, but regardless of the name, they are not always humorous as the daily funnies; most of the modern comic books contain drama or dark stories or reveal the unpleasant side of life included in either super hero stories or stories about normal citizens.

A comic book is a 32 page magazine that is about 7 by 10 inches in size. Each page is usually divided into about 6 panels. Panels are around 2 by 4 or else 3 by 3. In this 32 page book, there can be as few as 80 panels as many as 220 panels. The panel size is one method that the artist portrays the passage of time. Small panels are used to show that time is going by quickly whereas large panels are used to portray that time is passing more slowly.

The very first full page panel of the comic book is the splash page and is used to set the opening events of the story. This page also contains the title of the story and has the names of the writer, penciller, colorist and letterer.

The new comic book is one of the cheapest types of magazines to purchase. However, if one is a collector of comics, then the collector may pay much higher prices for the more collectible comics. A good collector will do research online to become familiar with where comic books are sold and at what prices. The comic book has a strong and loyal customer following; the collector not only is knowledgeable about fair market prices for comic books but is also familiar with the stories and history of events in the characters' lives.

Many comic book retailers are open late in the evening. Comics are currently released on Wednesday of each week, so having late store hours on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday allows the shoppers and collectors the ability to purchase the newest releases after working hours.

Comic books hold or appreciate in value over time so a collector can sell them after reading them. Comic books are worth more if their new condition is maintained. Any purchaser of comic books would be wise to store their comics in a comic book bag with a board.

There are some pricing guides that are heavily relied upon when determining the value of comic books. These guides include Standard and Over street catalogue of comic books. These guides for comic books provide a collector with pricing for the different conditions as well as key plot or character development milestones. A collector is always prudent to speak to a professional book seller.


The Black Magic Comic 1950s


When D.C. Thomson's, The Dandy Comic, was released on the 4th December 1937, it broke the mould on the way comics were to appear forever more. Prior to The Dandy Comic, childrens comics were broadsheet in size and not very colourful. This is to take nothing away from their content, but when compared to The Dandy Comic, and later on, The Beano Comic and The Magic Comic, these broadsheets looked rather staid in comparison. Having said all that, the size wasn't exactly new. The story papers, which had been going for many years, were already tabloid size, it was just new to comics.

Modern comics have several forms: the single-frame story, in which one picture conveys the entire tale, relies heavily on familiar characterization and sequence of spatial relationships within the frame; the gag strip, made up of three or four pictures with a joke in the last frame, such as Sad Sack (1942); the serial strip, which shows a new piece of the story every day or once a week, such as Terry and the Pirates (created in 1934 by Milton Caniff); and the comic book, in which complete stories are contained within the pages, the first of which, Funnies on Parade, was published by Procter and Gamble in 1933 and sold for ten cents.

By the late 1940s, more than 50 million copies of comic books were sold a month. The first comic strips were syndicated in 1914, and any small-town newspaper could purchase them. By the mid-twentieth century, Chic Young's Blondie was the most highly syndicated comic strip in the world, and Mort Walker's Beetle Bailey, which displayed an American irreverence to military authority, was syndicated in more than fifty countries.


Captain America comics

 
There are thousands of comic book characters in existence from past to present. Many are well known while the majority are more obscure to the general public. And while top ten lists are generally subjective and based on opinion, there are certain comic book characters that will be discussed in this article that are worthy of that distinction by most standards. These are in random order.

Superman - There absolutely cannot be a top ten list of comic book characters without the Man of Steel. He's one of the first (arguably THE first) superhero to ever grace the four-color world, and thus his history is one of the richest. He's also one of the most popular in both comics and worldwide as viewed by the general public. He represents truth, justice, righteousness and morality. And while many find it hard to relate to him, those same people look up to his characteristics and admire his altruistic spirit.

Batman - Not quite so altruistic, but every bit as popular and loved is the Dark Knight. He may not always do the right thing, or do it the right way, but his motives are always pure, and his intent is always clear. He's a thinking man's hero, but he's also a warrior's hero. He's well rounded and complete, and a little bit gritty, and that's why we like him.

Spider-Man - The boy next door; the everyman; the geeky kid a great majority of us can relate to who overcomes the odds and becomes something great. Spider-Man gives us hope that we can achieve that same greatness in our own special ways. He truly is a standard bearer and a true hero to the core, always trying to do the right thing, but many times messing it up horribly, thus proving he's still human, and thus endearing him more and more to our hearts.

Lex Luthor - The arch-nemesis of the 'Blue Boyscout', Superman, Lex Luthor is all kinds of evil wrapped up in money and a well pressed, expensive suit. He's diabolically clever and vicious, and he never lets Supes sleep on the job. Cementing his legacy as one of the greatest villains of all time, Luthor wins our allegiance for the depth of his character and his driven purpose.

Captain America - Maybe not as popular in modern times as he was in the days of World War II when he first appeared on the comic scene, but still a symbol of America and classic comics from the Golden and Silver ages. Captain America is displaced and so he views the world a bit differently than the rest of us. He sees things the way they should be in his mind, which isn't always the most popular point of view. He's often portrayed as a boy scout, but truthfully he's much deeper than that, and that's where the appeal lies.

Wolverine - Overused or not, Logan is one of the most popular comic book characters in existence today. When he first burst onto the scene in the revitalized X-Men he quickly gained an everlasting fan base because of the difference he brought to the table.

He's not your typical do-gooder hero, though he always does fight for the right causes. He's temperamental, at times insecure, rude, crude and unpredictable. He's a loner with a heart of gold and a penchant for violence. He's an anti-hero who takes no crap, but at the same time he deeply cares about those he surrounds himself with. And it's those complexities that make him stand out in our minds.

Wonder Woman - The first widely received female superhero, Wonder Woman is by far the most popular female comic book character to date. She comes from a world where women are dominant, which gained her popularity early on in the women's liberation movement. She stands head-to-head and toe-to-toe with any male superhero, and she shows them up often times. She's a strong, beautiful, intelligent and yet still feminine heroine with a costume that has become more than iconic.

The Joker - The thorn in Batman's side rightly deserves a place on this list for his epic battles with the 'Caped Crusader'. Of all comic book characters in the superhero realm, there is none quite like the Joker. He's maniacal, insane, and ruthless, yet charming, smooth and debonair at the same time. He's a mass murderer and a child killer, and he's obsessed with Batman. He's just too crazy not to love!

The Flash - If underoos and t-shirts are any indication, The Flash is one of the most noticeable and popular iconic comic book characters of all time. He's a fan-favorite of comic readers and non-comic fans alike. He's known worldwide and his trademark red costume with the white circle and yellow lightning bolt are instantly recognized. But more than appearance, it's his powers and his wit that land him on this list. He's one of the original comic relief superheroes in the genre with his sarcastic and humorous banter that rivals that of Spider-Man. And who doesn't love super speed powers? He's the best at what he does.

The Incredible Hulk - Mr. Green Genes himself has to make this list merely for his iconic status in the world of comics and beyond. He's a classic hero that has gained notoriety through comics, television and film. And with the popularity of the second Hulk film that just released, his star will only continue to rise. Couple that with the massive success of Planet Hulk and the Incredible one is a force to be reckoned with. Whether it’s his intense power, or the dynamic between that power and the weak, but intelligent alter-ego Bruce Banner, we love him no matter what.

There are many other comic book characters that could have easily made this list, like Magneto, Iron Man, Robin, Green Lantern, Professor X and so many others. The names represented above, though, are undoubtedly some of the greatest comic book characters ever created.



Looking for rare and collectible comic books? Whether you are a seasoned collector of Golden Age comics or just starting with some recent back issues, finding the comic you want, when you want it could be a daunting task.

Where to Find Comics
The two best places to find comics are the Internet and the world famous San Diego Comic-Con. Visiting the local comic store is still an option, but your changes of finding that Amazing Spider-Man #1 is slim.

In this article, we'll focus on how to find comics on the Internet. Specifically, vintage comics that are at least ten years old. In general, comic searches will be focused on ages: Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age and Modern.

Surprisingly, the large search engines, such as Google, are not the best place to look for comics. The results you'll find will be to dealer sites, but not to their constantly changing inventory. Your search will be focused on the following categories: comic book specific search engines, auction sites, dealer sites, classifieds and forums.

Comic Search Engines
Your best bet for one-stop shopping is a comic book search engine. This type of website will search as many sites on the Internet that it can find and present the compiled results to you without you having to visit multiple sites.

The largest, ComicSeeker.com (http://www.comicseeker.com), is simple to use. You type in the title of the comic you are searching for and the optional issue number. The results are then presented from various sites on the Internet. When you find the comic you want, you go from ComicSeeker.com to the site where the comic book if for sale.

Auction Sites
Ebay. Of course, there are other auction sites out there, but for sheer volume, Ebay (http://www.ebay.com) is the leader. On any given day, there are thousands of comics for you to purchase. If you do buy from Ebay, use caution when selecting a seller and always check their feedback. It is not uncommon for the comic you purchase to be in a lower grade than described. There are honest sellers and feedback is the best way to weed out the bad ones.

There are some comic book specialty auction sites. The largest is Heritage Comics (http://www.heritagecomics.com) based in Texas. You can also bid at Vault Auctions, Hakes and OnlineComicBookAuctions.com.

Dealer Sites
Most of the major and minor comic book dealers now have websites. Some have their own search engine, making it easy for you to search their inventory. Some even let you specify a specific grade that you are searching for. Others aren't quite as advanced yet and require you to click from page-to-page to look through their inventory.

The largest dealer site isn't really a dealer, but a consignment/exchange: ComicLink (http://www.comiclink.com). At ComicLink, you will probably find the most active trading of Gold, Silver and Bronze age comics on the Internet.

Classifieds
Comics are not usually sold through online classified sites, but sometimes you can get lucky. As with the auction site category, the classified category is dominated by one major site, Craigslist.

Craigslist (http://www.craigslist.org) operates several local versions, so it is best to stick to searches at your local site as the comic seller may not want to ship to you. Our tip for searching Craigslist is not to search. They have deployed a new technology call RSS/XML. If you have downloaded the Firefox web browser, it is easy to take advantage of this technology.

First, go to your local Craigslist and type the term comics in the search box and select the For Sale section. When the results page loads, you will notice a small icon in the right side of the location bar of Firefox. Click this and the feed will now be saved as a Live Bookmark. From now on, you can instantly see all posts at Craigslist with comics in the description.

Forums
Community forums are a great way to buy comics from other comic collectors. Some forums have specific topic areas just for people who are selling comics. However, the best tactic is to simply be active in the forum and keep your want list in your post signature.

Some popular forums are CGC Boards, CBG Extra and About.com Comics.

With so many options on the Internet, it shouldn't take you long to find the exact comic book you are searching for. By using this multi-tier strategy, you should be able to find multiple copies of the comic you want and purchase based on grade and price. Good luck and have fun.

While comic book series have been around since the 1930s, it wasn't until the 1960s that something changed within the comic book industry, instigating widespread interest in comic book heroes and narratives. Some say it was Stan Lee's re-envisioning of the industry, adding new psychological dimensions to his characters.

Others say it was the teaming up of superhero teams and new plots that interested readers on another level. It could have also been the adaptation to television and movies that exposed comics to more people. Whatever the case, independent book stores popped up in the 1970s and 1980s, inspiring a new breed of ultimate fans: the comic collector.

A serious comic collector will need to be aware of what issues he or she has, as well as the condition of each piece. To keep track of large volumes, it's recommended that you get comic book collection software to help you. These programs allow you to input new and existing comics into a personal database, quickly scan/search for certain criterion that buyers may be looking for, compile a wish list of items you want to include and determine the value of your collection.

This can also help greatly when you're listing your information on sites like eBay. New and bargain collectors can find free software to accomplish the basics at Comic Collector Live. For mid-level collectors, Collectorz offers improved ways of inputting new or existing comics and search capacity for $24.95 or $39.95 (pro version). For the hardcore collector, Comic Base offers a variety of programs, ranging from $49.95 (express) to $299 (archive edition), allowing you the best ways to create wish lists and determine the value of your collection based on comic book industry standard criterion.

There are many places where a collector of such books can buy or sell a comic book collection. Buyers can check such book stores, the publishers' websites (Marvel, DC Dark Horse, IDW), eBay, Craigslist, Mile High Comics, G-mart, Comics-Db, My Comic Shop, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. As can be expected, sellers can also unload their collections at many of these same places.

At Comic Shop Locator, you can find a place to trade-in your old stash for quick cash, although this isn't the way to make the best money. Auction houses are sometimes good, particularly if you have a full collection of a comic book series. You can find some at Comics Heritage Auctions, Morphy Auctions and Christies. However, by far, the best way for a patient and savvy collector to sell is an internet auction like eBay, where top prices can be commanded.

A comic collector will naturally be curious about what old comic books are worth. Popular and respected guides include The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, Comics Buyer's Guide magazine, Wizard Magazine, the Comics Buyer's Guide Standard Catalog of Comic Books, and the Human Computing's ComicBase software program.

Online, comic collectors can also check out free resources like Comic Book Realm, Comics Price Guide or Nosto Mania. At Gp Analysis buyers can view price data gathered from online auction houses and private dealer sales, which are updated daily. Leveraging against several sources is usually the best way to determine an old comic's true value.

I don’t know if you feel the same about comic books like I do, but one thing is for sure, I have held on to my first ever comic book for a very long time and I believe now it will probably cost you quite a penny especially since it is mint condition and it is a first series. When shopping for a comic book it is good to learn all you can on that comic especially if it is the rare or hard to find kind.

Apart from superheroes I have always loved comics like Archie, Jug head and the rest of the gang. I was also a big fan Josie and the pussy cats and off course the DC comic’s collection as well as Marvel comics. Many people do not know the value of their comic books and how much they can get for them if they have kept them in prime condition.

In fact most time people just leave their comics lying around in their homes without ever thinking that if they needed another one and had kept the one they had in good condition they would be able to trade it in for another. This kind of trade is offered by several comic book stores.

Horror comic books


The older your comic the more value it has and the more care you have to give it especially if it is a first edition or a very rare copy. Many a times you will find such comics in auctions or if you really want to luck out look for yard sales where people are moving out because you will find people are either selling their comic book collection at a very low price or giving them away for free. Always have them appraised.
The Grade of a comic is the condition that it is in.

This is determined by many different factors. There is the cover of the comic. Is it creased, torn, or even attached? The inside of the comic is also very important. Is the colour faded or yellowed? Coupons that have been cut out will drastically decrease the value. But don’t worry too much. Even if a comic book is relatively worn, if it is a comic book that is rare, has the first appearance of a character, very old, or highly sought after, then it very well could still be worth a good deal of money. But be careful, rating a comic can be very subjective.

The most famous serial of the silent era, and still iconic to this day, is The Perils of Pauline. It was released by Pathé in 1915 with actress Pearl White playing the title character. It was the French studio's first American success, began the golden age of the silent serial and launched Pearl White's career as the "Queen of Serials". Not all of this serial survives but prints of many episodes are available commercially.

Flash Gordon, released by Universal in 1936, is the most famous example of the sound serial era. Buster Crabbe played Flash Gordon and Charles Middleton was cast as Ming the Merciless. This serial was Universal's attempt to regain an adult audience for the format and benefitted from a larger budget in addition to the studio’s access to props and material from their own feature films.

It did not gain the adult audience but it was a commercial success. Much like The Perils of Pauline, it made Buster Crabbe the "King of Serials" and began the golden age of the sound serial. It was followed by two sequels, Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938) and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940), as well as the semi-sequel Buck Rogers (1939) which also starred Buster Crabbe in the title role.

Columbia, which managed to acquire more licensed properties than the other studios, had one of its most influential releases in 1943's Batman. The production was cheap, with unintentional humour and poor direction but it remained popular. It was followed by one sequel, Batman and Robin (1949), but it's major successor came decades later on television.

Theater showings on the serial, with all fifteen chapters in one sitting under the title "An Evening with Batman and Robin", became very popular for their "camp" value in the 1960s. This led the commissioning in 1966 of the Batman television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. The serial is also responsible for the now standard appearance of the character Alfred in all media and the style of the television show affected the original comics for several years.

Republic had many successes, with the entire sixteen serial run directed by William Witney and John English, between The Lone Ranger (1938) and Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc. (1941), considered as the best. Highlights include Drums of Fu Manchu (1940), which featured strong use of cinematography to add to the suspense, Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940), originally intended as a Superman adaptation, and especially Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941), which was the first film adaptation of a superhero comic. Spy Smasher in 1942, directed by William Witney alone, is also often cited as Republic's best.


Early Super man comics


Comic books have been staple for the young and even the old for a several decades. It is amazing how these static drawings are able to make comic book characters come alive. There are superhero, action, romance and even touching human interest stories that dwell in the folded pages of a comic book. Comic books are immensely popular because they are able to bridge the divide between a book and a movie, between a narration and an actualization and between reality and fantasy. And they do so with ease and much more cost effectively than any film.

For a few thousand dollars an artist can produce a high quality comic book or for under an hundred dollars he or she can create an online comic. Fans may collect comics for enjoyment for reading the comics but many also do so as an investment. Either way, collectors are sure to take care of their comic books so that they can be preserved and enjoyed for years to come. Over the years collectors accumulate more and more comic books and can often build collections containing thousands of titles. One often collects the characters in comic books of which they can identify or admire.

Thanks to comic collecting and comics influence in media, they have been able to pervade our lives and become an integral part of them. Although the printed comic book is great for keeping our favorite comic stories with us forever, you can add a great new dimension to your love by collecting original comic book art. While a comic book is a cherished possession, an original piece of art is something very exclusive and unique. While there are literally thousands of copies available for each comic book, for every page of original comic art, there is only one in existence.

By owning the original, oversized pages, you can see the immense skill of the artists that are involved; holding that in your own hand allows you to appreciate it even more. Once you own a piece of an original comic art, your insight into comic books will become greater and so too will your love for them. Many collectors display the art at home, framed, just as they would display any other artwork. It gives a cool and refreshingly different look compared to the typical art that often decorates the walls. Original comic art is not expensive and you can buy some of it for as little as ten dollars. You can learn more about original comic art at www.sketchmaven.com.


Famous Funnies comic book in 1934


The very first comic book was born in the United States and is often said to have been officially launched by ‘Famous Funnies’ in 1934. What followed was mass production of a wide assortment of comic books that eventually led comic book historians to categorize them according to their birthday. They are either part of the Golden Age, Silver Age, Today, comic books are still very popular and their acclamation is due, in great part, to the talented comic book artists who create them. The amazing imagery found in the pages of a comic book triggers the reader’s imagination, where fantasy worlds exist. How is a Comic Book Made? Comic book art is not easy.

Much detail is required to create a good comic book that will attract readers, especially in our modern world of movies, DVD’s, televisions and computers. Before any of the characters or imagery can be drawn, the artist must put his or her head together with the writer. The first thing on the agenda is to discuss and develop a story line that will captivate readers.

Next, characters are created, situations are devised, and scenery is established, so on, so forth. The writer’s script must be meticulously followed by the artist in order to please everyone involved. The artist proceeds to draw a rough sketch in pencil of each comic book page, and uses these rough drafts as a guideline for his art work. At this stage of development, all the necessary comic book art elements, such as narrative, sound effects, and dialogue balloons, are included in a different shade from the main illustrations so that they are distinguishable.

At the time when the finished pencil art work is presented to the editor, it may be required that the artist make changes to the drawings to further ensure that the imagery matches the script. After the editor’s final approval, the drawings are enlarged and sent to the inker, whose role is vital to comic book art. The inker is responsible for introducing shadows, adding special effects, separating the foreground from the background, and carrying out several other tricky tasks.

The final result will show the sound effects, dialogue, and narrative boxes as they should be, in their own unique fonts and style. When the inker’s work is done, the copy of the comic book is sent to the colorist whose job is to find the perfect shade of every color for every character, as well as every detail, in the comic book’s imagery.

A computer is used in order to save all the color data on file for future comic books of the same series. A proof copy of the finished product is printed and forwarded for final review. Following approval, the comic book is sent to print. The pages are placed in the correct order, printed, cut, piled, folded, and stapled. Millions of copies can then be shipped out to comic book stores all over the world! Comic Book Art and Popular Culture Comic books have definitely made an enormous impact on popular culture in recent years.

A significant number of comic book characters have jumped from the page to the big screen. Prominent figures such as the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Transformers, Watchmen, G.I. Joe, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, and other superheroes, whose mission is to save the world, have delighted movie-lovers, young and old alike.

Many films portraying comic book characters have been incredibly successful at the box office, but it is important to acknowledge the comic book artists who originally created these memorable characters. Without them, the super heroes that people have grown to love would never have existed. Lucky for us, skillful artists are still hard at work producing new comic book art that will entertain avid readers and move-goers, who love to escape to an imaginary world.


Hawkgirl comic


Early female comic book characters were limited to supporting roles or used as damsels in distress. They were the Lois Lanes and Lana Langs; characters that mattered to a certain extent, but not as much as the male leads. But since comics were primarily marketed to the male population, this was acceptable and expected.

With the role of women becoming more prominent in society in later years, though, more and more female comic book characters took on larger roles, like Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl. These women were not simply supporting characters, but lead characters who took a backseat to no one as they trail blazed the way for the future of female comic book characters. In modern times, female comic book characters are as diverse and plentiful as their male counterparts.

Whether in the superhero genre or various other genres, more and more women characters are seen every day. This is especially the case in Manga, the Japanese comic book form, and Anime, it's television equal. The bulk of these stories are primarily targeted towards a female audience and thus feature lead female comic book characters like Cardcaptor Sakura.

Traditionally, superhero comics with female leads have been hard sells for whatever reason. Many heroines have had their own series only to be canceled after only a few issues. There are a few exceptions, though, like Birds of Prey, a DC Comics book that features a team of female comic book characters fighting crime, which has lasted well over 100 issues. And Marvel Comics' Spider-Girl, featuring Spider-Man's daughter, May Parker, which was saved from cancellation three times thanks to fan support.

In the early 2000s, Crossgen Comics also created several books with strong female leads, like Sojourn, Meridian and Crux, that forced other companies to take another look at their own female comic book characters. Today, Ms. Marvel and Catwoman are both doing well with their own titles, and Image's Bomb Queen has had several mini-series and continues to carry a strong fan base.

And when mentioned female comic book characters, one can't forget Aspen Comics' Aspen Matthews and her book Fathom, which became popular in the 90s and still has a strong following even though it's not currently producing many issues.

The rise of strong female comic book characters, especially in superhero comics, is obviously intended to extend the audience beyond the typical target market, giving female readers something to relate to as well. And with female characters stepping up even in male dominated team books, like Emma Frost and Storm in the X-Men books, should comic companies continue to cater to this growing audience it should reach its goal. And more readers for comics is always a good thing for the medium.


Batman first comic


The average price of a comic book ranges from $2.00 to $2.99. However, over time their value can increase tenfold. Comic are becoming more popular as each year passes and people are buying more comics each time they go to a comic book store. The demand for comics is making them a hot commodity, and rare comics are becoming very valuable. Comic enthusiasts are paying top dollar for first edition and rare comics that date back to as late as the 1950’s.

In Dallas, Texas, at the Heritage Auction Galleries, two very rare and valuable comics are going up for auction. The two comics being auctioned off are Batman #1 and Marvel Mystery Comics #9. A man who has been collecting comics since he was a young kid is auctioning them off, and they are expected to bring in up to $500,000 profit for both.

The first issue of Batman comics, Batman #1, came out in the spring of 1940. It became so popular that the Batman series which originally was supposed to be published quarterly, turned into a bi-monthly production in the 1950’s. It then became a monthly series and has stayed that way. Batman, the character, first appeared in another series of comic books called the Detective Comics in issue #27. The Batman series is still being published today and the latest issue is #686.


Marvel Mystery comic books series started production in the 1930’s. Marvel Mystery Comics #9 is about the Human Torch versus the Sub-Mariner. The Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner are two of the most popular comic’s character during the Golden Age of Comic books. The Sub-Mariner was considered to be Marvel comic’s first mutant character because he is a mix of the human species and the Atlanteans. He lives on both land and sea and has superhuman strength. The Human Torch can engulf his entire body on fire and can also fly.

What makes comic books valuable are the characters. During the Golden Age of Comics, these three characters were some of the most popular. The issue number, seen as # on the comic, also raises value of the comic. Batman #1 is so valuable because it’s his first appearance in his own series. The Batman character had been introduced in different series and gained popularity among readers, which is why his series was created. Marvel Mystery Comics #9 is valuable because something important happened. It was the dual between two well known comic characters. There are different factors that make a comic book valuable, and these two comic books have it.


 Female art in comic books


Comic books have carried a negative stigma for as long as they have existed. Viewed as juvenile, cheap or inferior forms of literature and art, comic books have had an uphill battle from day one. But with the success of comic books as represented in Hollywood, maybe, just maybe the perception of them will change. The truth is, however, that in some circles comic books will always represent what's wrong with the world, like many other forms of entertainment. Video games and television have been put under a similar assault by parent groups, religious groups and highbrow elitists that just don't get their appeal and blame them for the moral down slide of society.

Music over the past few decades has suffered the same kind of negative backlash. The beautiful thing about comic books, though, is what sets them apart from all other forms of art. And that thing is the marriage of art and writing that come together in a symphony of story unparalleled.

Much like the film and television industries possess the unique coupling of stories, and sometimes graphic art, with live action, or moving pictures, comic books are unique in the way they present a story. For instance, take the art in comic books. Any artist worth his salt can illustrate a still portrait or landscape scene, or what have you. Similarly, any abstract artist with any merit can illustrate a still masterpiece of odd attraction and sensibility.

But it takes a special kind of skill to use those same artistic abilities and techniques to transform a writer's words to sequential story-telling, depicting constant movement and a wide range of emotions panel after panel, page after page.

Likewise, it's a chore for a writer to structure their words in such a way that allows the art to do the descriptive 'talking' and fill in the dialogue in the appropriate places while still maintaining an interesting and flowing story. And this is what comic books are made of. Look at an artist like David Mack who pushes the medium of comic books into another level with his use of paints and materials to create abstract beauty while still maintaining the comic form.

Or the many acclaimed novelists, like Orson Scott Card and Stephen King, for example, who have made the transition to comics bringing their same talents and skill to the mixed media art form. Yet comic books continue to be disrespected, or looked at as substandard as compared to other media. That perception may never change, but whether comic books continue to thrive and grow, or eventually fade away, there will never be another art form that quite does what comic books are able to do.


The Silver Surfer comic book


Comic books are made up of sequences of cartoons in conjunction with dialogue in speech balloons or other text in captions. Theoretically, it is the sequence issue which is necessary in comics and for that reason lone cell cartoons, for example, cannot be considered as such a book. You might think that just because comics are a fairly new medium they are commonly thought of as a less legitimate method of amusement. Basically, we must disassociate the structure of comics from their content.

To put it another way, we have to stop associating comics with childish comic characters and super heroes as these aren't their only possible subject of interest. Inexpensive, substandard and disposable are terms frequently used to explain comic books and have rarely been described as fitting reading matter for kids.

It's been said in the past that boys' comics have been considered to promote violence whilst girls' comics evoke a particular submissiveness based on a fascination with domesticity, and how they look and dress. Some might also say that as a society we don't appreciate visual literacy causing our development in reading style to moves us straight from picture books to full text books. Beginners depend on images while skilled readers use the words alone.

It's possible that comic books for sale could be used to help children with learning difficulties. It's been found that certain principles in comics may be of benefit to anyone with dyslexia and other educational needs, especially the left-to-right series of comic panels and the use of simple upper case letters, symbols and context to assist with understanding.

Although additional study on reading comics plus the effects this could have on kids is required, we could for now be in agreement on the next three points: that kids choose to read comics; those kids who read comics are inclined to read new material and there's very little evidence of harmful effects from reading comics and may therefore be encouraged. Comics have become available for people of all ages and in new long-lasting and easy to use formats.

The subject matter of comics is getting to be even more extensive and goes beyond the proverbial juvenile humour and super heroes. They're also being produced by making use of improved quality material regarding contents and layout. Given that, it will not be surprising to hear that it is now a possibility to study for a university degree in comics studies.

Comic books and graphic novels play a substantial role in modern art, literature and popular culture and it's because of this that the possibilities are greater than ever for an education in comics. Comics studies takes one year to complete a course which allows you to study the genres, variations and history of comics and graphic novels, and then also supplying you with an opportunity to concentrate on the inventive aspects of comics production.

Indeed, this course would be very invaluable to anybody with a fascination for the inventive side of comics just like writers, artists or both, as it can expand your education to embrace the history of comics and also the artistic and literary potential of the medium. So, has your opinion of comics and graphic novels improved?



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