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Collecting: Comic Eras

September 11, 20235 min read

Breaking down the comic ages can be complicated if you are new to collecting. You can learn more about the comic book periods from this post.

Most collectors concur that the four comic ages (or eras) are roughly divided into decades. The Platinum Age, the first period of comic books, was followed by the Golden Age, which Superman inaugurated before Marvel Comics hit its stride in the Silver Age. The Bronze Age followed, followed by the Dark Ages, and then the Modern Age.

You will receive a quick reference guide for the comic ages in this post. This should provide you with a general notion of the period in which your comics belong as well as some essential historical context. Although the years may be arbitrary, these are the most widely recognized periods.

comic books

The Platinum Era- From 1897 to 1937

Due to their age, these comics are among the most uncommon in the collecting world. The first comics, as we know them now, were printed and distributed during this time. Anything from this time will be pricey and usually only available to certain collectors.

The Golden Era- From 1938 to 1956

The roots of contemporary comics can be discovered in the Golden Age. In essence, it starts with the debut of the costumed superhero in Action Comics #1 from 1938. Superheroes took over the comic book industry once Superman captivated the public's attention.

All iconic characters, including the original Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash, were created during this period.

The Silver Era- From 1956 to 1969

The Golden Age lasted from 1938 to the introduction of a new Flash in the fall of 1956. In Showcase #4, Barry Allen makes his comic book debut, ushering in the Silver Age. While DC dominated the market throughout the Golden Age, the creation of Marvel Comics and Fantastic Four #1 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko would alter how readers perceived comics.

The Silver Age will usher in innovative characters like Black Panther, the first African-American superhero, as well as comics geared toward older age groups, particularly teens.

The Bronze Era- From 1970 to 1984

Here, there is considerable disagreement. The Bronze Age essentially spans the 1960s and 1970s. Although the precise year can vary, some sources place the end of this particular era in 1984.

Observing the evolution of comic book art and prose is mesmerizing. During this period, the Golden Age's old guard was gradually fading away, and the industry was being led in a new direction by new concepts from Roy Thomas, Frank Miller, and Chris Claremont. Compared to the Silver Age, stories were becoming more sophisticated, and many writers and artists gave comics a cinematic feel.

The Modern Era- From 1984 to Present Day

The Modern Age has by far the most extended duration of any era. It spans over a period starting from the middle of the 1980s to the present and is now used so frequently. Many collectors hold issues from the Modern Age in some contempt, especially those from the 1990s and the early 2000s.

Comics have evolved into the sophisticated, well-regarded art form they are now, thanks to this era. Two breakthrough graphic books, Alan Moore's Watchmen and Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, altered the entire tone of the industry in 1986. From that point forward, comics gained recognition as literary works intended for adults rather than kid-friendly filler.

During this period, more comics were being printed than ever before. Because there are so many issues available, modern-age comics tend to sell for less than comics from past eras in collecting circles.

Reasons to Collect Comic Books

There are several justifications for starting a comic book collection. These consist of the following:

High Price Increases

Old comic books, in particular, have seen a sharp rise in price in recent years—perhaps over the last 20 years. This is primarily a result of comic books playing a significant role in popular culture.

Before, people used to think of comics as a somewhat fringe movement made up mainly of "geeks" or "nerds" who did "strange" things. Nevertheless, this is different now that people are increasingly embracing comics.

In fact, some comic book storylines have been adapted into massively successful motion pictures. The production of numerous incredibly successful made-for-TV movies has utilized many more.

The comic book's value has increased dramatically due to the movie's success. This is so that collectors may own the best comics, and what better comic to own than one that inspired a multibillion-dollar motion picture?

And it doesn't appear like this will go anytime soon. Both Marvel and DC have movies planned for the following few years as of the time of writing, many of which are based on comic book story arcs.

Since Marvel/DC announced the movie, many of these books' value has risen. But these comics' worth will undoubtedly rise even further if the film based on them is successful.

Potential for Profit

Superheroes like Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-debut Man's appearances frequently fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction- even millions of dollars occasionally!

People may be willing to pay a similar price for comic books printed today if you get them now and keep them in excellent condition.

Perhaps a side character from one of your comic book issues will one day develop into the most potent supervillain in the history of comic books. Its worth will almost certainly increase dramatically upon initial introduction.

Most frequently, customers are eager to pay more for comic books in better condition. As a result, you could earn hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is not bad for only a few dollars and a few years!

You've probably heard tales of people making millions overnight through comics. After clearing out their attic, some discovered a rare comic book they sold for millions of dollars later.

Looking to add to your comic book collection? Visit the Saugatuck Antique Pavilion!

We partner with Tardy's Collectors Corner and other great vendors to bring you a huge selection of vintage comics and other antiques and collectibles to add to your collection.

For one of the best antiquing experiences in the midwest US, visit the Saugatuck Antique Pavilion in Douglas, Michigan.

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