Comic Book Collection

Comic Book Collection

of a penny or two can increase in value 1000% and sometimes even more. but few comic collectors are in the hobby for gain; they collect comics for fun and would not part with a favourite issue or rare number for twice the top prices paid at auction  one of the highest prices paid for a comic was the £4,300 that purchased issue number one of the Beano, in 1995. 

There is something special and quite personal about the look and even feel of a favourite comic, which may mean more to just one ex-reader A comic is not merely a bundle of folded paper printed with pictures: it sums up the age in which it was produced and it summons up the very moment in which it was first read.

Pure nostalgia is the prime reason . why  Comic Book Collection and the art of the comic is being appreciated for the comedy and adventure it portrays, those who collect comics from an artistic or historic perspective are thoroughly outnumbered by the happy  nostalgics. It is for this reason that fashions in comic collecting come and go.

 In the 1930s, when story-paper collecting was the prime vogue, those few specialists sought the early Victorian comics of their youth, the Comic Cuts and Funny Wonders they had bought with their Saturday ha'penny.

In the 1940s the collecting craze moved into twenties publications, when coloured comics like Puck were at their peak. In the    fifties it was the thirties that were all the rage, the great Golden Age of British Comics, when Mickey Mouse Weekly was born and the Scottish publisher DC Thomson hatched the Dandy and Beano. 

The Dandy comic is one of the longest-lived comics to date and passed its 2000th issue on 22 March 1980. Its famous characters include Korky the Cat and Desperate Dan.

Comic Book Collection
Grown men of the sixties had little to look back to from   war torn forties, but the Gerald G.
Swan Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction comic books began to be collected. In the 1970s it was Eagle No I that became the most sought after comic.

The Eagle comic was published for the first time in April 1950. The feature that came to dominate it was 'Dan Dare', written and drawn by Frank Hampson. At the other end of the social scale were  the L. Miller comic books, though both shared the theme of science fiction, which by the 1980s has come to dominate comic collecting, at least with the younger generation.

A typical collector is suddenly bitten by the collecting bug around the age of thirty and concentrates on comics read as a child, between the ages of nine to twelve. It is a predominantly male hobby, as a visit to any comic sale or auction will testify

The earliest known publication that could be a comic was regularly issued as a fortnightly paper of cartoons and strips, called The Glasgow Looking Glass published in June 1825 in Scotland. The first publication what was to be called a comic in a formula that would continue for some 75 years was Funny Folks, the first edition published in December 1874, running for 20 years and notching up 1,614 editions. 

The first comic, an eight-page tabloid called Comic Cuts, and published by Alfred Harmsworth in 1890, was little different from Funny Folks and the other comics that had preceded it, in layout and appearance.

 Its instant success was  due mainly to its price - just one halfpenny,
Another early comic that deliberately aimed its appeal at children, was Jack and Jill issued in March 1885, but ran only seven issues before upgrading its appeal to the adult market.

It was ten years later that the first comic completely designed for children was published - The Rainbow in February 1914. Its immediate success led to several other publishers converting their failing adult comics to children's comics, much to the bewilderment of regular readers. An example is Sparks, published in 1914, that was changed to Little Sparks in 1920.

One of the endearing facets of comics are their heroes. One of the earliest was in Jack B.Yeats' send-up of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, in 'The Adventures of Chubb- Lock Homes' in Comic Cuts during 1893. 

Comic Book Collection
The most famous of all the early comic heroes was the team of tramps, 'Weary Willie' and Tired Tim', created by Tom Browne for the front page of Illustrated Chips which first appeared in May 1896. Most long-lived of all the comic originals, they remained on page one until the final issue of Chips on 12 September 1953.

 Others have followed and remain in the  memory of many adults, including 'Desperate Dan' and 'Dan Dare' with the more brash American 'Superman' and 'Batman' among them.

The 'golden age', if one can dare call such a low-quality era golden, of British comic books covered the twenty years from 1940 to 1960 when their more exciting counterparts, American comic books, were generally unavailable. Restrictions on their import, for economic or censorship reasons, left a gap in the comic market which enterprising printers and publishers rushed to fill. 

From Gerald G. Swan's first New Funnies in February 1940, through to the many monthly, and even weekly, titles of L. Miller and Son, British comic books based on the American format were issued in their thousands. Paper restrictions prevented wide distribution, and no complete runs of all the Swan and Miller comic books are known. 

As they were small publisher and failed to deposit copies at the British Museum, Swan
 comic books collections  are very popular with collectors today, as are the Miller science-fiction and super­hero titles. 

Comic Book Collection

There is less interest in Western titles, but this may grow.  Along with these native productions are the many, many reprints of American comic books.

 However, they are British editions, and often have locally drawn covers and some editorial content. Favourites among collectors are those earlier Miller editions printed in two-tone photogravure, an extremely attractive colour process that is now extinct. Collectors looking for a first edition should be warned that many of the Miller publications did not have a Number one - their first edition started with number 50.

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