Marcia Strykowski

Comic Books

ka-powBefore the recent boom in graphic novels there were comic books! For many years, comic books have been available for all tastes and ages. From stories about super-heroes to science fiction, action/adventure, romance, humor, and horror.

Here is a comic book from 1922:

comic book 1922

And here is the first appearance of Captain Marvel in 1940:

whiz comicsIt was believed this new super hero was too similar to Superman and publications were halted until the late 1960s when Marvel gained the trademark. A variety of Captain Marvels followed.

I can remember sitting outside on a hot summer day and the excitement of flipping through a new comic book. I loved reading them front to back over and over–unlike the currently popular Japanese Manga comics which read back to front. My old stack of comic books is only valuable to me (and anyone else interested). Rather like old record albums, too many people have them, so there’s no real monetary value. That’s okay though, not sure I could ever part with them. 🙂

Here’s a picture of a few comic books in my collection:

comic books

You’ll notice several Archie comic books in the above picture. Archie, drawn by Bob Montana and written by Vic Bloom, first appeared in Pep Comics in 1941 and now more than 70 years later, he’s still a familiar face.

There are so many fun facts to sort through online, but since I’ve mentioned Archie (who was once nicknamed Chick) here’s the full name of his buddy Jughead: Forsythe Pendleton Jones III.

I also discovered I have something in common with Superman. His favorite book is To Kill A Mocking Bird, as mentioned in Detective Comics #27 – and later it was also said to be his favorite film.

Another fascinating character I discovered in my research was the Green Lama, a practicing Buddhist, who became popular in comic book form during the 1940s.

If you’re ever in D. C., the Library of Congress holds the world’s largest collection of comic books. They have 5,000 titles and 100,000 issues. The oldest comic book in their collection is “Popular Comics,” Feb. 1936.

girl_rolling_pinDo you still have your comic books or maybe a favorite comic book memory?

18 Comments

  1. I’ve got a signed copy of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic from when I was younger. I am definitely more of the “graphic novel” type now though 🙂
    Also, that version of Captain Marvel is now known as Shazam; it’s amazing they are still doing stories about him, maybe even a movie!

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    • Oh, a signed copy–very cool. Yes, I read about that version now being called Shazam, interesting. It was one of the only pictures I could find in the public domain. Thanks for your comment, Mei-Mei!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the Archie, Betty and Jughead and Little Lulu comics!

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  3. Reading these in the Sunday funny pages was so much fun! I was one of the few teachers who allowed their students to read comics. It was an easy transition to plays then to books!! Thanks for the memory!!

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    • I loved the Sunday funnies, too. Good for you for letting your students choose what they wanted to read. Thanks, Joyce!

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  4. Hello Marcia, I am so envious of your fantastic collection – the artwork on the covers is amazing. I remember my brother’s comics more than my own – things like The Dandy, Beano, Eagle and Rupert Bear; I much preferred them to girls comics although I did like The Bunty. I idolised The Monkees in the 60s and fancied myself madly in love with Davy Jones, I was sure he would love me back if only he could meet me!

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    • I’ll have to look up those comics, maybe not as common here in the US, although Rupert Bear sounds familiar. Funny about Davy Jones! Thanks for sharing, Barbara!

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  5. Bette Norton

    Wow, I did not realize that comic books went back so far! I had a wonderful collection of comic books. I remember saving my allowance to by them, especially the Archie book series! Sadly I lost my collection to a flooded basement from a burst water heater. I am always impressed from the detailed research you do, for your many interesting topics on your blog! Thank you for a wonderful post. Brings back many fond memories! 🙂

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    • Too bad about the water damage. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you!

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  6. Yes, I still have my Archies comics. I love that gang! The Ol’ Shoppe, Betty and Veronica, and Jughead, and Moose, and obnoxious Reggie, and Miss Grundy, Mr. Weatherbee and Svenson … I also have my Japanese comics (not exactly manga because of the theme) and I will save those forever. Comics make up an indelible part of childhood, don’t they?

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    • Fun! I’d forgotten about Mr. Svenson. Comics bring me back to days of endless time, whereas now I never squeeze in repeat reading. Thanks, Claudine!

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  7. My older brother collected comic books, and still might! I read Archie, but my favorites were/are the Peanuts comics.

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  8. We used to read Archie as kids! We’d get them from the supermarket and loved reading them. I should pick one up some time, I still see them occasionally at the store. I’ve wanted to read some of the YA books that have been turned into graphic novels, just haven’t had the jingle. I wonder if libraries buy graphic novels…?

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    • I’ve been tempted to pick up one of the new Archie comic books, too. YES! Most libraries have lots of graphic novels–check them out!

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  9. Ashley

    What a wonderful collection you have! Little Lulu looks fun!!

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