Collecting Silver Age Comic Books: 5 Helpful Tips

The Silver Age of Comic Books was from 1955 to 1970. There are several tips and techniques to collecting comics that were published during this period. There are some important criteria to be considered when collecting comics, and it is also helpful to have a true appreciation of comic books as an art form, rather than a mere investment.

If you are interested in collecting comic books from the Silver Age, here are 5 helpful tips:

  1. Make sure you have the proper size bag and board to protect your investment. Not all bags and boards are created equal. Basically, comic books have been shrinking since the 1930s. Golden Age books are the widest; Modern comic books are the slimmest. And Silver Age Comic Books are right in between. Be sure buy the right bags and boards or you'll ruin your comics. (They should be labeled "silver age" bags and boards).
  1. This may sound obvious: Look at the original cover price. If the price is 12 to 15 cents, it is probably from the silver age. Ten cent comic books were generally from the Golden Age (pre 1950s) and 25 cent comics were from the Bronze Age (1970s).
  2. Quality is extremely important. If you look at a price guide for a specific comic, you might see that the price ranges from $6.00 to $600.00. The spread is a result of condition. If the book looks beaten up and worn as if it were read by dozens of people, then kicked around Grand Central Station for a day, then it’s probably going to be worth the $6.00. (And you might be able to find it at a convention or store for $1.00 or $2.00). If instead, the comic is mint—completely untouched, unread, pristine—then the comic might be worth the $600. Condition is one of the main drivers of value. (The other two drivers are scarcity and popularity).
  3. The best place to get silver age comic books is usually at a convention or on the web. There are fewer and fewer stores that sell books from this era. Most stores make their money on new comics and don't want to take up floor space with older items. So if you want to find the best deals on the internet, use a search engine to search for "silver age comic books" and see what you can find. Or look for comic book conventions in your area to buy your comics.
  4. The most expensive Silver Age books are from DC and Marvel and tend to be superhero books. This is because DC and Marvel have been publishing continually until the present day and have developed a huge fan base for their characters (Batman, Superman, X-Men, Iron Man, Avengers, Hulk, Wonder Woman, etc). However, if you want to start your collection without paying an arm and a leg, you might try collecting other publishers besides Marvel and DC (Harvey, Dell, Gold Key, Charlton Comics) or try other genres besides superhero comics (Horror, Crime, Romance).

Follow these five tips, and they should help you get into the exciting world of silver age comic books. One final thought: The way to have the most fun with comic collecting is to truly be interested in the art form, as mentioned earlier. If you approach it like a job, it will be nothing more than a different type of drudgery in your life.