Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
Boomers Fall 2019
- Page 7
Fantasy continued from page 28
heroes like the X-Men resonated with him. Just like the Marvel mutants, Letscher felt ostracized, but the X-Men had special powers and could exist and thrive, he said.

Letscher was hooked. “When I first started collecting, during the late Silver Age, it already seemed like most Golden Age comics were relatively scarce. I searched garage sales and thrift shops, as we had no local sources, and when I would fi nd 10 cent comics I’d buy them up, but they seemed rather childish and bland, more primitive art and storylines, usually,” he said.

The Golden Age died out as concerned parents censored comic books to protect the innocence of children and even held comic book burnings in public squares, Cotter-Cairns said. Some horror comics were incredibly gory, he said.

Comics were blamed for juvenile delinquency, and there was a Senate investigation that vilifi ed all types of comics and crushed the market, Zurzolo said.

“The Silver Age was a period of rebirth of the superhero genre,” Zurzolo said. Silver Age comics were “more realistic with deeper stories and more tie-ins to actual society and headlines,” Letscher said.

“Some Silver Age characters were new, some were new versions of Golden Age characters like Flash, Atom and Green Lantern, and some were continuations of the Golden Age superheroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman,” Zurzolo said.

“Kids wanted stories that made sense to them, and Stan Lee gave them Spider-Man. When he wasn’t wearing the [Spidey] suit, he was in high school or college, sitting at the soda fountain. Comics got exciting again and kids could relate,” Cotter-Cairns said.

Assessing value

How do you know if your comics are worth money?

“Old doesn’t equal valuable. There are plenty of old comics that nobody cares about,” CotterCairns said.

Instead, do you recognize the character? If it’s a big name who’s been featured in a movie, it’s far more likely to have value, Cotter-Cairns said.

Look at the cover price.

“Comics with an original cover price of 10 or 12 cents (those from the 1930s-1960s) generally fetch the highest values,” Zurzolo said.

The most valuable comics are usually those that mark the debut of a popular superhero or villain, Zurzolo said.

Condition matters as well, Cotter-Cairns said. A quick way to gauge a comic’s value is to do an online search. Try comicconnect.com,
comicspriceguide.com or another reputable source. Then, get them appraised by a pro. Dealers welcome such inquiries.

“Everyone who collected comics as a kid thinks they have something of value, and every so often, they do,” Zurzolo said.