Before the advent of the television, comic books were the entertainment of choice for many youngsters growing up in the early and mid-20th century. Some of the most popular comics followed Lulu, Batman, Captain Marvel and Archie. Comic book included Western, war, crime, horror and science-fiction genres; romantic comics were geared toward female readers.
Find out about other collectibles described by The Saturday Early Show's Tony Hyman in the Collectibles Archive or visit Tony Hyman's Web site.
If you think you have a collectible worth a lot of cash, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "What's It Worth?" in the subject line. Or write to "What's It Worth?" The Saturday Early Show, 514 West 57th St., 6th floor, New York, N.Y. 10019.
In the mid-'60s comics peaked in popularity. More than 3,000 titles hit the stands. Of those, about 100 or so are hot items with today's collectors.
Most wanted are comics that sold for a dime between 1934 and 1961. After 1961, the price rose to 12 cents. Most of these later comics have little value, except for the Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four series.
Of the 10-cent comics, those chronicling superheroes such as Superman and Batman bring big bucks. Some can be worth thousands of dollars in like-new condition.
Comic collectors are among the fussiest. A touch of rust on a staple affects the value. Any comic in poor condition holds little interest for collectors and is almost impossible to sell.
If you come across a stack of 10-cent comics, remember the couple in Nova Scotia who bought a house, found a pile of comics in the attic and sold the stack for twice what they paid for the house.
For more information, Hyman recommends Joe Hill, a long-time comic book dealer, and Gary Colabuono, the former CEO of the Chicago Comicon and a veteran collector. Hill can be reached by email at email@example.com and Colabuono can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both men buy only 10-cent comics in good condition. They also sell, do free appraisals and provide information about comics.
For information on the Internet, Hyman recommends visiting Metropolis Collectibles, Inc.. Questions for Metropolis Collectibles can be emailed to Vincent Zurzolo at email@example.com.