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Looking for Comic Book Back Issues?


Black Science issue 1, from Image Comics.Black Science issue 1, from Image comics.As comic book collectors since the 1980s, we’ve pulled together this one page website guide to direct you to our favorite online retailers for comic book back issues and related products.


We’ll always encourage you to first support your local comic shop or convention, however if you’re looking to shop online, we can tell you upfront our general recommendations are:


• For comic book back issues, visit Their huge online catalog, robust search functionality, fair pricing, and reasonable shipping rates, all make for a fun (and affordable!) back issue shopping experience. Looking to fill-in the holes in your collection, or for obscure oddball titles? Good chance has it.


• Also for comic book back issues, there’s of course always eBay. There’s definitely deals to be had there, as long as you know what you’re looking for, and have some discipline to not get hooked into bidding wars…hey, try to have some restraint!


• For graphic novels we’d simply recommend Amazon, for action figures and statues and such we like Things From Another World (, and for t-shirts and other apparel check out


What follows below is some overview of the different comic book “eras” over the years, in reverse chronological order. In each section, we’ll offer our recommendations on where to buy comic book back issues from that era, as well as some links to outside sites for further reading…


The Modern Age of Comics (1992 - Present)


Walking Dead issue 1, from Image Comics.Cover of the first issue of The Walking Dead, written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics.Spanning to present day, the Modern Age was initiated by the formation of Image Comics in 1992. Early on in this era, fierce competition between the “Big Two” (Marvel and DC), Image, and several other strong independent publishers resulted in massive comic book print runs and new title introductions up until about 1995; at which time the comic book market collapsed, due to a glut of product and catering to a speculator driven market.


In the 2000s – and particularly in the 2010s – the comic book market rebounded quite a bit, riding on the synergy of high quality product, mainstream acceptance, and hugely popular film and television adaptations (The Avengers, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Walking Dead, etc.)


Where to buy Modern Age comic book back issues online:


• Most back issues from the Modern Age of Comics are readily available and inexpensive; we recommend and eBay.


• For trade paperback and hardcover collections, Amazon is usually the way to go.


Further reading and history on the Modern Age of Comics:


“The Crash of 1993,” by Jonathan V. Last. He details the what lead-up to and culminated in the mid-90s comic book industry implosion.


• Retro video news piece on the formation of Image Comics.


The Copper Age of Comics (1984 - 1991)


Dark Knight issue 2, from 1986.Cover to Batman: The Dark Knight, from 1986.A relatively short era, but a very important one. The Copper Age is regarded as the era when comics started, “to be taken seriously,” and made their way into mainstream pop-culture and artistic acceptance. Synonymous with the Copper Age are DC’s two watershed series, both released in 1986: Alan Moore's Watchmen and Frank Miller's Dark Knight both offered dark and gritty explorations and dissections of the superhero genre.


Also definitive of the Copper Age was the rise of the “rock star artist” trio at Marvel; Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, and Rob Liefeld’s work culminated in record-breaking sales.


Independent publishers such as Dark Horse enjoyed great success with licensed series such as Aliens and Predator, and a tiny upstart publisher called Mirage released a title called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…which of course went on to become a pop-culture phenomenon.


Where to buy Copper Age comic book back issues online:


• Most back issues from the Copper Age of Comics are readily available and inexpensive; we recommend and eBay.


• For trade paperback and hardcover collections, Amazon is usually the way to go.


Further reading and history on the Copper Age of Comics: provides a bit more detail on the era, and includes a list of Copper Age key issues.


• The posts on are all Copper Age-centric, many of which focus on the in-store comic book promotional marketing of the time.


• Dave Olbrich (the founding publisher of Malibu Comics) recounts the ‘80s Black & White Boom / Bust, that occurred during the first few years of the Copper Age.


The Bronze Age of Comics (1970 - 1983)


Marvel's Star Wars issue 1, from 1977.First issue cover of Marvel's Star Wars adaptation, from 1977.Though it spanned into the early ‘80s, the Bronze Age is mostly associated with the 1970s. Superhero titles of course anchored the era, however unlike the Silver Age before it, darker plot elements and real-world issues -- such as drug use and environmental pollution -- began to make their way into prominent titles. Also significant was the introduction of many African American and other minority superheroes.


Key storylines during the Bronze Age included the “Death of Gwen Stacy “ in Amazing Spider-Man and “Snowbirds Don't Fly” in Green Lantern / Green Arrow. The latter was illustrated by Neal Adams, whose realistic style became hugely influential.


Arguably the most successful series for Marvel during the era, were their revamped X-Men (with some guy named Wolverine becoming the breakout character), and a title based on a new movie called Star Wars, which you may have heard of.


Where to buy Bronze Age comic book back issues online:


• We’d recommend for non-key or lower grade Bronze Age of Comics; many of which are still inexpensive or reasonably affordable.


• For high grade and / or key Bronze Age issues, try eBay or a premium back issue dealer such as


• For trade paperback and hardcover collections, go with Amazon.


Further reading and history on the Bronze Age of Comics:


Wikipedia article on the Bronze Age.


• Article showcasing the Top 20 Most Valuable Comic Books from the Bronze Age.


The Silver Age of Comics (1956 - 1969)


Avengers issue 1, from 1963.Cover of Avengers issue 1, published by Marvel Comics in 1963.If we asked you to close your eyes and picture, “What does the Flash look like? Green Lantern? Spider-Man?,” those looks were -- along with dozens or even hundreds of others -- defined during the Silver Age of Comics.


The era commenced with DC’s re-introduction of The Flash in Showcase #4, giving him his since iconic red and yellow “lightning bolt” costume. It was such a hit, that DC quickly modernized many other 1940s characters in its library, and launched a team book called Justice League of America. With these updates, and the Baby Boom generation hitting the perfect age range to pick up these comics, the superhero genre was revitalized.


Responding to DC’s success during the late ‘50s, a new company called Marvel (formerly known as Atlas and before that, Timely) took an entirely fresh approach, making their characters feel “real,” complete with witty banter and complex personal relationships. Yes, the Silver Age was when Marvel -- creatively led by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko -- first gave us the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The Avengers, The X-Men, Iron Man, and so many others, in what was also known as the “Marvel Age of Comics.”


Where to buy Silver Age comic book back issues online:


• Silver Age comic books are highly sought after, even in lower grades. Our best recommendation is eBay or a premium back issue dealer such as


• For trade paperback and hardcover collections, go with Amazon.


Further reading and history on the Silver Age of Comics:


Wikipedia article on the Silver Age.


• Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story covers the entire history of Marvel, but of course the behind-the-scenes genesis of all their flagship characters in the 1960s is of particular interest.


In Search of Steve Ditko documentary, hosted by Jonathan Ross.


The Golden Age of Comics (Late 1930s - Early 1950s)


Superman issue 14, from 1942.Superman issue 14 cover, from 1942.As you probably know, this is the era where it all began. The comic book industry was established, and the archetype of the superhero was defined. The world was introduced to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel (Shazam), and Captain America, propelling the comic book business to great success, especially during the United States’ involvement in World Word II.


Also immensely popular during the Golden Age were non-superhero comics, in the sci-fi, war, jungle, crime, humor, and romance genres. In fact, Disney licensed character comics of the era enjoyed the highest circulation of any titles, topping 2 million comics per month.


Where to buy Golden Age comic book back issues online:


• Golden Age comic books are highly sought after, even in lower grades. Our best recommendation is a premium back issue dealer such as or you can try eBay.


• For trade paperback and hardcover collections, go with Amazon.


Further reading and history on the Golden Age of Comics:


Wikipedia article on the Golden Age.


The Golden Age of DC Comics by Paul Levitz.


Graphic Novels! Trade Paperbacks! Hardcovers!


Cover to the Watchmen Absolute Edition, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.A bit of explaining: in the 1980s, the term “Graphic Novel” was usually assigned to an original comic story (i.e., hadn’t previously appeared elsewhere), printed in a deluxe or oversized format, with much higher production quality than a regular comic book. Marvel was the first to aggressively produce Graphic Novels in the ‘80s, with DC and some independent publishers also releasing some beautiful material.


As the years went on, it became more and more common for previously published monthly “floppy” comic storylines to be collected in trade paperback or hardcover formats. The term “Graphic Novel” then extended to these collections, such as the Watchmen trade paperback, pictured right. So, at this point, comic collectors will refer to any comic “book” as a “Graphic Novel”, whether the story inside originated in that format or not.


Where to buy Graphic Novels, Trade Paperbacks, and Hardcovers online:


• actually has a category, listing the 1980s Marvel Graphic Novels mentioned above.


• We of course love Amazon, as well as Things From Another World (


Action Figures, Statues and other fun stuff...


Deadshot action figure.• The level of detail and color applications to action figures today, is simply astounding. Credit goes to Todd McFarlane for hugely elevating the action figure business in 1994 with his first wave of Spawn toys, and it’s been onward and upward ever since for the entire industry. We like Things From Another World’s ( selection and pricing for action figures, and recommend them.


• And yes, for statues, we also like Things From Another World (!


• For comic book licensed apparel -- like t-shirts, hats, hoodies, etc. -- check out the wide selection over at


• Looking for movie posters, like maybe from Guardians of the Galaxy? Dark Knight? Hellboy? Good chance has what you’re looking for, and yes, they offer framing!


Wait! CGC, Price Guides, Collecting Supplies, etc.


Tales of Suspense issue 39, in CGC 9.6 condition. The origin and first appearance of Iron Man.• There are different schools of thought on CGC “slabbing” of comics. In general, we’re proponents of it, and comics look, really, really awesome in those CGC cases. Here’s a blog post with some opinions on what is CGC “worthy,” which really comes down to, it’s up to you!


• While the comic market is fluid year round, the annually released Overstreet Price Guide still remains the gold standard of comic book price guides. For more up-to-the-minute valuations, check out


• Need resources to research any and every comic book published, ever? Click over to The Comic Book Database and


• Need to organize your own collection, and keep track of what you have? There are quite a few software and online solutions out there that do just that, including Collectorz, ComicBase, and Comic Collector Live. Some are pricier than others; you should definitely research each, to figure out which will work best for your needs.


• Protect your collection! carries a nice range of comic book collecting supplies, such as the “Three Bs.” Bags, boards, and boxes!

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