Vintage Paper

Vintage Paper is about old comics and more: whether you're interested in the Platinum Age, the Golden Age, the Silver, Bronze, or Copper Ages — or the history behind it all — Bleeding Cool has you covered on that. Featuring articles and research from some of the best experts in the field for comics, pulps, dime novels, and much more.


The Issue: Street & Smith's 1875 Avengers of the Wasteland

The Issue: Street & Smith's 1875 Avengers of the Wasteland

Welcome to another installment of The Issue.  This time around  we're going to take a quick look at  New York Weekly Vol. 30 No. 10 from longtime publisher of American periodical fiction, Street & Smith. When I saw this promo image from Marvel's Avengers of the Wastelands, The Two Avengers was one of the first […]

The Issue: A Vintage Daily Graphic in 1879, "The Smoldering Fire"

Welcome to a regular column about vintage comics and other vintage periodicals from throughout world history that I'm calling The Issue.  The idea behind The Issue is simple:  for each post, I'll choose something from my collection and talk about what's going on in it, and/or discuss the publishers and creators behind it.  And essentially […]

The True Horror of Crime SuspenStories #22

The True Horror of Crime SuspenStories #22

The horrific image on the front of Crime SuspenStories #22 by Johnny Craig has long been considered one of the most iconic covers in American comic book history.  It's a potent symbol of that moment in time:  EC Comics Publisher William Gaines tensely squaring off against Senator Estes Kefauver to debate the artistic merits of […]

Nicolas Cage and the True Tragedy of Ghost Rider

Nicolas Cage and the True Tragedy of Ghost Rider

Even though it was neither a critical or financial success when it was released in 2007, the first Ghost Rider film starring Nicolas Cage has always been a guilty pleasure for me.  The story nails the true spirit of the Spirit of Vengeance — and the history behind it — much better than is generally […]

Where's Our Flying Cars? Stan and Jack Tried to Make it Happen in 1962

Where's Our Flying Cars? Stan and Jack Tried to Make it Happen in 1962

When it comes to early issues of Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, it's nearly impossible to play favorites.  Fantastic Four #1 is obviously important for kicking off the Marvel Universe as we know it.  Fantastic Four #5 introduced Doctor Doom.  Fantastic Four #12 has that great Hulk crossover.  We could go on […]

The Lovecraftian Origins of the Justice League of America

The Lovecraftian Origins of the Justice League of America

Justice League of America co-creator Gardner Fox was a well-known fan of HP Lovecraft, as well as a fan of other fiction from the pulp era during which he grew up. It's pretty well-known that the villain of The Brave and the Bold #28 (the first appearance of the Justice League of America), Starro the […]

Superman, Tesla and the Emperor of America

Superman, Tesla and the Emperor of America

Action Comics #52 by Jerry Siegel and longtime Shuster Shop artist John Sikela has always been one of my favorite issues of Action Comics.  It's got that spectacular cover of course, but this issue is much more than just a a boldly-rendered cover by artist Fred Ray.  The caption on the title page lays out […]


The Surprising Trans-Themed Story in Space Adventures #7 from 1953

The Surprising Trans-Themed Story in Space Adventures #7 from 1953

Even in an industry that has produced a seemingly endless number of eccentric characters among the ranks of its publishers, Charlton Comics stands out.  The Connecticut company was started by two men who had met in jail, after all.  Despite that unlikely origin story, the publisher managed to attract an impressive roster of talented staffers […]

Flash Comics #86 and #92: The Rare and Elusive Black Canary

Flash Comics #86 and #92: The Rare and Elusive Black Canary

Let's call this one the Canary Effect: Sometimes when researching the possible inspirations for comic book characters, the historical connections can be complicated and hard to decipher. Like chasing down the butterfly whose flapping wings eventually lead to something greater, and trying to make sense of it.  Other times, even the smallest inspiration can be […]

DogStars:  The Strange, Secret Origin of the Dogs Who Replaced Green Lantern

DogStars: The Strange, Secret Origin of the Dogs Who Replaced Green Lantern

Never take a fictional dog's origin story at face value.  Dogs really do have secret lives, it seems, and every time I'm tempted to forget about the scattered notes I've taken over the years regarding fictional and sometimes forgotten dog stars of long ago, I think about how many billions of dollars that the concept […]

Did Captain America's Weirdest Tale Help Inspire Avengers: Infinity War?

Did Captain America's Weirdest Tale Help Inspire Avengers: Infinity War?

One of the best things about watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe movies is figuring out where it all came from.  These cinematic continuities have always been a thing somewhat apart from their comic book origins out of necessity, but even when they seem to radically depart from comic book continuity, you'll […]

Black Cat Comics #50 and the High Cost of Uranium

Black Cat Comics #50 and the High Cost of Uranium

"Why did they write this story at this moment in time?" has become my favorite question to ask when it comes to comics history.  The answer is often just as entertaining as the comics themselves, and is always way more specific than you might guess.  I think I've learned more about American history than I […]

The Kid Who Became A Comic Book Hero in 1946 -- and Hated It

The Kid Who Became A Comic Book Hero in 1946 — and Hated It

On June 28, 1945 a B-25D Mitchell medium bomber collided with the Empire State Building.  Lt. Col. William Smith was piloting a routine transport mission from Bedford, Massachusetts to Newark, New Jersey.  It was an extremely foggy morning, and Smith received a warning from Laguardia Airport (then called NY Municipal Airport), "We're unable to see […]

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When Frank Cho Got to Hold Jonathan Ross's Frank Frazetta Original Art

Frank Cho is in London this week, with friends, for a variety of Sherlock Homes-related events. He's just signed a bunch of his work at Forbidden Planet, but he's finding all sorts of distractions. Such as palling with Britain's Head Geek, broadcaster, comedian and host Jonathan Ross, and his eye-watering gallery of original comic book […]

CGC Announces a New Pedigree Label and Newly Recognized Collections

Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®) has released a new Pedigree Certification Label. This new black and white label is a way to differentiate exceptional comic book collections known as pedigrees, and will display "CGC Universal Pedigree" in place of "CGC Universal Grade". Only pedigrees that qualify for a Universal grade will receive the new label. These new labels will be […]

Did a UK Publisher Make Us Believe Superman Could Fly in 1939?

Did a UK Publisher Make Us Believe Superman Could Fly in 1939?

Superman as created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster is without doubt one of the most popular and successful fictional characters of all time. People around the world recognize the iconic costume, know about his super powers and weakness to Kryptonite, and have seen or read his now-familiar origin story.  He is the prototypical superhero, […]

Futurama Fans: Here's a Rare Shot at the Bender Prototype

Futurama Fans: Here's a Rare Shot at the Bender Prototype

Startling Comics #49 is an example of something I love about the vintage comic book market: no matter how long you've been collecting them, vintage comics will still surprise you. There's always that special cover tucked away in the middle of some forgotten title run that you haven't noticed before, that fresh connection to some […]

Man-Bat, Detective Comics #400, and What Really Ended The Silver Age

Man-Bat, Detective Comics #400, and What Really Ended The Silver Age

Collectors like boundaries. We like to know when things start, and when they stop.  Knowing such things is an important requirement, because otherwise… well, you can't just collect all the comic books, can you? Because even monetary demands aside, then pretty soon you'd have to have a warehouse to put all that vintage paper in […]

The Flash, Green Lantern, and the Art of the Vintage Reboot

The Flash, Green Lantern, and the Art of the Vintage Reboot

A tale of the Multiverse: it's pretty impossible to remember this in the era of always-on superhero content, but there was once a world where major superheroes vanished without a trace. No warning, no explanation, you just went to the newsstand one week and instead of a new issue of The Flash or Green Lantern, there […]