The first comic I ever read was World’s Finest #102, “The Caveman from Krypton.” It was the spring of 1959 and I liked it. I fell in love with comics with “Challengers of the Unknown” #7 by Jack Kirby. It would be years before I would learn the name Jack Kirby or find another comic that appealed me so greatly, "The Fantastic Four."
What a different world it was then. There were no comic book shops, no computers with internet connections to contact other fans, no dealers with lists of old comics, no back issue stores, nothing.
My Library of Comics, (not my actual comic collection) began with the DC Annuals of the early 1960s and especially “Secret Origins.” Then came 1964’s “The Great Comic Book Heroes” and in 1970, Jim Steranko’s two part “History of Comics.”
Collections of comic strips were infrequent and often incomplete. Even the yearly publications of Peanuts left many strips out. There were volumes of Flash Gordon, Prince Valiant, Dick Tracy and Buck Rogers in the early 1970s. Comic stores began to open in the mid-1970s, giving the graphic novel a place to be.
The biggest prize of the 1980s was Russ Cockrum's complete black and white sets of the EC comics, although that took 20 years to have everything, including Picto-Fiction.
About 1990, I saw, for the first time, DC archives with the first Batman and Superman stories. Then Marvel began their Masterworks series.Finally the gates were opened at last. We began to get complete collections of comic strips and reprints of comics from the Golden Age.
I don’t really consider myself a “collector” but a keeper of what I have enjoyed.
Here is my "Library of Comics." Let us start the tour with comics from the 1950s. These are collections of mostly horror, suspense and Jungle Girl comics!
Below are the Warren books, Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella. While they are from the 1960s and 1970s they fit right in with the 1950s horror comics.
Here are more of the the 1950s horror and crime books.
Here is the complete Black and White Russ Cochran collection of EC comics and the newer volumes that are in color. There are other horrors here too. And Archie! Why Archie? Space, here, is really the final frontier, and it fit!
Next To the horror are the Marvel comics from the 1960s, 1940s and 1950s. This also includes several comic strip collections.
The Longer Marvel bookcase also features Masterworks from their 1940's Timely Era and their 1950's Atlas reprints.
On the bottom are the larger books, including many artist editions and larger comic strip collections
On the top are mostly Marvels after 1980.
The closet is where I have many of the comic strips collections:
Over the decades there have been many versions of the Flash Gordon and Prince Valiant comic strip in print. They have been different sizes, some in black and white, and some laid out as a comic book