It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s $3.2 Million

SUPERMAN-articleInline1938’s Action Comics No. 1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, sold for $3.207,852 to an unnamed buyer. Darren Adams the owner of Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Washington posted it on eBay August 14. The original price for this comic in 1938 was 10 cents. It took just 48 bids to get from a starting price of 99-cents to it’s final sale. Mr. Adams told the Washington Post: “I actually held it for a few years–I was so excited about this book. And equally exciting to have a book of this condition is the fact that nobody knew it existed…till I made it known.” Read more here. Now don’t you wish you had saved your old comic books?


Local Art @ EPL

Our latest Local Art @ EPL exhibit showcases the work of the legendary illustrator Hal Foster – a long-time Evanston resident and the father of the modern comic book.  From now through the end of January, the fascinating display A Tribute to Hal Foster will be featured on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Branch.  Organized by local comic-book aficianado Sid Weiskirch, the exhibit includes over 50 restored and enlarged reprints of Foster’s classic Prince Valiant and Tarzan comics and retraces his three-decade-long career beginning in the 1930’s.  To preview the exhibit and learn more about Foster, check out this recent interview with Mr. Weiskirch along with the recent biography Hal Foster, Prince of Illustrators.

Remembering Jackie Ormes

There’s a persistent stereotype that comics and graphic novels are written only by and about young, usually white men. Yet as the marvelous blog Madame Noire reminds us, “Black Women Love Comics Too!” Any doubters should take a peek at the Ormes Society website. Named for Jackie Ormes, the first African American female cartoonist, the Society promotes the inclusion of black women as creators and characters in the comics industry.

Ormes is getting more attention lately herself, with a new biography highlighting her pioneering work as an editorial cartoonist, commercial artist, and civil rights activist. Her beloved character Torchy Brown, who debuted as a Harlem teenager in 1937, embodied the struggles and accomplishments of the Great Migration, while the wise cracking Patty Jo and Ginger commented slyly on the racial struggles of the Cold War era. A fascinating, and little known slice of American cultural history.   –Lesley W.