Comics historian Alan Clark has published another book, Comic Papers of the Platinum Age, which promises to be another fascinating look at early British comics, following on from several other smashing self-published titles.
What is the British Platinum Age? Within the pages of this new book, from a much respected expert in the comics of the period, it’s defined as 1874-1914. It started with James Henderson’s Funny Folks and ended forty years on, with the start of the 1914-1918 war.
“The Platinum Age was the ‘Big Bang’ of the comic universe,” Alan explains. “It was when the British comic was invented. It was followed by the ‘war years’, then the ‘nursery years’ After which the publishers created a raft of new titles for older readers.
“Which in turn paved the way to the Golden Age of the 1930s. That Golden Age crashed spectacularly after war was declared on Germany in September 1939 when once again paper shortages returned and staff and freelancers were again called up to join the forces.
“It was not until over a decade later that the industry recovered enough to start a Silver Age. That began with Eagle on 14th April 1950. The war years, nursery years, the Golden Age and Silver Age are other stories.
“This book is an homage to the Platinum Age and its amazing publishers, editors, creators, writers and artists who were responsible for it. And which led to everything that followed…”
Comic Papers of the Platinum Age is a 284-page, small size (A5), non-profit, well illustrated, limited edition publication, which aims to promote and provide information about the editors. artists, writers and publishers of Platinum Age comics and story papers.
These fascinating guides by Alan sell out very quickly, with only The Fun Factory of Farringdon Street and Ally Sloper still available, of recent releases. Well worth your time if you are interested in early British comics history, so don’t delay grabbing a copy!
• Comics of the Platinum Age by Alan Clark is available here, price £25, on eBay
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As a matter of interest, what’s the age before 1874 called? I’m thinking from The Glasgow Looking Glass onwards.