Golden Age Comic Page Count
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Hi, I picked up a low grade copy of Sensation Comics #56 yesterday for $5. The cover is pretty thrashed, ripped and taped together; but the interior is pretty nice, no brittleness, writing, or cut out pieces. I counted 24 pages, or 48 pages total, front and back, and I am trying to determine if this book is complete. There is no obvious interuption in the storyline, but I thought most golden age books had 52 pages. Any help is apprecitated.

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48 pages + a cover (counting as 4) = 52.

 

Comics started as 64 pages + cover (=68). During WW 2, they went down to 56

(+ cover = 60) Some companies did it by shifting to 14 sheets of paper (+ cover).

DC and Classics Illustrated did it by keeping 16 sheets of paper but in the back half

of the book, removing half of sheets 2, 6, 11, and 15 (open the book at the center, lie

flat, and count down from the center sheet of paper). I am going from memory so

this may not be completely accurate. Other companies also cut pages in the back half

of the book. If I remember correctly, Fawcett removed half of the center fold which

often lead to the book missing 2 or 6 pages. Very confusing but, in the case of

Fawcett, it only lasted about six months before they went down to 32 pages

(+ cover = 36).

 

Then there was a period where most comics were 48 (+ cover = 52). Some Dell titles

had some issues with 48 (+4 = 52)) and some issues with 32 (+4 = 36).

 

For a brief time, DC went to 10 sheets of paper (40 + cover = 44) before dropping

to the current standard of 32 (+ cover = 36).

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Hi, I picked up a low grade copy of Sensation Comics #56 yesterday for $5. The cover is pretty thrashed, ripped and taped together; but the interior is pretty nice, no brittleness, writing, or cut out pieces. I counted 24 pages, or 48 pages total, front and back, and I am trying to determine if this book is complete. There is no obvious interuption in the storyline, but I thought most golden age books had 52 pages. Any help is apprecitated.

 

I can't tell if by "front and back" you mean you also counted the front cover and back cover.

 

In any case, the best resource I've found for determining page count is the Grand Comics Database, which has the web address comics.org.

 

Here is the page for Sensation Comics #56 -- Link to Sensation #56 at Comics.org

 

As you can see, it is supposed to have 52 pages. When you count, include every page side starting with the cover and ending with the back cover.

 

If it does turn out the comic only has 48 pages, the first thing to look at is the center wrap -- is it missing? It helps to read the story and look for abrupt leaps in continuity.

 

I've been burned a few times with comics that had the center wrap missing. I've avoided a lot of bad losses by checking the GCD and doing a page count.

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I will definitely save that link for future reference. I was not sure if you counted the cover or not. The book has 52 pages, when the cover is included. The cover is pretty ugly, but it is pretty cool to have a complete golden age book, as I mostly collect bronze, copper, and a little silver.

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Early 50's EC Comics... including cover... 36 pages? 

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On 2/5/2019 at 6:28 PM, Scrooge said:

Very much appreciate it - thank you. 

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On 5/8/2011 at 5:21 PM, Doohickamabob said:

 

I can't tell if by "front and back" you mean you also counted the front cover and back cover.

 

In any case, the best resource I've found for determining page count is the Grand Comics Database, which has the web address comics.org.

 

Here is the page for Sensation Comics #56 -- Link to Sensation #56 at Comics.org

 

As you can see, it is supposed to have 52 pages. When you count, include every page side starting with the cover and ending with the back cover.

 

If it does turn out the comic only has 48 pages, the first thing to look at is the center wrap -- is it missing? It helps to read the story and look for abrupt leaps in continuity.

 

I've been burned a few times with comics that had the center wrap missing. I've avoided a lot of bad losses by checking the GCD and doing a page count.

I don't need to check anywhere in order to determine page count.  As soon as I get a book from an online dealer or an eBay seller, I immediately count the pages, which are generally 52 pages through about the 1951/52 dated issues, and 36 pages after.  Of course there are exceptions, such as EC's, as mentioned earlier, that always just had 32 pages.  If a 36 pager doesn't have 16 sheets, it gets returned.  Crime Does Not Pay is an interesting anomaly though, as they had some odd page counts in the early-mid '40's.  In cases like that of course, you follow the little number squares generally found in the right bottom corner of the lowest right panel of the story, to the "the end" panel, to at least ensure that all story art is present.

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1 hour ago, fifties said:

I don't need to check anywhere in order to determine page count.  As soon as I get a book from an online dealer or an eBay seller, I immediately count the pages, which are generally 52 pages through about the 1951/52 dated issues, and 36 pages after.  Of course there are exceptions, such as EC's, as mentioned earlier, that always just had 32 pages.  If a 36 pager doesn't have 16 sheets, it gets returned.  Crime Does Not Pay is an interesting anomaly though, as they had some odd page counts in the early-mid '40's.  In cases like that of course, you follow the little number squares generally found in the right bottom corner of the lowest right panel of the story, to the "the end" panel, to at least ensure that all story art is present.

It's funny, you're replying to a post I wrote in 2011. I'm glad my posts have such longevity!

I understand that you, personally, don't need to check the page count with the Grand Comics Database. Somebody newer to golden-age comics might find that a worthwhile resource, though. It was valuable for me as I was figuring stuff out. (And I like to give that website a shout-out whenever I can, because it's great, and I recommend people donate to it.)

There are some anomalous golden-age comics that have strange page counts, like 68-pagers, and annuals with high page counts (100's and stuff).

Usually it's like you said, though, 36 or 52. The quick and dirty way to check is just to count to the middle, or go to the middle and see if the story has continuity or if the page numbers line up.

Of course, it's worth it to count the pages anyway, and I always do: I check for clipped coupons or panels, torn sections, or pages torn out (which sadly, has happened a few times when it was a comic I *really* wanted to have in complete form).

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2 hours ago, Doohickamabob said:

It's funny, you're replying to a post I wrote in 2011. I'm glad my posts have such longevity!

I understand that you, personally, don't need to check the page count with the Grand Comics Database. Somebody newer to golden-age comics might find that a worthwhile resource, though. It was valuable for me as I was figuring stuff out. (And I like to give that website a shout-out whenever I can, because it's great, and I recommend people donate to it.)

There are some anomalous golden-age comics that have strange page counts, like 68-pagers, and annuals with high page counts (100's and stuff).

Usually it's like you said, though, 36 or 52. The quick and dirty way to check is just to count to the middle, or go to the middle and see if the story has continuity or if the page numbers line up.

Of course, it's worth it to count the pages anyway, and I always do: I check for clipped coupons or panels, torn sections, or pages torn out (which sadly, has happened a few times when it was a comic I *really* wanted to have in complete form).

Didn't notice the date of your post.  Just that the three before me were all today or yesterday.

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