Interesting Stuff

The Golden Age of Comics is Twelve.

I’ve been reorganizing books shelves and back issues boxes the last few weekends, restocking the spinner rack in my office with my favorite comics from middle school, and I keep thinking about the truism that I’ve come across many times over the years: “The golden age of comics is twelve.” Because, for me at least, it really seems to hold true. The comics that I first read between the summer of 1982 when I turned twelve and the summer of 1983 when I turned thirteen were foundational in the development of my tastes and interests, and I can draw a direct line between them and the kinds of stories that I am writing now. But as true as the sentiment is, I got to wondering where it originated.

I’d always known that the phrase was a play on an older aphorism about “the golden age of science fiction,” but wasn’t sure just who had originally said it, and where. This morning I took to Google to see if I could find the answer, and ended up falling down a deep, deep hole.

The short version is that the quote is popularly attributed to a fan in the 1960s, Peter Graham, possibly in the pages of the fanzine “VOID,” but the long version turns out to be a bit less clear. The website Quote Investigator has done some fairly exhaustive digging, and while they haven’t yet found a definitive source, the notes of their investigation make for interesting reading with appearances by many of the biggest names in SF/F in the mid- to late-20th Century.

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