Also called Classic Comics
Classics Illustrated covers
Sales Rank #12 See Top 2,500
First Issue #1 - October 1941
Last #169 - January 1976
Continued in Classics Illustrated Special Issue
Classics Illustrated comic books adapted great books of literature and also helped many high school students write book reports.
'HRN' Numbering system explained. Most issues were reprinted often. Each edition is identified by its HRN# -- the lower the number, the older the edition. HRN stands for "Highest Reorder Number", from the coupon in the comic to order issues by mail.
In some cases, the covers vary from one HRN# to another.
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Top Selling Comic Books
by buyers of Classics Illustrated comic books
Classics Illustrated Junior
World's Finest Comics
Justice League of America
This is the original series of Classics Illustrated comic books which were published from 1941 through 1969. Click, for a full listing of all Classics Illustrated comic books for sale. This series includes 169 issues. We generally have most of them in stock, so if you want to find Classics Illustrated comics for sale, you've come to the right place.
Why You Should Collect and Buy
Classics Illustrated Comic Books
If our civilization is dumbing down, Classics Illustrated may just be our last hope, or a part of the contribution.
As its title suggests, the title highlights a classic piece of literature and illustrates it. Hamlet, The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and 166 other of the greatest books in history are given the comic book treatment.
Back in high school, I had a teacher who used to assign some of these books and he always said, "And, don't rely on Classics Illustrated for the exam, because all of the test questions are going to be based on items not in the comic book." Oh, well. But, the series did give you a pretty good outline of the plot, so that reading the actual book went a lot easier.
Here at NewKadia, we've also found a lot of parents buying these for their younger children. I can't see an 8 year old slogging through the novel The Time Machine, but many parents have told me that a Classics Illustrated makes for a good change of pace for a bedtime story for kids once they grow out of Green Eggs and Ham.
And, for older readers, who passed high school English as a result of Classics Illustrated, the series can be a great gift for them... they both re-live their adolescence and get a bit of a culture boost, too.
To collect the series, you do have to know a bit about its strange numerology. Each issue of Classics Illustrated was re-printed many times. The easiest way to figure out which reprint a copy is, is to look at the re-order form, either on the inside front cover, inside back cover, or on the back cover. On the re-order form, each issue that had been published up until that time is shown. So, for example, for issue #72, the highest re-order number on the 1st edition is #72. Later re-prints have a highest-reorder-number (HRN) higher than #72. So, for each issue, the LOWER the HRN, the older the copy.
Classics Illustrated also published three other series, Classics Illustrated Junior, Classics Illustrated Special Issue, and the World Around Us.
Classics Illustrated Junior actually makes pretty good bedtime reading to youngsters. And although I personally enjoy Horton Hears a Who, a classic from any age remains a classic. I doubt there's any rigorous scientific study, but I'd bet that a child exposed to classics from ages before Star Wars and Dr. Seuss, will grow up with a broader appreciation of the arts. No proof, but it sorta makes sense.
Classics Illustrated Special Issue features stories, but not based on a specific classic piece of literature, but rather stories from many sources... The Story of Jesus, or Prehistoric World, for example.
The World Around Us can still be relevant with titles like the Illustrated Story of Dogs, or can be somewhat less relevant, like the Illustrated Story of Indians. No, not Mahatma Gandhi, more like Cochise. I haven't reviewed it lately, but I'd guess there might be some vintage 40's era racist stuff in that one. I don't know, but comics of the 40s and early 50s certainly paid little attention to being politically correct.
So, if you're a bit tired of talking about Snooki, or Lindsay Lohan, those two shining examples of what our civilization thinks merit interest today, check out Classics Illustrated. In the days of superhero movies catapulting comics like Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman to the top of the heap in terms of sales figures, Classics Illustrated is the only non-superhero comic to crack our Top 10 in sales on a consistent basis.
To buy Classics Illustrated comic books go to Classics Illustrated comics for sale