Big Little Book (1932)
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Publication Date: 1932 - 1938
Country: United States
Big Little Books are hard for a comics enthusiast to classify. The line wasn't, strictly speaking, one that devoted itself to sequential art. Most, but not an overwhelming majority, were illustrated prose books. Some contained at least some pages of comic strips, and a sizable minority were entirely comprised of sequential art.
Due to their age, however, it can be exceedingly difficult to find hard evidence as to which really contained comics and which didn't.
There will therefore be some amount of guesswork involved in cataloguing this title. Note, too, that it is not our intention to catalogue every issue of this title, but merely those which contain (or, in some instances, might contain) genuine sequential art.
Big vs. Better
For comics, one of the big temporal distinctions is that between the Golden and Silver Ages. A precise definition is illusive, but each era gives off a distinctive vibe to the keen collector. There is likewise a distinction between the Golden and Silver Ages of Big Little Books, but the line between the two is a bit clearer than that present in, say, DC Comics.
One of the most obvious distinctions is that of the the copyright. Larry Lowery, a noted scholar of BLBs, suggests that the Golden Age came between 1932 and mid 1938 when they were called Big Little Books. From the second half of 1938 until 1949 was the Silver Age, when they were known as Better Little Books.
As the name implies, these were little books that were big. Though there was some variability prior to 1935, the general dimensions of a Big Little Book were 3.625" x 4 .5" x 1.5". In other words, they were the size of a scrap piece of two-by-four.
There is no such thing as Big Little Book #1. The numbers assigned to these books came in one of two main sequences: 7xx (roughly, those issues prior to 1935), and 11xx (roughly, those issues from 1935-1938). A small number of Big Little Books were in the range of 14xxóbut the vast majority of these were actually Better Little Books.
Contributors should be wary of putting any issue with the number 14xx into this title, although valid examples exist.
Note, too, that the phrase "numerical sequence" is used advisedly here. There wasn't anything necessarily sequential about the numbering system.
Number of issues cataloged: 29