I’m working on a project that includes an homage/spoof to classic comics, particularly old DC comics. I need to know one obscure detail: When did full-bleed printing on interior pages of comic books become common? I don’t want to include any full-bleed images if they didn’t exist way back when. (A cursory search of old scans shows no full-bleed pages. Did they only come about in the modern, post-newsprint era?)
I’m not a comic geek, but I read comics up until the 1980s. I’ve never seen a full bleed comic page. If by “way back when” you mean the 30s or 40s, I can’t imagine using what would have been an expensive technique on comics, which were printed as cheaply as possible.
It was fairly common in the mid-80s, esp. with comics on “Baxter” or “Mando” paper; DC and Marvel were experimenting with more expensive formats on whiter paper and went a little berserk with the color (See: Marvel Comics Super Special [Kiss, Weirdworld, et al], Marvel Fanfare and Camelot 3000). Around 1990 Malibu Comics developed an improved computer coloring system that made bleeds easier and introduced Photoshop-level coloring to comic books; in 1994, Marvel was so impressed by the coloring that they bought the company and started coloring their whole line in this manner. DC developed a competing system and now all major comics companies look like this.