I started reading comic books 50 years ago last month, give or take. The first issue of the Justice League I ever bought was cover-dated May (this was in 1961), which meant it was on the newsstands until that date, the month after my birthday. What I read before that was by the grace of my two classmates who introduced me to comic books during that previous school year (I suppose; I know for certain when I began reading JLA, but any of the rest of it is a blur, and all the original comic books have been turned over to my classmate’s brother to start his comic book business; when I saw a photo of him and his daughter, I was just awed. And, it turns out, my classmate himself was a major contributor to the wikipedia sections on comic books.
(I’m not mentioning any names because I’m not sure what I’m going to say yet. – ed.)
That was in the third grade, so I guess I was first introduced to comics earlier that year. I don’t remember the earliest Superman stories I ever read new/first-run, but I did recognize immediately the art of Wayne Boring representing the “old” Superman, and my all-time personal favorite, Curt Swan representing the “new” Superman. I was young enough to read the comics naively, but Flash #123, “Flash of Two Worlds” made that immediately more difficult, but to my developing mind, all the more interesting.
That issue of Flash was cover-dated September (1961), so it was just six months after I started reading comics seriously (as seriously as any nine year old can do anything, but then again, there have been some mighty serious nine year olds, over the centuies) when they introduced the concepts of alternate Earths co-existing side-by-side, but on different ‘vibrational planes’. It all made wonderful sense to my childhood imagination.