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SPRING 2013 MARKET REPORT
TOPPER ARTWORK £1,650.00
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1: £1,545.00
There was no monkeying around with Mickey as this Topper front cover by Dudley Watkins doubled its upper estimate to £1650. Watkins’ superb rendition of the horse in this artwork continues to underline his brilliance as an artist. This was the first piece of Mickey to come to auction and several keen buyers reacted strongly.
Keeping with the simian theme, Happy Days At Chimpo’s Circus is a rare performer and this first issue from 1938 found £143.
We offered Radio Fun No 1 with its accompanying first annual. Flanagan and Allen, Clark Gable and George The Jolly Gee-Gee have not lost their appeal and £231 galloped to the rescue..
Tiger Tim was as popular in the Thirties as Dennis The Menace in the Sixties so when artist, Herbert Foxwell’s work comes up for auction it is well noted. In this case adorning the cover of Teddy Tail’s Annual for 1937, the piece was bright and fresh and signed, all the requirements for desirability. £412 foxed well.
The first Dandy No 1 to come on the market since the demise of The Dandy printed version in Dec 2012 was always going to be a bench mark for future sales and this [gd+] example with spine wear and page foxing did not disappoint at £1540.
Nor did Dandy No 8. Korky’s fish market and fire engine fun, near Fine, found £220 whilst No 14 in the same grade soaked up £187. There’s no such thing as a free bath. The following lots of Dandys between issues 27-34 in [vg+] grades averaged £132 each. There will be some more individual issues in our catalogue in May-June.
This run of Beano printers’ proof covers had never been seen before. Some were signed and dated by Beano editor, George Mooney and the two illustrated above went for £248 and £276 respectively. Three further lots of Beano cover proofs for issue numbers 326, 331 and 332 made £226 each. Look out for some Dandy proofs in May.
Hulton Press’s Picture Post is a firm favourite and £275 was successfully bid for a near complete 50 issue year from 1942. Bette you can’t spot the film star.
With US Superman Golden Age comics at record highs one canny customer snapped up this lot of Australian full colour reprints and the two lots following for £77, £60 and £60 again. Issues 5-13 of The Man Of Steel all in one go.
This Beano complete year in bound volume sold at £615. In [vg/fn] grades, some pages were quite dry and will need careful handling.
With worn spine and margin tears Ginger, Calamity Jane and The Banana Bunch were a bit off colour and £137 was tenderly tendered for Beezer No 1.
Captain Universe, Masterman, Red Flash, Kang The Mighty and Rocket first issues were all here and this disparate group of British super-heroes was uplifted to £137.
The Argonauts was only published in Europe with no US edition and this rarest of all Classics Illustrated titles was bid to £605 by a collector who had been waiting for it for 10 years.
Giorgio de Gaspari’s Kit Carson artwork from a 1951 Cowboy Picture Library cover arrowed to £400.
Knockouts from the 50s still have a strong collecting base and the complete year of 1958 in two bound volumes was accompanied by its 3-D Picture Booklet and a very healthy £264.
1958 must have been a good year as the complete 52 issue run starring Billy The Kid, Battler Britton and Dick Turpin took the highway to £286.
We talk all the time about scarce and even rare issues but the first Super Colour Comic Annual is almost impossible to find. Swift Morgan, Roy Carson, Buffalo Bill and Blackhawk, all by artist and TV Boardman editor, Denis McLoughlin were printed in the rotogravure style, the actual annuals made up of rebound newsagents returns. Amazing that these rare annuals consisted of comics that didn’t sell! On this occasion a mighty £605 made sure they did.
Buster has many fans and a half-year bound volume from 1962 with issues 13-36 of Buster Adventure Library starring Rick Random and John Steel Special Agent came home unscathed with £396.
This copy of Commando No 1 had some pretty noticeable back cover scrapes but its popularity was not diminished at £298. We sold a fine copy in our December 2010 auction for £908 which we believe to be a record.
Express Weekly changed its name to TV Express Weekly in 1960 as colour televisions began to appear in many homes. The Lone Ranger and Gun Law were just two of the enormously popular programmes that the comic serialised as it tried to match The Eagle’s circulation. £331 was successfully bid for the 52 issues. Hi-yo Silver and away.
As the value of UK reprints of early US comics increases, £133 or £7 apiece was accepted for an 18 issue run of Tales Of / Amazing Stories Of Suspense by Alan Class.
The Valiant run of 1963 was featured here with the 5 preceding issue of Knockout before it was amalgamated with Valiant on 23 February that year. Captain Hurricane and The Steel Claw grabbed £385 becoming the apple of Kelly’s Eye.
From the Rupert Annual of 1974, this Rupert artwork was complete with its original acetate overlay and £198 rung true for Rupert And The Little Bells.
John Harrold had painted and signed this publisher’s approval artwork for the cover of the Rupert Annual for 1994 and it was hotly contested to £610.
The print run for the third printing of Viz No 1 was a paltry 250 copies. As well as Skinhead and Fat Sod, even Victor Pratt The Stupid Twat received £272 for this [vg] copy.
Our US section continued with the second part of our 1950s pre-code horror sci-fi and adventure collection.
What better way to start than with the horribly titled ‘White Heat’ radiation cover from Black Cat Mystery #50. This cover wouldn’t have looked out of place (dis)gracing any MAD issue. £182 secured the remains.
Farrel’s Haunted Thrills #1 and #11 are illustrated above with £100 for the first issue and £77 for the one with the unedifying Nazi Death Camp storyline.
MAD issues are not so easy to sell these days as the comic’s ‘humor in a jugular vein’ satirical style, whilst influential and superbly illustrated in its 50s heyday, leaves MAD mascot, Alfred E Newman, somewhat tired today. In [fn-vfn] grade, #19 illustrated above made £75 but later [vg] issues 20, 22 and 23 went for £17 apiece. One of the last editors of MAD was interviewed a couple of years ago. He admitted that MAD was intended to corrupt the kids of that generation and that, based on what he had seen around today, he had succeeded.
Marvel Boy #1 and #2 were taken well above estimate to £203 and £80 respectively. Marvel, boy.
Even with some red colour touches to the cover no-one could touch Phantom Lady #15 at £220
Atlas’s Strange Tales Of The Unusual #1 had cream pages and a [fn+] grade so its £50-65 estimate was easily taken to £110. Not so unusual. Ditko and Kirby’s Strange Worlds #1 in [vg+] was also strongly bid to £146.
The Weird Science-Fantasy Annual from 1953 is the second of two annuals with 128 pages of Kamen, Orlando, Romita, Wood and Williamson art. The book had a square, complete spine and cream pages with a few cover creases and this scarce item found a mid estimate £134.
With 3 advertising pages missing and large biro prices to its cover, Amazing Fantasy #15 had plenty of noticeable defects resulting in its [pr/fr] low grade but our bidders would not be deterred as £467 took away the first appearance of the Spider-Man.
Perhaps the most desirable of all Silver Age comics, our copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 was graded [vg] but there weren’t any major defects and a firm £1545 was successfully tendered for this pence issue.
This rather nice copy of Amazing Spider-Man #2 in [vg-fn] had good cover gloss and some lower spine creasing and £309 sealed the winning bid.
Our copy of Fantastic Four #4 had very little wear, its high cover gloss receiving a well merited Very Fine grade. Just shy of its £1600 lower estimate, it returned to the U S A with a winning bid of £1533.
Over the past year or so we have received some smashing publicity from good friends of ours in the comics world so we thought it was time to return the complement. Accordingly we are going to place a LINKS sub-header on our home page with all their details.
Firstly www.downthetubes.net is a site run by John Freeman showcasing British comics news, comment and events, not least of which is The Dundee Comics Expo at Dundee University on Saturday 30th March. Good Luck to Chris Murray and his team there.
Then there are the unstinting efforts of Jason Joiner who runs the London Comic Mart at The Royal National Hotel WC2 on the first Sunday of the week each month. Mainly showcasing U S comics, Silver Age stalwarts like Dave Finn, Paul McCartney and the Scott brothers offer mouth-watering selections whilst US titan, Harley Yee, regularly brings his fabulous stock of Golden and Silver Age issues from across the pond to tempt you. There are British comics dealers too and Phil Clark’s full selection of UK comics and artwork is always keenly priced and affordable whilst Paul Hudson straddles both American and British merchandise with his usual brand of gentle bonhomie.
Jason’s website is www.londoncomicmart.co.uk and the specific dates for the London shows and his comics news will be in our new Links section.
www.worldofsuperheroes.com is a fully operational multimedia experience with exclusive news on comics, film and TV star interviews and if you want a quick peek at the new Iron Man movie trailer this is the go-to site.
We look forward to adding further interesting and relevant sites in the coming months.
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.