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Autumn 2004 Market Report


DANDY COMIC No 1 HITS £20K WORLD RECORD

Dandy 1

The Dandy Comic No 1 with its original free gift and promotional flyer was sold in our September auction for a staggering £20,350 constituting a winning bid of £18,500 plus 10% buyer's premium. The comic, in Fine Minus grade, is one of only ten copies known to exist. Its free gift, the Express Whistler, a toy whistle made of yellow and blue tinplate is the only known gift to survive, now merrily whistling its way into the record books. Also included was the original advertising flyer for this first issue Dandy which was enclosed in the Hotspur the week before its publication in November 1937. In Near Mint grade, the flyer highlights the first adventures of Korky The Cat, Keyhole Kate, Our Gang and Invisible Dick and is an eight page two colour mini-comic in its own right. Importantly it shows an illustration of the Express Whistler, "8 DIFFERENT ENGINE WHISTLES IN 1", further authenticating the unique free gift that was offered.

Dandy 2 and 3

Even rarer, The Dandy Comic No 2 was also auctioned with its free gift Jumping Frog and mini-comic promotional flyer. This Dandy's front cover had a half thumb-sized hole near the middle with some resultant tears and we suggested that this could have been caused by the gift's inclusion. Made of red tinplate, the two-inch frog had a ball of tar wedged inside its head which served to temporarily arrest a metal spring which sprang loose after a few seconds to propel the toy a foot into the air. As with the Whistler, the frog had no rust and amazingly its tar was still tacky enough to hold the spring prior to propulsion. However, what had Froggy really jumping was the £3,768 price he received against an estimate of £700-900! Not to be outdone The Dandy No 3, highest grade of the trio at Fine Plus, made £1,815 to complete a Korking set of results.

BeanoBeano
Beano Beano

Early Beano Comics joined the top price party with a string of very high winning bids. No 2 in Very Good grade captured £2,135; No 3 made £1,210 and 4 and 5 accepted £930 and £806 respectively.

Dandy

The highlight of the annuals on offer was lot 66, the 1943 Dandy Monster Comic which was in Very Fine grade, the best condition ever seen at auction. It realised a monster £2,794, confirming that the combination of rarity and high grade can send bidding stratospheric.

Wild West Weekly

From the same fastidious vendor of the first Dandy comic, Wild West Weekly No. 1 had its two free gifts in bright fresh condition included. This 1938 lot was taken away for a rustlin' £39, proof positive that bargains can be found in pre-war, high grade condition, even if the successful bidder may not find his favourite tune inside the Hill-Billy Round-Up Song Book.

The same kind of money chases war years Beano comics individually and lot 78 was typical with its nine issues numbered from 160-168 producing a winning bid of £352.

Desperate Dan

This funny original piece by Dudley Watkins had Desperate Dan burrowing his way under the ocean to London arriving inside Nelson's Column having made a tunnel through which Allied tanks, planes and lorries laden with food (including lollipops) could travel, unhindered by the attention of the German navy. So much so that the U-boats used each other for target practise and a battleship scuppered itself out of sheer boredom! This finely drawn propaganda page was knocked down for a battle-winning £840. A further signed Dudley Watkins page of The Broons was also up for auction and this 1955 board from The Scottish Sunday Post saw the family in fancy dress at Hallo'een mixing up The Broons o' Glebe Street with The Glebes o' Broon Street! A howlin' £1,212 was the tendered winning bid, more than double the upper estimate.

Broons

The Broons Books have been bid very high of late, accelerating the popularity of Scotland's Happy Family and this early hardback version in Very Good grade was contested to £1,101 making Maw an' Paw even happier.

Jeff Arnold Belt and TieBelt and Tie Box

Copies of Eagle Magazine are generally easy to find for a few pounds each as the print run of early issues came close to a million copies and our average condition No. 1 made £165. There was a large amount of merchandise produced under licence to Hulton Press, Eagle's publishers with much of it dedicated to its most popular character, colonel Dan McGregor Dare. Cowboy Jeff Arnold is not so nearly well known and we offered his belt and tie set in presentation box along with a pack of his cards for £40-60. By the time the bidding stopped at a rip roarin' £242 it was obvious that one orn'ry cowpoke intended to ride the range in style. Yeehah!

William

Richmal Crompton's Just William books need no introduction and William The Lawless was the last volume published by Newnes in 1970. By this time William was on the wane and the resultant print run was low. Widely collected now, a copy of this last story had not been auctioned in the UK for some two-and-a-half years and a fresh, dust-jacketed version (William The Flawless?) was always going to cause some high-jinks. In this case bidding that jinked to a high of £770.

supermanTomb of TerrorWeb of Evil

Lot 213 proclaimed Superman #6 with characteristic Man Of Steel pose and this VG issue exceeded guide price with a tall building leap of £400. The saying goes: "Who Dares Enter The Tomb Of Terror…" but who would dare open the #15 front cover with its eye-popping exploding face? The winning bidder has paid £106 to take that decision, a worn spine and rusty staples being the least of his worries. The same bidder will also need his rubber gloves as he paid £121 for Web Of Evil #5 with its fun-filled electric-chair cover.

This was our most successful catalogue to date, selling all of the 361 lots. The fastidious engineer's apprentice who consigned The Dandy 1, 2 and 3 to us had a further collection comprising some 500 items, all of which will be offered in the following months. Will Bennett, The Daily Telegraph's arts correspondent has described them as a "time capsule collection" and so they are. The comics and their free gifts were carefully collected and stored by their original owner, each comic placed in a brown paper bag, each free gift wrapped the in same way and kept in an old shoe box.

The publicity that the Dandy No 1 has attracted is astonishing. Featured on page two of the Daily Telegraph on 8th September, the Dandy has occupied two internet pages of BBC News Online and been covered by The Daily Mail, The Scottish Daily Mail, The Daily Record, The Daily Express, The London Evening Standard, Antiques Trade Gazette, Antiques Magazine and Book And Magazine Collector. In the US it has been showcased in Scoop internet magazine owned by major dealer, Diamond Galleries of Baltimore, Maryland.

Let's put this £20,000 UK record breaker into perspective. In 2003 a copy of Marvel Comics #1 was put up for auction in America. Published in 1939 it was the precursor of Timely Comics super-hero genre and starred The Human Torch by Carl Burgos and The Sub-Mariner by Bill Everett. This particular copy was kept in the Timely office and had pencil notes by each story detailing payments to the artists and writers involved. It became known as the "pay" copy and was knocked down for three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

Malcolm Phillips
Director
Comic Book Postal Auctions, Ltd.

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