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2006 Market Report
COMIC No 1 £7,750.00, DANDY MONSTER COMIC 1 £5,665.00!
first issue sold below its lower estimate of £8,500, this Very Good Plus grade
copy coming on to the market when only one potential buyer was willing to pay
£7,750 for it. That's not to say that there wasn't strong interest in this rare
comic at a lower level as 3 further bidders all confirmed interest at £7000. Our
Dandy Monster Comic from 1939 was a completely different story. In the unbelievably
high grade of Very Fine Plus its upper estimate level of £4,200 advanced in frenzied
bidding by over 50% to end up at a record-breaking £6,232.00 (including 10% buyer's
premium), the highest price ever paid for a distributed British comic annual at
auction. Its original owner had kept it in a brown paper dust cover and it looked
like it had hardly ever been opened in mirth. When put beside our world record
Dandy No 1 comic with free gift Express Whistler at £20,350 two years ago, it
seems The Dandy has gained the status normally occupied by The Beano. But perhaps
only for the time being…
At the other
end of the spectrum the first four and the back four pages of Dandy Comic 1 saw
its bidding conclude at £148, where the successful bidder carried away first adventures
of Korky, Desperate Dan, Jimmy And His Grockle and Keyhole Kate, maybe he also
had the inside pages and was able to complete the comic. A copy of Dandy Comic
2 in worn, grubby condition was heavily bid to £313 and war years numbers of the
Beano - 170 to 177 from 1942, averaged £70-100 each, mainly in the low grades
of Good and Good Plus.
In the middle
of all this, and from the same era, a wonderful Lord Snooty artwork from the pen
of Dudley Watkins celebrated Christmas at Bunkerton Castle where Snitchy and Snatchy,
those terrible twins, waited up for Santa, and, convinced that he was a Nazi spy,
set fire to his beard. Cue the following morning and a disgruntled head butler
serving breakfast, his sore head in a bandage! £1045.00 was the winning bid for
this hilarious piece.
Desperate Dan piece from around 1939 showed Dan distraught when trying to give
some puff to the kids model yachts and blowing them all to bits. He makes amends
by pulling off a paddle-steamer wheel, uprooting a lamp-post and ripping away
a grocer's shop blind and building his own Dan-Powered Sail Boat for the kids
to command. The successful bidder sailed away with this piece for £616. Oor Wullie's
artwork from 1945 was also bid to £751 and in this 1945 adventure everyone was
telling the wee lad whit to do includin' the Doc and PC Murdoch but Wullie finally
gets a note off skool - and 2 days' ("No" painted out) Fishing allowance!
the notable War years prices, four years of DC Thomson's Adventure from 1941-44,
all in complete bound volumes, averaged £275-352 a year, or around £10 each (1942-44
were issued fortnightly due to paper and ink shortages). There were some very
stark propaganda exhortations to save paper, one from 1943 entitled " the Axes
For The Axis!" showing the beheading of Hitler and Hirohito by Tommies using axes
made of waste paper! There will be Rover, Hotspur and Wizard volumes from the
same era following on in our next catalogue.
volume collection continues to flourish with the years prior to the 30s well represented.
John Bull from 1906, 1-82 in 2 bound volumes was mainly a lampooning political
paper with comment and cartoons and this title, now transformed as a stalwart
in the English language, made a high winning bid of £220. Penny Wonder from 1912,
1-47 made the same amount, as did Tiger Tim's Tales (1919) 1-24, a rare half-size
comic featuring serene landscape illustrations to each cover. I would stress,
as I have before, that volumes containing No 1 issues onwards will always fetch
a premium over later issues, sometimes by double the value and more depending
on the title's popularity.
five small bound volumes of Sexton Blake's second series from 1925, numbered 5-64
and these highly regarded and readable detective stories engendered fierce bidding
finally being knocked down for £561 to a determined Yorkshireman. Our other Sexton
Blake lot, from his third series in 1942, was numbered 52-79 in seven small bound
volumes and showed its Stateside appeal as it found its way to Texas via a winning
bid of £330.
The Skipper was one of the "Big Five" story papers that included Adventure, Hotspur,
Rover and Wizard, but it only lasted for 543 issues between 1930-1941, falling
victim to war years deprivation. A near complete year from 1934 with some wonderful
free gifts still intact made £198 or £4 a copy, a great value acquisition as the
rare Skipper Midget Comic was one of the gifts.
action Young Drake artwork pages by Paddy Brennan for The Dandy found high bidding
at £374 and there will be two further pages available in the November catalogue.
a near complete run of The Eagle spanning its full 20 years before amalgamation
with Lion and the early issues always do well, a Fine grade No1 selling at £150,
No 2 at £55 and 3 and 4 making £33 each. When first issued in 1950, the print
run was close to a million copies a week, a huge amount for that time, and many
copies still survive today making most years quite available. Bidding can therefore
range between £1 and £3 a copy (as ever, depending on grade) and our general results
bore this out as bidders were quite prepared to offer £50-150 for complete years
in vg/fn grades.
first 18 issues were available in a bound volume of Hurricane but our (under)
estimate of £70-100 was enthusiastically laid waste by a hurricane-force £495.
TV 21 was
also offered in a near complete run but this particular collection, generally
Very Fine/Very Fine Plus, had the highest grades ever seen at auction and the
resultant winning bids strongly reflected this. No 1 (without free gift) lifted
off to £201, No 2 made a record £148, No 3; £75 and 4 and 5 £44 each. Five pounds
was the lowest price per copy for issues between 81 and 199 but ten to fifteen
the norm for the other numbers with £308 winning Nos. 21-30 (including the hard-to-find
No 28 Doctor Who photo cover) and £309 took away the lower distribution final
issues 200-242. There were 2 further lots comprising 4 Summer and Thunderbirds
Extras (£137) and TV21 and Joe 90 1-9 with Specials, cloth badges and Space Patrol
centre pages from TV Comic (£120) all adding up to a staggering £3,166 of winning
bids for this TV21 run which the vendor had kept in an old cardboard whiskey box
from the day he bought them. Perhaps we should leave the high spirits pun….
September 11 Keith Waterhouse reported in his Daily Mail column the sale of our
Beano Comic No.1, devoting his article to all the comics and story papers he remembered
as a child and all the free gifts that went with them. He spoke of Whoopee Masks,
Express Whistlers and Sugar Sweets, of mid Thirties Jingles, Joker, Comic Cuts
and Crackers titles, some printed on "vile green paper", and he discussed their
eventual demise where now only The Beano and The Dandy remain as their superior
stories and colour pages printed on sturdy paper have seen them safely through
the years. Their content, he described, as "the same old freak show of talking
animals, invisible men and elastic boys.." He surmised on the survival of these
comics in general, doubting that they could re-invent themselves under the onslaught
of TV in all its versions.
I would applaud any mainstream publicity concerning comics but Mr Waterhouse has
completely missed the point. Not once in his double column article did the words,
"fun" or "laugh" appear, not even "amuse". The glee with which children throughout
the UK greeted the arrival of their favourite comics, laughingly devoured on the
walk to school, united a nation of Biffo, Korky, Dennis The Menace and Desperate
Dan daredevils most of whom today need no reminding of that Cactusville Cowboy's
favourite meal. His antics and those of Lord Snooty, His Pals and Pansy Potter
were legion. During the second World War, they defeated Hitler, Goering, Mussolini
and Hirohito on a weekly basis with hilarious consequences. Hitler and Goering
even got their own strip: "Addie And Hermy", spending most of the war looking
for a decent meal. Brilliant.
and Dandy are about fun, Mr W, that's why they'll survive, but if you would like
to visit "the same old freak show", perhaps have a glance through the pages of
your own organ, you might even get a laugh.
Comic Book Postal Auctions, Ltd.