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SEPTEMBER 2014 MARKET REPORT
DAN DARE ARTWORK £1800.00
1970S X-MEN £330.00
This was our first catalogue employing the-saleroom.com as our online auction specialists and it proved to be a substantial success with all the lots selling and some notable high prices. Beano and Dandy lead the field here followed strongly by Sun and Comet.
The first and only Dandy with Keyhole Kate usurping the front cover and pushing poor old Korky to half-a-page on the back. £75 was tendered through t’keyhole.
This complete year of 1946 (issued fortnightly) was in low grade with most of the issues trimmed and punch-holed but it did not stop a whopping £310 winning bid.
A bright Beano No 22 with front cover detached still managed a hefty £230. It was a Christmas time edition.
There were seven 1944 Beanos in this lot and although issue 240 featured the first Strang the Terrible by Dudley Watkins, No 244 had a cameo waste paper ad of Hitler being hanged to underline WWII propaganda. £270 took them away. Discuss in history class, prep before the week-end, please, children.
Story papers still cut the mustard and The Hotspur complete years of 1943-44 in bound volume realised £390 or £7.50 each. These propaganda issues also contained patriotic save paper ads like, ‘Be a waste paper commando and waste Hitler!’
Continuing the wartime theme, GG Swan published propaganda war titles like Topical Funnies, Thrill, Extra Fun and Fresh Fun and a 17 issue selection of them demobbed for just over £10 each.
Cowboys still have a strong following amongst our bidders and Billy The Kid, Colorado Kid and Kid Dynamite gunned £210 for 41 issues, about a fiver each. Kidology.
Perennial favourite, Roy Rogers triggered £150 round the old camp fire. Yee-hah.
85 issues of Comet from 1952-55 had bright covers with worn spines and disintegrated rusty staples but their low grade did not inhibit strong bidding which reached £280.
The Sun similarly shone at £250.
Some early superhero Atlas reprints raised over £12 each in mid grades.
The winning bidder called us up after his purchase of this complete run of Captain Marvel Jr. to tell us how brilliant it was to find all 24 issues in one go. He paid £210 but was prepared to go substantially higher.
Rockfist Rogan and X5 Secret agent were champions of Champion but the title generally lags behind the other story papers in value, the two tone covers not adding much to the mix. This turned on its head with the 1951 bound volumes reaching £270. Champion.
Earlier lots had featured the first seven years of Eagle in a predictable auction range of £3-4 a copy but the original artwork of Dan Dare with pencils by Frank Hampson and finished artwork by Harold Johns and Gretta Tomlinson rocketed to £1800. We do have another board in our November catalogue and, as Digby might say: ‘Watch this space...’
Talking about watches and space the Dan Dare Spacetracer Compass does not come along very often and this example with bright backing card found true North at £230.
Once more the story papers performed strongly. This time The Wizard complete year for 1952 in bound volume with superhero athlete, Wilson, breasting the tape at £290
Collectors stalwart, Thriller Comics Library never disappoints and 16 issues from 1954, including some rarer Australian issues, pocketed £160
Back with The Dandy and this later year of 1965 was not complete, missing 3 issues, but the price was at £270. Not so Corporal Clott.
The Thunderbirds artwork just reached its reserve price of £720, not everybody wanting to hug a Hood.
Our US section started with some key Golden Age Batman and Detective comics.
With first cover art of Batman by Dick Sprang and Joker appearance, #19 from 1943 rose well above expectations at £520.
Similarly #51 carried a full page ad for Superboy #1 with Penguin story and £220 exceeded its upper estimate.
Detective Comics #118 with Joker cover and stories fulfilled its lower estimate of £320.
Beauty Parade was one of America’s most popular glamour magazines with Peter Driben’s superb covers to the fore. £75 was tendered for these 3 issues including some Betty Page exposure. .
Nos 1 and 2 of Cutie from 1944 are scarce and these high grade examples, once more with Driben cover art, reached £125.
With Billy Devorss and Peter Driben covers the aptly named Wink had Betty Page in ‘Wot ze French maid saw...’ What she saw was ninety quid.
EC comics are making a comeback and this copy of Frontline Combat #4 battled its way to a firm £115.
Crime SuspenStories #18 similarly impressed with £145.
These four Fight comics made £40 but most of the following Fiction House lots of Jumbo, Jungle, Rangers and Wings comics failed to sell until after the auction’s close when one of our regular customers snapped up all of them in an after-hours deal.
Avon’s Prison Break No 1 says it all – the gangster’s moll with a machine gun and a fag languidly posing beside the getaway vehicle as two desperate cons race for the car in a hail of bullets...£60 says Lefty wuz innocent.
This reminded me of a recent trip to America’s West Coast where a meet with an old schoolfriend in San Francisco was going to take us down memory lane during one boozy week-end. Obviously this was going to be pretty boring for my long-suffering girlfriend and with this in mind I had to promise to go wherever she wanted on at least one occasion during the holiday. Thus I found myself on a ferry in San Francisco Bay as the fog closed in around us in the eerily calm waters of an April afternoon. After 20 minutes we set ashore in an environment just as bleak as the weather and scrabbling blindly up a narrow concrete path a sign loomed out of the mist declaring ‘United States Penitentiary - Alcatraz’.
I don’t know about you, but once I’d seen Burt in the Sixties and Clint in the Seventies stick it to the warden, my interest in this rusting, dilapidated pile was round about zero. Our guide certainly changed all that. His insightful, encyclopaedic knowledge was totally engaging. To think that so many miscreants existed long term in the confines of this claustrophobic prison block with only a few break-outs and a handful of successful escapees were the high points of an interminable background story. This was life in the slow lane run with military precision by guards some of whose brutality outmatched that of the inmates. All this was brought sharply into focus by the headsets that were handed out to us, with the same military precision, as we entered the main cellblock. The revelation here was that the commentaries were recorded by actual ex-cons so when the great break-out of ’49 was enacted as you passed through the actual cells and dining hall you understood how Lefty and Mo managed to get hold of two rifles from the armoury whilst several knives were lifted from the kitchen and the lifers barricaded themselves in cell 42 with a screw as hostage and two cons stole down the slipway to swim to freedom. In actuality the guard was killed and Lefty and Mo were tried and executed.
So the obvious tourist destination of Alcatraz turned out to be a brilliant excursion worth every penny, my girlfriend was fully vindicated and we even bought the mug and the (striped) tee shirt.
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.