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2002 Market Report
most of you will know by now, our December 2002 catalogue provided us with a new
world record for a British comic sold at auction: The Beano Comic No. 1 from 1938
which was knocked down for £7,565.00 including 10% buyer's premium.
old record, which we set in our live auction in February 1999 was also for a first
issue Beano Comic which was accompanied by its free gift Whoopee Mask, the only
one known to have survived to the present day. Our new record holder has a thumb-size
piece missing from its front page margin and its free gift was used and discarded
years ago having disguised the face of its original owner during many furious
games of Cowboys and Indians and Cops and Robbers. A man of modest means, he lives
life a little more quietly now and this record sale will give his later years
some added security.
first Rupert annual published by the Daily Express in 1936 does pop up from time
to time, estimated in the low hundreds, but when one comes along with its original
dust jacket it is a rare find indeed. We auctioned just such an annual in December,
realising a strong £2,420.00. Rupert annuals do come up regularly for sale reflecting
the generational trend that books and children's annuals were handed down through
families and are far less likely to be discarded than comics or other ephemera.
are exceptions to the rule, specifically those goods that were produced during
the war years, when everything was in short supply. In those days the paper we
used was produced from the forests of Norway, the merchant ships that carried
the timber and pulp constantly harried by U-Boat bombardment in the North Sea.
During that time I remember my grand-mother telling me that she had to put out
our papers every week for one of our local air raid wardens to collect for "The
War Effort". Any silver paper, mostly from chocolate bars, sweets and cigarette
packets was to be kept in a seperate pile.
getting back to the Ruperts, war years items are generally harder to find, but
many of our customers collect the later years as well and will offer high bids
for for top grade pieces which are only rare in that condition. Five 1950s Rupert
annuals between Very Fine and Near Mint grades, all lotted seperately in the catalogue,
made £230 each, more than double their upper estimates.
C Thomson's popular Beezer and Topper titles from the late Fifties are also keenly
collected. These stalwarts with cover characters Mickey The Monkey and Ginger
are more difficult to find in high grades, in most part due to their unwealdy
broadsheet size. Complete years in unfolded and fresh condition now command over
£12 a copy, with bound volumes in our previous two catalogues realising close
to £700 each and an outstanding Beezer bound volume from 1960 fetching a stunning
£1026.00. It is worth noting that the bulk of these issues in the lower grades
of Good and Very Good will only fetch £2-4 each generally.
of the strongest characters to emerge during this decade was parent/teacher terror,
Dennis The Menace. Drawn by D C Thomson staff artist, David Law, the school-boy
scoundrel was never short of a wheeze to add greyer hair to any unlucky adult
who happened to cross his path. The slipper that featured at the end of each edisope
was inevitable. A rare piece of Dennis artwork from his early days featured Dennis
reading his favourite Beano from cover to cover whilst leading a pet tortoise
to school, all as an excuse for being late and avoiding detention! Estimated at
£850-950 the page realised over £1500. Not surprising considering his ever growing
fan club and the lack of original Dennis material.
years earlier a wee terror from Scotland caused just as much comic mayhem as his
striped southern cousin. Oor Wullie started life in the pull-out Fun Section of
The Sunday Post graduating to his own title which was published every other year
from 1936. These early eight page pull-outs hardly survive today so a run of seven
tanned examples from 1937-8 were bid to a firm £275. From the same era two early
Desperate Dan artworks, drawn by legendary artist Dudley Watkins, realised £610
Janson was the premier author of many sleaze paperbacks after World War II. Titles
like Lady Mind That Corpse and Hotsy You'll Be Chilled with lurid bondage and
good-girl art covers helped spawn that magic publishers' phrase, "Over One Million
Copies Sold!". The second Janson title, Scarred Faces, is a real rarity with only
two other copies known to exist and the eventual buyer triumphed at just over
£300. This price is very strong when compared to the slightly later one and sixpenny
titles which generally find £35 a copy in fresh condition.
Number Ones that also received strong bidding in December were The Eagle Magazine
[vfn] £634; TV Century 21 with Special Agent Decoder [vg] £242; and 2000 AD, the
first two issues in Near Mint grade, both with their free gifts, reaching an astonishing
£501 each, the highest price ever recorded to date, by more than double! It should
be noted that the rough paper stock used in the printing of 2000 AD tended to
discolour at the edges quite quickly and issues up to prog 50 in mid grades can
be found at £5 a copy decreasing in value to pounds, then pence in the 1980s.
don't always sell everything we offer and sometimes genuinely rare items fail
to find buyers at the estimated price. Such an example was lot 12 in the December
catalogue, Mickey Mouse Movie Stories Book 2. Printed in 1935 by Dean & Son this
200 page book with 100 illustrations was not bid at its £300-350 estimate. As
the only copy to be offered in the last 11 years it will be sold at No Reserve
in our February / March auction. Bargain hunters please note.
US comics section, especially the Silver Age, continues to be strongly supported
by its recent Hollywood makeover. Batman, Spider-Man, and the upcoming Daredevil,
Hulk and X-Men 2 movies will all keep their characters in the face of an ever
expanding generational market. In particular, high grade "pence" copies can still
be found at up to half the price of their "cents" counterparts.
I was a kid my favourite US comic was The Fantastic Four. I could not believe
that super-heroes Mr Fantastic and Invisible Girl were actually Mr and Mrs Reed
Richards, a married couple! To me this was really cool. But then, as now, I should
have got out more.
Comic Book Postal Auctions, Ltd.