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SPRING 2021 MARKET REPORT

WAR PICTURE LIBRARY - £3250, CHARLEY’S WAR A/W - £2300


 

We offered the first 199 issues of War Picture Library in 10 bound volumes, originally Fleetway publisher’s file copies. They were bought from us for £500 by our canny vendor in 2011 and reached a staggering £3250 here in February. A wonderful 11 year investment.


The theme continued with £2300 for four consecutive Charley’s War original artworks, one of them signed by the great man himself, Joe Colquhoun. His masterful depiction of the horrors of war pulled no punches in the harrowing battle of the Somme.

 

In a lighter vein a complete 30 panel story artwork of Laurel & Hardy by George Wakefield was illustrated in the Film Fun Annual for 1938 and subsequently in The Wonderful World of Film Fun in 1985. It made £260.

 


Here is The Dandy No 89 in Fine grade tipping the scales at £100

 

 

April Fool and Christmas issues from 1944 confirm war years values at £260

 


This Mickey Mouse VE Day Victory number was accompanied by a copy of Everybody’s Weekly magazine with 4 page Disney Cinderella picture story and sold for a modest £55

 


A complete year of 1947’s Radio Fun starred Tommy Trinder, Petula Clark, Vera Lynn, Arthur Askey and Wilfrid Pickles. It went for £280 – ‘Give ‘im the money, Mabel’

 


34 mid to low grade Beanos from 1954 with a couple of 50s Dandys thrown in drew a strong £660, nearly £20 each.

 


A beautifully framed Black Bob original piece by Jack Prout from The Dandy in 1952 caught the eye at £410

 


British space comics continue to sell strongly with 11 issues including Space Captain Valiant, Electroman, Captain Video and Pete Mangan of the Space Patrol realising £340

 

A near complete run of the Durango Kid by Cartoon Art of Glasgow were mostly full colour reprints of the US originals but their key attraction was the fact that 8 issues featured Dan Brand and Tipi adventures by Frank Frazetta. Not lost on our knowledgeable bidders, the lot shot to £430

 


Before The Eagle started its 900,000 plus print run in 1951 an 8-page promotional issue was given away in schools and churches up and down the country to enhance publicity. Not many of these are still in existence and this Fine graded copy reached £410

 



The large format Diana was published in 1963 and the free gifts of Golden Chain Bracelet and Lucky Charms given away with the first three issues are notoriously hard to find. But here they were and £250 was successfully bid for them.

 

 


This Karl The Viking board from Lion in 1964 was drawn and signed by Don Lawrence and taken away for £450. We have been promised a further Karl artwork for our May auction.

 

 


Normally a £15-20 comic, this copy of Super DC No1 had all its three free gifts intact in their original envelope and a full £250 was successfully tendered. Free Gifts Rule!

 


More free gifts on offer here with TV Toyland No 1 and Pinky and Perky stand-up figures and Clothes To Wear, Playhour and Sooty with Press-Out Clothes To Wear and TV Land No 1 with Colour TV Show (to see). All for £180.

 


The complete year of Valiant from 1963 in mid grades starred Captain Hurricane, Battler Britton, Kelly’s Eye and the Steel Claw. Manacled £290

 


Our research had confirmed that the Super Squirt Ring, given away with issue 1 of The Victor, was stuck inside the middle pages of the comic as well as being presented loosely in its own illustrated envelope. It also came in several colours.
With tears (from the glued free gift) to the lower margin of page 3-4 this [vg] first issue was accompanied by its Flyer for No1 making a victorious £540 (The pun could not be resisted)

 

 

Leo Baxendale’s 1964 opus, WHAM! starred General Nitt, The Humbugs, Georgie’s Germs and The Wacks (who introduced a full page story and pic of The Rolling Stones in this first issue). With free gift Wham! Match-Stick Gun enclosed, a great value £130 won the day.

 

 

Gerry Haylock’s Doctor Who artwork from 1972 tripled its upper estimate to £1460. TV Action indeed.

 

 

Two original ‘Women of Galba’ 1973 artworks by Frank Bellamy for The Daly Mirror were chased to £800

 

 

The mid-Seventies complete 40 issue run of Top Secret Picture Library was offered here with its Holiday Specials, Secret Agent and Suspense Specials, all meeting incognito under the clock for £430

 

 

The 1980s don’t always guarantee strong values but the complete 53 issue run of Hoot with all of its early free gifts did really well at £440. Who couldn’t resist No 1’s Purple Frog Pencil Topper?

 

 

A long run of Amazing Spider-Man started our U S Silver Age section and a low grade cents copies of #2 and #4 produced £760 and £380 respectively.

 

 

Cents copies of Amazing Spider-Man #6 and #9 in [vg+] and [fn-] amassed a hefty £540 and £640.

 

 

The iconic ‘Spider-Man No More’ #50 was a pence copy in Fine grade at a very firm £560 whilst our #129 ‘Punisher’ cents issue had a piece torn away from its lower front cover but still excelled at £600. I know you know but Spider-Man continues to be uber-strong in the marketplace.

 

 

Friends of Ol’ Marvel or FOOM as Stan Lee rebranded them, were fan magazines with stories, articles, interviews and early illustrations of the Marvel Universe. Our vendor had collected these in the early Seventies and this lot included the first two issues with membership card, stickers, Steranko poster and his original size 3 Hulk T Shirt which he sent away for with 75p in 1973. It was gently hand-washed prior to its inclusion. A fresh, clean £240 resulted.

 

 

Two good looking comics are featured here – Tales of Suspense 50 in high grade at £330 and the Two-Gun Kid variant cover at £220.

 

 

The first appearance of Blade in this CGC 7.0 Tomb of Dracula #10 raised £720 from the dead and Werewolf By Night #32 introducing of Moon Knight howled its way to £800. Who says that pence copies can’t deliver the goods?

 

 

Our long run of X-Men was highlighted by #4 with a Qucksilver £640 and #94 where Wolverine joined and Iceman resigned to a hot £390

 

 

 

 

 

As I write our story this month we’re all dreaming of the possibility of late Summer getaways and foreign destinations. To bide that time, I’m remembering some of the good holidays I’ve had and enjoyed down the years.

 

Living near each other in London’s Maida Vale, school chums, Peter and Malcolm were fast friends into their late teens. That was until Peter had an enormous row with his father and walked out, never to return. He spent his last night in England sleeping on our couch in the sitting room, my parents pleading with him to go back to his mum and dad until the early hours of the morning (and me thinking ‘How can I bunk off to go with you?’). Undeterred he left for London Airport the following day with a duffle bag over his shoulder, a guitar under his arm and a one-way ticket to San Francisco.

 

I had always wanted to go to America and as a counter assistant at John Lewis in Oxford Street it took me nearly two years to save the money for the trip. Before I went I visited Peter’s mother to see if she had his US address or phone number neither of which she knew. In fact he had only contacted her a few times over those years. Embarrassed, I left the tearful lady with her entreaty ringing in my ears, ‘Find My Son!’

 

Having planned my journey with all the carefulness of a boy with very little spare cash I took an Icelandic-Air flight over the Pole with a 2 hour stop-over in Reykjavik to re-fuel and a mandatory tour of the local geysers as this local geyser couldn’t wait to get going again.

 

Once in New York I managed to get a free room with a couple of girls I knew from London and they were my wonderful guides to the city that never sleeps and for a few days we didn’t sleep that much either.

 

In the Sixties, if you had a visitor’s visa you could buy a round trip ticket on the Greyhound Bus costing $99 for 99 days, an absolutely brilliant bargain as I followed Route 66 across the Midwest arriving in San Francisco three days later. I managed to find very cheap accommodation in the Swiss-American Hotel, up most of the night with banging from next door, in every sense of the word (Waddyawant for ten bucks a night - payable in advance)

 

The next evening, resplendent in my loon pants and suede Levi jacket, recently purchased in Chelsea’s King’s Road, I was wandering around the hippy area of Haight-Ashbury and stopped to watch some live music in a place called Coffee and Confusion. I stepped inside and there was this long-haired, bearded guy playing guitar on a small stage to a group of enraptured listeners. It was Peter.

 

I waited until the end of his set and we tearfully embraced, much to the enjoyment of the Cool, Man hippy crowd.

 

After a brilliant few days in my old pal’s company accompanied by his stunning blonde girl-friend, I ran out of money. I asked Peter if I could get a job anywhere and he said you couldn’t do that without a Green Card and as I had a non-immigrant visa I was stuffed. Time for Me to sleep on His couch.

 

Hamilton Jewelers was a small shop on the main thoroughfare, Market Street and I was enthralled by the two salesmen standing outside and corralling customers in to the shop to buy their ’exclusive’ jewelry. I went inside and asked if the owner was in. Turned out he was one of the salesmen. I told him I’d just arrived in town and was waiting for my Green Card application to come through and could I get a job for a few days? He asked if I had any experience in selling, I told him about John Lewis, which, of course, he’d never heard of. After a few minutes he said he had an idea and suddenly I was back outside the shop with him ‘to see what I got’. Like most salesman he didn’t lack ego and had racked up four sales in half-an-hour. When I told him how marvellous that was he hired me on the spot and I started the next morning at 8.30 helping and writing up sales behind the counter.

 

After two weeks I phoned John Lewis, apologised for being late back and asked them if I could stay a bit longer (to help out with my pal’s funeral arrangements for his beloved grand-mother) This didn’t wash one bit and I was unceremoniously told that if I did not return within one week I would probably be sacked.

 

Hamilton Jewelers and I got on very well and I ended up with more than $300 in my pocket, the boss even taking me to the airport in his Old English White Jaguar XK 140. An anglophile – who knew?

 

Peter’s mum loved the stories, crying through most of them and I had enjoyed what was to become the holiday of a lifetime.

 

Malcolm Phillips
Director
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.