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SUMMER 2021 MARKET REPORT

FIREBALL XL5 A/W £3,750 - AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 £7,800


 

The last time we offered a Fireball XL5 artwork by Mike Noble it sold for £710 in March 2009. Fast forward 11 years and this board from TV Century 21 No 80 reached a winning bid of £3750 more than 5 times higher. Our successful bidder was delighted with his purchase as he told us very few Noble pieces ever come up for auction.


2000AD artwork continues to rise in value and Judge Dredd’s eventful meeting with conman Otto Stump by Ron Smith stumped up £1160.

 

This example of 2000AD prog 1 wfg Space Spinner had a tanned cover and two small tears whilst going on to a well Judged £260.

 


The Thriller first 47 issues were hotly contested, finally going to the US for £370 along with 43 Thriller further issues in the following lot at £460.

 

 

The Surprise 1-26 from 1932 in its bound volume was also off to the States for £290.

 


The Beano from 1948 was complete with all its 26 fortnightly issues which included the first Biffo the Bear cover and the Christmas issue with more than 20 Beano characters on the cover. £940 joined the party.

 


Desperate Dan artwork from the war years does not come up very often and this piece by Dudley Watkins had Dan ringing in the New Year with the help of a German U-Boat at a resounding £1220.

 


Magic Comics did very well in this auction with £250 each for the high grade examples illustrated above.

 


We had not seen early Broons and Oor Wullie books for some time and this classic cover of the wee lad’s faces realised £1220. Pride O’ the Nation.

 


The Dandy complete year of 1956 almost doubled its upper estimate at £880

 

This Superman 4 Australian issue was a reprint of the US Superman #53 detailing the famous origin story. The new owner leaped tall buildings to take it away for £180.

 


40 Beano issues from 1960 in mid grades and including some key examples made £12.50 each.

 



Here was the complete 89 issue run of Boy’s World with several free gifts including No 1s wonderful Pathfinder wristlet compass - in its original envelope, of course. Gone West at £540.

 

 


Two original Daughter of Lorna Doone artworks by Ron Embleton were painted for Princess magazine in the early Sixties and estimated at £200-250. They sold for £800

 

 


In our March auction we sold the first 199 issues of War Picture Library for a staggering £3250. Now we offered the second tranche of War Picture Library publisher’s file copies Nos 296-505 in a further 10 volumes and exactly the same price was successful tendered – by the same collector. Wow.

 


Frank Bellamy’s Garth artworks continue their strong run with 2 boards from The Beast of Ultor story strong-arming £920.

 


Warrior was a comic created and edited by Dez Skin in the early Eighties. He employed the cream of British writers and artists including Alan Moore, Steve Dillon, Frank Bellamy, Dave Gibbons, John Bolton, Don Lawrence, Gary Leach, Alan Davis, Cam Kennedy, Barry Windsor-Smith and John Ridgeway. They created the immensely popular Marvelman, V for Vendetta, Big Ben, The Bojeffries Saga and Laser Eraser and Pressbutton. Issues 1-22 were string-bound in two Warrior official binders and sold for a hugely impressive £1040.

 


Our US section included some rare Golden Age titles.

 


Top price of £4,350 was successfully bid for the scarce Pep Comics #1 in CGC 6.5 whilst a 9.0 Mary Marvel #1 from 1945 flew away to £1300.

 

 

Batman #100 PGX 4.5 realised £410 and Boy Commandos #1 commandeered £420 in the same grade.

 

 

Black Cat Mystery 44 [vg/fn] clawed its way to £270 and The Shadow #1 (1940) with most of its spine split found £660.

 

 

Our Silver Age section started with a spectacular bang as a [gd/vg] cents copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 went stratospheric at £7,800. Due to its moisture damaged top cover and pages our vendor told us he’d be happy if it topped ‘a couple of grand’. He has become very happy.

 

 

Spidey #50’s [fn] iconic cover tipped the scales at £400 whilst The Punisher issue, with some moisture ruckling to all its pages, topped expectations at £920.

 

 

The first Silver Age appearance of Vision propelled Avengers #57 to £370 in Fine grade whilst Iron Man #1 in [vg+] , also from 1968, triggered £320.

 

 

With two tears to its lower cover this lower grade cents copy of Daredevil #1 produced a huge £2950.

 

 

Fantastic Four #48 was stronger in value in the 1990s and early 2000s than in more recent years but here it was back in [fn/fn+] fashion again, surfing to £1520.

 

 

Pence copies of Silver Surfer #1 [fn-] and #2 [vg] will make their way back to America for £840.

 

 

As does this cents copy of Giant-Size X-Men #1 with a lower front cover infill at £1320. Big bucks.

 

 

DC Comics were also well in the picture with this [fn/vfn] cents copy of Batman #181 with centre spread pin-up intact. Poison Ivy smothered £2250.

 

 

Green Lantern #1 had moisture stains to it cover but was bid strongly to £540 whilst a high grade copy of Hawkman #1 made £260. Two further issues of Hawkman, #4 [fn+] and 5 [vg] heralded Zattana’s first appearance with £560.

 

 

A low grade horror mix of Frankenstein, Gorgo and Reptilicus could not conceal the scarce Beware Terror Tales #8 in their midst from our eagle-eyed bidders and £250 took them away.

 

 

Two high grade 80s keys are here with Amazing Spider-Man 300 in [nm-] at £640 and a [nm] Hulk #340 at £270.

 

 

The last lot in our auction was a CGC 9.6 copy of Thundercats #1 from 1985. The latest Overstreet Price Guide valued this issue at $50 in 9.2 but here was the second ever highest CGC graded copy going for £580. This cat got the cream.

 

 

I met a Thundercat in Venice round about the same time.

 

As a small vaporetto gently bumped against the jetty at Marco Polo airport a stylish lady sitting opposite me jokingly shouted ‘WHIPLASH!’ Dry humour being one of my conversational stalwarts, I had to know more.

 

Roz was an attractive thirty-something from California who was enjoying an extended holiday in ‘Yoorup’ and, to my delight, was also on the same flight as me back from Venice to London. We (notably ‘I’) arranged to sit next to each other on the plane and, once in London, I escorted her to her hotel in Piccadilly, The Athaenium (v. posh). Over the next few days I took her sightseeing to the British Museum, The Tate Gallery, Carnaby Street, a bar or three and we enjoyed some fun suppers together. When she left she gave me her number in LA and we promised to meet up again ‘whenever I was in town’ (a bit like those Spanish holidays you go on when you chat to people on a nearby table, have a drink together and ‘Why don’t we catch up back in England...’ and you never do).

 

Except that we did.

 

My old pal, Johnnie and I decided to go to Los Angeles that 1982 Christmas for 10 days to visit some friends and catch some winter sun. I had phoned Roz and she set up a supper for the three of us near her apartment in Rancho Palos Verdes. During the meal I happened to mention it was my 40th birthday the following week and she said if we didn’t have any other plans she’d make a party for me. Wottagirl.

 

The party was spectacular. Roz had arranged a catered buffet with about thirty of her closest friends and, this was really weird, imagine getting birthday presents of Krystal champagne, candies from Rodeo Drive and sportswear from Ralph Lauren – all from people you’d never met before. As the evening progressed and to my great surprise, I found myself in the spare bedroom (you know, the one where they throw the coats) with an absolutely smashing brunette called Barbara, snogging amongst the cashmere like a couple of hungry teenagers, (apart from the fact I was now 40 for Chrissakes). However, as I was now in love this was all OK and we exchanged addresses and phone numbers vowing future excursions. A few days later I decided to ‘surprise’ her where she lived in Orange County, a mere one-and-a-half hour’s drive away. I also packed a change of clothes and a toothbrush, such was my expectancy.

 

The short walk from the white picket fence up her driveway was fuelled with excitement – I rang the doorbell – she answered the door with a quizzical look on her face – I said, ‘Hi, Barbara, it’s me, Malcolm’ and I remember that she looked over her shoulder back into the house as she began to close the door. (I suppose I was lucky I didn’t hear ‘Who is it, honey?’).

 

Crestfallen, I mumbled something about how we had got on so famously at the party to which she replied ‘It was your birthday’

 

The drive back took about one-and-a-half years and as I put the toothbrush forlornly back into its cup in the bathroom Johnnie said ‘This is what happens when I let you go out on your own’.

 

 

Malcolm Phillips
Director
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.