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2006 Market Report
COMIC No 1 A FLYER AT £4401!
recent March auction was a 100% sell-out and the star item was this Beano No 1,
unusually accompanied by its original ad which was in the form of a flyer and
could be folded and cut to make a 4-page mini comic in its own right. These flyers
were inserted in DC Thomson's "Big Five" story papers: Adventure, Hotspur, Rover,
Skipper and Wizard the week before the Beano's publication and they are just as
rare as the comics themselves. In our May auction of last year a Very Fine copy
went for £462. The flyer pictured above was in a lower grade with tan pages and
some edge loss, and the comic itself had several margin tears, some cover foxing,
lighter tan pages but was complete and made a mid estimate £4401 hammer price.
We have now seen around fifteen first issues come on the market over the last
Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Harry Houdini all starred in this first volume
containing issues 1-28 with all free gift art plates. It was bid to £126 and represented
somewhat of a bargain to the successful bidder who had placed a maximum bid of
£210 to secure it.
is rare to find comics with First World War propaganda and these two bound volumes
covering issues 26-77 from 1914-15 tried to cheer up the nation with their "Buck
Up England - Keep Smiling" theme. Their added Fine grade took them to an above
estimate £220. The first twenty bound issues of Rainbow from the same era featured
wartime favourites Tiger Tim and The Bruin Boys and their exceptional Fine/Very
Fine grades garnered a high £242. To put this into perspective the following lot
featured a second bound volume of Rainbow in the same grades comprising issues
21-46 and this was sold for £88 highlighting the premium prices that No 1s and
early issues can command.
everything we feature goes for big money and sometimes the ads are more fun than
the accompanying text. In this bound volume from 1921 a footballer, J Dimmock
from "Tottenham Hotspurs" was looking distinctly uncomfortable in his All Wool
Barry Sportscoat . These ads are a world away from The Best A Man Can Get but
life was simpler then and a copy of Football And Sports Favourite with your half-time
orange was just the ticket in 1921. £99 was just the ticket for the winning bidder.
issues 37-89 were offered in two bound volumes and starred Houdini: Master Of
Mystery in each copy. The were magicked away for £264 and further (not-sawn in)
half years from 1922 and 1923 reached £148 each without smoke or mirrors.
1921 Schoolgirl's Own was born and there is a strong collecting base for these
early girls comics. Bound into a volume , issues 1-21 had their free gift art
plates intact and reached an impressive £319. The following lot, illustrated above,
and comprising numbers 22-48 was not far behind at £286. Hockey sticks were indeed
first science fiction weekly paper only ran for twenty issues and individual copies
are very hard to unearth. This complete run, once more bound into a file copy
volume, were stamped on each front cover and had some page edge brittleness (anathema
to many collectors). However the rarity and completeness of the title, including
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Poison Belt serial over five issues, prompted a £385
winning bid from a maximum bid of £480 and the successful buyer felt he had a
Fun and Film Fun yearly volumes from the war years continue attract strong bidding
and averaged an above estimate £200-240 a piece.
featured Dandy early numbers 18-25 in single lots including the first Easter and
April Fool issues and one bidder snapped up the whole run for between £55 and
£66 each. He was not deterred by the fact that each copy had been extracted from
a bound volume and had sew-holes and tears to the spine. The plus side was that
the covers were unusually bright as the original binding had protected them from
any colour fade. D C Thomson were no slouches when it came to marketing and even
in 1941, when Christmas conveniently came between two Dandy publications, Thomson's
headed them both as holiday numbers to maximise sales. So we had No 159 "Bumper
Christmas Number" bid to £121, and number 160 "Christmas Holiday Number", illustrated
above, bid to a strong £203, this double Xmas offering carried away by the same
canny buyer. Not illustrated was lot 105, The Beano 452 from 1951. This Fine Minus
copy starring Dennis The Menace's first adventure by Davy Law rose to a spanking
new record of £313!
set of artworks was a real rarity and showed Dudley Watkins prolific work in wash
as well as ink. Nine small sketches of The Broons at home and at play would have
been used as page headers and ads for the strip. As always, Watkins' mastery of
the pen is in evidence and his complete understanding of perspective is realised
as Daphne admires her new hat in the mirror, whilst keeping The Bairn in place
with her other hand. All this in one wee sketch! Estimated at £300-350, the hard-fought
winning bid was secured at £605.
wee lad won't be outdone and this 1944 New Year's travail where naebody wanted
tae "first foot" Oor Wullie managed to end in a slap-up ginger wine cordial and
shortbread treat: "Jings! Whit a great New Year I've had". So did the vendor of
this piece as the bidding stopped at £997.
early Desperate Dan artwork by Dudley Watkins had the Man In the Moon complaining
as Dan gave him a black eye. £506 made the pain go away.
this Marooned On Mercury artwork Digby is captured by the Mekon and sentenced
to death; a Harold Johns and Gretta Tomlinsdon illustration beautifully proportioned
with detailed moonscapes and contrasting panels of light and shade. £996 secured
Digby's stay of execution.
goes off to Brighton on his summer hols. He was never worried about living out
of a suitcase but now he has to. Drawn and painted in 1969, this was one of Dudley
Watkins last pieces as he died at the end of that year. The artwork did not reach
its estimate of £1800-2300 and was sold for £1480 after the auction's close. Initially
viewed by several potential bidders the colours were somewhat faded and this,
aligned with the comparative lateness of the piece, may have been the reason.
Lion comics spanning the years 1963-1969 were sold in lots year by year and averaged
£1.50 - 2.00 a copy in [vg/fn] grades.
years ago we were auctioning Don Lawrence signed Trigan Empire artworks for an
average of £250-350 a page. Since this wonderfully talented artist died two years
ago this was the first piece to come up for auction with his signature and it
commanded a successful bid of £495.
on an anthology of soldiers' letters during WW1, Charlie and his friend, Blue
were conceived by Pat Mills and based on fact. Blue's heroic exploits at Verdun
were brilliantly illustrated by Joe Colquhoun for Battle-Action comic in 1980.
This was the last of 3 pieces that we had consigned for auction and the two previous
winning bids of £330 and £385 were dwarfed by the £827 that this final artwork
US section was highlighted by two key titles: All-Star Comics #33 with Solomon
Grundy cover reaching £400 in [vg+] and Showcase #8, the second Silver Age Flash
appearance making £600 in the same grade.
visited the new Cartoon Museum near The British Museum the other day and enjoyed
seeing the wonderful array of largely political illustration on offer. The surprise
was that the comics artwork section was relegated upstairs at the back where some
of the hilarious WW2 propaganda pieces of The Dandy's Desparate Dan, for example,
would easily have stood their ground downstairs with the big boys of the national
press. It reminded me of when I was a naughty kid years ago, sent upstairs to
bed for answering back and reading my comics with a torch under the blanket.
Comic Book Postal Auctions, Ltd.