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SPRING 2010 MARKET REPORT

BEANO COMIC No 5: 1210 - BEANO COMIC No 6: 881



Beano Beano

Our early run of Beano comics continued to find strong bids with the Beano No. 5 going to the US for 1210. It was the highest grade copy ever to be offered at auction and completed an important collection there. It was followed by the Beano No. 6 which, at 881, almost doubled its upper estimate. Even the free gifts got in on the act with Beano No. 36's Big Bang Gun exploding to 176.

Beano

The Beano propaganda war issues are never out of favour and the complete year of 26 issues for 1945 in Very Good / Fine Plus went for a record 1101, the crayon delivery name to the front of most issues being of no consequence.

Dandy

By comparison, here was the complete year of Dandy's propaganda war issues also from 1945, including the only appearance of Keyhole Kate on the front cover of issue 295 when for a fortnight, Korky was relegated through the cat-flap at the back. In grades of Fine to Very Fine they sold for 693. This is a strong price for The Dandy of this year but emphasises the difference between Beano and Dandy comics for this period when Beano generally fetches a third more at auction.

Magic BeanoDandy

The Magic-Beano Book for 1958 had Big Eggo's Beano Band marching to 506 and The Dandy Monster Comic for 1952 had Dan pulling the Dandy Gang to 523.

Dandy
Dandy Dandy

Three consecutive years of mid grade Dandy Monster Comic annuals for 1944, 1945 and 1946 all reached firm prices around 440 apiece so goalkeeper Korky finally scored, downhill racer Desperate Dan came first and The Dandy All Stars came out to play.

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Maus is popular in Germany and he packed his bags for a foreign trip with issues 1-47 (1936) at 376 and issues 48-99 for the following year at 312. Big prices for a Big Cheese.

The Popular remains popular, especially in bound volumes. 1929's complete year of schoolboy yarns, stirring deeds of the Great War and Harry Wharton's adventures in Africa and the Wild West found favour with 221. We are highlighting a run of similar excitement with The Gem in our next auction in May so keep your eye on the ball and a straight bat (it's not all about football this summer, you know).

Hotspur
Hotspur

The Hotspur in complete years of 1938 and 1939 continued its strong run with the highest grades ever offered at auction. 1938 hotspurred to 385 and 1939 to 456 including it's free gift booklet 'Get Your Gas Mask On' applying just as much to the War as it did in the confines of a crowded classroom.

Boys Wonder

Published by Amalgamated Press in 1932-33, The Boy's Wonder Library ran for just 26 issues. Fifteen of them were offered here including No's 1-8 and estimated at 70-100 these rare mid-grade copies reached 278.

Film Fun

This 1939 run of mainly Fine / Very Fine Film Funs included the rare George Formby Big Hit Song Book and at 288 seemed sturdy enough not to need a lamp-post to lean on.

Larks
Merry and Bright

Larks and Merry and Bright were large format comics printed on low-grade paper stock which was lightly coloured in pastel hues to disguise pulp discolouration. Whilst The Rollicking Rambles Of Reggie And Roger and the adventures of The Blue Domino are long consigned to the decade of Thirties mirthfulness, their winning bids of 219 and 225 are finding a new audience today.

Oor Wullie

Percy Smith is the gap-toothed teacher's pet and whilst takin' her flooers, he spots Wullie an' Bob hae'in a quick draw afore school. Percy is quick to sneak on them to teacher and they get a leatherin'. In an extreme act of kindness, Wullie befriends Percy and takes him to his garden telling him to take some fresh roses fer teacher - then they ring the bell - an' it's teacher's garden. So it's 500 lines for Percy and 500 laughs fer Wullie an' Bob. (And 632).

Beano

Fresh Beanos for 1951 can fetch 5-10 each, but issue 452 heralded the first appearance of Dennis the Menace by Davy Law. Even a ragamuffin can be graded Fine Plus and 345 was his unslippered reward.

Rocket

Rocket ran for 32 issues, and edited by Douglas Bader, it starred Captain Falcon by Frank Black and featured US reprints of Flash Gordon, Johnny Hazard and Brick Bradford. These Rockets entered the stratosphere at 440. Boom.

School Friend

Girl's comics continue to be hotly contested and 1952's complete year in bound volumes with accompanying School Friend Annual earned top marks with 225. These file copies had the editors pencil notations in forty stories of Jill Crusoe and Solak, The Wolf-Dog. But there's always a chum when you need one - Down girl!

Eagle
Eagle

In its hey-day, Hulton Press published a million copies a week of The Eagle so they are not rare. Here was the complete year of 1958 in a bound volume of 52 issues. The classic stories of Dan Dare and Winston Churchill by those two Franks, Hampson and Bellamy, propelled The Eagle to 221.

Dan Dare's Space Book from 1953 had red covers and, like all the early issues of The Eagle annual, was prone to scratching and marking. This particular copy had a bright fresh cover and minimal wear and 159 was an auction record price.

TV Fun

This high grade run of TV Fun from 1956 starred Arthur Askey, Shirley Eaton and the Adventures of The Undersea Pirates. There was a printers strike in March of that year and issue 130 was numbered '130/135' to cover five lost editions. 335 was successfully tendered. Hello, Playmates.

SupermanSuperman

The Superman Bumper Edition was, in fact, the first annual and re-printed the US Origin of Superman. 77 for this mid grade copy was a fair price but Superman Annual 2 was in Very Fine grade with a bright cover and at 137 this was well reflected.

Bellamy

Here was our second Heros the Spartan artwork, drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy. Published as a centre-page spread in The Eagle, our first board made 2420 in last November's auction so this episode did not surprise at 2200, but these are high prices given the general financial malaise in the UK and are an enduring testament to the quality and rarity of Frank Bellamy's work.

Lion

Lion is generally considered by knowledgeable collectors to be a poor half-brother to The Eagle. Illustrated in smaller format, Frank Pepper's Captain Condor cover was a complete knock-off of Col. Dan McGregor Dare but by the time 1966 came along Paddy Payne, the war hero flying ace, brilliantly illustrated by Paddy Brennan, had replaced him on the front cover. Followed up by the daring exploits of Robot Archie and The Spider, the title found its own dedicated readership with the result that the complete unnumbered year of 1966 in two bound volumes garnered 10 a copy to 518. The Lion's share.

Melody Maker

We don't feature very much non-comic material but in 1963 jazz finally rolled over to pop in the pages of Melody Maker. Those four lads from Liverpool enjoyed their first front cover before going on to take over the musical world. The near complete run of 51 issues for that year included reports on Dusty Springfield's first solo record, Bo-Diddley's first visit to the UK and along with some original sheet music for 'Can't Buy Me Love' and a programme for The Beatles' sell-out concert at Carnegie Hall, 420 Pleased Me.

Other Melody Maker near-complete years for 1960 and 1961 were snapped up for 125 each, and with further volumes to come in May these may be the sleepers of this collection.

TV 21

TV Century 21 comics 3-100 were offered in eight lots and averaged 10-12 each in mid grades but the Summer Extras are much harder to find and the low grade copy illustrated above, with free gift Cosmic Capers Kit intact, went cosmic at 95.

Buster
Thunder

The Seventies are still a mixed bunch with Beano and Dandy creeping up to 3 each in fresh condition. However, our artwork of Garth didn't seem to find much favour and the World's Strongest Man respectfully withdrew to fight another day. Highlights were Buster: 46 issues from 1970 at 255; Countdown: 49 issues between 2 - 58 and a Holiday Special for 175 and Thunder: 1-20 bound in 2 volumes where Steel Commando, Adam Eterno and Black Max(ed) at 165.

Dick TracyBatman

Dick Tracy No 1 from 1937 or The Large Feature Comic 1 as it is known was rare and 275 took this VG+ copy. Batman #64 with chipped edge chipped in 75.

BatmanBatman

These early Batmans from 1952-3 in Fine and Very Fine made 121 and 357 respectively. Two-Face has a good side.

Talking of The Caped Crusader you would be expecting this writer to go large on the comics story of the moment or even the decade, where a slabbed 8.0 copy of Detective Comics #27, The Batman's first appearance, sold for just over a million dollars in Dallas, Texas (where else?). Not such a unique event as a precedent had already been set. Three days beforehand a copy of Action Comics #1, Superman's first appearance, had reached that magic figure itself. This was three times the previous highest price. Okay, Wow.

No, my story of the moment concerns the wonderful illustrations of legendary artist, Don Lawrence. A gentleman emailed me last week that he had all the reprinted copies of Don's Rise And Fall Of The Trigan Empire - in German. He asked if we could auction them for him. I politely replied that since they were in German then perhaps Germany might be the best place to sell them. By return he sheepishly agreed, also stating that since he didn't understand German he wasn't even sure of what happened at the end of the story. I was able to inform him that the Empire had actually fallen and that the clue was in the title. Not content with this, my new best friend drily answered that this was the fate of all empires. Having a life, and not wanting to get involved in the major subjects of History, World Politics and why Paul didn't wear shoes crossing Abbey Road I told him that, as far as I knew, The Empire Leicester Square was still open for business.

Malcolm Phillips
Director
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.

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