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SPRING 2020 MARKET REPORT

MAGIC COMIC 1-5 : 4,100.00 THUNDERBIRDS A/W: 3,550.00


 

The first five Magic comics are very hard to come by generally, but here they were in pretty good condition along with their original Flyer for No 1 and a piece of Chick Gordon’s artwork from issue no. 2. Only running for 80 issues, Magic became a victim of wartime paper shortages and there are less than fourteen copies of No 1 known to exist. This rare selection sold well above estimate at £4,100.


Charting the conclusion of the Boer War in 1900 over many front cover illusrations, victory was finally achieved by the heroic efforts of privateer and press attache Mr A Sloper. 102 copies sold at £680. Huzzah!

 

Jane triumphed once more. After a colour piece of her artwork by Norman Pett sold last auction for £1240, here was a black and white strip commanding £540.

 


There was a huge bidding battle for Beano No 6 in our last auction where £2850 successfully took away a Fine graded copy.
This time around the under bidder stepped in to take this VG graded copy for £560.

 

 

Denis McLoughlin’s atmospheric Wild West artwork for the 1950s Buffalo Bill annuals is beginning to attract stronger bidding and £560 was good medicine for Doc Holliday.

 


This small group contained an Australian reprint of Action Comics #252 heralding the first appearance of Supergirl in 1959. As the value of US key issues continues to rise a stronger market has arisen for ‘affordable’ reprints and the Oz ‘Superman 113’ featured here showed the same Supergirl cover and story, taking this unassuming lot from an estimate of £40-60 to £580!

 


Oor Wullie’s boomerang came back and was ‘confishcaked’ by PC Murdoch, as was this piece from the Bob Monkhouse archive which will now boomerang to its new owner in Los Angeles for £460.

 


Here was the scarce Super Streamline Comics album in nice condition selling for £85.

 


Four fresh copies of Oz magazine, Nos 11 and 13-15, featured Brian Jones, Mick, Keef and Jimi. A good trip for £410.

 


Frank Bellamy’s brilliant two-board artwork told the seminal story of Brains’ tragic death and ultimate burial in outer space. They were snapped up for £3550.

 

Summer Specials are always strongly bid and this group of Action, Buster, Smash and Thunderbirds were go for £286.

 


Drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy, his 70s Daily Mirror Garth artwork is strongly collected. Atacama comes to Garth in a vision to draw him into her ancient world. The winning bidder paid £1660 for the same experience (well, not quite)

 



This Trigan Empire board by Don Lawrence realised a strong £1120. This ‘City of Jewels’ episode was reprinted with Dutch word balloons in the Netherlands for the weekly comic ‘Sjors’.

 

 


Twelve consecutive issues of Weird Tales (1937-38) in four bound volumes took a strong £600. Legendary artists Virgil Finlay and Margaret Brundage illustrated the covers and interiors with many H P Lovecraft and Edmond Hamilton stories. Pulp content and art at its finest.

 

 


The complete run of 12 Science Fiction pulps with many covers by Frank R Paul were in pretty fresh condition and realised just over £21.00 each.

 


These six low grade Golden Age issues included the notorious Crime SuspenseStories #22 and realised a massive £1200. [See our final paragraph]

 


This cents copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 had multiple defects and was graded [gd-]. It just reached its reserve price of £2900 in the final seconds of its auction.

 


Conversely, here was Amazing Spider-Man 129, CGC 7.5 with multiple early bids selling well at £700.

 

 

This pence copy of Avengers #1 had extensive colour touches to its re-stapled spine which had some interior tape and a small amount of glue. Graded at [gd+] it sold at £600.

 

 

Three key Fantastic Four consecutive issues from 1966, #48-50 had ‘Popular Book Exchange’ stamps to their covers and drew unfazed bidding to £560.

 

 

This most desirable of Silver Age keys had pieces out of its front cover and a taped interior spine. Its staples had also been replaced but this cents Hulk #1 [fr-gd] enjoyed major interest, finally selling for £2,100.

 

 

A cents copy of Green Lantern #1 looked fresh but had a series of professional colour touches to its cover. Graded as [apparent fn-] it reached £490.

 

 

Exclaimed by Venusian space monsters in EC’s Weird Science / Fantasy Comics, ‘Spa Fon!’ was the 1950s equivalent of today’s ubiquitous O-M-G! These aptly named fanzines were the product of Frank Frazetta’s brilliant mind and issues 2-5 illustrated here were knocked down for £165. Spa Fon!

 

 

When Johnny Craig drew the initial illustration for Crime SuspenseStories #22 (see image at lot 115) it showed the decapitated head dripping blood from the neck wound and was looked upon as too gory by EC publisher and editor, Bill Gaines. Consequently the illustration was lowered to ‘just’ show the head. This did not stop the issue’s cover becoming the centrepiece of a Senate Sub-committee hearing on Juvenile Delinquency from which Dr Frederick Wertham’s Seduction Of The Innocent became a staple in every public library in North America and Crime SuspenseStories #22 the most infamous and horrific cover of its time.

As a direct result, Gaines discontinued EC’s horror titles, changing tack to found MAD magazine, its ‘Humor In A Jugular Vein’ tagline a pithy reference to CSS #22. Some would later argue that MAD was even more subversive, mocking and lampooning the political and artistic leaders of the day as it did, whilst going on to run for over 40 years and making William Maxwell Gaines a fortune.

Now that’s what I call satire.

 

 

Malcolm Phillips
Director
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.