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2003 Market Report
we held our February 1999 live auction at Chelsea Town Hall in London, one of
the stars of the show was a collection of bound volumes of The Thriller detective
story papers from the late 1920s which contained stories by Agatha Christie, Leslie
Charteris, Edgar Wallace and John Creasey. In very fine to near mint grades, the
first twelve volumes enclosing issues 1-308 sold for £1,745.00. These same volumes
were consigned to our June catalogue where, offered as one lot, they reached an
impressive £2,500.00 before travelling half way around the world to occupy a prominent
position in the library of their delighted new owner.
early Beano comics continue to be strongly contested and after the world record
price for number one in our December 2002 auction; a shabby number two reaching
over £900.00 in March; it was no surprise that a number three in fine grade would
do well in June. In fact it sold for £1,650.00 from a catalogue estimate of £1,200-1,500.
the other end of the grade spectrum, a worn Dandy Monster Comic first issue from
1939 was offered with “extensive doodling” to the annual’s back and front inside
boards. To be precise, mummy’s little darling had taken a paint brush and some
bright red paint inscribing “THE BEGINING” (sic) and “THE END” in capitals somewhat
bigger, but not quite as neat as these! We graded the annual as [good] and it
finally sold for £1,210.00, the new owner not in the least bit concerned about
its childish defacement. By contrast, there is a high grade version of Dandy Annual
No 1 consigned to our September catalogue so it will be interesting to chronicle
the bidding at this more rarified level. The last time we offered a high grade
copy was in March 1996 when a fine plus example sold for £3,611.00, a record price
which still stands today.
at Space Fleet HQ, our Eagle No 1 in very fine grade took a reasonable winning
bid of £550.00. Eagles are still widely available; the first print run was reported
to be 900,000 copies, a huge amount in 1950, and many collectors hung on to them.
The highest price we have recorded for a first issue is over £800 some years ago,
but recently the early issues from 2-10 have begun to climb in value in a range
of £25-40 each, but only in higher grades.
Reginald Heade’s artworks for sleaze paperback publisher Archer Press continue
to find a strong following in the US and “Wild Youth” was no exception, his seductive
cover commanding a £1,530.00 winning bid from New York state.
of US interest, our Captain America #1 reprint by UK publisher L. Miller (actually
a complete reprint of US Cap America #77 in black and white) was contested to
£123.00, an English collector finally triumphant over some concerted American
bidding for this [vg] copy. With the obvious scarcity of the Golden age originals,
the UK reprint market is an area set for expansion and an American collector acknowledged
this by picking up our reprint Human Torch #2 (U S #38) for what may well be seen
as a bargain £35.00. By comparison, over in the US section of our catalogue, a
war-time Human Torch #7 with Alex Schomburg cover art of Yank-pummelled Japs fetched
the upper end of its estimate, £198.00, with ease. The spine was restored and
the centre pages were loose and edge-taped. Similarly, a good graded copy of Superman
#4 (1940) with detached cover and tape pieces to its spine made an above estimate
£364.00. In their way these complete and enjoyable Golden Age low-grade keys represent
good value for money as in high grades you could easily add a zero to these figures.
Puts the L. Miller UK reprints into perspective, doesn’t it?
few years ago you couldn’t give away girls’ comics like Mandy, Tammy and Tina
(who can forget the Princess Tina Ballet annuals of the early 1970s?). In June,
however, The Princess commanded a royal £550.00 for 360 mid-grade copies, ballet
annuals and all; the lady vendor now happy to visit the bar once more. Not to
be outdone, Tammy got in on the act with a near-complete 84 issue run published
by IPC reaching £220.00. Finally, we offered a complete collection of Mandy 1-261
which two determined bidders contested to an astonishing £715.00. Oh Mandy…
wanted to write some more about UK reprints and stuff but my ten-year-old nephew
has told me that the few people who might actually read this report would be feeling
quite tired by now and it’s high time we got organised for the Hulk movie which
is in our local cinema next week. Truthfully, it’s me who wants him there as credible
cover as we debate with the ticket seller the advantages of armchairs up at the
back (tick), or neck-ache and deafness at the front (cool).
happened to the one-and-nines, the National Anthem and that bloke who played a
Comic Book Postal Auctions, Ltd.
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