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SUMMER 2018 MARKET REPORT

1st XMAS BEANO: 1620.00 COVERLESS BATMAN #1: 7100.00

This May’s Comic Book Auctions catalogue was full of surprises.


 

Outbidding a raft of serious comic buyers from the USA for this taped, coverless copy of Batman #1 from 1940, one of our regular English customers took away his prize for £7,100. When we discussed the purchase after he got his breath back, he told us that he thought he’d paid about £1000 more than he wanted to but was delighted to add it to his Golden Age collection. Not quite as delighted as our vendor may be, however, as he had sent us in what he thought was a group of six early Detective Comics coverless issues to ‘do the best we could with’ and Bat 1 was in the middle of them.


Here are those Detective coverless issues (1937-38) 10, 11, 13, 20 and 22 which went for £520

 

The complete 1937 year of Mickey Mouse Weekly included No 66, the Walt Disney Coronation cover and £360 took them to Scandinavia (along with lots 10 and 12, the first and third MMW years at £130 and £180 respectively)

 


Even a nondescript Pictorial Weekly got in on the act with its free gift Mickey Mouse photocard at £32

 


A nice 3 issue VG run of Dandy 36, 37 and 38 tipped the scales at £240

 

 

A bound volume of Dandy from 1946, just 26 issues long as wartime paper shortages were still in place, soared to £1080.

 


The Beano’s first Christmas Number is rare in any condition and includes the first appearance of Pansy Potter by Hugh McNeill, and the first Good King Coke (…he’s stony broke). He certainly would be if he was the winning bidder who paid a considerable £1620 for this rarity.

 


Oh Boy! stars The Tornado and Stupaman and this esoteric Paget production from 1948 had early issue story art and lettering by Bob Monkhouse. The five issues offered here were knocked down for a stratospheric £460. Oh Boy!

 


Similarly Wonderman is a title from the same stable and nine issues, including 1 & 2, made £37 each.

 


The only other time we had offered a complete year of Radio Fun from 1944 was in 2006 and it made £290. Here was that lot, available once more and these propaganda war issues took £460 this time around. As Arthur Askey would say ‘Ay thankyew’.

 


Cartoon Art Productions of Glasgow titles are notoriously difficult to locate and this run of Super Duper comics included the rare large format No 14. A Super Duper £330 took the six copies away.

 

This 1950 complete year of The Dandy was sympathetically bound into two volumes as the comic changed to a larger format half way through the year. With two issues having long tears neatly repaired with archival tape, £1220 was a very strong price.

 


G G Swan’s rarer titles are also hotly contested and Picture Epics 1-4 only ran for these four issues (according to our research) and we had only seen two of them before. Sold for £46 each.

 



Commando at War is a scarce giveaway booklet from Adventure 1551 (1954), especially significant as the cover was drawn by Dudley Watkins and it was rumoured to be the precursor of DC Thomson’s Commando War Stories in Pictures seven years later. Here the high grade booklet surrendered at £60 whilst the 1961 No 1 (which had been in a few scrapes) made it home with £420.

 


A 12 piece mixture of Space, Adventure and Western genres performed valiantly at £220

 


Gunsmoke Western and Hooded Rider were unmasked for £75.

 

Nos 1-125 of TV Century 21 included the Special Identicode free gift from No 1 and the elusive last issue 242. This title continues to exceed expectations and the winning bid of £1860 supplied the evidence.

 


Joe Colquhoun’s Charley’s War artwork was offered in 3 consecutive pages which were taken beyond their upper estimate to £1820.

 


After the initial shock of The Bat 1 coverless comic making £7100 (revisit our first paragraph) other early issues accumulated strong bids. Here is Batman #4 in [gd] making £780.

 


In similar grades with clear taped spines, these iconic covers reached £480 and £490 respectively.

 


Batman #62 told us of the origin of Catwoman, and along with issues #52 and 57 this triumvirate took the cream with £640

 

 

The first appearance of Mr Freeze thawed to a hot £660.

 

 

This first Clayface issue had the all-important full page ad for Batman #1 and its £1400 Overstreet Price Guide book value in [gd] was left well behind with a winning bid of £2250.

 

 

Three low grade Joker covers: no laughing matter at £460

 

 

A [fn-] freshly caged Penguin captured the winning bidder’s attention with £360.

 

 

Night of Mystery #1 and Journey into Fear #4 and 11 arrived safely with £260.

 

 

World’s Finest early issues #4, 9 and 21 are tough to find and these low grade copies performed well at £310.

 

 

Our Silver Age Marvel section started with a firm £260 for A S M #39 and 40, both [vfn-/vfn] cents copies.

 

 

Here is an ultra-high grade 9.8 CGC Astonishing Tales 25 from 1974, highlighting assistant artist, George Perez’s first pencil work on Deathlok the Demolisher. Perez would go on to establish a stellar career drawing The Avengers and Fantastic Four. Expectations demolished with £560.

 

 

Fantastic Four #2 [gd] with Thing pin-up intact flamed on to £380.

 

 

Another CGC 9.8 – this time John Buscema’s Nova #1 at a heady £390.

 

 

Silver Surfer iconic covers #1 and 4 illustrated here had small cover colour touches realising £270

 

 

 

 

 

A fresh run of Tales of Suspense cents copies, 8 issues between #55-72, made a very respectable £220.

 

 

 

 

 

Aquaman #1, 3-5 with Showcase 30 Aquaman origin went swimmingly at £390.

 

 

 

 

 

An early run of six lower grade Green Lanterns, all cents copies, collected £33 each.

 

 

 

 

 

Nine mostly cents copies of Superman issues from 1959-61 are illustrated here and jolly good value £13 each.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Love 47 had the Fab Four on the cover and the heart-warming story of how ‘The Beatles Saved my Romance’. The winning bidder saved it for £40.

 

I remember the Summer of Love (I was going to say ‘quite clearly’ but for obvious reasons that was not actually the case). In 1967 and still suffering from ‘only child syndrome’ (my parents did the suffering) I lived at home in London’s Cricklewood paying £3-a-week rent, an E-type Jaguar in the garage and my dad’s Vauxhall Viva demoted to the indignity of street parking. The car’s spec boasted a 3.8 straight-six aluminium engine, red leather seats, wood rim steering wheel, chrome wire wheels and paintwork finished in Old English white. All this complete with state-of-the-art Motorola push-button radio. Naturally I only paid for some of this being a founder member of that venerable institution, The Bank of Mum & Dad.

 

The narcissistic scenario was so pathetic that, on the odd night I wasn’t out on the pull, I just used to stand in the garage and stare at my car.

 

However, there was one other diversion; I used to wear a heavy ‘gold-looking’ identity bracelet with ‘Malcolm’ deeply scripted into the name plate and sometimes I used to spend quite a lot of time looking at that. Pretentious, moi?

 

 

Malcolm Phillips
Director
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.