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SUMMER 2020 MARKET REPORT

BATMAN 1 (Oz reprint): £3,050. TALES OF SUSPENSE #39: £3,400


 

We have to start our Market Report with an absolutely stunning result for the 1950 Australian 6d reprint of Batman No 1. £3050 is a world record for a reprint of this kind and, although rare, it was contested by nine determined bidders to this incredible hammer price. The following lots included Batman reprint issues 2 – 10, most realising low hundreds each.

We would suggest that as the US market for key issues travels inexorably higher – regularly reaching five figures for individual pieces, the price vacuum beneath allows key reprints to affordably fill the void. (the term ‘affordably’ is used in context). It may take a while for mainstream US collectors to re-evaluate their collecting criteria but 6d Oz reprints and US ‘pence copies’ of keys are finally beginning to appear on their radar.


The price trend was continued here as the Australian reprint, Superman No 113, actually reprinted the cover and story of US Action Comics #252, the first appearance of Supergirl. Estimated at £70-100, she soared to £420.

 

The complete year of Beano for 1946 only consisted of 26 issues as the comics were printed fortnightly due to paper and dyestuff shortages. However, Dudley Watkins was finally allowed to sign his work on Lord Snooty, Tom Thumb and Jimmy and his Magic Patch and £1320 took the high grade volume away.

 


Paying an auction record £4100 for Magic Comics 1-5, that winning bidder did not stop there, successfully bidding £420 for issues 6, 7 and 8 illustrated above.

 

 

Jack Daniel was the first Riders of the Range artist depicting the Eagle’s Jeff Arnold and his side-kick, Luke, this signed original artwork riding off into the sunset with £1520. Yee-hah!

 


Bought-in after the auction’s close for £400, this 1952 1st edition by publisher’s Casterman was only one of 2000 copies printed in English.

 


We offered a Batman original artwork (artist unknown) detailing the title and contents page for the Batman Story Book Annual of 1967 (included in the lot). Back To The Batcave for £290.

 


Four Oz magazines from 1969 made £65.

 


Frank Bellamy’s fresh Thunderbirds artwork from TV 21 No 176 (1968) reached a strong over-estimate £1900.

 


The first four Victor Summer Specials attacked with £29 each. You do find these issues on sale from time to time but it’s difficult to find them in a run like this.

 

3 original consecutive artworks by Frank Bellamy from Garth’s ‘Doomsmen’ series were signed by the artist and strong-armed £820.

 


An original board of Don Lawrence’s Trigan Empire sold for £490. With its speech balloons in Dutch it was reprinted in the Netherlands for weekly comic, ‘Sjors’ (‘George’ to you) some years later.

 



We offered the first 25 issues of 1985 Transformers with early annuals and, hard to find in this unbroken run, they realised a bargain £130.

 

 


Viz Comic No. 12b was created for the Viz 30th anniversary party. Around 200 issues were printed, mainly for sale at the party in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle. This one, signed by Chris Donald, realised £55.

 

 


Hotly contested, America’s Best Comics #24 from 1947 tripled its Overstreet Guide value to £390. Bondage cover – liberated price.

 


Our small Canadian collection, four of the six issues by Century Publications, were in low/medium grades taking £75 and returning to Canada, natch.

 


Also tripling its Overstreet valuation was a [fn] Jetta #5 (actually #1) from 1952, art by Dan de Carlo, price £280.

 


Another strong bid of £240 was realised for Red Seal #17 [vg] with all-action cover art by Paul Gattuso.

 

 

A worn copy of Amazing Spider-Man #5 cents copy made £210

 

 

A high grade pence copy of A S-M 14, its ‘green’ issue cover (with both Goblin and Hulk) making a red-hot £1380

 

 

Here Comes Daredevil #1 [vg] with £660

 

 

A good run of Fantastic Four #39, 47, 48 and 49 in low/mid grades totalled £860

 

 

Our copy of Incredible Hulk #6 had a small central pinhole through all its pages and secured £240

 

 

Strange Tales #110 had sew-holes to its spine where it was retrieved from a bound volume. £460 was jolly [gd-vg]

 

 

Estimated at £800-1200, the key X-Men #1 spawned a strong set of bidders, one of whom succeeded with a winning bid of £3000.

 

 

From a purely selfish, business point of view it was a big challenge for us to produce a May auction catalogue in these unsettling times. In the middle of March 2020 we had started self-isolating in London and so was our fab lady proof-typist, Kathy, our wonderful catalogue setter and printer, Celeste and our hero photographer, Theo, who was trapped with his family in Somerset.

We were more or less able to electronically work with Kathy and Celeste but we had to photograph the catalogue images ourselves, my partner Sally sure-handedly framing the shots on her iPhone whilst I annoyed her with the slow placement of the group lots – ‘Haven’t you done it yet, I’m freezing my…. …’

Finally producing the catalogue in print and online in mid-May, all we had to worry about was whether any of our customers might actually want to buy anything.

The highlight of the US section of our catalogue was a mid-grade pence copy of Tales of Suspense #39, the first appearance of Iron Man. It sold for a hugely impressive £3400 along with a sell-out auction of British and American comics and artwork.

So thank you Kathy, Celeste, Sally, our stalwart web-master, Graham and our wonderfully loyal customers; Iron Men and Women all.

 

 

Malcolm Phillips
Director
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.