Comic Book Postal Auctions

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Winter 2008 Market Report

1946 BEANOS £795 - 1976 ACTION £1100 - BATMAN 6 £990


In 1946 paper shortages restricted The Beano to appearing every two weeks so there were only 26 issues in that year starring Big Eggo, Lord Snooty, Jimmy And His Magic Patch and Pansy Potter. In the high grades of Fine/Very Fine not even Tom had thumbed through them as this collection had been stored away by the original owner's family in an old suitcase under the stairs. Duly rewarded after all those years, these little comic jewels raised £795.


War years Dandys from the same dusty suitcase were just as highly prized, especially as various lots from this era heralded the first appearances of Black Bob, Danny Longlegs, The Amazing Mr X and Charley Chutney The Comical Cook - all recipes for success at £30 each.


This first Dandy annual had had its spine professionally replaced with the original spine illustration laid on top of it. This was the chance that one of our canny collectors had been waiting for. Secure in the knowledge that even tatty complete issues quite easily inhabit four-figure territory, he claimed his prize for £660, with strict instructions to us 'not to tell the wife'.

Union Jack

From our continuing bound volume collection of publisher's file copies, Union Jack has developed some strong momentum. With eye-catching cover illustrations and Sexton Blake stories throughout, this 1930 year in two volumes made a strong case with £300. In the same vein Thriller detective stories had built up a massive following in the 30s with Leslie Charteris, W E Johns and John Creasy regularly appearing. The 1936 year above, with the cover victim bearing an uncanny resemblance to Peter Lorre taking The Big Sleep, dreamed up £330.

Schoolgirl's Library

Schoolgirls' Own Library bound volumes continue to find favour with collectors, their young heroines' adventures around the world the stuff of pubescent fantasy where a summer trip to the seaside was considered the height of escapism. Three similar lots of 36 issues were secured at £275 each, including Diana's Voyage Of Thrills. Boys' titles from this era, like Champion and Triumph, do not fetch half as much, generally staying in the range of £2-3 a copy. This is more than likely due to rarity as the print run for girls comics was considerably lower at the time.


These three Funny Wonder annuals all starring Charlie Chaplin and illustrated by Roy Wilson made £193, two copies retaining their rare glacine covers. Good price for a proper Charlie.

Oor Wullie

You can't keep Oor Wullie quiet fer long, especially as his two pals, Soapy Soutar and Fat Bob are both gaein' wi' lassies and 'Michty me - they're dingers!' Of course the wee lad canna be left behind, and seein' 'a rare bit o' stuff' lookin oot the window of cousin Jeannie's hoose, he rushes in to find it's a lassie's dolly and now he has to take Jeannie's best friend, Fat Fanny, roond the toon. Soapy an Bob canna hide their mirth. It's nae fair. With editor, R D Low's, story line and back cover layout sketches this fine piece by Dudley Watkins went back to Scotland for £825.



Magic Comics are increasingly hard to find and issues can reach £200 apiece. A very fine No 5 excelled at £275 and a fine No 6 at £203 had Koko The Pup yapping with glee.

Top Spot

Top Spot was a more focused and better edited Tit-Bits in its day, comprising as it did fiction with Jekyll And Hyde and Fabian Of The Yard, Sport of the day, newsy stories including The Life And Death Of James Dean and film star interviews with Sofia Loren and BB as well as A Date With Diana Dors (get in the queue). The complete run of 58 issues was reduced to a winning £275 from a knockout bid of £400. Freddie Mills would have approved.

Dan Dare   Eagle

Keith Watson's atmospheric Dan Dare cover artwork from a 1963 Eagle comic was bid to a high £551, even surpassing an Eagle board dated 10 years earlier by Desmond Walduck which had Digby racing for an unguarded courier ship with £451.


Action was an unremarkable title, one of many that filled a crowded 70s battle-ground with Lion, Victor and Valiant - post James Bond and pre Judge Dredd. But there was a little too much Action for IPC on 23 October 1976 when a particularly violent issue, featuring the word 'suicide' three times on its cover, was pulped prior to distribution. Only a handful of copies survived, probably smuggled out of the publishers by editorial staff eager for momentos of all the fuss. This banned issue in a near complete run was the reason for a staggering £1100 successful bid, our phones red hot from competing collectors.

BatmanHuman Torch

Our US section this catalogue was very strong with a proliferation of rare and CGC graded books from the Golden, Silver and Bronze Ages. We started with 1941 where Batman #6 harnessed a whirlwind £990 and The Human Torch #5 (actually #4) flamed up £320.


Spider-Man's first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 is the Silver Age key book, a holy yale for many collectors and this CGC 4.5 pence copy subsequently unlocked £935. A cents copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1, some Marvel chipping in evidence at CGC 3.5 encased £836. With #10 at £400 and #14 at £450 the webslinger is still the title to beat and all of the results up to 1989 issue 313 are noted in our Prices Realised section.

Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby's artwork is not so available in the UK so this action page from Fantastic Four #95, showing Johnny Storm beginning to flame on whilst Medusa captures Crytal, cooked up a healthy £891.

Fantastic FourThor

Sometimes a key comic comes along with such a noticeable defect that it is almost impossible to estimate a value. Just such a case was our pence copy of Fantastic Four #1, its cover defaced by some horrible biro deletions. At No Reserve bidding was brisk right up until our deadline when a relieved winning bidder declared it was fantastic four him to have secured this key first issue for £489. Thor's first appearance in Journey Into Mystery #83 is also a firm key and this VG cents copy was hammered out to £660.

Iron ManGhost Rider

A CGC 9.4 copy of Iron Man #1 reflected its high grade and recent box-office success with a double estimate £693. Whilst a flaming first Ghostrider at the same grade in Marvel Spotlight #5 wheelied up to £495. There were 265 US comics lots in this November's auction and they all sold, some extremely well. There are more in our first auction of the New Year in February.

In the late 60s a comic genre emerged in San Francisco which had taken root in the mists of California grass and blossomed with a generation high on psychedelia and sexual liberation. Produced by the 'small press' and sold in head shops as counter culture to the mainstream, these transcendental publications were collectively known as Underground Comix.

I recently collected some comics and took them on the Underground - the London one between Bank and Camden Town. I had been meeting a fellow Glaswegian in the City whose uncle, a church minister, had collected Beano and Dandy comics during The War. They had been stored in a chest behind the crypt door and they were now neatly bagged on my lap in a crowded tube train during the rush-hour (If you don't know London that's almost anytime between seven in the morning and eight at night). It occurred to me to offer my seat to an old lady uncomfortably sardined in front of me. I got up, repositioned my bulky bag of DC Thomson's finest and gestured magnanimously to my vacant seat. Naturally, she refused: 'That's awright darlin', I'm offinacouplastops..'

Perplexed, I suggested that she take it anyway as I had organised myself for standing and was beginning to feel the prickly stabs of embarrassment as several pairs of eyes began to focus on this comedy of manners. Thankfully she agreed and sat down whilst I belatedly bathed in the glow of having done what I thought was 'The Right Thing'.

However, a young man seated opposite, in his twenties and city suited and booted, then got up and offered his seat to me. Once again expectant eyes refocused as I wished for a large hole, not a seat, to become available. What to do? Take the seat looking like some old bag man whom at least one person thought needed it - or politely refuse placing citybloke in the situation from which I had just extricated myself…thankfully the train arrived at the station and I hastily departed at King's Cross - three stops short of my destination.

Malcolm Phillips
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.