Comic Book Postal Auctions

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Our Beano Comic No 2, complete with 2mm trim to right-hand cover edge, made no negative difference to the successful bidder who had researched it through our new ComicSearch facility and was well aware of its rarity. In general, number one comic issues from the Thirties were produced in high quantities for all the obvious publicity reasons and then when sales were analysed, second and third issues settled down to a lower print run. Publishers DC Thomson were masters of production even back then having conceived the breakthrough Beano and Dandy titles for a burgeoning youth market in the first place.


Beanos from the War Years continue to find 30-60 a copy depending on grades and 1944's lower grade Xmas and New year issues brought 185. Plum pud all round.

Tip Top

Showing that war year issues aren't just about Beano and Dandy rarities, a bound volume of 1944 Tip Top starring Happy Andy and Playful Pete with a Gene Autry back cover adventure was bid to 297 for its 26-issue complete year.


This complete year of 1947 Beanos in a bound volume might have found Jimmy And His Magic Patch quite staggered in 2009 to see 800 for 25 copies starring himself. Quite a journey from 2p - 32 each, he could get new breeks for that money.


Hotspur, one of DC Thomson's Big Five, often featured true exploits and issue 210 from the complete year for 1937 featured the 80-year anniversary of The Abolition Of Slavery with an emotive front cover and the story of the legendary John Brown and his heroic struggle to free the Negro slaves in the southern United States. This bound volume was complete with most of its free gifts and its extraordinary high grade led to a 385 winning bid. 1938 and 1939 will be offered in March 2010.

Film Fun

Film Fun collectors are used to finding their comics with 'orrible rusty staples, often reduced to a powdery dark stain where shiny tinplate was once secured. To come across a continuous original collection where said staples had been removed by the owner to prevent this from happening was a far-sighted and genuine rarity. Complete years of 1937 and 1938, with many free gifts enclosed were bid to 385 and 390 respectively. 8 a pristine copy.

Knock Out

There were a few early Knock-Outs from the same collection and six issues numbered 39-44 included the Grand Xmas Number and were bid to 155; over 25 each. Further lots in half-dozens: 21-26, 27-32 and 33-38 garnered similar high values.


The Fifties Beanos were well represented in two yearly bound volumes for 1950 and 1956. Pansy Potter was really in Wonderland at 616 and Leo Baxendale's streetwise Kids bashed 445.

Dennis the Menace

Original artwork of Dennis The Menace is scarce with a piece coming up every few years and Davy Law's brilliant rendition of Dennis steamrollering his way into the wall via his soapbox cart, the girlies dollies and Dad' toe needed 1176 to soothe the pain.

Oor Wullie

This artwork adventure of how Oor Wullie came to get a stamp album every bit as good as Specky Munro's after only a week, starting with Soapy Suter's stamp on his foot (that old yin) and ending with his great pile 'o' letters from Sunday Post readers brought 694 for a clever and funny story superbly illustrated by the master - Dudley Dexter Watkins.

Monty Artwork

Frank Bellamy's work is sought out by a hard core of collectors worldwide and when his magnificent draughtsmanship is centred around the Eagle's true life serial; Montgomery Of Alemein, then rarity enters that already heady mix. With inks that often fade quite early with exposure to natural light, this reasonably fresh piece was strongly bid to 2,590.

Bellamy artwork

Our other Bellamy artwork starred the Eagle's Heros The Spartan with an all-action centre page spread showing the Spartans' fighting their way out of the Roman stockade. 2,420. Some uprising.

Lion Picture Library

The Sixties star of our auction was The Lion Picture Library. Offered here in its 1-136 issue run complete in eleven bound volumes the Lion roared to a blood-curdling 1,490. Who's the king of the jungle, then.


Showing further 1960s strength Beano complete years for 1963 and 1969 went for 385 and 390 respectively. These larger format issues were always prone to foxing and even spot-free (but not Gnasher-free) copies used to fetch a few pounds each. Make that 8 each (but complete years now find a healthy premium).

All Star ComicsBatman

Our US golden Age section starred All Star Comics #21 with 1944 wartime adventures of The Justice Society Of America. 239 was tendered for a Fine copy here. We offered a strong run of CGC mid-graded Batman and Detective issues with Detective #145 CGC graded 7.5 the pick of the bunch at 180.


Brave And The Bold #28 heralded the first appearance of The Justice League Of America and presentable copies are really hard to find. Our [vg+] cents copy had high cover gloss and no major defects - Justice at 480. There was also a case for Vampirella #1, albeit a CGC enclosed one at 7.0, and Frank Frazetta's cover art rewarded the lady with 143.


Pussycat #1 featured Bill Everett's gentlemens' club art throughout - page after page of headlights and lingerie panels, as close to Playboy as a comic can get, whilst by her side a certain (not so) jolly green giant was taking no notice whatsoever; mind you, he was in a death-grip with Wolverene. The beauty sashayed to 71 whilst the beast , CGC graded at a rare 9.4, lifted 1050.

The real life inspiration for The Beano's Dennis The Menace has been revealed as a mechanic from New Zealand. Robert Fair, who is now 62, was a childhood friend of the daughter of Dennis's creator, Davy Law, and a frequent visitor to their home. Mr Fair emigrated 35 years ago after joining the Merchant Navy and he has only just found out that his pranks formed the basis of one of the most popular strips in comic book history. The secret has been revealed by Law's daughter, Rosemary, who was herself the inspiration for Beryl The Peril. Davy Law died in 1971.

"Robert was a little brat when he was a boy and my father based Dennis's energy, movement and sense of mischief on him," she said. Mr Fair added: "I remember reading Dennis The Menace as a boy and all these years I have never known that was me, that was my character. I think it's fantastic."

No need to ask what he's going to rename the dog, then.

Malcolm Phillips
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.