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WINTER 2014 MARKET REPORT

WORLD’S FIRST COMIC SELLS FOR £2350.00



Generally regarded as the world’s first comic in 1825, the 4-page Glasgow Looking Glass was published by John Watson and illustrated by William Heath encompassing the humourous and satirical content of the day. Royalty, the Clergy, politicians and foreign nobility were all lampooned with punning regularity. Not even Glasgow’s great and good were immune from Heath’s acerbic pen.

 

Two of the issues in the lot were stamped with the onerous ‘knowledge tax’ increasing their cover price by 50% and thus denying readership to those at which the illustrated paper were aimed. The canny Scots got around this with early entrepreneurs hiring out the comic to queues of patient readers for a farthing and a few minutes each. Originally running to 19 issues there are only a few collections in existence and this 13 issue run is the first to come into private hands after a huge battle between 3 determined bidders. £2350 eventually won the day and the new owner will probably need to jack up the rental price to get his money back.

 



With good cover colours and some light blemishes, this [vg] Dandy No 8 reached a firm £260.



Dandy No 12 included its free gift Dandy Tasty Toffee wrapper, the toffee long since consumed. In 22 years of our auctions we had never seen this free gift and it was persued to a very tasty £600.

 



 

Dandy 49 is the first fireworks issue and in the relative high grade of [fn-] sold just above high estimate at £260. .



Dandy No 50 had the first ad for the first Dandy Monster Comic and £190 was successfully offered.  

 



Here was a tired, well worn, spineless example of the first Beano Book and at £620 the buyer tells us he will attempt to resurrect it to something like its former glory.

 



Snitchy and Snatchy build an aeroplane from scrap aluminium. Hitler hears about it from listening to the BBC (naturally) and sends Hermy (Goering) to capture it. The Luftwaffe refuse to fly it against ‘der Spitfires’ and make Hitler take it back to England where the Pals give him a less than enthusiastic reception. With Dudley Watkins brilliant wartime artworks harder and harder to find £1200 was  successfully tendered.

 



The Adventure year for 1949 had some issues printed fortnightly and the 49 complete run secured £165.



Two bound volumes of Wizard with complete years of 1947 and 1948 starred Wilson, Seeker Of Champions and £290 won the day.



This Beano 1958 lot had all its issues and starred the first appearance of maritime disaster, Jonah by Ken Reid. Rating £8 each, all hands were on deck at £420. 

 




40 issues of Sun from 1955 starred Billy The Kid, Wild Bill Hickock and Max Bravo The Happy Hussar. Jolly happy at more than a fiver apiece.



33 Cowboy Picture Library from 1957-59 had the ubiquitous rusty staples with rust spots showing through but Kit Carson rode the range at £210.

 





Eagle No 1 heralded the introduction of Dan Dare, PC 49 and Captain Pugwash and with the spine split most of the way this first issue secured £220.

 



 

This Eagle cover artwork had layout and pencils by Frank Hampson with completed art by Harold Johns and Gretta Tomlinson and sold for £630.



 

Another Eagle artwork of Dan Dare by Desmond Walduck with faded colours reached £430.



Tiger is always keenly contested and publisher’s bound file copies of 1958 and half-year 1960 roared away to £390.



Star of the bound volume collection was Topper issues 1-52. These larger format comics are always prone to edge damage but in the safety of their binding they almost doubled their upper estimate at £1320. Beryl was never in peril.



Tit-Bits Science Fiction Comics ran for only six issues and 5 of them were here with one issue of Tit-Bits Cowboy comics. With story, lettering and artwork by Ron Turner they were published by C. Arthur Pearson and being ridiculously hard to find, they reached a stratospheric £360. That’s £60 each to us earth-dwellers.

 



Made by Cherilea Toys in 1968, Dalek Swapits were available exclusively from Woolworths where they were sold in interchangeable coloured plastic pieces that you fitted together at home. Bought by the owner from the Plymouth branch in 1969 he has lovingly kept them ever since and they are impossible to find in this condition. The 8 colour variations in this lot included the even harder to find all black example. £195 won and the opposition was ex-ter-min-ated.



Some years of Eagle command premium prices and Dan Dare in The Earth Stealers, Montgomery Of Alemein and Heros The Spartan by Frank Bellamy signalled £260 for the 52 issues of 1962.





June and School Friend from the late Sixties found plenty of interest realising just under £3 each for 85 issues. The Silent Three cheered.




This is what happens when you pretend to be ill. Instead of getting jellies and chicken and comics like his poorly pal, Fat Bob, the doc’s onto him and he gets castor oil and his comics confiscated, ‘nae readin’, it’s bad for your eyes...’ It’s an awfy shame but £430 might have cheered the wee lad up.

 

 




From the cultured pen of Don Lawrence this original Trigan Empire board featured the evil Yenni finally taken prisoner and peace between Trigo and King Kassar. This was the final episode of the story and the final price was £450.

 



 

Jan Shepheard was the art editor of Fleetway for many years and she presided over the evolution and direction of their comic titles in the 1970s and 80s. Looking through our recent catalogue you can find illustrations of her archive of original work for Fleetway, mostly between lots 150-163. Featured above is the preparatory artwork or ‘rough’ for Action Annual 1980 and you will see her editorial instructions to artist, Mike Western, to ‘toughen up’ the piece. A menacing £390 resulted. The final part of the archive will be offered in February 2015.

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Batman 11 from 1942 has its classic Joker cover and Penguin appearance and with some dust shadow cover areas £950 took it way.

 



 

Two more desirable Joker covers are featured here with these [vg+] copies at £320 and £290.

 



 

More Joker covers but in the higher grades of [fn-] and [fn] at £230 and £220.

 



 

These high grade Film Fun glamour magazines with Enoch Bolles art deco covers are beginning to find a wider audience selling at £50 and £30 respectively.

 



 

With Peter Driben cover art these glamour girls kicked up £25 each.

 

 

Undergoing a major identity crisis, Bobby Benson’s B-Bar-B Riders #14 encompassed bondage, cowboys and decapitation on its cover but Ghost Rider guested and Dick Ayers ghosted. Quite a package for £60.



 

Race To The Moon is well known as a UK reprint title and the real thing in issue 3 with Kirby art in high grade found £100. Pretty good value.

 

 

Space Patrol 1 and 2 are tough to find in Fine or better grades and were offered here from the Mohawk Valley and Okajima collections with relevant letters of authenticity. £400 took them into a major UK collection.



 

With some tape to the spines Fantastic Four 4 and 7 were teamed here with Amazing Spider-Man 10 and this low grade group reached a high grade price of £260.

 

 

Amazing Spider-Man 5 and Fantastic Four 6 in 4.4 and 5.5 sold for £200 and 300 respectively.



 

Difficult to find in higher grades Strange Tales 101 realised £200 whilst X-Men 94 made £145.

 

We couldn’t leave you without detailing some ‘hot’ books. Here’s Spidey’s first black costume appearance in #252 which reached £48 and the Uncanny X-Men 266 with first full Gambit at £42. Whether this was a gambit worth taking remains to be seen.

 

 

Down the years we’ve sold plenty of ‘hot’ books so perhaps it’s time to tell the story of a hot collector.

 

‘Don’ is a comfortable chap in his 80s and he enjoys nothing better than trawling through the various bootfairs, swapmeets, charity and vintage shops in his native county of Sussex. Sometimes he will drive to these places but always leaves the car parked well away and dresses down so as not to attract unnecessary attention. To this effect, some years ago, he told me he invested in some jeans and trainers to complete his disguise. The ad hoc agreement we have is that he’d call me whenever necessary if an item needed verification or if a purchase seemed a bit expensive.

 

This brought us to last September when a local vintage shop on his regular route had a few of old comics and books in the window. The comics consisted of seven Dandys and three Magics from 1938 and the reason for his call was that the shopkeeper was asking £300 for them and Don had spent the last two weeks bartering him down to £225 as some of them were ‘a bit tatty’ and should he now seal the deal? My amazement that they had remained unsold over the fortnight was only outmatched by my awe of his negotiating skills. So thankfully having secured the purchase he put them in the post to me and a day or so later Dandy Nos. 8, 12, 14, 16, 49, 50 and 52 with Magic 2, 3 and 4 arrived.

 

On examination the first thing I noticed was that Dandy 12 had a sweet wrapper attached to a centre page by a slightly rusted paper clip. Excitedly I was witnessing my first ever sighting of the Dandy’s free gift that week, The Dandy Tasty Toffee wrapper (the toffee long since consumed). When I called Don I asked him if he had spotted the wrapper. Yes, he told me, and so had the shopkeeper, but I used the paper clip’s rust onto the comic to start negotiations downwards!

 

Well, Dandy 12 with free gift went for £600 and with his other Dandys all sold in this catalogue the total hammer price came to £1525 and we still have the Magic Comics to go in February. As I said, one hot collector.

 

Malcolm Phillips
Director
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.

 
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