*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: As a coda to our mammoth two part Boys’ story paper update of recent weeks, we present issues #15, #16 and #18 of Hotspur from 1933, the venerable story paper’s first year of publication. Featuring illustrated text stories about valiant adventures taming the heathen in foreign lands and stories of boarding-school life which must have seemed like an alien world to most of its readership, Hotspur and its siblings were the antecedents of the comic as we know it. Fans of “Dead-Wide Dick”, “The Teacher From Dartmoor”, “The Six Yellow Knife-Men” and “The Big Stiff” will find much to enjoy here. In remarkable condition given their vintage, though #’s 15 and 18 do show signs of having been removed from a stitched bound volume, with very small stitching holes at the left. Spines complete and intact.
*Gold Key/Whitman: New listings for two of Gold Key’s popular and long-running series, Doctor Solar – Man of the Atom – and Magnus Robot Fighter. Beginning with Doctor Solar’s 1962 debut issue, in which a young scientist becomes transformed by an atomic accident into a being of unearthly power. This debut and origin issue is FA/GD, but clean and intact, and very affordable at £10.75. A scattering of Magnus from #9 onwards enriches our stock, as our hero rebels against mankind’s robot rulers, superbly illustrated by Manning (Russ, not Bernard).
*Western: It’s time to slap leather with a bunch of cowpokes from the big and small screens; new additions to the Dell western range, with restocks for Bat Masterson, The Comancheros, Corky and White Shadow, Davy Crockett, Have Gun Will Travel, Hotel De Paree Sundance (no, we don’t know either), Maverick, Rebel, Rifleman, Roy Rogers, Sugarfoot, Tonto, and Wagon Train. Saddle up!
*TV & Film Related Comics: From 1969, new stocks of Joe 90, a spin-off from the Gerry Anderson TV show which, after the successes of Stingray, Thunderbirds et al, never quite caught the public’s imagination. Nonetheless, in addition to Joe’s comic strip adventures, this series features Land of the Giants, Star Trek, and the Champions, all popular shows of the era, and, being an achievable short run, (lasting only 34 issues before amalgamating with its sibling TV 21) is highly sought after today. issues from #3 to #21 new in stock, averaging respectable mid-grades. A cover photo of #17 is appended for your elucidation.
*Power Comics: Pow! and Smash! are restocked this week, beginning with the #1 of each series (Pow #1 FA/GD £35, Smash #1 VG £60). Not only did these offer the first consecutive reprinting of the Marvel Comics heroes, but also generated a number of inventive and fondly-remembered original series, such as ‘The Cloak’ and ‘The Swots and the Blots’. Additionally, later issues of Smash! reprinted the Batman comic strip, so you have the unusual sight of a comic co-starring the Hulk, Daredevil – and Batman!
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: More plucky lasses in daring exploits from several titles in this popular category; Judy Picture Library #5 (“Bess of the Black Arrows”), School Friend (“Penny at Rainbow’s End”), the never-before-heard-of Schoolgirl’s Adventure Library and Schoolgirl’s Story Library from Micron (we’re still learning new titles, even after 20 years in the business!) a swathe of later Schoolgirls’ Own Library, and new additions to our Schoolgirl’s Picture Library range. Join Mams’elle X, Jancy Girl Detective, the Moor House Girls, and all your chums!
*DC: Only one title in this week’s DC alphabetical update, but it’s one that’s very dear to our hearts here at 30th Century: Strange Adventures, the science-fiction series which in addition to many, many stand-alone stories by the likes of Gardner Fox, John Broome, Murphy Anderson, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane and Sid Greene, also featured a number of series which appeared intermittently, adding to its appeal. This new selection goes from 1960’s #120 to 1968’s #216, the final issue with new material. Monsters, aliens, puzzles, and gorillas abound! Featured series include the much-loved Atomic Knights, Star Hawkins and Space Museum, as well as, in later times, Animal Man (including his origin in #180), Immortal Man, the Enchantress and the acclaimed Deadman, created by Arnold Drake and illustrated by Neal Adams.
*Marvel: From the early days of the Marvel Universe, the very first issue of X-Men, the first appearance not only of the X-Men themselves, but also their arch-nemesis Magneto. This is the comic that sparked Marvel’s most popular franchise (arguably tying with Spider-Man), and a Lee & Kirby classic which established the X-Men as Marvel’s ‘outsiders’ from the very beginning. This copy is UK pence priced, with clean sound interiors, some spine wear, and very minor cover creasing which does not significantly impact upon the cover scene. Graded a Good +, offered at £775.
*Flash Gordon: Alex Raymond’s famous creation joins us in a myriad of formats: the Silver/Bronze Age American comic series from #1, published by King, through the Charlton and Gold Key years to #24, with several issues in a beautiful VF or better grade; the UK reprint comics of the 1950’s by Miller and World Distributors; and two ranges of latter-day hardback compilations of the original comic strips, from Checker (2005), and Kitchen Sink (commencing 1990) – the Kitchen Sink editions, handsome landscape full-colour hardcovers, are generally believed by those in the know to be the best available edition to date. Enjoy – after all, you’ve only got fourteen hours to save Earth!
*Annuals: Stand by for Action! Gerry Anderson’s ‘Supermarionation’ hits the printed page with a restock of several Annuals: Lady Penelope from 1966, Stingray from 1965, and a trinity of the first three Thunderbirds from 1966-1968. Featuring all the characters that viewers of a certain vintage know and love, these nostalgic publications are averaging a high grade – FN or better – with a couple of exceptions being downgraded only because of loose pages. F.A.B!
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: A whole slew of Peter Cheyney thrillers have been added to the bookshelves. While his initials may be PC, his books are anything but, full of dames and broads, all of them hot, and causing trouble for various gangsters and spies. Many of these editions date from the 1950’s, and most are in the popular Fontana or Pan editions, as well as three Collins White Circle Thriller editions from the 1940’s/early 1950’s.
*Marvel: A smorgasbord of Silver & Bronze Age Marvel, ranging through Avengers, Conan (#100), Daredevil #8-10 (inc 1st Stilt Man in #8) plus Giant-Size #1, Defenders #10 (VF £35 Hulk Vs Thor), Dr. Strange, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Howard the Duck, Journey Into Mystery with Thor (inc #119 1st Warriors Three & Annual #1 1st Hercules), Marvel Premiere with Legion Of Monsters, Marvel Presents with the Guardians Of The Galaxy, Marvel Spotlight with Son Of Satan, Strange Tales (a couple of Torch/Thing issues), What If #24 (Spidey had rescued Gwen Stacey?), & X-Men (inc Giant-Size #2).
*DC: Just imagine… The mightiest heroes of our time (if our time was 1960) banding together as… the Justice League of America! We’re very proud to have the first issue (after a try-out run in the Brave & the Bold #28-30) of the Justice League’s own book, in which the team faces off, for the first time, against the dastardly Despero! Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs continue the string of science-fiction odysseys which made the JLA one of the leading series of the era, and the backbone of the DC Universe. This is a Very Good Minus copy, with clean, flexible off-white pages, and an unimpeded cover scene with vibrant colour and only minor edge creasing. UK pence stamp, but not covering anything important.
*Humour Comics: A classic comedy first issue! Launching in 1973, Shiver & Shake followed the successful pattern of two separate publications in one, with Shiver being nominally edified by the eponymous ghost, and Shake falling under the auspices of, well, an elephant, for no obvious reason. The breakout character from S & S was the infamous “Sweeny Toddler”, one of the best arguments for Planned Parenthood ever, and his first appearance is here. This issue is in exceptional condition, a Fine to Very Fine (£40), which is a grade seldom issued to traditional UK ‘pulp’ comics. Only a small half an inch tear at the upper margin of the cover stops it grading even higher, in fact.
*Miscellaneous 1960 Onwards: From 2005, one of the few series from this century listed in our catalogue is the cult hit Grimm Fairy Tales from Zenescope. The publisher hit on a winning formula combining dark versions of traditional fairy tales with stylishly sexy covers provided by the classy Al Rio (at least in the earliest issues). We have new in stock the first 15 issues in the series (all first printings), including a couple of variant covers, plus a handful of later issues and the first couple of issues of the Return To Wonderland spin-off series. Low print runs and high demand mean that this series doesn’t last long with us whenever we get them. Scans below of #1 (VF £35), #2 (NM £20) and #3 (NM £10).
*Marvel: From 1978, the first edition of Silver Surfer: The Ultimate Cosmic Experience! “What?” I hear you say? Well, after umpteen requests for a revival of the Silver Surfer, Marvel, in an attempt to crack the lucrative crossover market into bookstores, had Lee & Kirby create an all-new, 160-page adventure starring the Sentinel of the Spaceways – though, judging Kirby’s style too rough for the mass market, the co-publishers, Fireside Books, had a soft & pretty cover by Earl Norm painted for the release. Scarce enough in the USA, and never at all distributed in the UK, this remains hard to find in the original printing. This VF+ copy at £50 is a chance to net one of the obscurer appearances of Norrin Radd, so move now before Galactus catches us!
*Marvel: We continue our countdown through Thor towards the very beginning, as we cover issues #91-100 of Journey Into Mystery, the series in which Asgard’s favourite scion got his start. This sequence saw the debuts of several of Thor’s enemies, including the Lava Man, Cobra, Radioactive Man and Mister Hyde, as well as the premiere of the “Tales of Asgard” back-up feature. These vintage gems include some of Lee & Kirby’s finest early work (ably backstopped by Don Heck and Joe Sinnott on the visuals), and are a uniformly high grade, Fine/VF being the lowest condition, and most issues being VF+ or VF/NM. Most of them are also Cents copies, unmarred by UK price stamps, so are doubly desirable to high-grade collectors. We’ll be visiting the gleaming spires of Asgard again in the very near future, so keep watching the website!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: We proudly present the second half of our huge boys’ story papers update, this time focussing on Rover (1947-1954, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1970, 1971), Rover & Adventure (1961), Rover & Wizard (1964-1966), a couple of less often seen Skippers from 1935, and Wizard (1935, 1945-1950, 1953-1955, 1957-1959 & 1963). Hundreds of new issues in for these venerable titles that for decades formed the backbone of the boys’ comic industry.
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following file in our American section:
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Our latest update brings a selection of classic science fiction works, many of them by authors who polished their skills writing in pulp fiction magazines (yes, Blish, Brunner, Clarke, Leiber, Silverberg, Simak, Sturgeon and Van Vogt – we’re looking at you). There are several paperback first editions and both the John Brunner books have been signed by the author.
If you already know these works, grab the chance to reread them, and if you don’t know them – well, you’ve got a treat to come.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: A new range in of these ever-popular reprint and new material titles from Marvel in the 1970’s. The following titles have been updated: Chamber Of Chills, Creatures On The Loose, Crypt Of Shadows, Adventure Into Fear, Frankenstein, Monster Of (#1 VF £31), Tomb Of Darkness, Tower Of Shadows, Vault Of Evil, Where Creatures Roam & Where Monsters Dwell.
We’ve got dozens of new pulps in stock and to celebrate this unique medium, Dr. Evilla, herself a big fan, has designed a new window display for us showcasing pulps of the 20th Century in many genres. The display features covers and glimpses of internal art from many titles, as well as a roll call of honour remembering the great science-fiction authors who contributed to this phenomenon. You can click on the image opposite for a larger look! You’ll find our Pulps on sale in the book section at the rear of our ground floor, or of course in our catalogue, where many of them are pictured.
*Pulp Fiction: In conjunction with our specially designed new Window display, we present a large addition to our Pulp Fiction range, consisting mainly of Galaxy in both UK and US editions, but also various titles including Fantastic Sword & Sorcery And Fantasy Stories, Fantasy And Science Fiction, Future Science Fiction, If, Science Fantasy and Worlds Of If. Amazing authors, astonishing stories, astounding art – the perfect combination!
*TV & Film Related Comics: New stock for TV comic from 1968 and 1969, highly desirable years for Doctor Who Completists, as his comic strip (Troughton iteration) appears in every issue throughout. The run is further enhanced by the addition of the Avengers (John Steed and Tara King, not Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch) from issue #877 (pictured) onwards, making these extremely sought-after. There’s also Basil Brush, Popeye, Laurel and Hardy, the Diddymen, Mighty Moth and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, for them as likes ’em. In affordable mid-grades, these copies will not be with us for long, so early ordering is recommended.
*DC: Our alphabetical additions to our DC section continue with Showcase, a fondly-remembered title which kicked off the careers of scads of Silver Age super-stars. From 1961’s #35 (Atom) to 1978’s #104 (O.S.S. – Spies At War), more than fifty new issues added, as we revisit the hits (Atom, Metal Men, Sgt. Rock) the cult series (Spectre, Inferior 5, Hawk & Dove, Nightmaster) and the out & out oddities (Jason’s Quest, Manhunter 2070, and the magnificent Maniaks!) of this tryout title. Images here of #37 & #38, the first two appearances of the Metal Men.
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: Many new entries to this popular category, including recent issues of Alter Ego, Back Issue and Comic Book Creator, an issue of the Squa Tront revival focussing on the EC line, vintage ‘zines Marvel Super-Hero Index (from 1974) and Heroines Showcase (from 1977), and an extensive selection of Comics Forum, the acclaimed magazine published by the UK’s Comics Creators’ Guild.
*Marvel: Our ‘Assembling the Avengers’ event continues this week: a high grade complete run in sequence from #1-200. New listings this time for every issue from #31 to #60, the period during which the creative team hit some of its greatest strengths, and provided some of the series’ most memorable moments. Stan Lee, Don Heck, Roy Thomas and John Buscema bring us the debut of the Sons of the Serpent, the premier of the Living Laser, the descent of Hercules from Olympus to Avengers Mansion, the revelation of the Red Guardian, the first appearance of the heroic Black Knight, the first grim Reaper, the addition of the Black Panther to the team, memorable clashes with Magneto, Sub-Mariner and the X-Men, the wedding of the Wasp and Yellowjacket, and – of particular interest now that trailers are being released for the second Avengers movie – the first-ever appearances of the Avengers’ robotic nemesis Ultron, and of the cuddly-but-conflicted synthezoid the Vision, who became one of the most popular Avengers ever! As with previous instalments in this mammoth Avengers listing, these are high grade copies, averaging VF or better, and approximately half of them are cents copies, unmarked by any UK price stamp or overprint. High grade unslabbed copies of the Avengers are trending more expensively, and the time to buy is now. Cover scans of #55 (1st Full appearance Ultron VF/NM £225), #57 (1st Vision VF+ £275) and #58 (origin of both Ultron and the Vision VF+ £75) may be viewed below:
*EC: As a trailer for our upcoming ‘Carry On, Pre-Code Horror Fest’ event, we present a shuddersome sextet of Vault of Horror, one of EC’s core (or should that be corpse?) titles! A nice consecutive run of issues #30-35, in attractive mid-grades, averaging GD+. All with deceptively elegant and understated covers by Johnny Craig, the interiors sport superlative art by the likes of Craig, Ingels, Evans, Davis and more, featuring the combo of ghoulish horror and black humour that was often imitated, but seldom equalled. Cover scans of #30, and #33-35 may be inspected by clicking on the smaller images below.
*Marvel: The oversized Marvel Treasury Editions from the 1970’s are seldom seen these days, their unusual tabloid size presenting difficulties in display and storage for retailers at the time. Most surviving copies are considerably worn, but we’ve been lucky enough to obtain a substantial run from#2 onwards of the regular Treasury Editions, in exceptional grade – few dropping below Fine, and many in VF/NM condition or even better. With new covers by the likes of Kirby, Kane, Buscema or Brunner, these classic reprints present an opportunity to see the artwork at close to its original dimensions, though of course some artists benefit more from the enhanced size than others! Highlights include Barry Smith’s Conan in issue #4 and Frank Brunner’s Doctor Strange in #6, but all of Marvel’s big names are represented. Later issues also featured some new material – ‘audition’ strips by new talent – and #25, Spider-Man and Hulk At The Winter Olympics, is all-new. In addition to the regular series, we offer several Treasury Specials: 2001 by Jack Kirby, which led into the regular comic series; Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles, all-new Kirby art spanning the Star-Spangled Avenger’s history; Battlestar Galactica, the Wonderful Land of Oz, and the two-part adaptation of the original Star Wars movie!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The first half of a mammoth update to our stock of story papers from the 1940’s and 1950’s, featuring Adventure 1946-1954 & 1958/59, Champion 1946-1952 and Hotspur 1945-1954 & 1957/58. Literally hundreds of new issues into stock for these titles, from a time of plucky derring-do and ripping yarns. Evocative characters such as Strang the Terrible, the Savage Head of St. Jude’s and Nick Swift of the Planet Patrol (Adventure), Ginger Nutt: the Boy Who Took the Biscuit, Rockfist Rogan: the Boxing Airman and Johnny Fleetfoot (Champion) and the Iron Teacher, Cannonball Kidd and Captain Zoom (Hotspur) to name but a few of the myriad stories that kept a generation or two of boys entertained in the middle of the last century. Look out soon for the second half of this update, featuring Rover, Skipper and Wizard. Sample charismatic covers from the three titles featured in this update are shown below:
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our American section:
and from the following in our British section:
*Alan Class Reprints
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: Patsy Walker, having made her debut in the second issue of Miss America in 1944, proved so popular that she gained several spin-offs, the most enduring of which was Patsy & Hedy, launched in 1952 and running well into the Marvel Age of Comics! Patsy and her ‘frenemy’ Hedy Wolfe embarked on Archie-esque fun, frolics and frankly feminine foolishness (hey, don’t blame us, it said it on the cover…) for decades, but – unlike Archie and co – they did eventually graduate from High School and become ‘Patsy & Hedy, Career Girls’, and then, as their star faded, ‘Girls On The Go-Go’. We have issues in stock ranging from #38 through to the final issue, #110, as well as the first and only Patsy & Hedy Annual from 1963 in a beautiful VF grade at £40 – but don’t worry, the regular issues are much cheaper! Patsy and her Pals were forced off the newsstands by the rising tide of super-heroes, but fear not – Patsy enjoyed a second career as the super-heroic Hellcat in the Avengers and the Defenders, and brought her supporting cast along with her!
*Marvel: From the sizzlin’ Seventies, restocks of Marvel Premiere, the series which brought new concepts before the public, or gave lesser characters a chance at their “solo in the spotlight” moments. From #22 to #60, including showcases for folks who became pillars of the Marvel Universe (Iron Fist, Hercules, Black Panther, the Liberty Legion) and others who evaporated like a politician’s promises (anyone for Woodgod? Caleb Hammer? Seeker 3000? No?). This includes two unexpected media cross-overs, with rock star Alice Cooper making his first comics appearance in issue #50, and UK sci-fi phenomenon Doctor Who being imported into #’s 57-60. Highlight of this top-up is probably the two-part debut of Scott Lang as Ant-Man, in #47 & #48.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror: Our latest book update features Conan’s fellow adventurers, Almuric, Brak Mak Morn, Kull and Skull-Face, all created by Robert E Howard. Many are sought-after first UK or US paperback editions. If a geas has put you on a quest for any of these, your saga may be at an end.
*Girls’ Comics: New Princess Tina for the years 1968 and 1969, around thirty copies filling in previous gaps in our stock. With a stellar line-up including secret agent ‘Jane Bond’,’ Moira – Slave Girl of Ancient Rome’, model girl ‘Barbie’ (yes, that Barbie), and visiting alien prankstress ‘Super-Girl Sandra’, among others, Princess Tina remains one of the most sought-after girls’ comics of the era, with its emphasis on adventure and more sophisticated style dictated by its European originators.
*Marvel: Two modern comics, but a trinity of debuts: X-Men #266, with the first full appearance of Gambit, is VF at £30, a clean, unmarred pence copy marking the debut of the Cajun champion in the series that would make him popular. Then, with New Mutants #98, we have a pair of premieres: Deadpool, the Merc-With-A-Mouth, makes his first appearance, as does the dazzling but deadly Domino. Deadpool, of course, has been one of Marvel’s breakout characters of the last few decades, and this issue is spiralling up in price. We offer a VF- pence copy at £40; excellent in most respects, it is marred only by very slight creasing in the lower left corner, otherwise it would grade still higher.
You may notice a new link in our sidebar menu called ‘Extras’; this is the place where you’ll find articles, interviews, comic-related links and various other items that we think you might enjoy. Currently, it has a section by our own Will Morgan, where he reviews series, comments on characters and other aspects of our hobby. There is also a You Tube video link where you can see a brief interview with me in the shop, a feature on Alan Class and his comics, accompanied by our Rough Guide to them, and more. There should be much more added here as time goes by and we hope you will find a periodic ‘dipping-in’ both informative and entertaining.
*DC: Continuing our alphabetical sweep through vintage DC, we bring you some of the fringier corners of the DC Universe; the Jack Kirby illustrated Sandman series, underwater adventurers the Sea Devils, the Secret Origin one-shot from 1961, the entire first series of Secret Six, when the group was shamelessly ‘inspired’ by Mission: Impossible, pulp hero the Shadow, C.C Beck’s Shazam, reintroducing the Golden Age hero to a latter-day audience, and the one-shot Sherlock Holmes title.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: Well, this entry certainly qualifies for our Quirky Corner sobriquet: Popular Jokes v7#35, from February 1970. One of a myriad of ‘Men’s Humour’ magazines offering mildly risqué cartoons and cheesecake pin-ups, these will be familiar to readers of a certain vintage as the items that, together with bodybuilder and ‘True Crime’ mags, filled the top of the spinner racks that the comics used to be displayed in! The cartoons were frequently by known names from comics – in this instance, for example, the cover art is by Bill Ward, of ‘Torchy’ fame – and there were often short comic strips, but we’ll never know in this instance, because – we can’t open it! Some hopeful soul has had it slabbed by CGC, who rated it 8.5 (a VF+ equivalent), so its interior depths must remain forever unplumbed. Not our normal stock, but it came in with a larger collection, and we’re offering it as a novelty for £25, solely based on its age and claimed condition.
*Power Comics: From 1967, the first three issues of Terrific – #1 with the original free gift! Terrific was a companion paper to Odham’s Fantastic, and together the two provided the first consistent sequential reprinting of Marvel’s heroes for a UK audience – lovingly cut & repasted into a traditional UK configuration! (These days, they’d call that a variant edition…) Along with the reprints of the Avengers, Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner and Giant Man & the Wasp, Terrific also featured a new adventure/mystery serial from #3, “The Living Dolls”, and back-page pin-ups by UK artists, including a young fellow called Barry Smith, who we believe went on to make some mark in the industry! The #1 in this selection is in Fine condition, with the free gift (an Iron-On Iron Man transfer) in even better shape; offered for £80.
*Humour Comics: From 1995, 10 issues of the Beano, all with their original Free Gifts. In a couple of cases, where these are sweets, consumption is not advised! At £2.50-£5 each, these represent excellent value as collectables of the future!
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: A new selection of fondly-remembered British reprints from a time when the real American comics were hard to come by in the UK. Titles this time include: Adventures Into The Unknown, Blackhawk, Crime-Buster, Kid Colt, Spellbound Album & Tomahawk.
*Marvel: We conclude our sensational Spider-Man month with an item that seems to have become increasingly rare in recent years: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, featuring the debut of the Sinister Six: Mysterio, the Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Doctor Octopus and the Sandman. Featuring the art of Steve Ditko at his finest with six full page spreads of Spidey battling each of his foes. A nice clean bright cents copy with only minimal edge wear and edge creasing, FN+ at £260.
We hope you will find this even easier to use than our previous website.
You may now search for your favourite titles with our new search facility, which will take you to the appropriate sections of our catalogue. As we develop here, there will be lots more images shown in the body of our catalogue and more features and articles in our new Extras section.
Earlier What’s New listings may be found on our old site here.