*DC: During the 1970’s and early 1980’s, both major companies experimented with tabloid formats, and DC’s was the Limited Collectors’ Edition, selected reprints in oversized format, which proved popular enough to spread to several subsidiary series – Famous First Editions (reprinting in full iconic issues such as Action Comics #1), All-New Collector’s Edition (with, as the name implies, non-reprint stories of major characters) and occasional forays into normally regular-sized titles such as DC Special Series. We have selections from all these gargantuan behemoths new in. Their unusual dimensions meant that they were not well-distributed by newsvendors in the States, nor have they generally fared well in long-term storage. Added to that the fact that barely saw any distribution in the UK at all, and their rarity will be appreciated. From Limited Collector’s Editions itself, we have the Batman All-Villain Special, The Bible, with stunning all-original Nestor Redondo artwork, Superman, Secret Origins of Super-Villains, Super-Friends, (with an original Alex Toth framing sequence), Batman: Baffling Mystery Stories, More Secret Origins of Super-Villains, Superman Salutes the Bicentennial, and the rare but peculiar Welcome Back Kotter – one for John Travolta completists – including material intended for the never-published WBK#11! From Famous First Editions, we have giant-sized facsimiles of Whiz Comics #2 (debut of original Captain Marvel) Flash Comics #1, Superman #1, and Action Comics #1, with Superman’s premier appearance. All-New Collectors’ Edition – which confusingly shared a numbering sequence with Limited Collectors’ – brings us Superman the Movie, and not one, but two copies of the epic Superman Vs. Wonder Woman battle, with superlative Jose Luis Garcia Lopez artwork. And a title that’s ordinarily more modest in stature, DC Special Series, brought us Superman II, Superman and His Fortress of Solitude, and – most awesome of all – Batman Vs. The Incredible Hulk, featuring the Joker, with Garcia Lopez illustrations! A selection of these super-sized stunners is reproduced below for your delectation.
*DC: This latest update to our DC stock takes us all the way to Krypton and back, with additions to Superboy (‘classic’ and ‘& Legion of Super-Heroes’, the latter including low-distribution ‘Earthwar’ issues), Super DC Giant (okay, that’s stretching it a bit, but one of the new additions is a Supergirl spotlight!), Superman, and Superman Family. Thirty-plus new copies in our inventory, by Rao!
*Marvel: A front-runner in the second wave of Marvel launches, and now the star of his own Netflix TV show, the sightless swashbuckler remains a firm favourite among comics readers, and is gathering new fans from multi-media exposure. We are pleased to have a copy of his debut issue back in stock, introducing the world not only to Matt Murdock and his costumed alter ego, but also his practise partner Foggy Nelson and Karen Page, the object of both their affections. By Stan Lee and Bill Everett, this classic is a pence priced copy, graded as Fair/Good because of general wear and one specific defect – at some point a house-ad illustration has been neatly cut out, not affecting the story pages. Interior pages are otherwise clean, sound and unmarked. FA/GD p £300.
*Marvel: More specifically, the return of the X-Men – in their ‘new’ iteration – to the pages of their own title, which had been languishing in reprint limbo since #66. Following the debut of the Wein/Cockrum created international mutant team in Giant-Size X-Men #1, the series continued in X-Men proper, as our heroes clashed with the menace of Count Nefaria. Cockrum’s art has seldom been better, and these early adventures are a delight, bringing a breath of vitality and excitement into what was believed to be an exhausted franchise. Issue #94 is uncommon by any standard, but an additional factor for UK-based fans is that it was completely non-distributed over here. An additional consideration in the significance stakes is the often-overlooked fact that this issue marks the second-ever appearances of Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler, and only the third ‘full’ Wolverine. We have this copy graded as VG+. A light, but long, diagonal crease runs from the top of the cover (just above the issue number) down to about mid-cover. If not for that, this issue would be an easy FN or better. See the picture for details. We are asking £125 for this iconic early appearance of what became Marvel’s flagship team.
*Marvel: We conclude our marathon Spider-Mania event with a trio of treats for all fans of our favourite web-headed wall-crawler: 1992’s one-off, Spider-Man Special Edition: The Trial of Venom was an extremely limited issue which could only be obtained, at the time, by making a charitable donation to UNICEF. Very few copies are in circulation, and we have a NM/M edition at £20. From 1976, we bring you the first edition of Spidey’s second series (Ah, remember when there weren’t multiple divergent series starring the same characters? Those were the days… Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man. Originally launched with the intention of focussing more on Spidey’s civilian life, and Peter Parker’s Pals N’ Gals, that high concept lasted about as long as you’d have expected! This debut issue is a pence priced copy, VF at £25. And finally – the big one! Amazing Spider-Man #300, from 1988, the extra-thick special issue which brought the first full appearance of Spidey’s parasitical perp, Venom, to a breathless world. This is a pence edition, clean, tight, bright, with firm staples and sharp corners, yours for £175. Pictures of all three of these beauties may be inspected below. That concludes our ‘Spider-Mania’ event, but never fear – Spider-Man and his frenemies will continue to be a major part of our future updates!
*Marvel: At first glance, the idea of Bruce Banner’s cousin turning into a female version of the Hulk as a result of a blood transfusion from Bruce may have seemed a bit naff, but Jennifer Walters over the years has become a mainstay of the Marvel Universe popping up all over the place and with many finely written and drawn series combining action, drama and humour. She started off right here, in the Savage She-Hulk 1980 and we now have most issues of this short series in stock, mostly high grade with lots of cents copies.
*EC: A sequential run new in of the classic Crime Suspenstories title from #7 to #12 in a mixture of grades and prices ranging from PR/FA to FN and from £16 to £115. Many of EC’s finest artists were involved in this title, including Johnny Craig, Graham Ingels, Jack Davis, Jack Kamen etc., and the crime in the title often strayed into the realms of horror, as evidenced by the Haunt of Fear ‘guest shots’ in all these issues. Consult our catalogue for full grading and pricing information.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Our first visit to Quirky Corner for a little while! The February, 1956 issue of Quality’s Blackhawk was a triple-treat for fans of femmes fatales, as the international aviators battled not one, not two, but three evil Madchen In Uniform in the three separate adventures. Owing to a lack of imagination on the part of illustrator Dick Dillin, all three looked like the same gal had just done a quick-change between panels, but they were all dedicated to the proposition of the female of the species being the deadliest! Hitla purported to be the daughter of the famous Adolf; Communa was the pin-up babe of the Iron Curtain crowd; and Vampira – well, have a guess what her agenda was. Oddly enough, the master plan (mistress plan?) of all three ladies was the same; crush, kill, destroy, conquer, and so on. These delightful cheesy slices of nostalgic pulp are all in one issue, GD-, for £20. A shame none of them made the cover, but trust us, they’re busting out all over the pages!
*Western: Our Marvel Western event this week features the Rawhide Kid, with half a dozen new issues in between #48 & #64. Mosey on down and slap some leather with the Kid!
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: Another top-up to the popular category of mags focussing on US comics – whether produced in the USA themselves, or here on the UK’s shores. New stocks in for Bat-Signals, Captain George’s Comic World, Comics Irregular, Graphic Eye, Magus, Speakeasy and Zum, with more criticism, commentary and cross-talk than you’d ever expect!
*Classics Illustrated: A further selection of the UK versions of Classics for your attention (all over #100). These additions are distinguished by including a low grade copy of #148 (the UK original Nights Of Terror), plus a batch of World Illustrated; many nicely graded copies present.
*Marvel UK: We’ve noticed a real upswing in the popularity of the UK branch of Marvel over the last few years, so we’re adding a huge amount of new stock to our catalogue this week. Titles range through Forces In Combat (complete from #2 to final issue), Fury (#2-24), Future Tense (#2 to final issue), Incredible Hulk (2nd series 1989 #2-8 inc some Free Gifts), Secret Wars, Spider-Man (including some Free Gifts), Spider-Man & Zoids, The Thing is Big Ben (#2-18 & Special inc. Free Gifts, one of which is Big Ben Banger!), Valour (#2 to final issue & special inc Free Gifts) & Young Romance Special. Hundreds of previously unlisted items! Take a look at our catalogue for full details.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: For our First Quenchers event this week, we present the third of Fleetway/IPC’s ‘Big Cat’ papers (after Lion and Tiger). Jag launched in 1968 at an astonishing broadsheet size, reminding readers more of the Eagle than of its smaller-statured stablemates. Inside, the combination of plucky schoolboys in WWII (“The Mouse Patrol”), heroic everyman gifted with superhuman powers (“The Indestructible Man”), and mild-mannered teacher struggling with the challenges of “Snob College” was well up to the Fleetway standard. Unfortunately, the large size deterred a lot of newsagents from displaying the title at all, and the initial lack of a ‘star’ feature didn’t lead many readers to climb aboard; the later addition of ‘Football Family Robinson’ helped a bit, but after a last-minute shrink-down to standard size, Jag was consumed by Tiger after only 48 weekly issues, rendering it a scarce and sought-after short-run series. We have the first issue in FN, with the original free gift – “The Bobby Moore Book of the F.A.Cup”. However, the free gift is regrettably incomplete, having had two pictures clipped from it. Because of this, we’re not doing our usual enhancement for the presence of a Free Gift, and offer it merely as an additional interesting curiosity. This copy of #1 in FN, with incomplete Free Gift, on sale at £40.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: In our Long Hot Summer event this week, we’re delighted to feature a complete run of all five of IPC/Fleetway’s Space Picture Library Holiday Special, from first (1977) to last (1981). These tremendous space sagas feature Jet Ace Logan reprints with sumptuous art by Ron Turner and others.
*TV & Film Related Comics: Strange bedfellows, but there is a connection between them: Transformers, the heroic robots from outer space, and Action Force – the UK-retitled version of America’s GI Joe, as that last name was deemed incomprehensible to the British market – both launched from Marvel UK as reprints of the American series, but proved so popular that a great deal of UK-originated material was produced for the weeklies which was never gathered in American formats – making the UK edition of these titles a ‘holy grail’ for dedicated GI Joe groupies and… I dunno… Transfans? Furthermore, in the ‘hatch, match and despatch’ formula beloved of traditional British weeklies, Action Force, once it ran its course, was merged into transformers Weekly to form an ‘amalgam’ title, giving the two series yet another commonality. We are pleased to have around half the run of Transformers, 175 issues new in, from #6 to the very final number, #332, plus Winter and Holiday Specials. Action Force is represented by the entirety of it 50-issue run. Heroic Autobot or Evil Decepticon? GI Joe or COBRA? Pick a side!
*TV & Film Related Comics: Just one each of Joe 90 (original series #15) and Lady Penelope (#9) in this mixed update, alongside a few Look-Ins from the 70s and 80s, several Marvel UK Transformers, TV21 second series and TV Comic from the 1950s.
*Humour Comics: A near complete run of the second series of Knockout fresh in this week to tickle your funny bones! From the first issue (12th June 1971) to the last (23rd June 1973), strips include Dead Eye Dick, Sammy Shrink, the Super Seven, The Toffs and the Toughs and many more. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Younger Readers’ Comics: Twinkle, the juggernaut of the Younger Readers set, had her own series of Summer Specials from 1970 to 1985, and we have a sequential run of them from 1971 through to 1980, in a variety of grades! Not only our eponymous heroine, but – at various times – ‘Patsy Panda’, ‘Witch Winkle’, ‘Molly and her Dollies’ and the David Bowie tribute strip, ‘Jean Genie’, participated in bonus adventures and frolics for the pre-kindergarten set. To top it off, we have the breakout character of Twinkle, Nancy Jingle, Doyenne of the Doll Hospital, in her own scintillating Special from 1978! We’re too good to you!
*Girls’ Comics: As the fame and popularity of Misty continues to grow, #1 issues complete with Free Gift are getting increasingly harder to come by, so we’re particularly pleased to feature in our First Quenchers British #1 event, a top of the range example of this prized collectable. The comic is in FN condition with no tears or writing and nice page quality; there are a couple of marks where the tape for the Free Gift was attached, but these are just small dark patches rather than the scuff marks more usually seen. The Free Gift itself (Lucky Charm Bracelet) is still in its original plastic bag and though no longer attached to the comic, still has the original (no longer) sticky tape attached; overall we’ve classified the never-used Gift as VF. Comic and Gift together for £120.
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Over 40 issues of the long-lived Love Story Picture Library added to our catalogue between #731 and #1574, spanning the decades 1960s/70s. With titles like ‘Now Forget the Past’, ‘To Venice With Love’, ‘Untamed Heart’, ‘Miss With The Most’ etc and often gorgeous painted covers, you just know you’re in for a great big dollop of romance!
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: New to our shelves this week are two Science Fiction novels, both 1st UK PB, with vibrant covers that belie their ages of more than 60 years. Rogue Queen (L Sprague de Camp) shows a presciently punk-hairstyled woman joining spear brandishing men in an attack (artist unidentified). An important book, it’s renowned for being the first to broach sexual themes. Vanguard To Neptune (J M Walsh), with cover art by Ron Turner, is slightly less well-preserved, but the quality of the colours has to be seen to be believed.
Please note that our shop will be CLOSED on Bank Holiday Monday 29th May. All other opening times remain as normal.
*Clearance Corner: Here’s a real bargain! No less than 41 British #1 issues, ranging from the 1970s into the 21st Century. They’re all in nice condition and complete, in many cases with full/partial free gifts included. Titles include: Toxic, Frozen (Disney), Dennis & Gnasher Puzzles, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Judge Dredd Megazine, Striker and too many others to mention (all titles we no longer carry). All available for just £20 — less than 50p each! (These fill a medium-sized box weighing just under 5 kg, and can be posted within the UK for an additional £18). Samples shown in attached picture.
*Girls’ Comics: June has always been a popular girl here at 30th Century – even aside from her prime years as ‘June & School Friend’ – so we are particularly chuffed to have come into possession of a long range of this grand old dame of girl’s comics. This week’s selection is from 1962, the second year of publication, to 1964, and, while far from a complete run, is a substantial range, including the issue with a promotional flyer for the launch of the companion paper Poppet – and, a tragically short time later, the merger issue in which Poppet becomes absorbed into June. Circle of life, and all that. Along the way, ‘Kathy of Marvin Grange’, ‘Nurse Valiant’, and other stalwarts keep the audience entertained, while on the cover, June seems to have abandoned being an ersatz ‘Princess’ and moved on to ripping off ‘Bunty’, as our eponymous heroine and her dog Jiffy perform low-impact hi-jinx in rhyming couplets. More than 60 issues from these years new in stock, averaging GD/VG.
*Clearance Corner: This week we’re clearing out our stock of McMillan 1990’s editions of the irrepressible William by Richmal Crompton, all with cover art by Gerry Haylock and interior illustrations by Thomas Henry or Henry Ford (with one Armada edition from 1986 with a photo cover). The lot comprises 19 paperbacks including #1-10 in the series and several later numbers (with one duplication). All available for a cost of £15 (less than £1 per book!). These are a personal favourite of your scribe, and reading them as an adult I certainly got even more out of them than I did when I first read them as a child. Tremendous fun, wit and charm with the eternal mischievous schoolboy. UK postage if required on these will be an additional £3.50.
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 British section:
*TV & Film Related Comics
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: A lovely vintage Superman from 1957, only one month older than your humble scribe – but in a much, much better state of preservation! Superman #117, November 1957, is an attractive FN copy, with sound pages, tight corners, firm staples, decent interiors, and an unmarred cover image featuring a curious reversal of Superman’s heat-vision. Inside, the mystery of the switched super-powers continues, and in the other two stories, Supes’ mild-mannered alter-ego becomes “Clark Kent, Man of Mystery” and Lois Lane stumbles into some wackiness and gets turned into a glass statue – which in Lois’ life just means it’s Tuesday! This very appealing pre-distribution item is FN at £95.
*DC: After leaving Marvel, Steve Ditko took his talents to the opposition, and one of his earliest creations for DC was the Creeper, the manic anti-hero who was secretly controversial broadcaster Jack Ryder. Obviously revelling in his liberation, Ditko’s art showed much greater vitality and energy than in his latter days at Marvel, perfectly suiting the skewed viewpoint of his protagonist. We’re delighted to have the Creeper back in stock – his debut in Showcase #73 FN- p £20, and the first issue of his own series, FN p £20, as well as issues #2-6 completing the series, details of which may be found in our online catalogue.
*DC: Continuing our systematic restocking of the DC back numbers, this week we lead off with two Kirby Kreations: Mister Miracle, from #3 to #15, and Omac, from the very first issue (with a cover that is still one of the most disturbing published, even decades later) through to issue #8. We also have smaller top-ups for the Phantom Stranger, Rima the Jungle Girl, Rip Hunter Time Master, the Shadow (with superlative Mike Kaluta artwork), and Shazam!, rounding out with the one-off Sherlock Holmes comic from 1976. More coming soon from the classic DCU – better than modern comics, and often cheaper!
*Marvel: We thought it was all over – but it isn’t yet! Just as we were preparing to wrap up our Spider-Mania event, we had an ‘incoming’ which demanded an extension – but you’ll hear all about that in due course! This week’s Spider-Mania event is significant enough in itself – a trinity of debuts of three of Spidey’s vilest villains, from the early days of Lee/Ditko genius! We open with #13 FN £280, bringing us the master of misdirection, Mysterio; continue with #15 FN+ £260, the premier appearance of Kraven the Hunter (as opposed to his less successful cousin, Kraven the Haberdasher); and wrap it up with issue #20, VG+ p £90, the first appearance of the Sinister Scorpion! All of these are attractive mid-high grade copies of key issues, with the #15 particularly being a standout copy with deep vivid cover colour. And come back next week for the, I dunno, Post-Ultimate chapter of our Spider-Mania event!
*Marvel: When the distribution embargo was lifted on Marvel in 1968, one of the company’s first actions was to launch the stars of its ‘split’ books, such as Tales to Astonish, Strange Tales and Tales of Suspense, into their own series; one such was Captain America. For a few years, since his return to the modern Marvel Age in Avengers #4, the Sentinel of Liberty had been ‘flatsharing’ with iron Man in Tales of Suspense, but with the new system, he got his own star-spangled series – beginning, owing to a peculiarity of the period, with issue #100, continuing the numbering of the now-defunct Suspense. This copy of Captain America #100, featuring the talents of Stan lee, Jack Kirby and Syd Shores, is VG+, a superior copy with only moderate wear and very light cover creasing, cover scene unimpaired, decent white flexible interiors. A pence stamped copy, it is on sale at £75. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: We’ve been shifting a lot of duck lately here at 30th C. – specifically, Howard the Duck, Steve Gerber’s cynical and nihilistic anthropomorphic anti-hero, who first graced the pages of Giant-Size Man-Thing (no, really) before gaining his own critically-acclaimed series, which Gerber produced with the aid of talented artists including Frank Brunner, Gene Colan, Carmine Infantino and more. We have the majority (31 out of 33) of Howard’s first series new in, averaging FN/VF, with the debuts of many of Howard’s ‘Rogue’s Gallery’ (The Kidney Lady, the Space Turnip, the Sleeper, and the Cookie Monster – no, not that one), plus the first comic-book appearance by the notorious rock group Kiss! We’ve done the right thing and re-stocked – so Good Hunting!
*Marvel: Another massive restock of Marvel’s 1960’s and 1970’s output, touching on titles such as the Avengers (with the debuts of the Grim Reaper, Ultron (cameo appearance) Hellcat & Taskmaster (1st full app)), Avengers Annuals and the non-distributed Giant-Size Avengers, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Contest Of Champions, Daredevil (from #6 and including #168, the first Elektra), Defenders, Doc Savage, Hulk, Iron Man Annual, Journey into Mystery (both Thor and Big-Panty-Monsters issues!), Ka-Zar, Marvel Feature, Marvel Premiere (including 1st Scott Lang Ant-Man in #47!), Marvel Presents, Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD (glorious Steranko artwork), Luke Cage, Power Man (including #17, the first issue in which Luke assumes the Power Man name), Red Sonja, Amazing Spider-Man and Giant-Size Spider-Man, Strange Tales (including an early X-Men – well, Iceman – guest-appearance with the Human Torch), Sub-Mariner (from #2 through to #70), and Thor (including #181 with Neal Adams artwork!) Close to 200 new Marvel back issues added in today, for your browsing delight, in a range of grades, so check out our catalogue for details.
*Western: Tying in with our Western window display, it’s the second week of our Mighty Marvel Western event and the turn of Kid Colt, Outlaw in the spotlight. We have 7 new issues in ranging between #113 & #138 in a range of grades and prices. New stock includes the Rawhide Kid guest-star issue (#121) and a couple of Giant issues (#130 & #132). Another Marvel Western star for you next week!
*Collected Editions: In our new and very popular Collected Editions section, we’re proud to make three significant additions. From 1989, Hawk Book’s Tales From The Trigan Empire compilation, a large-format hardcover collecting the legendary strip by Mike Butterworth and Don Lawrence which ran in Ranger and Look & Learn for decades. With the high production standards Hawk was renowned for, Lawrence’s sumptuous art is shown to great advantage. From 2011, the first volume of Captain Britain in hardcover, subtitled Birth of a Legend, representing the entirety of Cap B’s first series, with the first appearances not only of the good Captain himself but many of his friends and foes, including his sister Betsy, who would later become the X-Men’s psychic psiren Psylocke, and Lance Hunter, who later gained prominence in TV’s Agents of SHELD show. Finally, from this very year of 2017, Night Raven: From the Marvel UK Vaults is a paperback compilation lovingly (some would say obsessively) gathering every single obscure appearance of the nourish pulp anti-hero from dozens of different sources in Marvel UK’s catalogue. Featuring work by Alan Moore, Steve Parkhouse, David Lloyd, Alan Davis and John Bolton, among others, this is a showcase of many of comic’s greatest talents in the early days of their careers. Tales From The Trigan Empire is VF at £50; Captain Britain is VF at £75; and Night Raven is Mint at £32.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: In 1977, 2000 AD launched into the consciousness of the nation, and for better or for worse, the comics world was never the same again! Oddly enough, the title’s most famous denizen, ‘Judge Dredd’, didn’t make it into the first edition, debuting in #2, but the five strips that did premiere in #1 pushed the boundaries; ‘Flesh’ saw a starving near-future use time-travel to go back and harvest dinosaurs – what could go wrong? ‘Invasion’ saw a band of rebels stand alone against the ‘Volgans’ who had conquered the United Kingdom; ‘Harlem Heroes’ produced a violent reprise of the original ‘Rollerball’ movie, and ‘MACH 1’, with its bionically-enhanced action hero, was a clear homage to.. oh, well, have a guess. No, not ‘Get Smart’. Topped off by a ‘reimagining’ of the classic hero ‘Dan Dare’ designed to induce apoplexy in aficionados, the violent, bloodier ‘heroes’ set the scene for myriad imitators, some more successful than others. This is a superior copy, with clean bright staples, tight corners, no cover marring beyond very light ‘scuff’ points where the free gift has been (carefully) removed, and clear, off-white pages. A genuine groundbreaker in the field, FN at £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Continuing our Long Hot Summer event featuring UK Summer & Holiday Specials! …Though perhaps the denizens of Scream! might prefer a cool, dank summer, all things considered… the nefarious and short-lived horror title was revived for a number of glossy holiday specials that showcased its sinister charms, if anything, even better than the original 15-issue weekly. ‘The Dracula File’, ‘Thirteenth Floor’ and all the other regulars bring you shakes and shivers in this extra-length edition, VG/FN at £25.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Continuing our First Quenchers event featuring UK #1 issues! In the 1960’s, IPC/Fleetway launched not one, but two weekly adventure comics that were heavily promoted as “Companion papers to Valiant”, neither of which, peculiarly, ended up merging with Valiant; one such was Hurricane, which merged with Tiger, and the other was Champion. 1966’s Champion #1 looked a bit odd to contemporary audiences, because more than half its content (though the readers had no way of knowing it at the time) was reprinted from European sources. Among the new material, though, was some imaginative stuff, including ‘Return of the Stormtroopers’, ‘School for Spacemen’, and a bona-fide superhero, ‘The Phantom Viking’. Readers didn’t take to the imports, though, and after only fifteen issues, the title folded into Lion, with ‘Phantom Viking’, ‘Stormtroopers’ and a couple of humour strips making the leap across. Never possessing a very high print run, issues of Champion are seldom seen, and this debut issue is a superior copy, with none of the staple-rust plaguing other editions we’ve seen! VG at £40. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: …Well, it’s not long before you become a Buster, as it happens; but Jet, the 1971 adventure weekly launch from !PC/Fleetway, started strongly, with a line-up of well-crafted series along the well-trod path of war, sci-fi and sport, along with Ken Reid’s superb ‘Faceache’. For some reason, however, the series just didn’t ‘take’, despite other stellar contributors such as Solano Lopez and Eric Bradbury, and after a short run of 22 issues, it was inexplicably merged with the humour weekly, Buster, rather than another adventure series. “The Sludgemouth Sloggers”, “Von Hoffman’s Invasion”, “Faceache”, and “The Kids From Stalag 41” made the leap, for a long time Jet languished forgotten. Recent interest in short-run titles has increased, however, and her we have an opportunity for you to sample Jet in very affordable low to mid grades, from the second issue to the final number.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Sadly, not tales of warring giants, as we had hoped, but giant-size versions of Fleetway’s popular War Picture Library series. Launched in 1964, these featured three complete war stories in each issue, a genuine bargain for the readers, but the oddity of their format (the same width as a traditional picture library, but slightly over twice the height) made them unpopular with newsagents, who often refused to display them. The series struggled on to issue #76, in 1965, before giving up the good fight. Their unconventional dimensions also mean that surviving copies are more prone to damage over the decades, and the entirety of this series is notoriously hard to find in any grade. We have located five copies for our inventory, the earliest being issue #10, and we don’t expect to have them in our possession for long! Consult our catalogue for grades and prices.
*TV & Film Related Comics: For more seaside summer fun (appropriately, as we type this on a torrential Thursday afternoon), we offer TV Comic Holiday Specials from the 1970’s and 1980’s, featuring Battle of the Planets, Tarzan, Pink Panther, Popeye, Mighty Moth, Tom & Jetty, Laurel & Hardy, and the TV Terrors, as well as Popeye’s own spin-off, the Popeye Holiday Special, with more two-fisted spinach-guzzlin’ action than you can shake the proverbial stick at!
*TV & Film Related Comics: More toy than tv/film related, we nevertheless list Fleetway’s short-lived Supernaturals from 1987/88 in this section. Only 9 issues were published (plus a couple of specials) and we have the first 6 fresh in, including the Christmas issue #5.
*Humour Comics: Buzz, the 1970’s companion to Topper and Beezer, was in the broadsheet format espoused by its stablemates, and packed a lot into the oversized pages; highlights included “Hop, Skip, and Jock”, wherein our eponymous but impecunious trio concocted an outlandish money-making scheme each week; ‘Olly and His Occy’, the tale of a boy and his pet octopus romping around having adventures (of course); ‘Big Fat Flo’, a low-concept which probably drove a generation of female readers into the arms of eating disorders; and ‘Jimmy Jinx and What He Thinks’, a tale of a young boy plagued by different interpretations of the same event (aided by his angelic and demonic avatars), which was generally clever and entertaining. Buzz lasted a total of 103 issues, and we have more than 70 in stock, ranging from the second to the penultimate – the latter, #102, with a rather nice festive cover, is our illustration here.
*Girls’ Comics: In 1961, June was launched by IPC/Fleetway with genteel photo-covers, safe features like ‘Cookery Nook’, and a cheerful willingness to over-emphasize the Royal Family. Basically it came across, intentionally, as a version of their popular paper Princess, but on cheaper paper. However, the spirited comic strips that were to make it a juggernaut for a decade were there – ‘Kathy of Marvin Grange’, ‘Black Pearls of Taboo Island’, ‘When Did You Last See Your Father?’ and more, promising adventures in exotic locales, distant history, and, er, boarding school. (Well, that was a pretty exotic experience for most of its readers…) We are pleased to have three of the early issues which launched June’s long career; issue #2 comes with the Free Gift – an album of Royal pets – that originally graced its cover, but with all the pictures, including those given away in later issues, already stuck in for your comfort and convenience. The second issue is FA, with Free Gift GD+, at £40; issue #3, an Easter number, is GD £25 and the fourth issue is GD £12.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: For this week’s What’s Old feature, where we highlight items from existing stock, we turn to the lovely Venus. The chameleonic nature of Timely/Atlas’ Venus title has long entertained panelologists worldwide. Beginning as a ‘funny career girl’ title akin to Millie the Model, it fit squarely into Timely’s comedy/romance line for girls. Then it shifted to straight romance with a light touch of fantasy, akin to popular movies of the era such as ‘Turnabout’ or ‘Down To Earth’; and in its third phase, it started featuring science-fiction and horror themes, as our heroine became an adventuress in other realms. This very issue, #10, marks the beginning of this third phase, and has the additional attraction of being in unusually high grade for its vintage, a CGC Blue Label (no restoration) 7.5, equating to VF- in real terms. Less scrupulous dealers would also point out the appearance of a character called ‘Son of Satan’, labelling it as a ‘prototype’ issue and bumping up the costs; we simply draw your attention to it as an amusing historical sidebar. Our Goddess of Love has now been firmly engrained in the Marvel Universe thanks to Agents of Atlas and other modern series. Seldom seen in any grade, the ferociously-sought Venus almost never makes it over to this side of the Atlantic. #10, CGC Blue Label 7.5 (VF-) £375.
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 in our American/British section:
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Clearance Corner: Another great bargain in the shape of three vintage Marvel Colouring Books from 1979. Actually published by World Distributors, these FN or FN/VF examples are totally unused, with every page ready for your artistic endeavours, and only superficial exterior wear precluding higher grades. Reprinting covers and splash pages in glorious monochrome, many of Marvel’s finest artists are represented within these pages. Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and Thor. These days, colouring books are de rigeur for adults who want to improve their mindfulness — back in 1979, they were just for fun! Previously on sale at £25 each, we’re now offering all three for the price of one: £25 for the lot! These may be collected from our shop, or posted within the UK for an additional £3.50.
*Clearance Corner: For our latest bargain lot, we’re clearing out our more modern copies of Commando Picture Library. We have 126 issues up for grabs in the range #3004-4477. These are mostly high grade copies, with just a few exceptions — there are also (just) a handful of duplications. These are available for a price of just £20, for a wealth of reading matter! Can be collected from our shop (in a medium box weighing 6 kg), or posted within the UK only for a further cost of £17 if required. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: – Wonder Womans? Wonder Women? Be that as it may, three 1940’s issues of the Amazing Amazon’s adventures, all in grades far superior to those generally found in comics of this period. Issue #20, November/December 1946, is a book-length adventure in which the Princess of Paradise Island takes on aviatrix ‘Nifty, her Air Pirates, and the Time Monster, flipping Di, Steve and the Holliday Girls through different periods of history. This is an extraordinarily well-preserved copy, with off-white, flexible interior pages, vibrant unfaded cover colour, and some residual cover gloss. Only a slight weakness around the bottom staple impinges on its high grade, but nevertheless, we have determined this as FN/VF, a condition unprecedented in our experience for a comic of this vintage. Issue #23, May-June 1947, features stories about two baddies and a baby – the belligerent Valkyries and the Vanishing Mummy are the antagonists in question, but the third tale is of Wonder Woman’s childhood (and the origin of the Kangas!) and is generally regarded as a Wonder Tot prototype. This copy is VG+. Finally, we have #29, dated May-June 1948, in which our heroine defeats a twisted treasure hunt, gypsy tigers (no really), and in the cover-featured tale encounters the Sinister Minister Blizzard! Prime Minister Blizzard, to give him his full title, head of a hidden Arctic civilization, finds things uncomfortably heated when he conspires to seize the monarchy. Minister B. had quite a long rest before his next appearances in 1966 and 1977, but since then, he’s become a recurring if infrequent Rogue’s Gallery member. This copy of #29 is an apparent VG/FN; nice covers, aside from small writing in the upper cover’s blank area, but the ‘guts’ of the book appear at one point to have lived in a bound volume, as they have small but multiple thread holes in the margin (not encroaching upon the story area.) Any Golden Age issues of Wonder Woman are vanishingly rare these days, and to get three at once is quite a coup. The covers of all three are reproduced below: #20 is FN/VF £400, #23 VG+ £175, and #29 App. VG/FN £125.
*Marvel: We rarely get Timely Comics (the Golden Age precursor of Marvel) in stock, so we’re particularly pleased to have not one, but two, issues of Captain America Comics new in – and both are significant issues! We open with Captain America Comics #46, April 1945, a notorious ‘Holocaust Cover’ scene by Alex Schomburg, in which Cap and Bucky are shown liberating the luckless inmates of a Nazi concentration camp. While it may appear tasteless to dwell on such matters, the fact remains that the subject matter does make this issue significantly more sought-after than the ones around it. This copy is graded FA+, and is a bit of a ‘Curate’s Egg’ in terms of condition – while the lower cover edge is considerably worn, with small chips out of the lower back & front cover corners, and the staple rusty, the upper logo area retains very vivid, vibrant colour, and there is considerable gloss around the lettering, so the copy retains considerable eye appeal even in relatively low grade. This issue hardly ever seems to come up for sale, and there are precious few recorded sales to judge prices against, but because of the high demand and the controversial cover topic, this copy is priced at £1,375. Front and back covers are pictured below and high resolution scans are available on request. Our second Captain America Comics issue is #63, July 1947. A coverless copy, sound and clean, this features two Captain America and Bucky Tales pitting the chums against super-villains (albeit not very impressive ones – Rip Van Winkle and the Parrot!) but it’s the Human Torch story which is key here, offering the debut and origin of the Torch’s shapely-but-sinister nemesis, the Asbestos Lady. Victoria Murdock (to her friends) became a recurring foe of the Torch in the Golden Age, and enjoyed a second career from the 1970’s onward in ‘flashback’ tales in the Invaders series. Our coverless copy of #63, also pictured below, is on sale at £100. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD