*TV/Film Tie-Ins: The swingin’ sixties are the main focus for this week’s Books Update. We have 2 Avengers novels (including the first and only Cathy Gale one from 1963), and novelisations of the following films: Bonnie & Clyde, Heavens Above, Taras Bulba, That Touch Of Mink, The Wrong Box and Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines. Oh, and a couple of items from the 1970’s/80’s that go by the names of Star Trek and Star Wars — you may have heard of them. And finally, from 1979, Nosferatu The Vampyre (you may have heard of him too, but wish you hadn’t if he gives you the creeps as much as he does us!).
*Marvel: Our ‘Assembling the Avengers’ event continues with issues #61-100, featuring such events as the debuts of the Invaders, the Lethal Legion, Arkon, and the Squadrons Sinister and Supreme; the Kree-Skrull War; the transformation of Hawkeye to Goliath (and then back again!); the villainy of Kang, Ultron, and the crime cartel Zodiak; and, smashing the patriarchy, the lovely and lethal Lady Liberators! This run was mainly illustrated by the brothers Buscema (with Sal having quite a bit more verve than he showed in later years, plus a few issues by the wonderful Gene Colan, with a couple of young upstarts called Barry Smith and Neal Adams helping out from time to time. Like the rest of this collection, this run is characterised by high grades, with VF- being the average condition. Scans of #81 (NM p £75 – double cover) and #84 (NM- £57) are shown here.
*Magazines/Books About Vintage UK Comics: The most recent four issues of Spaceship Away!, the lovingly-crafted fan tribute to the Eagle’s Dan Dare and his peers, are added to our stock; #’s 32-35, featuring, in addition to DD himself, Jet Morgan, Garth, Nick Hazard and a plethora of articles, illustrations and reminiscences.
We’re delighted to announce that, beginning with comics shipping today, our prices for new American comics are being reduced. $3.99 comics will now be £3, $2.99 will now be £2.25 and higher prices will also be brought into line. If you have your comics with us on standing order/subscription service, you will also benefit from these reduced prices. Despite today’s date, this is no trick! (Honest!). What better time, as DC gear up for Convergence and Marvel for Secret Wars, to jump on board for the thrills and fun?
We’ll be open as usual this Easter: Monday to Saturday 10:30 to 18:00. So, Good Friday and Easter Monday we’ll be open as normal, and closed as normal on Easter Sunday. What better way to spend the holiday than browsing our boxes and shelves and adding to your collection?
*Marvel: A spotlight on one of the most significant issues in Marvel history: Fantastic Four # 48! A cosmic saga from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, it pits the Marvel Universe’s First Family against Galactus, Devourer of Worlds, and his herald, the Silver Surfer, in the first appearance of both those entities! Hugely sought-after, this is a Fine copy, with no UK price or overstamp, and an unmarred cover scene with unbroken colour (though Jolly Jack rather missed a beat in not having the big G. appear on the cover…) Offered at £135.
*TV & Film Related Comics: 1966’s Lady Penelope was launched in the wake of the successful TV Century 21, and was scooped up by girls (and more than a few furtive boys, because of the Thunderbirds tie-in) nationwide, becoming an instant hit. In addition to the adventures of the eponymous aristocrat, ‘British Agent’ for International Rescue, there were TV adaptations with a distaff twist: adventures of Bewitched, and Marina – Girl of the Sea (from Stingray), plus The Beverley Hillbillies, The Perils of Parker (Lady P’s larcenous manservant) and the Man From UNCLE (what’s he doing there?). Later additions to the line-up included the high-flying Angels from Captain Scarlet, the Girl From UNCLE, Daktari, the hugely popular Monkees, and, oh dear, Crossroads. Yes, that Crossroads. Lady P. is rarer even than her stablemates TV21 and Joe 90, so we’re particularly pleased to have fifty new issues added to our listings, in a broad variety of grades. Photos of #3, #9 & #22 below:
*Horror 1940-1959: Our “Carry On Pre-Code” horrorfest is exclusively Atlas, and inaugurated by perhaps the most sought-after Atlas horror series of all, Mystery Tales. (Seriously, have you seen what some of these go for on eBay? Yikes!) 19 new issues for our listing, from the very first in 1951, with lurid covers featuring all the old favourites – zombies, ghosts, vampires, burial alive – by all the old favourites – Heath, Post, Everett, Maneely and more. This selection includes a handful of relatively higher grade beauties, in VG/FN, but a tempting wodge of very affordable mid-to-low grade issues, giving the average reader a chance to see what all the fuss is about! Images of several shown here:
*Humour Comics: An oddity this week: the first issue of Giggle, a 1967 IPC/Fleetway launch which features a great many translated European reprints; perhaps they were testing the market to see if corners could be cut on original material? Features include “Hobby Hoss”, caped crusader “Captain Swoop”, detective parody “Herlock Sholmes”, and western adventurer “Buck Bingo”, but no-one’s heart really seems to have been in it, and it got consumed by Buster in less than a year. Still, an achieveable short run, and a #1 in Good condition, with no significant defects, at £25.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: From 1962, the very first issue of Valiant, the anthology which re-invented the adventure weekly for a modern audience, and prompted makeovers in its stablemates Lion and Tiger. Featuring the debuts of Captain Hurricane (much less comedic than he became in later years) and the anti-hero Steel Claw, as well as long-running comedy series The Nutts, this was the foundation of a fifteen-year run. This copy is a bargain because of its extremely poor condition; while it is complete, it’s ragged and worn, so we’ve priced it fairly at £15. It comes with a free, albeit incomplete, copy of issue #2, also in dilapidated state, just because we’re too good to you!
*Marvel: They’re back! Before the Marvel Heroes, there were – Big Panty Monsters! These gargantuan behemoths who bestrode the world, conquering all before them, while rocking enormous reinforced-gusset underpants! New listings for Journey Into Mystery, Strange Tales, Tales of Suspense, and Tales to Astonish, bring us the pulse-pounding premieres of Korilla! The Two-Headed Thing! Metallo! Colossus! Gorgilla! Thorr! And the one & only (well, until the other one came along) Hulk! These Lee & Kirby creature features are ranging from GD+ to FN/VF, tempting both the high-grade investor and the curious reader. Cover scans of some key issues reproduced below:
*Annuals: A small update featuring a handful of Girls’ Annuals from the 1960’s: Bumper Book Of Thrills for Girls, Bunty 1963 & 1964, June 1962 & 1963, Princess & Princess Pony Book and the Supreme Book For Girls.
*Marvel: Coinciding with today’s Guardian article on female super-heroes, we present a septet of Mighty Marvel’s fabulous femmes debut issues from the 1970’s/80’s. Beware the Claws of the Cat! Delight in the disco diva Dazzler! This Female Fights Back – Ms. Marvel! She-Devil With A Sword – Red Sonja! She-Devil with a fur swimsuit – Shanna! Gamma ray cousin the Savage She-Hulk! And Spider-Woman – To Know Her Is To Fear Her! All high grade copies set to rise in price in years to come.
*DC: Our alphabetical sweep through the Silver/Bronze Age of the DCU continues with Superboy, Supergirl & Superman. Specifically, we have issues of Superboy & The Legion from #200 (Bouncing Boy/Duo Damsel wedding) right through the Earthwar saga up to the end of the run with #258 (after which the Legion took over), the first Supergirl series from 1972 and a large range of classic Superman between #139 & #307, as well as superb Giant Annuals from #1 onwards. A feast of plenty to keep us up with the Kryptonians!
*Western: Okay, you rannies, time to saddle up once more and mosey on down to the old corral here at 30th Century to check out our latest round-up of wild west action, all from Atlas (Marvel) from the late 1940’s into the 1950’s. Gunslinging shenanigans with Apache Kid, Black Rider, Frontier Western, Gunhawk, Gunsmoke Western, Kid Colt, Kid From Texas, Outlaw Kid, Quick-Trigger Western, Western Gunfighters, Western Kid, Western Outlaws, Western Winners & Wild Western. Phew! Mine’s a sarsaparilla!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Small updates to a wide variety of titles in this category: Action, Battle, Clint, Deadline, Great War Battles, Jet, Lion, Little Sheriff, Pecos Bill, and mainly featuring Ranger from 1965/66.
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:
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: Four Gerry Anderson related books hit our bookshelves today – an indestructible Captain Scarlet, a plucky Joe 90 and two action-packed Thunderbird stories for your delectation.
*Pulp Fiction: A mixture of UK and US editions of the classic Astounding Science Fiction series. The UK editions are from between 1956 and 1960 (with the last copy bearing the name change to Astounding Science Fact & Fiction) while the US editions are all earlier, ranging from 1944 to 1949.
*War: From #302 (1st issue 1977, continuing the numbering from Our Army At War) to #422 (last issue 1988) plus annuals and Special #1, over 75 issues fresh into stock of DC’s iconic war hero, Sgt Rock. Immortalised by the distinctive style of Joe Kubert, whose covers grace these issues, almost all these copies are VF or NM.
*Marvel: A double dose of debuts for the Black Panther this week: firstly, the premier appearance of Wakanda’s favourite son in Fantastic Four #52, where he crosses paths with the first family of the Marvel Universe in what was a groundbreaking event – the first Afro-Carribean superhero ever. This copy is VG-, with the only significant defects being cover chipping at the upper left and lower right corners, and weakness around the upper staple. Offered at a bargainacious £50. Next up – they searched for it! They fought, and even killed for it! But you don’t have to do that, as you can *buy* Black Panther’s first solo issue from 1977, VF/NM £25, and discover the awful truth behind “King Solomon’s Frog!”
*DC: From 1967, the second race between the Man of Steel and the Fastest Man Alive, in Flash #175! In an era when team-ups and crossovers were much less commonplace than they are today, these battles for the ‘Speed King’ crown were a hugely anticipated event – particularly since the rest of the Justice League of America guest-stars! This copy is an extremely attractive FN/VF grade, offered at £50.
*DC: Normally, our ‘Quirky Corner’ features items that are off-the-wall or oddball, but this time, we talk about a series that’s truly unique: Sugar and Spike! Created in 1956 by Sheldon Mayer after observing his own infant children babbling in what appeared to be a secret language, he came up with the idea of neighbouring kids – Sugar Plumm and Cecil ‘Spike’ Wilson – who were united in a world of incomprehensible grown-ups, and whose misunderstandings and misadventures carried through 98 issues of their own series. This run of additions goes from 1959’s #26 to the very final issue in 1971, and probably gives us the best selection of Sugar and Spike in the UK – given that the series was barely distributed here, few copies are in circulation on these shores. For something that’s heartwarming, funny and truly unique, they’re hard to beat.
*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.