We shall be taking a break after this week’s orders are posted next Wednesday for about a week, so there will be no further stock updates here until 21st May, which is also when the next Newsletter will be sent. Orders received up to 4 pm today (7th May) will be filled as usual on Sunday 8th May. After that, all orders up to 21st May will be filled on 22nd May, although anything ordered within that period will be reserved if it is still available.
*DC: This issue has a double-feature of debuts, of one of Barry Allen’s closest allies and one of his most relentless nemeses. The cover devotes itself to the meteorological shenanigans of the Weather Wizard, making the first of many appearances, but lurking unheralded within is the debut and origin of Wally West, aka Kid Flash, who shared Barry’s adventures (and became an integral part of the Teen Titans) for decades before assuming the mantle of the Flash himself. This early issue of the Silver Age Flash (which relaunched with #105, following the numbering of the Golden Age Flash Comics) is a nice mid-grade pence stamped copy, with a great colour cover, firm staples at spine and centrefold, very nice off-white pages and a minimum of wear (slight corner blunting). Its worst fault is a small 2.5 cm colour-breaking crease across the bottom cover right edge, with a tiny chip out at its higher end. Beautifully supple and a joy to possess.
PICTURED: FLASH #110 VG £450 SOLD
*DC: Our Legion of Super-Heroes feature continues this week. Billed as ‘Superboy’s Big Brother’, Mon-El first appeared here in Superboy #89 as an amnesiac who appeared to be Superboy’s brother from Krypton. We learned the truth by the end of the story, where Mon-El had to be exiled to the Phantom Zone to protect him from the effects of lead poisoning. A recurring character in the Superman family of titles of this period, it was chronologically 1000 years later when Mon-El eventually got out of the Zone and joined the Legion of Super-Heroes as one of its most powerful and enduring members. This pence-stamped copy of his debut issue has a rich purple cover background and a largely unmarked vibrant cover. Firm staples and supple off-white to creamy pages. There is some edge wear, including minor chipping to bottom edge and a reading crease along the spine, with corner blunting, but nevertheless a solid copy that presents well.
PICTURED: SUPERBOY #89 VG p £110
*Marvel: There must have been something in the stars for Dr Doom and the number 5; after debuting in Fantastic Four #5, he turns up in Amazing Spider-Man #5 to take on everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood wall-crawler. How can Spidey beat the monarch of Latveria? Well… he can’t actually, but I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. This pence printed copy is a beauty, with a clean and colourful vibrant, glossy cover, hardly any corner blunting and an absolute minimum of edge wear. Staples are firmly attached at spine and centrefold. No creasing apart from a small dink at the base of the spine which barely breaks colour and a soft narrow crease on the bottom edge of the back cover only. Pages are supple, flexible and on the white side of off-white. Conservatively graded at FN+. High resolution images are available on request.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 FN+ p £1,900
*Marvel: From the Good Doctor Collection this week: X-Men #5 marked the very swift return of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (now, there’s a slick bit of nominative determinism for you), following their debut in the previous issue. The Scarlet Witch however was still suffering from the same bout of colour blindness that afflicted her on the cover of #4, where she was also dressed in emerald. You’d have thought that the clue was in her name… Anyway, a merry romp ensues between Prof X’s mutant band and Magneto’s misfits. This pence printed copy is a nice mid-grade example, with an unmarked cover image, good colour, tight, firm staples and lovely off-white pages. Only moderate spine and edge wear (tiny nick at top of spine, spidery reading crease between staples) and one narrow diagonal crease across the bottom right cover corner which faintly breaks colour.
PICTURED: X-MEN #5 VG+ p £300
*Marvel: Also from the Good Doctor this week, ten consecutive issues of Iron Man from #11-20, festooned with a stellar collection of friends and foes, including the 1st Controller in #12, and the 1st Madame Masque in #17. Mostly really nice higher graded copies.
IN THIS UPDATE: IRON MAN
#11 VF £75 (PICTURED)
#12 VG/FN p £30 1st Controller SOLD
#13 FN- £33 SOLD
#14 FN- £33 SOLD
#15 VF+ £65 (PICTURED)
#16 VF- £50 (PICTURED) SOLD
#17 FN £50 (PICTURED) 1st Madame Masque SOLD
#18 FN+ £38
#19 FN+ £38
#20 FN/VF p £30
*Marvel: After #1, issue #42 is probably the most sought after of all the issues of Marvel’s original Star Wars series, featuring as it does the first comic appearance of Boba Fett, with our bounty hunting hero centrally featured on the cover, despite being only seen on the splash page and a couple of interior panels as Marvel continued its comics adaptation of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. Fett-o-philes have driven the cost of this issue up over the last decade or so, and this is a high grade example – flat, tight and unmarked, with a brilliant white background, great cover colour and gloss and white to off-white pages. Sharp corners and virtually no wear. Although technically this doesn’t affect the grade, we have resisted an even higher grading due to a slight mis-cut (see white spine edge on image), but really this is a thing of beauty (and the hand of Al Williamson on art duties further enhances that). Still cheaper to acquire than the original Boba Fett costume, judging by this week’s auction results!
PICTURED: STAR WARS #42 VF+ £200 SOLD
*Marvel: Another selection from the comprehensive high grade Totally Amazing Spider-Man Collection this week, featuring a consecutive run from #364-375. This run features many of Spidey’s most famous foes, plus the Black Cat, the Red Skull, the Invasion of the Spider-Slayers storyline and two anniversary issues: #365 (hologram cover 30th Anniversary), and #375 (30th Anniversary of Amazing #1).
IN THIS UPDATE: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
#364 VF/NM £16.25
#365 VF+ £30 Hologram cover
#366 VF+ £19
#367 VF £14.75
#368 NM £19
#369 VF+ £20.50
#370 VF £15
#371 VF £10
#372 VF £15
#373 VF+ £17.50
#374 NM- £33 Venom cover
#375 (PICTURED) NM- £50 Venom foil cover
*EC: We kick off this week’s foray into the Bute Collection with two issues of EC’s Weird Science-Fantasy. By the time Weird Science and Weird Fantasy were merged with issue #23, the classic EC creators were truly at the height of their powers, and the seven issues of Weird Science-Fantasy are truly to be prized. Here we have #26, the famous Flying Saucer Report special issue, with art by Al Feldstein (cover), Wally Wood, Reed Crandall, Joe Orlando and George Evans. Plus #27, with art by Wally Wood (including a great space girl and BEM cover), Reed Crandall, Jack Kamen and Joe Orlando.
IN THIS UPDATE: WEIRD SCIENCE-FANTASY
#26 PR/FA £30 Covers detached and separated, but taped around base of spine. Some chips out and small creases around cover edges, but decent pages. SOLD
#27 GD £100 (PICTURED) Wear and creasing at cover edges, particularly around staple area, but cover still firmly attached. Centrefold off at bottom staple. Unspoilt cover image and decent pages.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Another rare opportunity to acquire a Timely gem from the Bute Collection this week. Marvel Mystery Comics was Timely’s anthology title and issue #24 (October 1941) in this update features Sub-Mariner by Everett, the Vision by Kirby, Human Torch & Toro by Carl Burgos, Angel, Ka-Zar, Patriot & Terry Vance. A typically distinctive Human Torch cover by Alex Schomburg. Unfortunately, this copy is a poor specimen, missing its back cover and with the front cover fully detached. Notable edge wear on front cover, previous owner’s name written on leading ‘M’ of logo, considerable edge and corner wear on page margins, but all present and stories untouched.
PICTURED: MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #24 PR £400 SOLD
*Horror 1940-1959: We close out this week’s trip to the Bute Collection with several issues of Mystery Tales, one of very many horror titles published by Atlas in the 1950s that spanned the change from Pre-Code to Post Code. Here we concentrate on Pre-Code issues. Many of Atlas’s entries into this genre were of similar high quality, but for a while Mystery Tales received a higher degree of notoriety following issue #40 having some significance in the Lost TV series. I can remember prices soaring on all issues of the series some years back as a result of this, but (apart from #40 itself) now seem to have settled back to the same approximate values as other Atlas horror contemporaries. Six issues for your consideration this update as follows:
IN THIS UPDATE: MYSTERY TALES
#14 GD/VG £130 (PICTURED) Pre-Code. Nice solid supple copy with minor spine wear but diagonal colour-breaking crease across length of cover. SOLD
#16 VG £175 (PICTURED) Pre-Code. Nice solid supple copy with corner blunting and some spine wear.
#18 PR £16 Pre-Code. Covers separated and detached, worn and torn.
#22 GD £48 (PICTURED) Pre-Code. Okay copy but edges a little worn and torn. Interior tape reinforcement at staples.
#23 VG £100 (PICTURED) Pre-Code. Nice tight copy with good staples and pages; faint colour-breaking (subscription?) crease vertical down centre of cover
#24 VG £100 (PICTURED) Pre-Code. Nice solid supple copy with minor wear; tiny sliver out lower right edge cover; white mark on title box.
*Alan Class Reprints: For many years now, we’ve been scouring the personal archives of legendary publisher Alan Class (who is still very much with us) and with his full co-operation, releasing for sale sets of the original printing plates that were used to print the covers of his comics from 1959-1989. We have now reached the final phase of these plate set releases, which will last us throughout 2022. These sets are time-consuming to prepare, so our release schedule will be staggered. But the good news is that all the sets we have left are among the best, either featuring a classic Marvel comic reprint, or else a very early fantasy/mystery issue. So, this final phase represents your last opportunity to add one or more of these unique pieces to your collection. Each set comprises the lead printing plates used in the original comic’s colour printing, a copy of the comic printed with these plates and a signed certificate of authenticity signed by Alan Class himself. These are packaged in a special protective presentation case. Several sets (as noted) have additional historical artefacts such as colour proofs, interior page plates, printers’ photostats etc. (Please be aware that these weigh a lot and postage will be expensive. Also note that due to the onerous paperwork required for customs declarations following Brexit, we can no longer post these Plate Sets outside the UK.) A pair of early fantasy/mystery issues with Kirby & Ditko this week, as follows: BOTH SOLD
ASTOUNDING #10 £50 Comic FN; Reprints ACG, Charlton, 1 Ditko plus cover, 1 Captain Midnight
SINISTER TALES #10 £65 Comic FA/GD; Reprints Atlas, pre-hero Marvel, 2 Everett, 1 Ditko, 2 Kirby. Extras: Post decimal copy of #191 with same content; 2 cover colour proofs for that issue, 2 interior black and white proofs.
*Power Comics: The Power Comics line from Odhams Press, which ran from the mid-late 1960s has a special place in British comics history and in the hearts of many readers of the time. With a unique blend of classic Marvel reprints (and sometimes DC newspaper strip reprints), together with original British strips in both adventure & humour departments, they offered something for everyone and were probably many readers’ first exposure to the Marvel Silver Age. In this last instalment of an original owner collection, we have a nice consecutive run of Pow! between #65 and #83, all from 1968. You get Spider-Man & the Fantastic Four, with original British strips such as ‘Experiment X’, ‘Dr. Morg, Master Of Fear’, ‘The Cloak’, ‘Dare A Day Davey’, ‘The Two Faces Of Janus’, ‘Georgie’s Germs’ and many others. In addition, the Odhams editorial team adopted a very Marvel Bullpen style of communication to endear themselves to the readership. News from the Floor of 64, anyone? Full details in our catalogue.
PICTURED: POW #66 VG £9 Easter issue SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: In the 1960s, 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. This debut issue of a now-collectable short run, sadly lacking its Free Gift, is a very respectable VG, slightly misfolded at spine (as from new), but with clean, attractive pages and no markings.
PICTURED: CHAMPION #1 VG £40 SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Picture Romances, which started life as Pearson’s Picture Romance Library, ended published by Fleetway with (we think) issue #605. Regular visitors to our site may have spotted that we’ve been listing a lot of these from its various publishers over the last few months, and we now reach the last batch of uncirculated issues from a newsagent’s stock. Three dozen issues newly available between #546 and #603. Mixed grades on these, but no staple rust in evidence, the awarding of lower grades due mainly to some wavy creasing from long term storage. Full details as always in our catalogue.
PICTURED: PICTURE ROMANCES
#548 FN/VF £4.50
#591 VG/FN £3.50
*DC: After more than a decade of anticipation and demand, DC revived All-Star Comics, home of the Justice Society of America, in 1976 with #58 – continuing the numbering from the Golden Age. The veteran heroes were joined by three (relative) youngsters in the ill-named and short-lived ‘Super Squad’. One new addition was Power Girl, cousin of the Earth-2 Superman, who was a very different proposition from Earth-1’s Supergirl, and became the breakout star of the series, not just because of her zaftig appearance (though that didn’t hurt, especially as designed and illustrated by Wally Wood), but also because of her forthright, take-no-prisoners personality. This is a nice cents copy, bright with some gloss and great colour, staples tight and firm at spine and centrefold, supple off-white to cream pages and just a little corner blunting and handling wear at the spine and right edge.
PICTURED: ALL STAR COMICS #58 FN/VF £100 SOLD
*DC: Originally planned as a regular Batman Annual, the story which would become The Killing Joke evolved by accident; as the wait lengthened for the pages to come in from illustrator Brian Bolland, Alan Moore’s story shifted, becoming more of an examination about the nature of the relationship between Batman and his arch-nemesis the Joker. Collateral damage along the way was Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, who was crippled and traumatised in the start of events which transformed her into Oracle, a sequence which outraged many at the time and polarises factions even today. Regardless of whether you love it or hate it – and there’s many on both sides – its importance and popularity can’t be denied, as it has remained constantly in print and gone through a myriad of formats. This first printing copy is vibrant, firm, glossy and tight, with just some small amounts of non-colour breaking stress marks at the spine bringing the grade down a little.
PICTURED: BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE VF- £40
*DC: Almost every issue of Superboy added to our stock this week from #101 all the way up to #196 (the series changing its name to Superboy & The Legion Of Super-Heroes from #197). Lots of memorable moments in this long run, including the first appearances of Swifty, Insect Queen, Kid Psycho, the Space Canine Patrol Agents and Wildfire, as well as 80 Page Giants celebrating the best of Superboy stories from even further back. Lots of Legion appearances, both in reprint and in brand new stories which were to eventually take over the title. See our catalogue for the most comprehensive selection of Superboy we’ve ever offered.
*Marvel: The first of this week’s Good Doctor Collection updates: In Fantastic Four #18, the Skrulls, sworn enemies of the FF since their second issue, developed their own super-soldier with all the powers of the FF – and one more! The Super-Skrull has been more seen on Marvel’s cosmic stage than with the FF in later years, but this is where he got his start. This is a pence printed copy in great shape, rich colour cover, unmarked, with deep sky background. Only minor corner blunting and the only creasing is a spidery reading crease from bottom staple down to bottom spine, which just breaks colour, plus a couple of non-colour breaking stress marks in that area. Beautifully supple off-white to white pages. High resolution images are available on request.
PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #18 FN+ p £750 SOLD
*Marvel: Also from the Good Doctor this week, five issues of Tales To Astonish before the Hulk joined the title, so starring first Ant-Man, later joined by the Wasp, and later evolving into Giant-Man. Debuting several denizens of Hank Pym’s rogues’ gallery, some who would achieve infamy, others who didn’t quite make it…
IN THIS UPDATE: TALES TO ASTONISH
#42 VG+ p £75 (PICTURED) 1st Jason Cragg (who?). Pence printed, strong colour, good staples, a few small chips out at edges, but otherwise solid. SOLD
#48 GD/VG p £35 1st Porcupine. Pence printed, reading wear at spine, small corner off back cover. SOLD
#50 FA p £7.25 1st Human Top. Pence printed, spine roll, heavily taped spine.
#57 GD- p £39 Guest-starring Spider-Man, featuring Egghead. Wasp solo story. Pence printed, cover tears at spine, spine frail at staples, tiny scuff mark, crayon mark above logo.
#58 VF p £95 (PICTURED) 1st Colossus (no, not the X-Man!). Wasp solo story. Pence printed; beautiful high grade copy with great cover colour and gloss, tight staples, off-white to white pages, just minor handling wear and narrow wear along top edge.
*Marvel: This week’s trip to the world of Spider-Mania comes from the high grade Totally Amazing Spider-Man Collection, in this case a CGC 9.6 (NM+) copy of Amazing Spider-Man #183. Spidey faces not only the threat of the Big Wheel, but also the Rocket Racer and the Terrible Tinkerer. Plus Mary Jane turns down his marriage proposal. Some days are just not meant to go well… Universal unrestored blue label, off-white to white pages, case in perfect condition.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #183 CGC 9.6 NM+ £95
*Marvel: We conclude our Steranko A Go-Go feature this week, which has showcased the Silver Age Marvel super-hero work of Jim Steranko, one of our favourite artists and one of the most innovative. His storytelling, both words and pictures, sums up the spirit of the late 1960s, and his all too brief body of work has always left his fans clamouring for more. Steranko depicted the Hulk on two covers (here and Captain America #110) and, in my opinion, defined the character with those two illustrations. 1968 saw first-ever Hulk Annual, a 50 page extravaganza by Gary Friedrich and the talented Marie Severin in which our favourite not-so-jolly green giant travelled to Attilan and fell out with Black Bolt, leader of the reclusive race of super-beings known as the Inhumans. Needless to say – spoiler alert – wannabe usurper Maximus is behind the hostilities, and has assembled his own band of rebel Inhumans to further bedevil our hero. This superior cents copy has vibrant colour and gloss, totally unmarked, a solid squarebound spine, firm staples and nice off-white pages. Wear is minimal at edges, with minor corner blunting and virtually no creasing. The back cover has a tiny nick centre right edge.
PICTURED: HULK ANNUAL #1 FN+ £285 SOLD
*Marvel: In the second issue of Daredevil, the sightless swashbuckler comes up against Spidey’s foe Electro (with a cameo from the bashful Thing). Daredevil #1 was drawn by Bill Everett, whereas the pages of this issue were graced by another Golden Age great Joe Orlando. We have classified this pence printed copy as an App (for ‘apparent’ grade) GD+, due to what we suspect is a possible micro-trimmed top edge, although this doesn’t impinge on anything or spoil the enjoyment; it is however priced as such. A nice clean and solid cover image with no markings. Some spine wear, including a split of about 2 cm at the top. Dust shadow to edge of back cover, and moderate to heavy tanning to inner cover edges, but no brittleness. Staples are firm and attached, page quality is a decent creamy colour.
PICTURED: DAREDEVIL #2 App GD+ p £135 SOLD
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: We turn our attention to this week’s selections from the Bute Collection. The super-hero revival by Atlas of their Timely characters in the 1950s attracts great demand and the issues are not at all common, particularly here in the UK. Men’s Adventures was an Atlas title that went through lots of changes, starting out as sci-fi mystery, switching to war and then full-bodied horror. It ended its life as a home for the super-hero revival, and all in 28 issues. Just the final two issues were super-hero issues, and it is the last one, #28 that concerns us here. Beneath a Human Torch cover, three stories await, all drawn by artists who would become cornerstones of the later Marvel universe: Human Torch & Toro by Dick Ayers, Captain America & Bucky by John Romita and Sub-Mariner by Bill Everett. This is a reasonable copy from 1954, with a good cover scene, and although there is some erosion to the upper and lower right edges throughout, this doesn’t impinge on the stories. Good solid staples and a shiny cover.
PICTURED: MEN’S ADVENTURES #28 GD- £180 SOLD
*Horror 1940-1959: The Bute Collection provides us with this week’s dose of Pre-Code Horror, in the shape of two issues from different titles published by Comic Media: Horrific & Weird Terror. Hugely popular with collectors of this genre, Comic Media produced distinctive material that stood out in a crowded field at the time. Many issues of Horrific featured ‘big head’ covers by Don Heck, as in the example on offer here; #9 also features art by Pete Morisi, Marty Elkin and Rudy Palais. Weird Terror #10 also features a cover and interior art by Don Heck, as well as Ross Andru and Rudy Palais.
HORRIFIC #9 GD+ £150 Pre-code. A couple of long colour-breaking creases and some short ones. Chipping along top and right edge and bottom right corner. Pages and staples pretty good; previous owner’s name and address on back cover. SOLD
WEIRD TERROR #10 GD/VG £275 Pre-code. Spine worn but intact. Small creases around edges only, a few of which break colour. Nice cover image and pages. Cover coming loose at front only at bottom staple.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: Vampirella is a fictional vampire superheroine created by Forrest J Ackerman and designed by comic book artist Trina Robbins in Warren Publishing’s black and white horror comics magazine of the same name, which began publication in 1969 as a sister publication of Creepy and Eerie. Originally a horror story hostess, albeit with a lead story each issue, she evolved into a horror/drama leading character and the Warren magazine was published continuously until 1983, when Warren ceased publishing and Vampi passed to other hands – she’s pretty much been in print ever since and has starred in her own movie and other media. Her debut issue sports a memorable Frank Frazetta cover and a veritable Who’s Who of 1970s horror artists adorn her pages. We have nice copies of the first two issues from the Bute Collection this week to tempt you…
#1 FN £1,175 (Below) Lovely glossy, vibrant copy, tight and flat with good staples and page quality and very minimal edge wear, marred only by a series of small colour-breaking spine stress marks. High resolution images are available on request.
#2 FN+ £200 (Above) Glossy and vibrant, tight and flat with good staples and page quality and very minimal edge wear. Minor stress marks at spine and a couple of vertical colour-breaking creases near the right edge of the cover.
*Power Comics: Although Alan Class had been reprinting Marvel super-hero tales in his various titles from the early 1960s – and Len Miller presented some in his anthologies ‘Spellbound’ and ‘Mystic’ – it took until 1967 before a concerted attempt was made to reprint Marvel superheroes in sequential order. That was in the Power Comics weeklies, and after trials in Smash! Wham! and Pow!, they released Fantastic, a weekly devoted entirely to super-heroes, with Thor, Iron Man and the X-Men from the beginning, in glorious black & white and oddly re-edited for the UK market (such as changing American idioms for more intelligible jargon). We may mock – in fact, those of us who’d been reading the originals all along did – but for those benighted parts of the country where the American editions weren’t imported, this was a gift much appreciated, and many people’s first exposure to the Marvel Universe was in these pages. This is a lovely copy of Fantastic #1 (sadly missing its Free Gift), with great page quality, a white background cover, flat and tight with minimal wear. The staples are firm but just have a minimal amount of rust with a little migration. Slight signs of foxing at cover edges, but bright colours front and back and very little wear.
PICTURED: FANTASTIC #1 FN £60 SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: One of the icons of British comics’ history, Eagle started up in 1950; every issue of its twenty year run starred Dan Dare, its most famous son. We’re always selling lots of Eagles, and we’re delighted to have added a fair few issues from Volumes 6, 7 and 9 this week, nearly all in FN grade, and the majority of them filling gaps in the listings. Consult our catalogue to fill your gaps!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Six more classics from the famous Super-Detective Picture Library series this week, featuring female detective Lesley Shane, Jet Scott, Captain Dack and more. From an original owner collection, the condition on these is very consistent.
IN THIS UPDATE: SUPER DETECTIVE LIBRARY
#34 (PICTURED) VG/FN £17.50 Jet Scott & The Sword Of Fire
#35 VG/FN £17.50 Crime Under The Ocean
#39 VG/FN £17.50 Lesley Shane: The Stolen Crown
#40 VG/FN £17.50 The Case Of The Hunted Man
#43 VG/FN £17.50 Meet Captain Dack
#45 VG £15 Crime From The Sky
*Girls’ Comics: More issues of Bunty from her first year of 1958 this week, issues between #21 and #49. A mixture of grades, some nice, some not so nice. A few, as listed, have small amounts of cover graffiti, but this is not too obtrusive in most cases. Full details as always in our catalogue.
PICTURED: BUNTY #24 VG £20
Operating in an industry which is heavy on the use of cardboard and plastic, we have always been conscious of attempting to be as green as possible in our use of packaging. Whilst we package the vast majority of our outgoing mail in purpose-made mailers offering maximum protection and security for your purchases (these mailers can of course be re-used), we also strive to make use of any suitably sturdy packaging that we can recycle, particularly on very large parcels or those of an unorthodox size. Thus you might find you receive your package/parcel from us in a box that has been used before. Rest assured that we employ strict quality control to protect the integrity of your purchases and we will never compromise on the quality of our packaging. Everything that leaves us is intended to survive even the roughest handling by the postal services, and we make every effort to ensure that your comics and books arrive in the same condition as that in which they were despatched.
Named after a favourite place of the owner (Bute is an island in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland), this is the personal reference collection of a working comics artist and author who wishes to remain anonymous. Derived from a multiplicity of sources over decades, but characterised by an astonishing depth, breadth and diversity of American and British items from the 1930s onwards, including many seldom seen on these shores, in a variety of grades.
Most categories in our catalogue will be covered, and we will be branding comics from the Bute Collection with special labels and a logo on our What’s New page. If you’re a lover of vintage comics, you’ll enjoy the ride, and you’re certain to find many comics you’d love to add to your collection.
*DC: We kick off our first week of releases from the Bute Collection with a relatively modern example. The New Teen Titans debuted in a 16 page insert in DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980), in a story which featured the first appearances of Cyborg, Starfire & Raven. (The main feature was a Superman & Green Lantern story by Marv Wolfman and Jim Starlin.) Wolfman also penned the Titans debut, drawn by George Perez, a team which brought the Titans to prominence as one of the great comics of the 1980s. The Bute Collection copy is a pence printed glossy and colourful edition, with sharp corners, tight staples and white pages. A faint line can be seen in certain light down the centre of the comic, but is not a crease and looks like a printing issue; in no way does this spoil the copy.
PICTURED: DC COMICS PRESENTS #26 VF p £110 SOLD
*DC: 7 issues of DC’s Magnificent 7: the Blackhawks, the adventurous aviators who, having fought in WW2 and the Cold War, found themselves in the 60s up against aliens, monsters and weird super-villains. Such is the fare on offer in this update in an evocative melange of action and adventure.
IN THIS UPDATE: BLACKHAWK ALL SOLD
#144 (PICTURED) VG p £11.75
#147 VG- p £10.25 Off top staple; Lady Blackhawk story
#157 VG p £11.75
#159 VG p £11.75
#164 GD/VG p £10
#167 VG p £9
#176 VG p £9
*Marvel: This week’s first visit to the Good Doctor Collection commences the Captain America issues and features the first appearance of the Falcon, co-star of the recent TV series. Three years after the debut of the Black Panther, 1969’s Captain America #117 saw the debut of Marvel’s second African-American super-hero. Having switched bodies involuntarily with the Red Skull, Cap ends up on Exile Island, being hunted by the Skull’s henchmen. Rescued by a young man named Sam Wilson and his pet hawk, Redwing, Cap persuades Sam of the importance of a costumed identity as a symbol, and Sam adopts the guise of the Falcon, first to inspire revolution in the native population of Exile Island, and later as an aspirational figure in Sam’s Harlem home. The Falcon and his avian sidekick Redwing would become a mainstay of Cap’s series, and of course figure largely in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a reasonably attractive cents copy, with good colour and some gloss, nice pages and good staples (except that the centrefold is off bottom staple). Some edge and corner wear and markings and (mainly) non-colour breaking creases, but a strong central image.
PICTURED: CAPTAIN AMERICA #117 VG £265 SOLD
*Marvel: Also from the Good Doctor Collection this week, a nice selection of Avengers, from when the title was at its absolute best by my reckoning. Magneto, Hercules, the Collector, the Black Panther, the Grim Reaper, the X-Men, Bucky and more! With a lot of the art by John Buscema at the height of his powers.
IN THIS UPDATE: AVENGERS
#49 VG p £25 Book shop stamp. SOLD
#50 App FN p £11.50 Colour touches SOLD
#51 FN- p £25 SOLD
#52 (PICTURED) FN- p £65 1st Grim Reaper; Black Panther joins. Nice copy, great colour gloss and staples and pages. Some minor shallow creasing, breaking colour for only about 1-2 cms.
#53 (PICTURED) VG £40 Vs X-Men. Bright and attractive copy with minor wear and creasing. SOLD
#56 (PICTURED) VF p £50 Excellent copy with just minor reading wear at spine.
*Marvel: More from our comprehensive, high grade Spider-Man Collection this week as we feature four consecutive classic issues by Lee & Romita, featuring Ka-Zar, the Spider Slayer, the Kingpin, Gwen and Mary Jane and the gang etc.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
#57 FN/VF £65 A bright, shiny copy with some colour-breaking creases at lower spine and minor edge and corner wear, but white pages and tight staples.
#58 VF £70 Tight, flat and glossy with just minor corner blunting. SOLD
#59 VF- £130 1st Mary Jane cover. Excellent copy with great colour, gloss, nice pages, tight staples, just a few small, non-colour breaking creases at spine.
#60 FN/VF £130 Classic Kingpin cover. Unblemished black background. Shiny and vibrant, with minor corner blunting and a couple of small creases which do not break colour. SOLD
*Marvel: Forget the Frank Thorne drawn daft ha’p’orth in the chainmail bikini – the proper Red Sonja, who, you know, wore clothes and had a brain, made her first appearance in issue #23 of Conan’s title (Marvel rather dropping the ball by not having her on the cover, but we promise you, she’s in there) and co-starring in #24’s epic ‘The Song of Red Sonja!’ – though our heroine does a great deal more than just sing, proving herself Conan’s equal, if not superior. Sadly, the popularity of Sonja’s appearances in these two issues led Marvel to produce a more sexualised and less competent version of the character for her solo series – but these two issues, by Roy Thomas and superbly drawn by Barry Smith, remain as good as ever!
#23 FN/VF p £140 Pence printed, shiny and glossy, tight, firm staples and off-white pages. Short vertical crease below logo (left) just breaks colour for about 1-2 cm; slight corner blunting.
#24 FN- p £55 Pence printed, glossy with great colour, tight, firm staples and off-white pages. A touch of white spine (see scan). 1-2 cm spine split upper plus minor upper corner creasing.
*Marvel: Our Steranko A Go-Go feature showcases the Silver Age Marvel super-hero work of Jim Steranko, one of our favourite artists and one of the most innovative. His storytelling, both words and pictures, sums up the spirit of the late 1960s, and his all too brief body of work has always left his fans clamouring for more. Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD constitutes his main body of work, and we have every Steranko issue of Strange Tales fresh in this week, from #151 to #168. For the budget conscious, many of these are low grade and thus at bargain prices. Included are the first two Living Tribunal appearances (in Dr Strange) in #157 & #158, 1st Val in #159 plus the classic Steranko cover shown here.
PICTURED: STRANGE TALES #167 VG+ £32 SOLD
*EC: We return to the Bute Collection for four examples of EC’s Crime Suspenstories. While technically, generally not strictly horror comics, EC’s Crime SuspenStories was certainly horrific, featuring as it often did gruesome deaths of betrayed spouses or untrustworthy friends, and this selection definitely belongs in the ‘horror zone’, including #17, the infamous ‘bullet in the head cover’. Containing tightly-plotted twist-ending shockers illustrated by Frazetta, Williamson, Craig, Kamen, Wood, Ingels, Crandall and others, these are outstanding examples of their genre. Somehow, without the supernatural elements of EC’s more famous horror titles, these seem all the more scary!
PICTURED: CRIME SUSPENSTORIES ALL SOLD
#16 GD/VG £245 Pre-code. Nice unmarked cover with strong colour. Small upper spine split (about 3.5 cm), small chip out base of spine, tight, firm staples, nice creamy pages. Only minor edge irregularities.
#17 GD £275 Pre-code. Infamous ‘bullet in the head’ cover. Nice unmarked cover with strong colour. Small upper spine split (about 4 cm), lower spine split of about 2 cm. Front cover off bottom staple (staples otherwise tight and firm). Small chips out top and bottom right corners and bottom edge. Presents well.
#24 GD £90 Pre-code. Spine neatly taped with magic tape. Otherwise a perfectly decent copy without other significant defects.
#26 VG+ £175 Pre-code. Solid mid-grade copy with strong, unmarked cover image, tight, firm staples and nice white to off-white pages. Only minor edge and corner wear and very soft creasing to the spine from the back with no colour breaks.
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: A true Golden Age gem from the Bute Collection. Sub-Mariner #6 (Summer 1942 edition) features two long Sub-Mariner stories drawn by Carl Pfeufer and a 20 page Angel story. With a classic cover by Alex Schomburg, who drew many of the Timely super-hero covers. Cover colour is good if a little dingy. There is a long upper spine split of about 10cm (cover off top staple), and a lower spine split of about 8 cm. Tiny chip out of top centre cover and a couple of insect marks causing two small holes though the comic near the spine but below the bottom margin. Small letter in pen or pencil on ‘R’ of logo, tiny scuff mark on Namor’s leg and a couple of soft, short, non-colour breaking creases bottom left of cover. But overall presents very well. We see precious few Golden Age Timelys and the last time we had one demand was phenomenal. High resolution images are available on request, but there is a good chance someone will order this before we can get those to you.
PICTURED: SUB-MARINER #6 (1942) FA/GD £1,075 SOLD
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: Not so much a British update this time, but an Australian one. Published by Larry Cleland PTY Ltd, Space Adventures #1 reprints in black and white stories from the original American Charlton title of the same name, including one by Steve Ditko. This comic dates from the 1950s, we believe, and must have been printed soon after the originals. The cover is an Australian original, as far as we know. A bit dingy and dirty, with some staining to cover and foxing to interior pages, and a small tear at centre spine throughout, this retro sci-fi example is nevertheless a fascinating curiosity in our #1 slot this week.
PICTURED: SPACE ADVENTURES #1 GD £20 SOLD
*Alan Class Reprints: Not Plate Sets this week, but 13 Alan Class issues, all pre-decimal and in nice condition, with over half of them reprinting classic Marvel stories. The Avengers, Spider-Man, Daredevil and the Torch/Thing all await within these pages. All those featuring Marvel covers are depicted here. Please refer to the regular catalogue listing for full details of all issues. Most issues have a discreet and unobtrusive previous owner’s label over the ‘Approved Comic’ symbol.
PICTURED: ALL SOLD
LEFT: ASTOUNDING #76 FN £22
RIGHT: SECRETS OF THE UNKNOWN #115 VG/FN £21
BELOW LEFT TO RIGHT:
SECRETS OF THE UNKNOWN #116 FN £22
SINISTER TALES #99 FN/VF £30
SINISTER TALES #101 FN £29
SUSPENSE #101 VG/FN £21
UNCANNY #76 VG+ £19
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: 10 issues of Cowboy Picture Library added this week, later issues when Cowboy Comics had changed its name. Starring Buck Jones, Kit Carson, Kansas Kid & Davy Crockett, these range from #254 to #378. Full details as always in our catalogue.
PICTURED: COWBOY PICTURE LIBRARY #378 VG £4.50
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: A run of Love Story Library this week from #521 to #550 from the mid-sixties, featuring nearly every issue in that sequence. These are a delight, with lots of Carnaby Street influenced covers and outlandish storylines including perky young witches, creepy Christmasses, go-go girls and other groovy chicks. Bright, upbeat and hugely enjoyable, with colourful eye-catching covers and often striking interior art. These new additions average VG to VF, some only flawed by a degree of staple rust, but many rust-free. Full details as always in our catalogue.
PICTURED: LOVE STORY LIBRARY #528 VG/FN £4.50
*DC: Just like Superman & Batman, Wonder Woman didn’t start out in her own title. Her first appearance came in All-Star Comics #8, with her story continuing into the anthology series Sensation Comics from #1-106. Sightings of Sensation Comics in the UK are not common, so we’re very pleased to be able to present issue #78 (June 1948) this update, with a Wonder Woman cover and lead, backed up by Wildcat, Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys and other features. Wonder Woman comes up against Furiosa, the ‘Mistress of Masquerade’. This is a reasonable copy, with a strong, unmarked cover image, virtually no creasing, minor edge wear (notably a tiny corner off top right cover above the DC logo) and nice, supple creamy pages. 52 pages inc covers. The staples are firm at centrefold and appear to be well attached at cover spine, but nevertheless the lower staple has been protected by a small piece of magic tape. Other small unobtrusive pieces have been used to protect the spine at centre and bottom. A robust enough copy of a true vintage item.
PICTURED: SENSATION COMICS #78 GD/VG £100 SOLD
*Marvel: Our Good Doctor update this week continues our new Steranko A Go-Go feature showcasing the Silver Age Marvel super-hero work of Jim Steranko, one of our favourite artists and one of the most innovative. His storytelling, both words and pictures, sums up the spirit of the late 1960s, and his all too brief body of work has always left his fans clamouring for more. Although Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD constituted his main body of work, he did dip a toe into the water of other titles, including three issues of Marvel’s Merry Mutants, the X-Men (covers on all, interior art on #50 & #51).
PICTURED: X-MEN ALL SOLD
#49 FN/VF £350 1st Lorna Dane (later Polaris). Steranko cover. A lovely copy with a totally unmarked cover image and a brilliant, pure white background. Great cover colour and gloss, very little corner blunting, off-white to white supple pages and tight, firmly attached staples. Only minor handling and edge wear.
#50 FN- £250 1st Lorna Dane in costume. Steranko cover and interior art. Dynamic green-tinted cover, one of the great iconic masterpieces of the later Marvel Silver Age. Unmarked cover image with great colour. Off-white to white supple pages and tight, firmly attached staples. A couple of small creases at spine do not break colour; small bit of handling wear near right edge. Very minor edge and corner wear.
#51 VG/FN £50 Steranko cover and interior art. Great cover colour and off-white to white supple pages and tight, firmly attached staples. Minor handling wear faintly shows across cover; spine wear with tiny colour-breaking creases; some corner blunting.
*Marvel: The first two appearances of the Scorpion this week in Amazing Spider-Man #20 and #29, two issues which seem to turn up a bit less often than those around them for some reason. They feature the debut and second appearance of the Scorpion, one of Spidey’s most enduring foes. And both drawn by Sturdy Steve Ditko, of course.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
#20 GD/VG p £400 1st Scorpion. Pence stamped, solid and firm, with nice colour cover and gloss, tight and firmly attached staples. Pages are supple, creamy to slightly tan. Faint central vertical crease on lower half of cover, which only slightly breaks colour on bottom couple of cms. Relatively minor wear at spine just breaks colour with an insignificant short reading crease. The right edge of the cover has a dust shadow (see scan). Interior covers are moderately tanned at edges, but there is no suggestion of brittleness. The grade has been assigned to recognise these defects.
#29 VG p £140 ‘Marvel Pop Art Productions’. Pence printed, more than reasonable copy, with good cover colour and gloss, firm and tight staples, and creamy supple to slightly tan pages. A little corner blunting, but very little edge wear except for a very narrow chip out top right cover. There are a couple of diagonal creases across the centre of the cover which do not show strongly, and only very slightly break colour for a small part of their extent. The right edge of the cover has a dust shadow (see scan). Interior covers are tanned at edges, but there is no suggestion of brittleness. The grade has been assigned to recognise these defects.
*Marvel: Doctor Strange has always been blessed with a good selection of artists working on him, nowhere more so than in this update of issues #2-12 of his second series (starting in 1974), with early issues by Frank Brunner, followed by Gene Colan. As a bonus, we also have the rather beautiful Annual #1 from 1976, with stunning art by P Craig Russell. All very nice copies; see our catalogue for full details.
PICTURED: DR STRANGE ANNUAL #1 FN+ £40 SOLD
*Western: It’s not often you’ll find an entry for our Pre-Code Horror Fest in this category, but here’s a great exception. In issue #10 of the Magazine Enterprises series of Ghost Rider from 1952 (yes, he wasn’t originally a Marvel character, folks!), our titular character (already something of a horror character in his own right) encountered Frankenstein’s monster (unquestionably in the horror genre!). Other stores entitled ‘The Devil and Jed Gunner’, ‘The Spirit Spurs’, ‘My Friend, the Hangman’, and ‘The Devil Tiger’ firmly place this issue in the horror as well as the western genre. Art by later Marvel stalwart Dick Ayers. A stunning cover with rich, deep purple background. Great cover colour overall and a lot of gloss. Just tiny creases at the spine which do not break colour, slightly blunt corners and a faint crease across the top right corner above the logo. There is a small felt tip pen line over the ME logo and a faint 50 Ore price stamped on the moon (a Scandanavian currency — what stories this issue could have to tell!). Firmly attached staples and supple off-white to white pages. A vibrant, stunning example from the Golden Age.
PICTURED: GHOST RIDER #10 FN+ £330