*Marvel: In the wake of the Kung Fu craze which swept the mass media in the 1970’s, Marvel, having already scored big with Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, tried to repeat the success with Iron Fist, an orphaned Caucasian boy who learned mystical martial arts in the hidden land of K’Un Lun. Danny Rand had a successful run in Marvel Premiere, then graduated into his own title, co-starred with Power Man for years, and remains an active part of the Marvel Universe to this date, mainly in various Avengers titles. New in, we have Marvel Premiere #15, his first appearance, in which Roy Thomas and Gil Kane kicked off the career of the fisting fury (no, that sounded wrong). A highly attractive VF+ cents copy (never distributed in the UK), this is offered at £200 – but given the imminent Netflix TV show, just see where it goes in a few months’ time… SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: 1976’s notorious weekly, Action, while groundbreaking in the levels of on-panel violence it permitted, was very traditional in one aspect, that of presenting ‘free gifts’ with selected issues to boost circulation or pique interest. We have here a fine pair of examples: 21st Feb 1976 – the second issue – with the original free gift, a t-shirt transfer of cuddly man-eating shark Hookjaw, and 29th May ’76, which proffers a Battleships-style ‘Invasion!’ game card. The 21/2 issue is a sparkling FN at £60, with the gift as VG (just slight wear around the edges, no damage to image), and the 29/5 is a remarkable VF, with the gift also VF.
*Marvel: Following in the teeny-tiny footsteps of Hank Pym, second-rate second-storey man Scott Lang borrowed – okay, stole – Hank’s cybernetic gear to become the second Ant-Man – but it was to save the life of his dying daughter, so he was doing the wrong thing for the right reason! John Byrne and David Michelinie’s reinterpretation of the classic Marvel hero took a while to catch on (Hank himself resumed the role on more than one occasion), but Scott endeared himself to the readership over time (a long stretch co-starring in Jessica Jones’ ‘Alias’ title not hurting his exposure…) and now, as the star of his own successful comic book and movie franchise, Scott seems firmly entrenched in the old insect hat. This was Scott’s first appearance in costume (he had had a fleeting cameo in Avengers, prior), and is a VF+ pence copy offered at a comparatively bargainaceous £50.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: We’re rounding up a couple of dozen miscellaneous Picture Libraries that have come our way in recent weeks. Just one or two of each added: Action, Air Ace, Combat, Cowboy, Lion, Secret Agent Holiday Special, Super Detective, Suspense Holiday Special, late Thrillers with Jet Ace Logan, Valiant & Wild West.
*Modern Reprints: A devil’s dozen reprint editions of EC’s classic horror tales under the Tales From The Crypt banner, five from Gladstone in 1990 and seven from Russ Cochran in 1991. Yes, you’re right, these have been reprinted ad infinitum in more formats than you’ve had hot dinners, and you know why? Because they’re among the best comics ever crafted and published; EC defined the horror comic. This is an inexpensive way to see what all the fuss is about without investing in either the originals or the luxury format reprint editions.
*Tarzan/ERB: Comic versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic creations from both sides of the pond added this week, inc (US) Marvel’s John Carter, Warlord Of Mars (from #1 up), Gold Key’s Korak #1 from 1964, Marvel’s Tarzan (from #1 up) and (UK) from the 1970’s Top Sellers’ Korak, Tarzan Bumper Album and Tarzan Of The Apes Fortnightly, plus from the 1950’s, Westworld’s Tarzan Adventures.
*DC: Our Batmania Max events carries on, this time featuring five tricky-to-get Batmans from the period before UK distribution started in the late 1950’s. Star of this show is Batman #92, with the first appearance of Ace the Bat-Hound, a very decent VG+ copy at £265 with a rich blue background colour, tight staples and nice page quality; a couple of minor cover creases at the corners (not across the cover images) prevent it grading higher. The other four issues in this update are #104, #106, #107 & #113, and while these are not up to the grade of the #92, all having some defect such as partially taped spines or minor cover scuffing, they are all okay copies which would sit well in a collection. Check our catalogue for full details of the grades and prices on these.
*Marvel UK: A substantial update to our stock of Marvel’s UK division running through the 1970’s, primarily of their inaugural title Mighty World of Marvel – with dozens of new issues ranging from the #60’s to the early #200’s – and thirty or so issues of Spider-Man Comics Weekly, but also touching on Avengers, Punisher, Marvel Team-Up, Dracula Lives, Savage Sword of Conan (weekly and monthly versions), the Super-Heroes, Titans, and the Complete Fantastic Four, all of which have between six and twenty new additions! These re-packaged black & white reprints of classic Marvel stories are an entire generation’s first exposure to these heroes, and are very fondly remembered. A bonus for completists is that, as the stories had to be re-formatted for the serial form preferred by UK weeklies, there are many, many new covers and new splash pages, by then-neophyte artists, some of whom went on to greater things (viz. Jim Starlin, Esq.), and many of whom…didn’t. All told, a shade over 200 new issues stuffed into our bulging boxes!
*Marvel: It’s the mid 1970’s and Marvel introduces us to a big dose of sci-fi as the ‘War Of The Worlds’ series debuts with issue #18 of Amazing Adventures. Loosely (and we do mean loosely) based on the H G Wells classic of the same name, the series features Killraven as the central heroic character against the Martian invaders. The series ran up to #39 and we have all issues new in, all in high grade cents copies (lowest being FN+). Relative bargains (until they announce a film of it), this sci-fi saga features the art of Neal Adams in the first issue and such luminaries as Howard Chaykin and P. Craig Russell subsequently.
Dr. Evilla’s latest window-dressing extravaganza features a panorama of British comic covers from the 1930’s to the 1980’s, with many of the most famous British comics of the 20th century featured. Six glorious decades when the British comics industry was a publishing phenomenon, and a range of graphic storytelling that will never be seen again — but you can experience it right here at 30th Century!
*Girls’ Comics: Another entry in our Poptastic! range, this time Valentine, the long-running pop/comic strip hybrid. More than 10 issues in from 1958-1960, when the cover feature gimmick was a comic strip illustrating the story of a hit song of the time, plus one stray issue from 1972, the New Year edition in fact.
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 British section:
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Just one book in this week’s update, but it’s a rare gem! From 2001, the very limited edition of Anthony Skene’s Monsieur Zenith, the Albino, published by Savoy Books, a chunky VF/NM hardback with a VF/NM dust-jacket. Although Zenith started out as a nemesis for Sexton Blake, and indeed went on to become his most famous opponent, he evolved into stories in his own right, published in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Monsieur Zenith has more than a passing resemblance to Sherlock Holmes, being a prodigious user of opiates, a master of disguise and a virtuoso violinist. Although Zenith operates on the wrong side of the law, he is morally on the side of justice, for all his amoral posturing. Savoy’s presentation here makes the volume nothing less than a paean to weird pulp in all its crazed glory. Not only is the original text incredibly obscure — the publishers are aware of only three extant copies of the 1936 edition — but Savoy have also included original Zenith illustrations, including a number of covers from the likes of Detective Weekly and Union Jack, as well as new illustrations, an exhaustively researched introduction by Jack Adrian and a fascinating foreword by Michael Moorcock in which he cites Zenith as the inspiration for his own creation Elric. A beautiful thing at £60. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: As a coda to our big Buster update last week, we’ve added several dozen more of this long-lived title between the years 1981-1987, all new to our listings.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: A terrific trio of titles in Marvel magazines this week, as we add several issues of Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu (from #1 onwards), Rampaging Hulk (later just Hulk) and Monsters Unleashed. Many issues new to our listings; consult our catalogue for full details.
*DC : A very special segment of our Batmania Max event this week. The breakout character of the late 20th Century, Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel began as the Joker’s therapist, but – in a case of transference gone wild – assumed the identity of Harley Quinn, and became his partner in crime, taking over entire episodes of the Batman Animated TV show and spinning off into DC’s comic-book adaptation of same with its 12th issue in 1993. This was followed by the groundbreaking ‘Mad Love’ one shot by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, filling in Harl’s backstory, and her place in comics history was assured, eventually transferring from the animated kiddie’s line to the mainstream DCU and solo stardom. This update, we are pleased to present Harley’s first five appearances in comics: Batman Adventures #12, Batman Adventures: Mad Love (1st printing), Batman Adventures Annual #1, Batman Adventures #28, and Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1, a Quinntette of criminal coquetry and craziness! Not content with that, we have the first three issues of Harley’s first solo series in 2000, by Kesel and the Dodsons, and the hard-to-find Batman: Harley & Ivy three-part mini-series from 2004. Grades and prices as follows:
Batman Adventures #12 is a gorgeous VF/NM pence copy at £400, a gorgeous copy with just a minor non-colour breaking 1″ crease across bottom right corner precluding NM grade or higher.
Batman Adventures Mad Love is the first printing, NM- pence at £85.
Batman Adventures Annual #1 is NM pence £25.
Batman Adventures #28 is NM pence £20.
Batman Adventures Holiday Special is NM pence £15
Harley Quinn #1 is NM/M £50
Batman: Harley & Ivy #1 is NM/M £35, #2 NM £20, #3 VF/NM £15.
With Ms. Quinn’s imminent big-screen debut in the Suicide Squad movie, her star is steadily rising, so prices on her earlier appearances are only going to increase. SORRY, BATMAN ADVENTURES #12 NOW SOLD
This coming Thursday 16th June, our basement, where we have all our British comics and the vast majority of American back issues from 1976-2015 will be closed for a stock ‘shuffle’ to facilitate better access to certain areas. There will be no customer access to our basement on this day (one day only). Please take this into account if planning a shop visit!
*Marvel: Monarch of Wakanda, heir to the mantle of the Black Panther, T’Challa has been a long-running supporting character and solo star in the Marvel Universe, with several popular and acclaimed series to his credit. This issue, Fantastic Four #52, is where it all got started, as the First Family of Marveldom discovered the secrets of his African nation. This is a pence copy, in Fine condition – a very nice copy with unmarred cover image, only minor edge creasing at top corners and wear around upper staple, but very presentable. A small 1/4″ nick at top edge throughout does not detract from the reading enjoyment of this high-demand issue. Priced at £300. Prices are soaring on this issue and set to continue to rise as T’Challa joins the Marvel movie cast first in the current Captain America III: Civil War, to be followed in 2018 by his own solo outing.
*DC: Our second visit to our Batmania Max event this week features something different. In the mid-1970’s, when comics sales were at their lowest ebb, desperate publishers were trying new formats and wonky ideas, and Batman Family – on the surface, a silly idea – developed into a popular and well-produced title. Originally intended for an issue of the showcase title First Issue Special, a team-up of Batgirl and Robin by Elliot S. Maggin and Mike Grell languished in an inventory cupboard until someone decided to use it to front an extra-thick title of mostly reprints, focussing on the supporting cast of the Batman mythos. Batman Family #1, released in 1975, proved an unexpected hit, and after an all-reprint #2, subsequent issues featured the “Dynamite Duo”, as the Batgirl/Robin combo became known, either teamed up or in solo stories. The unlikely crimefighting partnership blossomed into an even less Likelier romance between the teenage (but legal) Boy Wonder and the twentysomething Dominoed Daredoll,and they found true lurve while battling the Cavalier, Killer Moth, and Joker’s Daughter – who made her debut in issue #6, before returning in #’s 8 & 9 – as well as teaming up with forgotten characters like Batwoman (#10 and subsequent) and the original Bat-Girl. The reprints were sidelined as the series went all-new in its teens, and a Man-Bat series was added, while some interesting art by (then) relatively new illustrators was featured; Marshall Rogers, Michael Golden, and some stunning Mike Kaluta covers being the highlight. When, with issue #17, the title went to ‘Dollar Comic’ size, and the Huntress series was added, it was a varied and intriguing read – but sadly, the infamous ‘DC Implosion’ of the late ’70s took its toll, and the title as cancelled with #20, with several features being absorbed into Detective Comics before it, too, shrank back to normal size. Great fun while it lasted, and often a quirky experimental read. This high grade complete run features as highlights a VF/NM first issue at £40, and all three early stories featuring the Joker’s Daughter character: #6 NM- £75 (pictured), # 8 VF/NM £15, and #9 NM £40 (pictured, first cover app). At best patchily distributed in the UK, and with many issues never released to newsagents, BatFam, as it’s familiarly called, is one of the scarcer DC’s on these shores in any grade.
*DC: Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon rocked the comics world – and the wider world – with their Preacher series in the 1990’s, as the hard-drinking, swearing, violent and fornicating Jesse Custer, Reverend of the title, blazed his way on a quest to violate every taboo in the panelological lexicon, assisted by his gorgeous hitwoman girlfiend Tulip and his Irish vampire BFF, Cassidy. This trio of unlikely heroes pursued and were pursued by an even more scatological selection of antagonists in a narrative that was unashamedly sexist, racist, homophobic, blasphemous – and shot through with a mordant, acidic humour that had even the detractors guffawing. Always a hot seller, back numbers of Preacher are warming up further with the Amazon original series starring Dominic Cooper as the eponymous Man O’God, so our issue #1, in FN+ at £90, is positively bargainacious! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Laura Kinney, the cloned daughter of Wolverine who has now succeeded to her almost-Dad’s name and role, made her debut in an inauspicious series called NYX (2003), which had already been cancelled and reconfigured once prior to its launch. A low-interest title, with few reader expectations and an extremely limited press run, the later popularity of the character has taken collectors by surprise, and back issue sales of her premiere, NYX #3, have gone crackerdog on the internet. We have NYX #3, with a cover featuring Laura in teenage hooker finery, new in in an exceptional Mint condition, offered at £175. And yes, that is a lot, but check out what’s being asked for it elsewhere! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: From a passing appearance as an antagonist in Werewolf By Night, the character of Moon Knight, a.k.a. Marc Spector, eccentric billionare, compulsive role-player and nocturnal crimefighter (Hmm… where’ve we heard that description before?) wormed his way rapidly into the readers’ hearts, and the clamour triggered his first solo foray in Marvel Spotlight #28. Now in in an attractive VF/NM cents copy at £45, but – given the hints dropped in the Marvel cinematic universe – soon, we suspect, to spiral upwards in price! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Normally Quirky Corner is reserved for the more outlandish and esoteric sectors of our beloved hobby, the titles or characters of which one says; “I can’t believe they did that!”. In this case, it’s a little different. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, by its eighth issue in August 1989, was already making waves around comics critics, but interest piqued when #8 introduced the sister of the hero, Morpheus, a.k.a. Dream of the Endless. Death, in the form of a chirpy goth maiden with far too much eyeshadow, introduced a much-needed humourous note into the series, and became a star of her own mini-series in due course. This particular version of #8, however, suffered from a rather peculiar printing error, in which editorial and advertising matter was transposed from other publications. The story pages are all present and in the right order, so the important content is unaffected, but for some reason this misprint, of which there are only approximately 600 copies known, has caught the collector’s eye, and is going for insane prices on the American collectors’ market, where slabbed NM copies have sold for as high as $1300+. This VF+ pence copy is a tough one to value, but we believe our asking price of £500 represents a good investment potential and compares very favourably with recorded sales of this esoteric oddity.
*Marvel: A duet of debuts for the distaff side of Marvel’s Misunderstood Mutants; in X-Men issue #101, Jean Grey, the former Marvel Girl, got her telepathic talents turned up to 11 when a bombardment of cosmic rays altered her into the cosmic entity known as Phoenix! Except for a while when she wasn’t Phoenix, and Phoenix was a star-force that thought it was Jean. And then it was Jean again all along. We’ve lost track of where the current continuity has the Phoenix, but wherever she is, her first appearance is here! To accompany this, we also have issue #129, with the twin premieres of the dark and the light of the X-Women: Kitty Pryde, the dematerializing damsel who was Shadowcat, Ariel, and is currently Star-Lord (don’t ask), and the majestic mental marvel, Emma Frost, intermittently known as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. Issue #101 is FNp at £45, #129 is also FNp at £25.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: No, not a legal firm, but three of the great Science Fiction authors, represented by a mixture of well-known and unusual titles. From Philip K Dick we have Solar Lottery and We Can Build You (with cover art by John Schoenherr), from Frank Herbert, Dune, Hellstrom’s Hive, The Dosadi Experiment and The Dragon In The Sea and from the irrepressible Kurt Vonnegut Jr we have Breakfast of Champions, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Mother Night, Slaughterhouse 5, The Sirens Of Titan and Wampeters Foma & Granfalloons.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Our titanic trawl through the entire history of Valiant continues at last this week as we reach 1969, with most issues present from that year in our latest update. The quality of this title speaks for itself, so we don’t need to do the hard sell here. We’ll be moving into the 1970’s with more new Valiants as soon as we can!
*Humour Comics: Listen kids, it’s time for fun — it’s a great new comic and it’s No. 1! Yes it’s Oink #1, the irreverent Viz-like cult hit from 1986, complete with its Free Gift: a pig-shaped pink plastic record featuring The Oink Song and Oink Rap by the Oinklettes. Both comic and Gift are FN at a total of £15. And as a bonus, we also have a VG copy of Cracker #2 from 1975 also at £15 with a Fine Free Gift: the Cracker Big Bang. Both gifts guaranteed to make some noise!
*DC: Our massive Batmania Max event continues this week with a complete run of Batman from #301-350, a good solid run of adventures featuring the Joker, Riddler, Two-Face, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and many other infamous foes. Unusually in this large Batman collection we’re working through, this range is characterised by low-mid grades, many averaging Good to Very Good. This makes them very affordable indeed, and many bargains will doubtless be quickly snapped up, very often cheaper than the price of a new comic today!
*Humour Comics: A further update to our stock of Buster, one of our best-selling titles, this time a couple of hundred issues new in between the years 1972-1979, inc. many Christmas, New Year and Easter issues. Also included is the first ‘Leopard From Lime Street’ strip in the issue dated 27th March 1976.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: A varied selection this update including Sywald’s Psycho (#2, 1st modern Heap), Drag Cartoons with Batman ’66 TV cover and parody, Son Of Sherlock Holmes by Byron Preiss & Ralph Reese in the Fiction Illustrated series, the less common #2 issue of Heroes Inc Presents by Wood, Ditko & Byrne, the rare His Name Is Savage #1 and only with art by Gil Kane, Jack Kirby’s Hunger Dogs graphic novel and Spirit World, Web Of Horror #3 with Wrightson, Reese and Kaluta and Atlas Seaboard’s Weird Tales Of The Macabre. Esoteric or what?
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:
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Marvel: A quick, spring-like gambol through three decades of Marvel, featuring Black Goliath, Daredevil, Contest Of Champions (from 1982, the first Marvel mini-series and new to our listings), Marvel Classics Comics, Marvel Feature 1st series (#2, the 2nd Defenders), Amazing Spider-Man (inc #365 with hologram cover), the Spider-Man Vs Wolverine one-shot from 1987 (featuring the death of Ned Leeds, the ‘old’ Hobgoblin) and a nice FN/VF copy of Sub-Mariner #3.
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: From the early 1970’s, over a dozen new copies of Star Love Stories in Pictures fresh into stock. This always popular title is an attractive package, with a ‘done-in-one’ poignant picture story romance tale within a gorgeously painted full colour cover and a back cover and interior covers with pop pin-ups (I was delighted to spot personal favourites Dave Cousins, Medicine Head, Frank Zappa and the Edgar Broughton Band rather than the usual pop fare). All copies VG except a few FNs.
*DC: The Bat-Signal blazes in the sky once more, summoning us to a fresh batch of the Caped Crusader’s exploits, from issue #200, at the tail end of the Batman TV show’s success, through to #250, when Denny O’Neil and his new ‘Darknight Detective’ initiative breathed new life into the Gotham Guardian. There are many highlights of this sequence: Batman’s shocking abandonment of the Batcave, and Robin’s solo career, classic villains reinterpreted for the new decade, multitudinous extra-thick reprint Giants of vintage material, 100-Page Spectaculars, and the advent of a certain artist named Adams, in one of the most creative periods in Batman’s history. Particular milestones, illustrated below, are #200, (FN/VF £50) the Anniversary issue, with a team-up of Batman’s greatest villains (and the Getaway Genius, but never mind); #208 (VF- £50), the “Women In Batman’s Life”, scarce and often overlooked, it features a new story liking the reprints, in which a Big Reveal about the Batman’s origin was disclosed for the first time; #232 (FN+ £150), the debut of the sinister Ra’s Al Ghul, by O’Neil and Adams, bringing one of the Batman’s greatest foes to life; and #234 (VF/NM £200), the modern-day return of classic villain Two-Face. But it doesn’t stop there; there’s a plethora of issues new in and waiting for you – just check out the catalogue listing for grades and prices! More Batmania next week!
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: By its tenth issue, Wolfman and Colan’s highly-acclaimed run on Tomb of Dracula was in full swing, racking up plaudits from critics and fans alike, when suddenly there came a character who was to outstrip the success of his comic-book ‘parent’. Blade the Vampire Slayer debuted in issue #10, and, numerous comic-book appearances and a highly successful movie trilogy (Marvel’s first such, in fact) behind him, remains one of the more enduring breakthrough characters of the 1970’s. This VG/FN pence copy is sound, with strong staples, excellent page quality, unbroken cover colour, and only minimal fine creasing at the corners precluding a higher grade. Offered at £70. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Miscellaneous 1960 Onwards: Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard’s ongoing saga of a band of survivors struggling to get by in the wake of a Zombie apocalypse has achieved huge popularity, helped along by the TV show in which Andrew Lincoln plays our hero, Rick Grimes, with an American accent that after several seasons is almost convincing. New stock for the Dead this week includes forst and second printings of #100, in which the new ‘Big Bad’ of the series, Negan, made his debut. Oddly, the second printing – the only variant on #100 which had Negan featured on the cover – outstrips all of the #100 first printing variants in demand, and this NM/M copy is offered at £50 – but for those of you who just want the story, a first printing is also available at a mere £8! Further additions this week include selections from the range #106-122, and a smattering in the early #150’s. SORRY, #100 2ND PRINT NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A selection of premier issues from the 1970’s and 1980’s, including Black Goliath, Black Panther by Jack Kirby (rather startling people who’d been following the McGregor/Graham version over in Jungle Action), Godzilla King of Monsters, the Inhumans, Logan’s Run, the New Mutants, Rom Space Knight, and the ‘Original X-Men’, X-Factor. First issues are always highly sought-after, and with the Marvel media Empire happily strip-mining its own history for source material, who knows which one will be the springboard for the next cinematic blockbuster? (Okay, probably not Black Goliath, I’ll give you that…) Full details of grades and prices in our catalogue listings.
*Marvel: The 1986 New Mutants Annual, issue #2, featured a delightful story illustrated by Alan Davis which had much to commend it – including the first American appearance of Betsy Braddock (sister of Captain Britain) as Psylocke, one of a number of psychically-talented ladies with which the X-Men have been blessed at various times. This version, all pretty in pink and strongly reminiscent of the then-popular Princess Diana, is a very far cry from the later Asian Babe with an array of psychic weapons we saw in later comics (and the recent Age of Apocalypse movie, played by the rather embarrassed-looking Olivia Munn). Nevertheless, it’s her first appearance, and as such has recently escalated in demand. This Fine copy would grade higher but for a tiny tear at the upper right cover edge, just a fraction of an inch out from the top spine. Otherwise in excellent condition, it is offered at £20.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: From 1978, the entire run of the sci-fi weekly Starlord, a quality item which featured a number of innovative strips – “Strontium Dog”, “Ro-Busters”, “Planet of the Damned”, “Timequake” and more – and with more colour pages and slicker paper, seemed to be attempting to upgrade the 2000 AD model. Sadly, mass audiences didn’t care whether there were higher production standards or not, and after only 22 issues, Starlord was absorbed into 2000 AD, with Strontium Dog and Ro-Busters being the long-term survivors. All 22 issues new in, in mid-high grades, plus the one and only Summer Special, also from 1978 (FN £30).
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: Half-a-dozen of the later Millie the Model Annuals/Specials, each of which proudly proclaimed over its masthead, “A Queen-Size Special!” – to distinguish them from the testosterone-soaked super-hero “King-Size” counterparts. In 1967, the venerable Millie the Model series had a ‘reboot’ (and you thought DC were the first…), flipping from a soap-opera romance to a shameless imitation of the ‘mod’ Archie style, and the Annuals followed suit, under the artistic helm of Stan Goldberg. These are all of the ‘Mod’ Millie Annuals, from 1968’s #7 through to #12 in 1975 – dated three years after Millie’s own ongoing title shut shop! Most are Fine or better, seldom seen in any grade, and some very attractive copies. #11 pictured.
*Modern Reprints: A couple more of DC’s handsome hardcover Archive Editions added to our inventory: the one and only Blackhawk volume reprinting the early Golden Age adventures of Blackhawk from Military Comics #1-17, plus Volume 2 of the Justice League Of America, with true classic tales of the early days of the JLA by Gardner Fox & Mike Sekowsky. Check our catalogue for full details of these and other Archive Editions available.
*Girls’ Comics: It’s all happening in this update (fab, gear) as we once again go Poptastic!, incorporating our Free Gift Farrago feature as well! Seven excellent issues of the superior story/pop comic Boyfriend from the early 1960’s, aimed at an older market than your traditional British Girls’ Comic. Comic strips and text stories, pin-ups, pop features and all other things important to teenage girls in the early 1960’s, all printed on higher quality paper than a regular comic of the time and oozing style. Moreover, two issues have their Free Gifts, both from 1963: #192 boasts a Cliff Richard Wall Panel (i.e. poster) and #204 a Disc Pictorial Supplement sporting a Beatles cover. Both may be seen below. Ginchy!
*Mad & Other Parody: Following the success of Mad’s American incarnation, transitioning seamlessly from comic book to the parody mag which became an international institution, it wasn’t long before British publishers had an eye on borrowing some of Mad’s success. In 1959, Thorpe & Porter, who distributed many American magazines in the UK, launched a Mad #1 reprinting selections from the American mag, and started a series that would endure for decades and almost four hundred issues. This week, we have a highly attractive Fine copy of UK Mad # 1 fresh into stock, crisp, clean, unimpeded page images, with only moderate corner and edge wear belying a higher grade, and with a classic cover image of Alfred E. Neuman to boot!
*Humour Comics: A dozen or so Summer or Holiday Specials for the classic IPC/Fleetway weeklies, with new stock in for Buster, Buster & Monster Fun, Jackpot, Knockout, Whizzer & Chips, Whoopee, and Wow. Ranging from 1973 through to 1986, but predominantly from the early 1980’s, this unusually high-grade selection averages FN/VF, with a couple of nicer examples. Join ‘Kid King’, ‘The Toffs & The Toughs’, ‘Bumpkin Billionaires’, ‘Boy Boss’, ‘Shipwreck School’ and more for extra-thick (and you can interpret that how you like) summertime frolics!
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.
*DC: It starts here! Welcome to our special Batmania Max event, running through the summer, as we unveil one of the best Batman collections ever to come through our hands. We’re starting with an outstanding brace of Batman – wrapped in plastic! We here at 30th C., as you all know, think slabbing takes away from the main purpose of comics, i.e., to read and enjoy. But railing Canute-like at trends in the marketplace doesn’t change the fact that a lot of folks out their like the CGC-graded items, and there is no doubt that they’re preferred by investors, so we’re happy to present them as we get them. Here we have two true vintage issues of Batman. The first is issue #7, October-November 1941, with a spectacular iconic cover and featuring an early appearance by the Joker. This is offered at £1,000. Accompanying it is issue #86, from September 1954, again featuring a Joker story, plus one of the goofy variant Batman guises, as our Dynamic Duo become “Man-Of-The-Bats and little Raven!”. It also, we are told, features the first appearance of the Bat-Submarine. Was there a second appearance of the Bat-Submarine? We may never know! For such a packed issue, this runs to a comparatively bargainaceous £150. Both these vintage items are graded by CGC’s valuers at unrestored (universal blue label) 4.5 (a VG+ equivalent), so… if you like this slabbed sort of thing, then this is the slabbed sort of thing you like! More from this special Batman event very soon!
*Marvel & Marvel UK: An odd couple of debuts this update, with characters who wouldn’t become retroactively linked until decades afterward! In June 1971’s Astonishing Tales #6, an un-named mystery woman with brown hair turns up on Ka-Zar’s doorstep, uttering dire warnings of future events with mysterious psychic powers never after referred to. All evidence to the contrary, this is the first appearance of Dr. Barbara ‘Bobbi’ Morse, biochemist and Agent of SHIELD, who would later enter the superheroic life as the Huntress (one time, before DC said ‘Oi’), and then as Mockingbird. Bobbi’s endured a great deal in her time, serving with the Avengers, dying and coming back from Hell, and marrying Hawkeye, but her greatest visibility is being incarnated by the lovely Adrienne Palicki in the hit TV show “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD”, and this issue is where the character’s lengthy career kicked off. And to be fair, a girl could have a worse start in life than being drawn by Barry Smith at the peak of his talent. This highly attractive VF- Cents copy is offered at £25. Joining Ms. Morse is her televisual hubby (well ex.), SHIELD agent Lance Hunter, who made his debut in the Feb. 16th, 1977 issue of Captain Britain Weekly, Marvel UK’s first attempt to create an indigenous British super-hero. From a very incidental supporting character, the improbably-named Lancelot Hunter’s prominence spiked when played by the equally implausibly-monickered actor Nick Blood in SHIELD’s TV iteration. This FN copy is offered for a scant £20.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Some very unusual and hard to find books have sashayed into the Crime section, mainly from the 1950’s and frequently with the author using a pseudonym to protect their reputation. Highlights include Ladies Sleep Alone (Lew Della), The City Of Lost Women (Griff), Torment (Hank Janson), Gin Wedding (Ann Lawrence), No Prude (Jules-Jean Morac) and Sex (Paul Renin). Many have very attractive cover art: all the Hank Janson titles have Heade covers, Jules-Jean Morac’s No Prude has a David Wright cover, while Michael Storme’s Make Mine A Harlot has cover art by John Pollack.
*TV & Film Related Comics: Free Gift Farrago! 1971’s launch of Countdown was a spiritual successor to TV Century 21, featuring strip adaptations Doctor Who and the Gerry Anderson oeuvre – Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds, UFO et al. Though some of the Anderson features were outright reprints of TV 21’s earlier efforts, the new material was of a high standard, including the eponymous ‘Countdown’ strip, superbly illustrated by John Burns. Sadly, the hard-core SF audience didn’t sustain, and by the mid-#30’s, Countdown broadened its remit to TV adventure, with the addition of The Persuaders and Hawaii-Five-O to the lineup, followed by its conversion, with issue #59, to TV Action, with Dr. Who and UFO holding the fort against an invasion of other detective/adventure series. We have many issues of this excellent series back in stock. The first eight are high grade, among the nicest we’ve ever seen, with issue #1 possessing its original Free Gift – a giant Space Chart with Stick-On Stamps (not stuck). The comic is VF- and the Free Gift (an unused and sparkling VF/NM); the price for the #1 plus gift is £140. We also have a selection of lesser-seen issues from the 40’s and 50’s, the first few of the TV Action iteration, and the Countdown Holiday Special from 1971 – the latter admittedly only in Fair condition, but complete!
*Younger Readers’ Comics: Tons of fun for the pre-school set this week! Bobo Bunny is restocked from his second issue, and a further twenty copies take him through 1969 to the beginning of 1970, accompanied by his Funny Family and co-stars such as ‘Pinkie Puff’ and ‘Uncle Bungle and Little Clever Dick’. Our new stock of Jack and Jill spans the years from 1957 to 1970, with the eponymous twins of Buttercup Farm joined at various times by Harold Hare, Freddie Frog, Jolly Jingles and a plethora of playmates. We have a handful each of companion papers Pippin and Playland – just enough for seasoning – with the the Pogles, Tingha and Tucker, Sooty, Andy Panda, Trumpton et al, and we close with a substantial amount of Playhour from 1968 to 1970, including the first Playhour/Robin merger issue in ’69. Playhour sported the ultimate in TV star power with cover-feature “The Magic Roundabout”, but also co-starred Crackerjack hosts Peter Glaze and Leslie Crowther in their own comic-strip adventures, and Rolf Harris and his little Coojeebear. About which, probably, the less said the better.