*Girls’ Picture Libraries: A bevvy of favourites here this week, featuring Bunty, Debbie, Judy & Mandy, but also an uncommon Bunty/Judy Bumper Library from 1977 (FA £5) and the first 2 issues of Girl PL.
*Marvel: In 1975, someone at Marvel had the bright idea of using up some currently unused characters to form a new team, resulting in possibly the most mis-matched group ever to grace the House Of Ideas. Angel & Iceman were not wanted in the New X-Men, Hercules and Black Widow had no place in the Avengers, and Ghost Rider is possibly the least likely team player of all. The series floundered for a few issues until John Byrne got hold of it mid-run and made it work with some surprisingly gripping stories and art. Sadly, not enough to stave off cancellation after issue #17, but the series provides an interesting footnote to Marvel’s team books and is fondly remembered in some circles. The entire run in nice shape now fresh into stock!
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: For this SF update we have selected authors that we have not previously listed. These include Iain M. Banks, Michael Bishop, Michael Coney, D. G. Compton, William Gibson, John Jakes, Doris Lessing, C. S. Lewis, John Morressey, Joseph O’Neill, George Orwell, H. Beam Piper, Alex Raymond, George O. Smith and George R. Stewart. A particular highlight is a Perry Rhodan story by Kurt Brand.
*TV & Film Related Comics: Several dozen issues of TV Action (the successor to Countdown) new in this week, between #66 and the final issue #132, before it was merged with TV Comic. Features include Jon Pertwee’s Dr. Who, UFO, Captain Scarlet, Stingray, the Persuaders, Mission Impossible, the Protectors, Alias Smith & Jones and many others.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: A pair of hardboiled authors augment our Crime section with their equally hardnosed creations. Four Mike Shayne adventures by Brett Halliday and three Carter Brown PIs (Mavis Seidlitz, Rick Holman and Danny Boyd) together with Carter Brown’s cop, Al Wheeler, tackle a dizzying array of enticing/sensuous/willing/uninhibited/luscious/stacked/ gorgeous (delete as you wish) Blonde, Brunette, and Redhead femmes fatales, with not a Mouse to be seen. Many of these books are enhanced by Robert McGinnis covers.
*Marvel: Never more appropriately timed, for Star Wars Day, we welcome the first issue – and first printing thereof – of the original Marvel Star Wars title, with Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin presenting the first of many comic-strip adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, and all the gang! This is a 30c-priced Near Mint Minus copy, in excellent condition, at £100. Vivid unbroken cover colour and gloss, white unmarred interior pages, with only the very faintest of wear at the lower edge belying a higher grade. A very desirable copy for the reader and the investor alike, particularly with the movie excitement just around the corner!
*Marvel: In the watershed year of 1968, Marvel had become successful enough to overcome distributor’s restrictions on how many of its titles could be carried, and the double-feature titles fissioned, with each feature gaining its own solo series – one half of each pair continuing the numbering of the parent title, and the other half commencing with a new #1. Thus Tales of Suspense begat Captain America #100 and Iron Man #1, Tales to Astonish begat Hulk #102 and Sub-Mariner #1, and Strange Tales begat Doctor Strange #169 and Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #1. We have all six sensational debut issues new this week, as well as the oddball hybrid Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1, which used up prepared half-helpings before Subby and Shell-Head moved on to their own series. By the cream of Marvel talent at the time – Kirby, Colan, Buscema, Adkins, Severin and Steranko – the grades on these range from a very affordable FA+ on Iron Man #1 to a stunning VF/NM on Captain America #100. This is where the second wave of Marvel began, and here’s a chance to grab them all! SORRY, THESE HAVE ALL NOW SOLD
And here’s the details on these:
Captain America #100 VF/NM cents £325
Iron Man #1 FA+ pence £35
Hulk #102 VG/FN pence £40
Sub-Mariner #1 VG/FN pence £35
Nick Fury, Agent Of Shield #1 VG/FN pence £25
Doctor Strange #1 VF+ pence £90
Iron Man & Sub-Mariner #1 FN+ cents £40
*Magazines/Books About US Vintage Comics: New stock for many major (and some obscure) titles in this enduringly popular section: Back Issue, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Creator, Comicology, Comics Forum, Comics Journal, First Class Comic Review, Graphic Eye, the controversial 1970’s US commentary ‘zine Inside Comics, rare issues of Jack Kirby Collector, and the one-off Kirby tribute from 1994, Taaru!
We’ve added a few more content information details for Alan Class Reprints, which can be found in our Rough Guide from the Alan Class section on our Extras page. One by one, we’re tracking down and recording the contents of these!
*Annuals: A few dozen annuals added to Beano and its spin-offs Bash Street Kids and Dennis The Menace. From recent decades, these are generally in very nice shape. Bash Street Kids between 1980 (1st BSK Annual) and 2005, Beano between 2003-2011, and Dennis between 1989-1998.
As usual, we shall be open this coming Bank Holiday Monday 4th May, during our normal hours of 10:30-18:00.
*Marvel: We reach the end of our ‘Assembling the Avengers’ special event with Annuals/Specials and Giant-Size issues. Specials #1 & #2 (Annuals) and Giant-Size #1-4 all feature new material and some momentous storylines for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Lots of the Mandarin, Kang, Rama-Tut, Dormammu and, in GS #4. the double wedding of the Vision & the Scarlet Witch and of Mantis and the Swordsman. That’s all for the Avengers for the time being — we hope you’ve enjoyed our ‘assembling’ and have added a few nice issues to your collection!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A large update to our stocks of the second series of Eagle, that most venerable of Boys’ Comic titles, with new issues in for 1982-1990, including the 1st Eagle & Tiger from 1985.
*DC: Silver Age DC was about more than just super-heroes, with a diverse range of adventure stories produced in a milieu of settings. This update we have Blackhawk, Brave & Bold with Cave Carson Inside Earth, House Of Secrets, Sea Devils by Russ Heath (inc. #2 and their 3rd appearance in Showcase #29) and Strange Adventures.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A selection of single-author SF anthologies are added to the bookshelves this week. They include a two part autobiographical collection from Lester Del Rey, works by Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, Pohl and Sturgeon as well as a wonderfull collection by the too-often overlooked Alfred Bester. The Best of John W Campbell showcases five works by the man who mentored many burgeoning talents, and includes ‘Who Goes There?’, the highly influential novella that inspired four films (Howard Hawks’ 1951 original ‘The Thing From Another World’, ‘Horror Express (1972), John Carpenter’s 1982 version ‘The Thing’ and its 2011 prequel of the same name), an episode of the X-Files (Ice), other television episodes, a story with the alien’s version of events and even a gamebook.
*Western: A small update of Marvel western titles, featuring two #1 issues. Ghost Rider #1 (1967), Kid Colt, Rawhide Kid, Red Wolf (#1) & Western Gunfighters. Back in 1967, the Ghost Rider was named Carter Slade and rode a horse called Banshee — not a motorcycle or flaming skull in sight!
*DC: A quartet of the Treasury-sized adventures of the Caped Crusader from the mid 1970’s Limited Collectors’ Edition series, featuring among others the original Ras Al Ghul saga in C51 with art by Neal Adams and others. Great art looks sumptuous in this size and these seem to come on to the market quite rarely. SORRY, THESE HAVE ALL NOW SOLD
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: Six mostly high grade horror #1 issues from mighty Marvel in the 1970’s: Arrgh, Chamber Of Chills, Chamber Of Darkness, Man-Thing (1st series, with 2nd app. of Howard The Duck), Uncanny Tales & Weird Wonder Tales. SORRY, THESE HAVE ALL NOW SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: A quintet of the scarce TV Picture Stories series in very nice high grade (averaging FN/VF). Published by Pearsons from the late 1950’s, these showcased stories based on popular TV programmes of the time, in this instance O.S.S., Sword Of Freedom, William Tell, the Buccaneers & Hawkeye.
*Girls’ Comics: From the years 1981 and 1982, we’ve added several dozen issues of Girl (2nd series) and Bunty. Bunty is the classic Girls’ title with the Four Marys and scarcely needs much introduction here. The 2nd series of Girl bears little resemblance to the first and is characterised by grinning pre-pubescent young misses on the covers, many of whom feature more than once and, we strongly suspect, must have been related to editors — they certainly don’t look like models (and if you’re reading this and had your photo on a cover of Girl in 1981/82, we apologise and are sure that you must be the exception who is photogenic!)
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: Zombies are ever popular here at 30th Century, and this update we unveil a complete run of all ten issues of Marvel’s magazine-sized black and white Tales Of The Zombie from 1973. In very affordable mid-grades, a chance to own a collection of considerable gruesomosity!
*Humour Comics: A late entry into Fleetway IPC’s Humour Comics stable was Wow, which lasted just about a year from June 1982 to June 1983. We have most of the 1982 issues fresh into stock. A series most infamous now, perhaps, since it was ‘presented’ by Rolf Harris, and featured his Magic Brush. Make of that what you will.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: We are very pleased to present a complete run of all 40 issues of Ranger from 1965 to 1966, the first home of the Trigan Empire by Don Lawrence. Indeed, the very first issue, pictured here (GD/VG £30), includes the very first Trigan Empire strip. Generally in nice condition, this over-sized series doesn’t turn up too often; eventually after 40 issues, it was subsumed into Look & Learn, where the Trigan Empire continued to flourish for many years.
*TV / Film Tie-Ins: This update has three childrens’ television programmes, including the very first Dr Who adventure on paper, the Tomorrow People and Thunderbirds. We also have 1990 and (a first for us) a book based on a radio series, ‘The Hitch-hikers Guide To The Galaxy’.
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 American section:
*Miscellaneous 1960 Onwards
and from the following in our American/British section:
*Mad & Other Parody
and from the following in our British section:
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material
*Younger Readers’ Comics
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Marvel: Well, for weeks now, we’ve been counting down through a significant run of high-grade Thor and Journey Into Mystery acquisitions, and after passing through a myriad of lesser milestones, here it is – Journey into Mystery #83, in this VF grade the most valuable comic ever to pass through our hands. The very first appearance of Thor, God of Thunder, transformed by an ancient magic from a puny human into a being of amazing power – power which he quickly turns on the Stone Men of Saturn, who pick possibly the worst time ever to invade Earth. This is a beautiful cents copy, no UK overprint or price stamp. Vivid cover colour and gloss, flexible cream interior pages, no interior markings of any kind but for one previous owner’s name being written neatly across the splash page margin. The only cover defect is a very faint long crease (approx. 13 cm) running across the upper right diagonal, barely perceptible on close inspection. The debut issue of one of Marvel’s most popular and iconic characters, graded at VF and offered for £8700. Thumbnails are here of front and back covers; click on them for larger scans. High resolution scans are available on request. NB This comic is not stored on our premises; viewing is strictly by appointment only and a minimum of 24 hours’ notice is required.
To celebrate the conclusion of our Mighty Thor High Grade Countdown with the release of Journey Into Mystery #83, the lovely but lethal Dr. Evilla has created a Thor-themed window, combining a smorgasbord of the God of Thunder with his friends and foes alongside classic Thor covers from the Silver Age. No better time to dash off on Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge, and swing along to our shop for some Asgardian adventure!
*Humour Comics: A very unusual addition this update. Any World War II era issue of Dandy (November 25th 1944) in Fine condition would be uncommon enough, given its age and the exigencies of wartime paper rationing, but this issue features the debut of one of the Dandy’s most enduring features. It’s the first appearance of Black Bob, the Border Collie who outlasted Lassie, continuing his career well into the 1990’s, and still in popular consciousness today, as witness by Viz magazine’s spoofs of “Black Bag, The Faithful Border Bin Liner”. In addition to Black Bob’s 2-page prose debut (he didn’t evolve into a comic strip until later), this issue features regulars “Korky the Cat”, “Desperate Dan”, “Freddy the Fearless Fly”, the politically-incorrect “Inky-Poo”, and Superman – er, sorry, “The Amazing Mr. X”, who bears no resemblance at all to the famous Siegel & Shuster creation, plus many more. All this in a packed twelve pages (There was a war on, you know…), with beautiful off-white interiors, vivid unfaded cover colours and only very minimal spine and edge wear. FN at £100.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A huge update to two favourite titles in this section: Hundreds of Hotspur from 1962-1965 and from 1967-1975 & 1980, plus almost all of Roy of the Rovers from 1982, and a big chunk of 1983.
*Marvel: A lovely FN+ pence copy of Fantastic Four #25 at £160, the first part of the classic Hulk Vs Thing encounter. Brilliant cover colour (rich deep purple background) and gloss and nice page quality. Only very minor wear at top edge, a minor crease to the back cover and the fact that the front cover is slightly offset so that the staples are on the back cover and a couple of millimetres of the cover image are consequently ‘wrapped’ to the back stop a considerably higher grade on this beauty. Trust us, this one would be a joy to have in your collection!
*Marvel: From the first on-going Wolverine series in 1988, the most sought-after issue, #10 in a sparkling NM/MN grade at £45. This famously features the first (chronological) battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth back before Logan got his claws.
*Childrens’ Books: An exclusively equine addition to Childrens’ Books, with stories in paperback from Joseph E. Chipperfield (featuring wild horses), Diana and Josephine Pullein-Thompson and Ruby Ferguson (featuring less wild horses), and a first edition hardcover, Jo-Jo, by Ella Anderson.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: In this Books update we have three hardcover first editions of Nebula Award Stories (#1, 3 and 4), so to complement them we’ve added a selection of works by some of the authors included in these volumes: Brian Aldiss, J. G. Ballard, Samuel R. Delany, Gordon R. Dickson, Harlan Ellison, Anne McCaffrey, Michael Moorcock, Kate Wilhelm and Roger Zelazny.
*Horror 1940-1959: Our ‘Carry On, Pre-Code Horror Fest’ Atlas special swings into high gear with an impressive selection of Uncanny Tales; an appropriate 13 issues new into stock, from #2 upwards, including 8 of the first 10 issues. Grades range from PR to VG, making them very affordable for those that want to read the superior brand of Pre-Code Horror purveyed by Atlas in the early 1950’s.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: A small update to the classic Warren horror magazines of the 1970’s, Creepy & Eerie.
We are delighted to announce that the legendary publisher Alan Class will be signing copies of comics and collectors’ plate sets from his personal archives at our shop on Sunday 7th June 2015, and talking about his decades as a comics publisher. We will be opening especially on that Sunday just for this momentous event. Further details will appear here on a regular basis as we finalise plans, and we will shortly be launching a large selection of Plate Sets for sale in addition to those we already have listed. Watch this space!
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 Books section:
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: From 1960, a consecutive run of the DC sci-fi/mystery title My Greatest Adventure, issues #41-50. All low grade and very affordable for a non-expensive, fun read.
*Marvel: In almost the final stretch of our “Assembling the Avengers” event, we have the complete run from #101-200, including many low- or non-distributed issues, as this is around the time when – thank you, Marvel UK – distribution started to go horribly wrong. This is the eras when the second generation of Marvel scribes – Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart having the stewardship of most of this run – stretched out into to longer, more complex sagas, including the Avengers/Defenders War, the Korvac Saga, the Celestial Madonna, and the Serpent Crown Saga. New characters introduced included Mantis, Hellcat, Jocasta and Scott Lang (later the second Ant-Man) and, on the villainous side of the fence, Graviton and Taskmaster. In the high grade emblematic of this acquisition, and surprisingly hard to find, these are some of the most fondly remembered Avengers storylines. Coming soon: the final instalment of this wonderful collection featuring Annuals and Giant-Size issues.
*Marvel: Occasionally, we will make mention here of incoming stock which is not in the parameters of our catalogue. Such a series is the second run of What If, the Marvel ‘imaginary’ stories. Although you won’t find them listed on our website, a virtually complete run now graces the Marvel boxes in our basement.
*Marvel: Well, we’ve been counting backwards from Ragnarok for some time now, and we’ve reached the penultimate stage in our Mighty Thor high grade Countdown, with Journey Into Mystery issues #84-90, featuring the first appearance of Thor’s evil stepbrother Loki, the first full appearance of Big Daddy Odin, and the debuts of the time-defying Tomorrow Man and the curiously gelatinous Carbon Copy Man! And Thor fights Commies. Lots and lots of them! As with previous entries in this strand, these are characterised by unusually prime grades, averaging VF and occasionally touching NM, an almost unprecedented grade for this vintage, and worthy of your attention for investment potential as well as the sheer beauty of seeing these artefacts in this superb condition. Grades and prices as follows:
#84 FN- p £375
#85 VF- £1000
#86 VF+ £760
#87 NM £1750
#88 VF+ £625
#89 VF+ p £550
#90 VF- £260
*Girls’ Comics: From 1960, the second-ever issue of one of the Grand Old Ladies of British Girls’ Comics: Judy! DC Thomson’s companion paper to Bunty, this issue brught us early adventures of “Sandra of the Secret Ballet”, “Janie B. Quick”, “Nanette of the North”, “Runaway Princess”, and, for a bit of literary gloss, “David Copperfield”. This copy is an attractive VG- at £90, with minimal corner and edge wear at the front, slightly more wear at the back, but still sound, clean and unmarred, with flexible off-white pages. Most importantly, it comes with its original free gift – 3 glossy photo-cards of “Lovely Young Dancers” of 1960, plus a ‘dainty plastic wallet’ to keep them in! Judy ran until the 1990’s, and early issues in this decent a grade are vanishingly rare, let alone with the free gift.
*Annuals: A sextet of vintage Dennis the Menace Annuals, beginning with 1958 – the second ever Dennis Annual – and continuing up to 1976, all earlier volumes than any in our previous stock, and some of the later issues in excellent condition.
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: More than thirty new entries in World Distributors’ Western Classics series, one-off reprint cowboy tales, primarily of Dell’s western series, in the same four-colour process as the American originals. This set them apart from the average UK or Australian reprint, which usually were black & white and occasionally boasted one extra colour. We’ve also addressed a previous inconsistency in our catalogue, where some of these were listed under the feature title, and some were under Western Classics; all our stock of this series is now consolidated under the Western Classics heading. Rotating feature stars include Cheyenne, Gunsmoke, Maverick, Wagon Train, Buffalo Bill Jr., Rex Allen, and Broken Arrow, among many others.
*Teen Humour Funny Girls: By the mid-1940’s, with superhero sales starting to sag, comics publishers were searching for a new trend, and one such – inspired by newspaper strips such as “Winnie Winkle, the Breadwinner” and “Tillie the Toiler” – was the ‘Funny career girl’ sub-genre, in which a shapely young lady had wacky adventures while trying to earn a crust. Stan Lee and Ruth Atkinson co-created Millie the Model, who went straight into her own series and never looked back, starring in more than 200 issues of her own title as well as innumerable guest-appearances in other series. Here we’ve got 22 new issues to our stock, including some of Millie’s earlier appearances, from #4 (FN £100), through to #110, illustrated by the likes of Ken Bald, Mike Sekowsky, Dan DeCarlo and Stan Goldberg.
*Marvel: Roll up! Roll up! Since folks can’t get enough of the ever-amazing Spider-Man – here he is again! Approximately 50 new issues in, in the range from #50 to #166, in grades ranging from the dizzying heights of Good down to… well, ‘buggered’ might be an appropriate descriptor, but they’re all complete and very affordable! Highlights include the aforementioned #50 (iconic cover), #100 (ditto), #101 (1st Morbius), and #86 (the first new-look Black Widow, when she ditched the fishnets and went all Modesty Blaise). Along the way, Spidey fights most of his classic foes – Kraven, Doc Ock, Chameleon, Electro, Kingpin, Lizard, and the gregarious Green Goblin), as well as several of his fellow heroes (Iceman, the Human Torch, Prowler and the Hulk), in a tapestry of web-wiggling adventure! Last time we had a batch of Spidey in this cheap, they flew out again right away, so move fast!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: More than 60 new listings for Air Ace Picture Library to our stock, from #3 onwards and predominantly in the first 100 numbers, though there are a handful of stragglers, with the last new entry bring #527 ; all still pre-decimal copies, in affordable mid-low grades for the most part. Join the aerial antics in stories such as “Broken Swastika”, “Cult of Evil”, “Tiger In The Sky”, “Sky Giants” and more – chocks away!
*Marvel: This update showcases one of Daredevil’s most ‘popular’ foes, the first and second appearances of Bullseye, in Daredevil #131 VF/NM p £80 and #132 VF p £21.
*Marvel: Back before the Marvel Age of Comics, back even before the Big Panty Monsters, in the strange twilight world following the death knell of pre-code horror, Marvel published a plethora of titles featuring cleverly executed sci-fi, fantasy and horror stories, often by star creators. In this period the titles Tales Of Suspense and Tales To Astonish were spawned, both going on to bigger and higher profile futures as the Silver Age Of Super-Heroes got under way. This update features an early issue of Tales Of Suspense, #5, in a nice FN- grade (cents copy, of course). Artists include Steve Ditko and John Forte among others.
*Humour Comics: A substantial update to our Humour Comics category, with lots of Buster from 1975-1979, 1982, 1985 & 1990, a solitary Chips from 1951, a cornucopia of Cor from 1970-1974, Cracker from 1975 & 1976, a couple of Dandys from 1965/66, a raft of Classics From The Comics, the 21st Century DC Thomson vintage reprint title, and a rare Swan Comicolour from 1946 (#2 VG £12).