*Horror 1940-1959: Our first visit in Halloween Week to the Mother Of All Pre-Code Horror Fests features four issues of the long-running Atlas title Journey Into Unknown Worlds. The earliest issue (pictured) is #21, in a very nice FN- with a decapitation cover. The remaining issues in this update are post code, but still feature the same quality artists from the Atlas stable. Stay tuned for a further visit to our Fest later in the week!
*Marvel UK: A Halloween Week quickie! Half a dozen issues of Marvel UK’s digest-sized Chiller Pocket Book, cheap and cheerful black and white reprints of their 1970’s horror line inc. Man-Thing and Tomb Of Dracula.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: A further update to our 1970’s DC stock for Halloween week, including a substantial update to DC premier horror title House Of Mystery between #190 & #235, when the company were really taking some time and trouble over this venerated title by running the work of such notable exponents of the genre as Neal Adams and, in particular Bernie Wrightson. Mostly high grade copies here. We also have a couple of contemporary issues of House of Secrets in nice shape (#93 & #94) from that title’s ‘gothic’ period. Rounding off with a couple of Unexpecteds (inc final issue #222) and an early Witching Hour (#5), a superior batch of classy horror!
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: A new influx of 1970’s Marvel Horror Magazines for Halloween Week, including Haunt Of Horror (from #1), Monsters Unleashed & Tales Of The Zombie.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Were Badger Books solely the work of Lionel Fanthorpe? When were they published? Did they have to ask a question on every front cover? How often did they forget the question mark. Answers:- No, Hard to tell, Apparently and Occasionally. All this is to say that today’s terrifying tomes are a pair of Badger books. The Forbidden (a Supernatural Special), ostensibly by Leo Brett, is actually by Badger stalwart Lionel Fanthorpe and Night Of The Black Horror (Science Fiction) is by Victor Norwood as himself for once (he wrote under at least 26 other names too). Although Badger books were written to tight deadlines they remain very collectable, with distinctive cover art.
*Humour Comics: Launched in 1973, Shiver & Shake continued the ‘two comics in one’ theme from Whizzer & Chips, as the hosts of the comic, Shiver (a ghost) and Shake (an elephant) each had their own section of the title. Spooky comedy was the main theme in both halves, however, with two star strips: Ken Reid’s “Frankie Stein”, formerly of Wham!, and Leo Baxendale’s “Sweeny Toddler”. Other well-remembered strips include “Gal Capone”, “Tough Nutt & Softy Centre”, “Moana Lisa”, “Scream Inn”, “Grimly Fiendish”, “Biddy’s Beastly Bloomers” (flowers, rather than underwear, we hasten to clarify), and, peculiarly, the real-life stand-up comic Charlie Williams. Obviously, somebody thought a black comedian with a broad Yorkshire accent qualified as ‘horrific’! Despite all this star power, Shiver & Shake wasn’t a huge hit, lasting only 83 issues before being absorbed into Whoopee!, but it’s hotly pursued now, and we have 44 new issues – more than half the run, including the final edition – new in this update.
*Pulp Fiction: Weird Tales was published in its first run from 1923 to 1954, generating a new genre, ‘weird fiction’. It struggled financially for most of its time, not helped by being almost closed down when a 1924 story caused outrage by mentioning necrophilia. Circulation figures for other pulps were considerably higher: Weird Tales never passed 50,000, compared to figures of 300,000 for titles such as The Shadow or Doc Savage. Nevertheless Weird Tales was highly influential, evidenced by its enduring fascination with collectors. It launched the careers of several influential artists (notably Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok and Margaret Brundage, the only female cover artist of pulps) and numerous authors. When the title started it particularly featured H P Lovecraft, Robert E Howard, Clark Ashton Smith and Seabury Quinn. Later a host of newer authors honed their skills (and paid their bills) writing for Weird Tales: Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Henry Kuttner, Fritz Leiber, C L Moore, Margaret St Clair and Theodore Sturgeon.
Today we release 24 Copies of Weird Tales spanning three decades, 1930’s to 1950’s. In addition to the cover artists already mentioned there are gems by Jon Arfstrom, Lee Brown Coye, Boris Dolgov, Joseph Eberle, Matt Fox, Frank Kelly Freas, John Giunta, Ray Quigley, J Allen St John, A R Tilburne and Bill Wayne. Two issues (December 1938 and November 1939) also have whole page internal art by Virgil Finlay. Featured writers not previously mentioned include Isaac Asimov, August Derleth, Alison V Harding, William Hope Hodgson, Frederik Pohl (writing as James Macreagh), Eric Frank Russell (writing as Duncan H Munro) and Jack Williamson.
Notable issues include April 1933 (GD £75), June 1937 (VG £75), March 1940 (VG £60), September 1940 (VG £60), the 25th anniversary copy from March 1948 (VG £50), November 1949 (FN £50) and March 1953 (VG/FN £50).
*DC: An oddity from Halloween Week! An early selection of mid-to-low grade issues of House of Secrets, between #22 & #33, including the premier appearance of Mark Merlin, paranormal investigator, who, together with his lovely assistant Elsa, cracked case like the “Beast From The Box!” and the “Case of the Prophetic Pencil!”, in a world where frightfully clean and cuddly monsters genteelly menaced skirt-wearing ladies and tie-and-hat wearing gentlemen.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: During the 1970’s interest in Dracula was rekindled by a newly discovered link between Vlad the Impaler and Bram Stoker and a plethora of films, notably with Christopher Lee as the Count. Fitting right in to the milieu was the Return Of Dracula series by Robert Lory (officially joining our shelves for the first time, although he also wrote many Expeditor books under the house name of Paul Edwards), featuring the adventures of a (metaphorically) defanged, resurrected Count Dracula. A sliver of stake close to his heart, implanted by a telekinetic paralysed criminologist (who else?), prevented any evil-doing. Today we release the first six of the nine novel series: Dracula Returns, Dracula’s Brothers, Dracula’s Gold, The Drums Of Dracula, The Hand Of Dracula and The Witching Of Dracula. Something to really get your teeth into!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: More from Halloween Week! In the early 1970’s, paperback publishers New English Library decided to experiment with an adult horror comic, and hit on the idea of calling by the instantly-recognizable name of Dracula – despite the fact that Dracula himself appeared nowhere within its pages! What did appear was a strange melange of bought-in European reprints, eccentrically translated, psychedelically coloured and making not a lick of sense, but nevertheless possessed of some lovely illustrations courtesy of Esteban Maroto, Enric Sio and their pals. Lasting a mere twelve issues, we have new stock in very affordable mid-to-low grades.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: We continue Halloween week with a selection of 1970’s Charlton Horror/Mystery, which are making quite a comeback, as they feature artwork by such luminaries as Ditko, Sutton, Boyette, Staton, Newton, Zeck, and Byrne, unfettered by much in the way of editorial controls – because Charlton’s editors weren’t paid enough to care! Light top-ups this time to Beyond the Grave, Ghostly Haunts, Ghostly Tales and Monster Hunters (including #1), and more substantial selections added to Ghost Manor, Haunted, and Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves (including the scarcer final three issues, entitled just “Dr. Graves”).
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: As the nights draw in and the mercury falls, Halloween looms. In keeping with our Halloween Week Updates we’ll be releasing spine-tingling books daily. We start with a wide selection, ranging from classics by Bram Stoker (Dracula and The Lair Of The White Worm) and Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla) to more modern, but equally chilling works such as James Darke’s Witches (The Escape, The Meeting and The Killing), Peter Saxon (Satan’s Child and The Torturer), Robert Bloch (American Gothic and Night-World) and a trilogy by Robert Stallman (The Orphan, The Captive and The Beast).
Snuggle up in front of a roaring fire, pour yourself a measure of your favourite beverage, and keep the cold at bay as the nights draw in, but prepare to be chilled by the ghoulish delights we’re unleashing here all week — you might want to sleep with the lights on as Halloween Week starts right here and now!
Join us all through the week next week as we celebrate Halloween with a range of new stock exclusively horror themed in American & British comics and Books. Our site will be updated daily with tons of gruesome and ghoulish goings-on, all wrapped up in our regular Newsletter on the big day itself. And mid-week, there’ll be the last of our Newsletter Extras for the month, featuring a sensational haul of the most famous Horror pulp magazine of them all. We’ll see you then — if your nerves can stand it!
*Marvel: In our Spider-Mania event this week, a distinctive range of Amazing Spider-Man issues between #’s 21 to 32, all cents copies with no UK price or overprint, and all in high grade, ranging from a ‘low’ point of FN- to a lustrous VF+, and all graced with the art of Steve Ditko – still the only ‘proper’ Spider-Man artist for those of us of a certain vintage! #21 FN- £75, #24 FN £70, #25 FN+ £110, #30 VF+ £210, #32 FN+ £60.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: In our Free Gift Farrago this week, Additions to the D.C. Thomson Boys’ Adventure papers, Skipper and Wizard, with the unusual bonus of the original Free Gifts still being present! From 1936 and 1937, the proportion of surviving issues is comparatively low, and the Gift’s presence in items of this vintage is phenomenally rare. One issue of Skipper and one of Wizard from 1937 with the Boys’ Coronation Library booklets of the King’s Air Force and the King’s Navy, respectively, plus a 1936 Wizard with the completed album of “The World’s Biggest” what-have-you, with all of the cards inserted. The Coronation picture Libraries are GD/VG grade, while the “World’s Biggest” album is GD. Our Farrago will return in two weeks’ time, after our Halloween week next week!
*Marvel: In the early 1970’s, Marvel was trying to revive several defunct genres, including the jungle epics of years gone by; Jungle Action started out as an all-reprint title starring Fifties characters Lorna, Jann, and Tharn (a rechristened Lo-Zar, so dubbed to avoid provoking the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate). With new covers by Gil Kane and a fledgling Jim Starlin, these passed the time amiably, but with issue #5, someone had the idea of starring Marvel’s premier African hero, the Black Panther, in the title; and so was born one of the most controversial series of the 1970’s. Writer Don McGregor (aided by artists Gil Kane, Billy Graham and Rich Buckler) produced notoriously logghoreaic scripts with a florid descriptive style that went down well with those folks who wanted to push comics as literature. We have a virtually complete run of Jungle Action, lacking only issue #1, and with all of our latest additions being cents copies with no UK price or overstamp. Given the news of the upcoming Black Panther film, interest in T’Challa and his T’Chums has seldom been keener, so we anticipate this mid-to-high range of issues will sell with alacrity. Get on the bush telegraph quickly to secure your copies!
*Modern Reprints: DC revitalized one of its more tired properties in the late 1960’s, when Wonder Woman abruptly lost her mighty Amazon powers and became, instead, a heroine of the people, struggling by like the rest of us – though with the tiny advantage of being taught awesome martial arts skills by a slightly clichéd Oriental mentor! Often described by critics as “The Emma Peel” years, these are actually more akin to Modesty Blaise, as Mrs. Peel, for all her steely charm, seldom made a move unless she was told what to do by a man, whereas WW took it upon herself to battle assassins, evil geniuses, sadists, witches, dictators and monsters without getting her white jumpsuit grubby! Brainstormed by Mike Sekowsky and Denny O’Neil, the ‘New’ WW was a refreshing change in the staid superhero scene, and the original issues remain in high demand – but luckily for you, DC collected the entire run in four handsome full-colour paperbacks, now available for a mere £15 each!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: In an unusual addition to our inventory, we have acquired four bound volumes of Swift, the junior companion to Eagle, which featured ‘Tarna the Jungle Boy’, ‘King Arthur’ and ‘Robin Hood’ by Frank Bellamy, and ‘Red Rider’ by Jim Holdaway, among a myriad of other features. We have two bound sets of Volume 1 from 1954, one averaging VG at £350, and one averaging Good at £200 (though the binding on the latter averages Fair, and the #1 is the poorest in that volume, being at the front of the book. Volume 3 (1956) and Volume 4 (1957) are each averaging GD/VG at £125 each. All volumes feature some browning to page edges, slight brittleness in a few cases, but vibrant colour. In light of the slight trimming of the margins for binding purposes (though not encroaching on the stories), we have calculated the prices for these complete years at roughly half the value of the issues sold individually. More details on Swift can be found in the article in our Extras section.
*Religious: Like other genres of fiction, religion has been the inspiration for myriad comics stories over the decades, and we’re happy (well, more like wryly amused) to offer a new selection of salvation this update. On the more benign side, there’s a number of one-shots from Spire Christian Comics, all illustrated by Archie artist Al Hartley, who gives even the dire warnings about eternal damnation a disconcerting cuddly charm; new in are The Cross And The Switchblade (aren’t they Spider-Man villains?) The Hiding Place, My Brother’s Keeper, There’s A New World Coming, and several one-shots starring Arch and the gang; Archie’s Love Scene, Archie’s One Way, Archie’s Clean Slate, and Archie’s Sonshine. (No, that last one isn’t a typo). On the darker side of the street, Jack T. Chick’s company produced the Crusaders, a carefully co-ethnic cadre of Christian wanderers who roam the country while praying for the deaths of unbelievers. No, really. Forget about Marvel’s Nextwave – these are the Agents of Hate! Several issues of the Crusaders new in, between #1 to #17, plus one-shots The Big Betrayal and King of Kings. Lastly, from the Catechetical Guild, 1956’s educational one-shot, God’s Heroes In America – presumably because the rest of the world was doing okay without them. All aboard the Ark!
*Charlton: While most comics companies turned their backs on super-heroes in the 1950’s (at least until DC’s fateful relaunch of the Flash), Charlton, that beloved b-list publisher, kept trying the genre out through the decade, and we have two of the odder entries this update: Zaza the Mystic and Nature Boy! Zaza could best be described as a Poundland Madame Xanadu, aiding her hunky detective boyfriend in solving his cases by her mystic wiles – though even in her own private thought balloons, Zaza switched from believing she had actual powers to admitting she was only a clever trickster – what’s that crystal ball made of, Amnesium? Meanwhile, a (literal) orphan of the storm was rescued at sea by a bunch of under-employed deities and sent back to his startled parents with the powers of – Nature Boy, able to command the elements! Nature Boy featured early artwork from John Buscema and Dick Giordano, and ran three issues from #3 to #5; we have the final issue, #5 (with the first and only appearance of his distaff counterpart, Nature Girl!) in a rather lovely VF at £60. Zaza’s entire run (#’s 10 and 11 – Charlton numbering can kindly be described as ‘eccentric’) is also new in stock.
*Humour Comics: A further update to our stocks of Sparky, the very popular humour weekly, focusing on the mid-period years from 1968-1972, with a hundred or more new issues added. This run includes the first appearances of such notable strips as Puss’n Boots (1969), Ali’s Baba & Rudolph The Red-Nosed Mountie (both 1970) and Willie Getaway (1971).
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Combat Picture Library, published by GMS, whilst perhaps not as popular as it’s illustrious contemporary Fleetway cousins Air Ace, Battle, Commando & War, is nevertheless keenly sought after by some collectors and has stories of a similar quality. We have a substantial run in of early issues, including #1-3 (pictured below). The previous owner, at some point after he bought them as new, chose to reinforce them with extra staples and tape (in some cases), and has done them no favours. It’s a great shame since without those ‘precautions’, many of them would have graded FN. Nevertheless, it makes these uncommon issues very affordable and they’re still very capable of giving many hours of reading pleasure!
*Girls’ Comics: A substantial update to our stocks of the very popular girls’ weekly, Mandy, from August 1985 through to December 1987, nearly every issue added, filling many gaps in our stock and featuring copies that are all at least VG, with the vast majority being fine.
*EC: We turn this week in our Mother Of All Pre-Code Horror Fests to EC, surely the most (in)famous publisher of them all, and several issues of two titles: Crime Suspenstories and Haunt Of Fear. The former, ostensibly a crime title, is really more horror-orientated, focusing on the more gruesome side of crime, and indeed the earlier issues in this update include a story from its stablemate Haunt Of Fear, which itself is represented here in four full-on horror issues in low, affordable grades. Both series of course are crammed full of art by the best the industry had to offer in the 1950’s, and arguably, the best ever artists. Our Fest will return next week, in the special Halloween Week here at 30th Century.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: It was just after 10.30 and the shopowner was still switching on lights as I bid Farewell, My Lovely to the dame who had driven me here. The shop front was blue, with a High Window. The white shops on either side made it look like a skink tongue sandwich. The Little Sister had told me that The 13th Spy with The Eyes Of The Tiger would be there to discuss the case of the Killer In The Rain. I went in – a bell chimed as the door opened………..
…… Nick Carter had used the time since arriving at the shop to reconnoitre: the layout map from the Brain Boys had been as exact as ever, but even they, he mused, hadn’t been able to solve the conundrum of the man he was due to meet. John Dalmas or Philip Marlowe? Which was the real man – or were the rumours of a third identity – Raymond Chandler- true?…….
…….Spotting the Killmaster I headed for the Book section at the back of the shop. He moved like The Golden Serpent and was dressed smartly, in the latest fashion – no wonder the doxies fell like ninepins for him. He was holding The Judas Spy – the right book. I picked up The Lady In The Lake and looked him in the eyes……..
……..Could this world-weary and jaded man be the legendary PI he was expecting? Would he be able to trade information important enough to defeat the Commie menace? Only one way to find out. Nick gave the code phrase, “Operation : Moon Rocket”, and was pleased to hear ” A Bullet For Fidel” in response. The man gave Nick a quizzical look, arched an eyebrow and said “Well, Trouble Is My Business”.
*Annuals: A small update to our annuals stock, featuring five Eagle annuals from the 1960’s in decent shape, plus the Lion Annual from 1971.
*Humour Comics: A chunky update to both series of the venerable Knockout, which in its first incarnation was a mixed humour and adventure title. The earliest, from 1939, is our oldest in stock, and we also have issues from 1958, 1961, 1962 and 1963 including the final issue of the first series 16/2/63. An even bigger dollop of the second series is also new in, when the relaunched title was aiming for out and out laughs: issues from 1971 (inc. #1) and 1972, inc. the first birthday issue, filling substantial gaps in our stock.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The second in our series of updates spotlighting Fleetway’s ‘Big Cats’ focuses on Lion between the years 1958-1963. Almost all are GD to FN. 1958 is almost complete from Jan to Oct, as is 1959 (inc. the 2 undated and unnumbered issues between June & August); 1962 is from July onwards, and 1963 from Jan to March, including the first Zip Nolan app. in 19/1 (pictured). Watch out for Tigers — coming soon!
*Girls’ Comics: Wherefore art thou, Romeo? Well, for a short time, the answer to that question’s going to be: Putney! Romeo, the D.C. Thomson weekly picture-story paper for women, is insanely hard to find in any condition, (presumably grown-up ladies were in the habit of throwing out that week’s issue as part of their housewifely duties!) and the most we at 30th C. have ever had at once have been a dozen or so, in our 20+ years. But no longer! We’ve been phenomenally lucky in acquiring more than 120 issues of this often beautifully-illustrated romance comic, from 1957’s issue #8 through to the early part of 1972, in a wide variety of grades from Poor to Fine, and even with a handful of duplicated copies, so that more than one lucky punter can have a crack at ’em! We don’t expect to get this lucky twice, and any Romeos we’ve previously listed have tended to sell out within the day, so move swiftly if you want to secure your share of the teardrops n’ moonlight melodrama!
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our American section:
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics
and in our British section:
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Marvel: Our Autumn Spider-Mania event continues with a new selection of the Wall-Crawler’s adventures, this time from the early 1970’s, a period when distribution in the UK got decidedly on the spotty side, before ceasing altogether as a result of the Marvel UK launch. We open with #104 and close with #125, taking in the deaths of both Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin in #121 and #122 respectively, as well as the debuts of Hammerhead and the Gibbon, and guest appearances from Ka-Zar, the Hulk, and Dr. Strange. #121 and #122 come in at FN+ £80 and FN/VF £80, relatively affordable for such key items. SORRY, SPIDEYS 121 & 122 HAVE NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: A quartet of Summer/Holiday Specials this update, with the Bunty-Judy combo Summer Special from 1977 (GD/VG £25), the Tammy Summer Special, also from 1977 (FN £40), and a couple of true rarities – Tina Holiday Specials from 1976 (FN £50)and 1979 (VG £40)! Tina, more commonly remembered from its long run as Princess Tina, was hugely popular in the 1960’s, (it switched back to being just ‘Tina’ in 1972) and these Special editions continue many of the favourite features from the weekly, including ‘Chairman Cherry’, ‘The Happy Days’, and, close to the hearts of a generation of furtive boy readers, curvaceous secret agent ‘Jane Bond’. Rarer than the weeklies – because more often discarded or mislaid on their way to/from the traditional Summer Holiday – Summer Specials are increasingly collectable.
*Marvel: One of Marvel’s most successful attempts at diversifying their line in the 1970’s was their cash-in on the Kung-Fu craze, with Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu! His inauspicious debut in Special Marvel Edition, a series previously devoted to reprints, indicated that there wasn’t much faith in Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin’s co-creation, but readers took him to their collective hearts, and more than 100 issues ensued, with a star roster of creators including Doug Moench, Gene Day, and Paul Gulacy. Here, however, was where it all started, in Special Marvel Edition #15, December 1973, with the Son of Fu Manchu discovering his villainous heritage, and setting out to oppose his father. Not one, but two copies of Shang-Chi’s debut newly available, in VF- (left) at £60 and FN/VF (right) at £50. SORRY, BOTH NOW SOLD
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: A small but esoteric addition this update: from 1969, Heroes Unlimited #7, from the early days of UK comic fandom, with Paul Neary art; 1974’s Al Williamson Checklist, with info and classic comic strips; the newspaper comic-themed Strip Scene, from 1977-1979; and additions to our range of Fantagraphic’s Nemo.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Boys’ Own Paper started in 1879 as a vessel for inculcating morals and clean living to the youth of that time, as an antidote to the ‘Penny Dreadful’ of that era, and proved a huge success, lasting 2,511 issues until 1967, and spawning a plethora of imitators. As an antecedent of the modern comic, we have a selection of Boys’ Own Paper new into our stock, 30+ issues ranging in dates from 1957 to 1964; although the Christian message was mercifully diluted by that time, the emphasis was still on healthy outdoor activities and fiction with clean-limbed heroes defending the interests of the Empire. Biggles, the famed aviator created by W. E. Johns, was a frequent feature. Many issues from this time came with a supplement, concentrating either on the big hardware boys were supposedly fond of (trains, planes, etc.) or models thereof. Where present, these supplements are noted.
*War: A substantial update to DC & Marvel titles in our War category, including from DC: All American Men Of War (from #35), Captain Storm (from #1), GI Combat, Men Of War, Our Army At War, Sgt Rock, The Unknown Soldier & Weird War Tales, and from Marvel: Captain Savage, a big chunk of Sgt Fury from #24 & War Is Hell (#10 with Death).
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A new feature in our Autumn extravaganza is a three part update entitled Fleetway’s Big Cats. We open with a long run of Jag, from #1 (4/5/68) and featuring all the over-sized issues up to and including 15/2/69 (after which it lasted just a few more weeks in a smaller format before being merged in with Tiger — ‘great news, chums!’). The debut issue featured The Mouse Patrol by Eric Bradbury, The Indestructible Man by Jesus Blasco and Custer by Geoff Campion, but perhaps the most enduring strip was Football Family Robinson, drawn by Joe Colquhoun, which commenced in the issue dated 27/7/69 and survived into Tiger when Jag folded. Our Jag #1 ties in with our Free Gift Farrago event in that it comes with the Free Gift: Bobby Moore’s Book Of The FA Cup; both comic and book are GD/VG: £50 for the pair. Most copies in this run though are a sparkling FN grade; we’ve never seen better, and as usual when we get Jags in, they won’t stay with us very long. (I bet you can guess the subjects of our upcoming Fleetway’s Big Cats updates parts 2 and 3 — stay tuned!)
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: We celebrate the king and queen of the jungle, Fiction House style, with #17 of Kaanga & #147 of Jumbo Comics featuring Sheena. Under the glowing colours of covers by superb cover artist Maurice Whitman, the idealised early 1950’s world of the African Jungle with all its perils and adventures awaits. Mid-grade copies, easily worth £18 each of anyone’s money!
*Horror 1940-1959: A baker’s dozen of chillers in our visit this week to the Mother Of All Pre-Code Horror Fests, all titles starting with A, B or C! From Atlas: Adventures Into Terror (#7 with Wolverton art) & Adventures Into Weird Worlds; from Ace: Baffling Mysteries (inc. #5, the 1st issue) & Beyond; from Trojan: Beware; from Harvey: Black Cat Mystery and from Youthful: Chlling Tales #17 with a moody Matt Fox cover. Almost all these spine-tinglers are in very inexpensive lowish grade and just right for the Pre-Code aficiando on a budget!
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: The Shadow knows, and now you can too, as we have ten novels based on the popular 1930’s pulp fiction character. The Shadow used a bewildering array of pseudonyms (Kent Allard, Lamont Cranston and Isaac Twambley among others), as did the authors of these books. The original writer was Walter Gibson, but most of these books are credited to Maxwell Grant, although in Grove Of Doom the author is confusingly given as Walter Gibson alias Maxwell Grant. (Maxwell Grant was in fact a house name, usually for Dennis Lynds). Titles include The Living Shadow, The Night Of The Shadow, The Shadow Strikes, The Shadow’s Revenge and Shadow Beware. Unusually we have ..Cry Shadow! in a Hungarian PB, printed for distribution in the US. Nearly all of the books are 1st US PB, grading GD or VG, with the majority published by Belmont.
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our American section:
and in our American/British section:
*Tarzan/E R Burroughs
and in our British section:
*Younger Readers’ Comics
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: There’s something for adventurous landlubbers, would-be astronauts and mariners in this latest update. On land we have the Avengers in Heil Harris! (Emma Peel takes over the world!), Callan in A Red File For Callan, Dangerman in Hell For Tomorrow, and Invaders At Ground Zero (the first Tales for Tomorrow novelisation). In space we have two Space: 1999 books, Astral Quest and The Space Guardians, while on the ocean wave we have The Boatniks, the novelisation of a Walt Disney film featuring Phil Silvers.
*Boy’s Adventure & War Comics: In 1975, Fleetway/IPC tried to cash in on its fondly-remembered adventure series by launching a new anthology, Vulcan, in an unusual slick-paper format with dimensions approximating those of the American comic book format, rather than the customary magazine size of UK comics. Gleaning features from across its vast inventory, they ran “The Trigan Empire” from Look and Learn, as the lead, with “Kelly’s Eye”, “Mytek the Mighty” and “The Steel Claw” from Valiant, “The Spider” and “Robot Archie” from Lion, and “Saber, King of the Jungle” from Tiger, for a cross-section of top talent, including Don Lawrence, Reg Bunn, Solano Lopez, Joe Colquhoun, and Jesus Blasco – an A-list roster for a Z-List budget, as IPC paid no reprint royalties at the time! Vulcan was tried out in a Scottish-only edition with the first issue released in March 1975, and after a successful 30-issue run, re-launched with a national edition in September that year. Sadly, the National edition ran only for a further 28 issues; despite top-notch creators and well-loved characters, it seems there just weren’t enough readers around who appreciated the series. By January 1976, Vulcan was a thing of the past, absorbed into Valiant, with only three pull-out mini-comics allocated to finish out the serials. Any issues of Vulcan are scarce these days – the relative flimsiness of the slick paper stock means that copies are rather too easily damaged, unless stored carefully – but most elusive are the Scottish editions, which had a proportionately restricted print run. We are very happy to have acquired complete runs of both the Scottish and the National editions, all 58 issues, plus multiple duplicate copies, plus the Holiday Special of 1976. Many of these are in high grade, and, in line with our Free Gift Farrago, we also have a handful which are complete with the original Free Gifts – a phenomenon almost never seen! (#1-3 of the Scottish and #2 of the National). Prices on the Scottish editions are high, but we believe they’re justified by the scarcity of the items – in our 20+ years of trading, we have only ever seen half-a-dozen Scottish Vulcans before, and believe me – we’ve been looking! We expect demand to be high, so place your orders early.
Scottish Editions: (all free gifts FN or better)
#1 with Free Gift: Super Shaking Skeleton VG £350
#2 with Free Gift: Identikit GD £150
#3 with Free Gift: Flick Book Cinema FN £200
Later issue prices start at £30 each
#2 with Free Gift: Magical Numbers game FN £25
*TV & Film Related Comics: Our Free Gift Farrago opens with the first three issues of Countdown, the 1971 successor to TV 21 which carried on the Gerry Anderson strips such as “Captain Scarlet”, “Thunderbirds” and “Stingray”, while adding series like “Dr. Who” and “Secret Service” in to the mix. The best-kept secret of the series, however, was the eponymous strip “Countdown”, a brand-new space opera stylishly illustrated by John M. Burns. Of these three issues, #1 and #3 have the original Free Gifts – ‘Spacefact’ stamps/stickers in both #1 and #3, plus the Giant ‘Spacefact’ Wallchart in issue #1! All in a sparkling Fine condition: #1 (with chart and stamps) £125, #2 (no free gift) £20, #3 (with stamps) £50.
*Marvel: A brace of (almost) debuts this update, as we offer you Avengers #55 and #196, featuring Ultron and the Taskmaster respectively! Well, we say almost-debuts because each of these villainous gentlemen made a ‘teaser’ appearance in the preceding issue – but these were their fist full-fledged forays into felony! The #55 is an attractive VG+ (£50), which is off the lower staple and bears a small, neatly-inscribed previous owner’s name at cover top, but still possesses excellent page quality. The #196 is a pence-priced VF (£35), sound and tight throughout.
*Western: Saddle up – it’s time to hit the range again with Dell’s Boots & Saddles, Johnny Ringo, and Lone Ranger, and additions to our stock of Weird Western Tales, starring the one & only Jonah Hex!
*War: New listings for our combat-crazed chums, kicking off with the 1st issue of Combat Kelly and His Deadly Dozen, Marvel’s attempt to clone their long-running Sgt. Fury series; and ably backed up by new entries for DC’s Our Army At War, Sgt. Rock, and Unknown Soldier!
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: In this week’s Quirky Corner entry, two of the “Largest Circulation Magazine For Girls”, or so it proudly claimed – Calling All Girls! This launched in 1941, and by 1943 and 1944 , the issues offered here, was well into its swing of encouraging even the “Junior Miss” set that they, too, could play their part in defeating the Axis – and pick up some grooming and fashion tips into the bargain! Comic strips included the ongoing adventures of teen-queen “Judy Wing”, and a selection of comics biographies of famous and/or heroic girls. These charmingly dated combinations of comics, beauty, recipes and short fiction were the inspiration for Timely/Atlas’ Miss America Magazine, but Miss A. won the day, whereas Calling All Girls was gone by 1950, though it was sporadically revived thereafter. Nevertheless, a pleasing look through the windows of nostalgia, quite unlike anything else recently acquired.
*DC: In the closing days of 1988, DC responded to the universal derision of Jason Todd, the second Robin, by launching a special storyline in which the reader would get to vote on whether Jason carried on as Robin, or whether he died horribly at the hands of the Joker. A special Toll-Free Number was set up, and by a large margin, readers voted to dispense with the services of the Robin known colloquially as “Jason Toad”. “Death In The Family” was a double-Jim production – Jim Starlin scripted, Jim Aparo illustrated, and all four Batman issues, #426-429, featured classy covers by Mike Mignola. We have all four back in stock and in Near Mint condition, so if you missed it before, here’s another chance to see one of the most controversial and biggest-selling story arcs of the late 20th Century!