*Girls’ Picture Libraries: A small selection of romantic Picture Libraries from the 1950’s for bigger girls from the following three series: Confessions Library, Famous Romance Library and Love Story Library. Wonderfully evocative covers that speak for themselves as in the examples here:
*War: A small update to our war stock from three decades and numerous publishers: from Ajax-Farrell: Battle Report and GI In Battle; from Fawcett: Bill Battle; from DC: GI Combat & Weird War Tales; from Dell: Combat; and from Charlton: Fightin’ Navy.
*TV & Film Related Comics: A nice-graded consecutive run from #1-23 of the excellent British Horror mag House Of Hammer (later Hammer’s hall Of Horrors), chock full of features, photos and comic strips focused, as you would imagine, on the phenomenal success of the British film-making company Hammer.
*Younger Readers’ Comics: Just yesterday we had a customer at the shop reminiscing about Twinkle from her childhood and that a copy of it was among her prized possessions. So, if you’re like her and have a soft spot for the premier comic for little girls, we have lots of Twinkle new in for you, an almost unbroken run of 1970 and 1971, plus issues from 1972 & 1973. And let’s not forget Nurse Nancy…
*Girls’ Comics: A small update to those two rival spooky girls’ weeklies, Misty & Spellbound. Ever popular with both our male and female collectors, now’s the chance to grab some fresh issues to fill your gaps!
*Marvel: Tons more Amazing Spider-Man new into stock from #241 up towards the end of the run of the first series. Lots of Venom, Carnage, the Hobgoblin and many, many other foes featured. What’s not to like?
*Marvel: Following his successful return to action in Avengers #4, Golden Age icon Captain America became a co-feature with Iron Man in Tales of Suspense, until a change of distributors’ allocation meant that Marvel could expand its range – and finally, with issue #100, (Continuing the Suspense numbering), Captain America had his own series again – and he’s never looked back! This copy of #100 new in is VF+ at £100, a pence-stamped copy but with a lovely clean cover image and exceptional page quality. Interest in Cap is amping ever upward, and high-grade unslabbed copies are scarce, so get your order in early! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: Something a little special in this week’s magazine update. In the early Seventies, Marvel, anxious to expand its market share, tried a number of new formats in an effort to broaden its readership. One such was to attempt a revival of the old pulp format with 1973’s Haunt of Horror, text stories by name writers, heavily illustrated by the best in the Marvel Bullpen. Despite the quality of the work, the format didn’t catch on, and only two issues of the digest series were released, though Marvel repurposed the title for a magazine-sized comic the following year. The two digest issues are rarer than average for their period, but we’re lucky to have acquired both recently, issue 1 being FN+ at £20, issue 2 VG/FN £15. With names like Lafferty, Ellison, Howard, McCaffrey, Morrow and O’Neil attached, they have quite a high pedigree, and make for one of the most interesting detours along Marvel’s path to triumph.
*Marvel: ‘A Special Once-In-A-Lifetime Issue’, the cover of this one-shot boasted, and its unique position is simply a result of a scheduling tangle which arose when Marvel was finally allowed by its distributors to increase its range of titles. The Hulk took over the numbering of Tales to Astonish, and Captain America the numbering of Tales of Suspense, but that left ‘orphaned’ chapters of the Iron Man and Sub-Mariner serials languishing, so they were used in this oddball one-off so that both Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner could start off their #1’s with clear storylines. This UK price-stamped copy is in a superb grade (VF+ £100), with only the very faintest corner wear preventing a higher grade. The white-background cover is clean and unmarked, and the cover and gloss vivid and fresh. One of the easiest Silver Age Marvel titles to complete – buy one and you’ve bought them all!
*Girls’ Comics: The traditional British Summer/Holiday Special editions of the weekly comics are always scarce, and the girls’ titles, we’ve found over our years of trading, particularly so, so we were chuffed to add to our inventory nine such Specials. We have Bunty from 1985, 1989, and 1994; the Bunty-Judy combo Special from 1978 and 1979 (the latter twice, in differing grades); Jinty from 1980; the uncommon June and School Friend Holiday Special from 1971; and Tammy 1983. In a variety of grades from Fair to Fine, there’ll be something to please every browser of this popular category.
*Marvel: 1982 is a bit ‘recent’ for our palates, as we tend to focus on all things Gold, Silver & Bronze in our backstock, but occasionally a newer comic catches the public interest, and this is one such exception. In Hulk #271, the Jade Giant hosted a guest-star who at the time was treated as a joke, but who has since become a major player following his starring role in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Yes, Hulk #271 is the second appearance – and the fist full-length, full-colour comic-book appearance – of Rocket Raccoon, and has skyrocketed in collectible and commercial importance over the last year and a half. This copy is a very nice VF/NMp condition, with just a tiny spine crease or two and a small back cover crease towards the upper spine, offered for £125, and features all the quality you’d expect from the creative team of Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema. Enjoy!
*DC: A nice early Silver Age Flash for your consideration, #114 (VG+ p £55), featuring the second appearance of Captain Cold and a Kid Flash story ‘King Of The Beatniks!’. A solid VG+ copy with a nice cover image and relatively minor wear. Yowzer!
*Rupert: A long overdue update to our Rupert section, which has now been completely overhauled to include additional new annuals in from 1950’s to the 1980’s, as well as vintage Rupert Adventures comics from the 1950’s and issue #1 of the 1982 comic with free gift (badge). Nutwood’s favourite son is a real favourite here at 30th Century too!
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: *Rupert
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*TV & Film Related Comics: The ever-popular Time Lord returns to our updates with a series of seasonal Dr Who specials from the 1980’s and 1990’s, including the Movie Special and the 30th Anniversary Special, plus a range of Classic Comics, reprinting vintage Dr Who comic strips and with free gifts in the form of posters all included.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Fresh into our Crime section comes a rare flash of 1970’s ‘feminism’ in the form of Cherry Delight (by Glen Chase) and the Ms Squad (by Mercedes Endfield), all in enticing First US Editions. Cherry, AKA The Sexecutioner, smoulders her way through three crime-busting adventures (Tong In Cheek, Up Your Ante and The Moorland Monster). The Ms Squad, on the other hand, could be Charlie’s Devils, restaging crimes planned and bungled by men, but obviously doing them better (in Lucky Pierre and On The Brink).
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: A fair-sized update to this popular category, mostly war-themed, but including Football Picture Library alongside Battle, Battleground, early Combat Picture Library, Pocket War Library, and, most significantly, a large number of pre and post decimal Commando Picture Library, inc. later reprints of #1-5 & #8.
*TV & Film Related Comics:Whew — we’ve just finished listing every last issue of the Marvel UK Transformers series from #1-332 plus #1-18 of the Collected Comics specials! The comic version of this phenomenal franchise based on the Hasbro toy line lasted longer in the UK than its contemporary American counterpart, and thus, as well as reprinting the US material, the UK version also featured a swathe of original material. Many issues still have their Free Gifts, and in #113, we see the first appearance of Death’s Head. As we all know, the Trasformers’ success has continued to grow over the decades, but here’s a chance to get in on the ground floor with all 332 issues from 1984-1991.
*Marvel: A big update to the assembling ones this week, with dozens of issues of Avengers new in between #14 & #128; a mixture of grades and pence/cents copies, with most Silver Age issues being cents. Highlights include the first major line-up change #16, 1st Power Man #21, 1st Sons of the Serpent #32, 1st Living Laser #34, 1st Red Guardian #43, vs the X-Men #53, 1st Yellowjacket #59, 1st Man-Ape #62, 1st Red Wolf & Lobo #80 and issues from the Kree-Skrull War and Avengers/Defenders Epic. We’re particularly well-stocked on Avengers right now, but issues move fast, so it’s a great time to fill the gaps in your collection!
*Marvel: A nice update to Tales of Suspense from the mid-1960’s when the title was shared between Iron Man & Captain America. New issues in are between #65 & #95, and feature among many other foes of both Avengers, the dynamic debuts of the Titanium Man & Modok. With a couple of exceptions, these incoming issues are high grade, with many cents copies and ranging from FN+ through to VF+.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Ben Sarto was one of the most famous/infamous names of post-war UK ‘gangster digest’ pulp crime; all his stuff is long out of print and notoriously difficult to get hold of. Despite claiming that millions of these were sold, very few seem to have survived. Here we have a nice example: published by Modern Fiction, Hi-Jacker’s Lady, a crime thriller set in the days of US Prohibition laws, full of gangsters, molls and the like. Sporting a nice cover by H W Perl, this is a decent, unmarked GD/VG copy with some spine and edge wear but intact and solid. Definitely one for the collector/enthusiast of this genre at £35.
*Modern Reprints: From Marvel, three superbly packaged and presented hardcover reprints of classic material from the 1940’s and 1950’s by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby. Firstly Boys’ Ranch, the complete adventures of the teenage cowboys in a VF dustjacket edition at £35, secondly Captain America: The Classic Years, two sturdy hardcover volumes in a handsome slipcase all in NM at £75, reprinting the first ten issues of the Timely series from 1941 and featuring the debut and origin of Cap and finally Fighting American, the satire on Cap & Bucky from 1954, complete adventures in a NM dustjacket edition at £15. Important stuff from Marvel, even if two out of the three weren’t originally published by them! All pictured below, inc. both volumes and the slipcase for Captain America.
*Marvel: A quintet of significant issues for Marvel’s Sentinel of the Spaceways, the Silver Surfer. We have his earliest appearances in Fantastic Four #48-50, in what has subsequently become known as “The Galactus Trilogy”, where not only the Surfer himself, but his planet-popping master Galactus, make their debuts – and the Marvel Universe is never the same again! We follow that with a very attractive copy of issue #2 of the Surfer’s own series, with the first appearance of the malevolent Badoon, and round it off with the 1982 one-shot which reunited Stan Lee (with the artistic assistance of Messrs. Byrne and Palmer) with one of his favourite creations. Fantastic Four #48 VG £100, #49 FN £85, #50 VG- £60, Silver Surfer #2 FN/VF £65, Silver Surfer Vol 2 #1 FN/VF £10.
*DC: A welcome addition to our stock of the Darknight Detective is Batman #105, featuring the second-ever appearance of the Batwoman – and her first showing in the Batman title, having made her debut in Detective Comics. This attractive copy is graded FA/GD largely owing to slight spine wear and some tape on the back cover, but the cover scene is clean and unmarred, and the interior pages off-white and flexible. Batwoman’s return over the last decade as a major part of the DC Universe has made her early Silver Age appearances ever more collectable, so this is a relatively bargainacious opportunity! Yours for £85.
*Modern Reprints: A return to our stock lists for items previously discontinued: DC’s Archives and Showcase Editions and Marvel’s Essentials were at one time commonplace, but now are increasingly out-of-print and hard to find. We’re continuing to re-establish our inventory with an offering of Justice League Archives, Superman Showcase Edition, and Essential Tomb of Dracula, with more to come gradually in the months ahead.
*Marvel: Our attention is focused on the 1970’s (and later) era of the House of Ideas, as we top-up a multitude of titles, from the long-lived mainstays to the gone-tomorrow short-run series. Main additions this update are substantial restocks for Thor (from #219 to #250) and the X-Men (from #96 to #129, taking in the first appearances of Phoenix, Vindicator, Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde), but we can also offer updates for Jack Kirby’s Black Panther, Jim Starlin’s Captain Marvel (including an early Thanos appearance), Dazzler, Infinity Gauntlet, Inhumans, Iron Man, Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Two-In-One, Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage/Power Man/Hero For Hire, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, and What If?
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: This week’s magazine update features something a bit more fringey from Marvel’s 1970’s magazine line: Monsters of the Movies was the House of Idea’s shameless attempt to cash in on Famous Monsters of Filmland, and as such the comics content is minimal – one strip each in the first two issues. The main features are on contemporary and historical horror and science-fiction movies, with loads of stills. It’s a must-have for all Marvel Mag completists, and less often seen than its contemporaries. We have almost all of the eight-issue run (lacking only #5), in addition to the one-off Annual, all in mid-high grades, though all except the Annual bear either price stickers or some residue from label removal.
*Marvel UK: From Marvel’s UK division, the acclaimed Moore/Davis Captain Britain is restocked with new listings for the Daredevils and Mighty World of Marvel (2nd series), while we also offer a trio of later #1 issues, with Forces In Combat, Fury, and Marvel Team-Up.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A surprisingly robust latecomer to D.C. Thomson’s action titles was Scoop, which launched in January 1978 and ran until 1981. This sport-centred weekly offered fare that was a bit off the beaten path, including Jon Stark, Footballer of the Future, and “Killer”, the story of a tennis pro who doubled as a hitman! The first issue is now available, in very nice FN condition for a mere £10.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: It seems that our Beloved Punters can’t get enough of 60’s and 70’s Code-Approved shocks & shudders – and who are we to disoblige? New items listed for Charlton (Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves, Midnight Tales, and Monster Hunters from #1), DC (Ghosts, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, and Unexpected), Gold Key (Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery, Dark Shadows, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and Twilight Zone), and Marvel (Crypt of Shadows from #1, Tomb of Dracula, and Werewolf By Night, including the second appearance of Moon Knight!)
*TV & Film Related Comics: Just time for a quickie: 2 issues of Solo new in, one of the rarest of all British comics from 1967. We hardly ever see these, and when we do, they don’t stay with us for long! This update: #3 GD/VG £32.50, #13 GD £15.
*Humour Comics: To complement yesterday’s stellar Beano update, we present an equally impressive range of Dandy from 1953-1962, several dozen issues new into stock, including very many issues from the scarce years of 1960-1962. Christmas, New Year, easter, April Fool and Fireworks issues abound, and we have chosen to illustrate here the Fireworks issue from 1958 (#885) and the Christmas issue from 1961 (#1048).
*Girls’ Comics: A set of Emmas, with nearly every issue from #3 to #18, and a few later ones from 1978 (all GD or VG). A pioneer in interviewing Z list slebs, Emma has features on all the stars you would expect from the late 1970’s: Cheggers, David Soul, Mark Hamill, Charlie’s Angels and (ahem) Jimmy Savile, with a later attempt to inject some cool by including the Fonz and Debbie Harry. Non-human stars include Emu, the Wombles, Basil Brush and, a role-model for women everywhere, Miss Piggy. How can you resist?
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Just once in a while, a comic comes along that I (Rob speaking) want to recommend as a true personal favourite. Such an item in Avon’s Strange Worlds #3 from 1951. Somehow, Avon got together a winning team from cover-to-cover for this one issue that defines 1950’s US sci-fi comics. Within a nice Kintsler cover, four outstanding stories shine unmatched, in my opinion, by the contents of any other issue in the genre. The black and white inside front cover by Wally Wood is a joy to behold, and there’s Wood again with Orlando on ‘Kenton Of The Star Patrol’, followed by Sid Greene’s Burroughs-esque ‘Flame Goddess’, the collaboraton to end them all as Wood (again), Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Roy Krenkel & Joe Orlando share the artistic helm on the breathtaking ‘Invasion From The Abyss’, topped off with Larsen’s Slave Girl Princess in ‘Princess Of the Past’. This is a nice solid VG copy with minor spine wear and an unmarked cover and decent page quality at £350. One to have in your collection and savour (as I do!). We present below the cover and splash pages of the four stories (the inside front cover is also reproduced in our listing):
*Girls’ Comics: 4 new issues of Lucky Charm just in! #4 (Little Miss Feather Feet), #5 (Sally The Slave-Girl Star), #6 (Trudy Ten-Legs) and #24 (Sheena – Slave Of the Tennis Racket). These done-in-one compilations don’t last long, so fast action may be required to secure them!
*DC: Some wonderfully evocative DC issues from the late 1950’s/early 1960’s this update: Atom #2, Flash #130, Mystery In Space #60 & #70, Showcase #21 (2nd Rip Hunter) & #23 (2nd Green Lantern), Strange Adventures #79 and #114 (1st Star Hawkins). Grades are very mixed, ranging from a nice FN+ on Strange Adventures #79 to a pretty awful PR on Showcase #23.
*Marvel: Following on from the debut of the black costume (that became Venom) in Secret Wars #8, Spidey donned the same for the first time in his regular series in #252, a landmark issue that also reprised the first Spidey cover from Amazing Fantasy #15. This is a decent FN/VF (p) copy at £20.
*Humour Comics: A huge update to the most popular British humour comic of them all, and great survivor from the golden age of British comics, the Beano. Here we feature extensive stocks from most of the years between 1954-1969; in particular we have many issues from 1960-1962, three of the scarce years from the early 1960’s, which we rarely see coming through our hands. Highlights of this selection include Christmas, Easter & Fireworks issues, many issues complete with Promo Flyers advertising a plethora of other D C Thomson titles, and in #881 from 1959, the very first Three Bears strip (GD/VG £35), pictured here alongside the Christmas issue for 1961, #1014.
*Girls’ Comics: A few dozen issues of Judy new to our listings, including some from a couple of years previously unrepresented. The update is mainly from 1963, but there are also issues from 1968, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975 & 1976.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: For your delectation, a selection of books covering 3 decades, even the very modern (for us) 1980’s. Our oldest addition, Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man is showing its age a little, but remains an excellent read, as is a personal favourite, Monument by Lloyd Biggle Jr. We include a first edition Ursula LeGuin novel, City of Illusions, her classic The Left Hand Of Darkness, a movie version of Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? aka Blade Runner, A Time Of Changes by Robert Silverberg, Mary Staton’s first novel From The Legend Of Biel, plus many others (Brin, Del Rey, more Dick, Harrison [Deathworld] & Wilson.
*DC: All of DC’s tabloid-size Limited/All-New Collectors’ Edition titles are scarce and highly sought-after, but this one – All-New Collectors’ Edition C55 – is the one most keenly sought, as it’s an all-new story marrying off two of the founding members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, with the rest of the Legion battling a reality-altering plot from one of their deadliest enemies! Known among Legion fandom as TFT – “That (Funloving) Tabloid” because of its rarity and its poor storytelling, it’s every bit as bad as it is rare. Mike Grell was phoning in his pencils by this point anyway, and being heavily Colletta’ed *then* blown up to large size just amplified the faults – but it doesn’t matter if it’s terrible! Legion fans will have to buy it any way, no matter what! We did (I remember hunting it down for years as the last item to complete my Legion collection) – and now it’s your turn! Never reprinted, so you’ve just got to have it to fill that hole in your collection. The buyer’s remorse starts here!
*DC: Quick, riddle me this; when did the X-Men, Sub-Mariner, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four co-star in Action Comics? When it was Action Double Double Comics, of course! This ingenious if cheeseparing move on the part of the UK distributors, Thorpe & Porter, gathering up unsold copies of American comics (the covers having been returned for credit), and re-purposing the ‘destroyed’ copies, four to an issue, under a new cover – usually an ineptly-recoloured stat of a US original. Usually some attempt was made to include at least one copy of the parent title, but having a copy of, for example, Green Lantern Double Double Comics is no guarantee that it would necessarily contain an issue of Green Lantern, as the selection process was pretty random, based on whatever was in T & P’s heaps of unsold warehouse stock. Thus there are different contents even of issues bearing the same title and issue number — our catalogue listing details the contents. Although we’ve never seen a Double Double Comic that didn’t claim to be a DC title on the cover, the contents are just as likely to be Marvel – or occasionally ACG – as DC once you get inside. Three new Double Doubles in stock – Action #’s 3 and 4, and Detective #3.
*Marvel: “This Female Fights Back!” was the tagline of Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics’ attempt to publish a solo heroine with a bit more longevity than 1972’s Claws of the Cat. Spinning out of Captain Marvel, former background character Carol Danvers got her own set of super-powers and a whole new supporting cast (including J. Jonah Jameson) as she attempted to discover the mystery behind her own origins. Although moderately successful, the series was attacked by critics who derided Carol’s derivative costume, which allegedly made her look like Captain Marvel’s sidekick, and the fact that Marvel were offering a ‘powerful, confident’ heroine who suffered from blackouts and amnesia. Despite these jibes, Ms. Marvel has been a prominent member of the Marvel Universe for nearly forty years in one guise or another – whether as Ms. Marvel, Binary, Warbird, or most recently the latest Captain Marvel, her chequered history has provided many intriguing plotlines. Soon to star in a major film, Ms. Marvel’s career starts here, with her first issue in an attractive VF- pence copy (£30), as well as four others from her first series.
*Humour Comics: A massive top-up to nine popular titles: Beano from 1970-1994 (Including Christmas issues, the 1st all-colour issue and the Bash St. Kid’s 40th Anniversary issue), Buster from 1969-1988, Dandy from 1980-2007 (with free gift issues), Jackpot from 1979-1982, Knockout series one (ranging between 1948-1962) and series two (1971-1972), Nutty from 1980-1982, Oink from 1987 and 1988 plus a Holiday Special, and Whizzer & Chips from 1973-1986. An avalanche of amusing antics from seven decades!
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: This update, a merry myriad of Timely/Atlas’ answer to Archie Comics, Patsy Walker. Created by Stan Lee and Ruth Atkinson for Miss America Magazine #2, the red-headed teen everygal proved so popular that by 1945 she had her own title, as well as more than a dozen spin-offs over her 21-year career. Her earlier issues, mainly illustrated by animator Pauline Loth, featured teen-comedy shticks of romantic misunderstandings, which lasted through the 1950’s under illustrators such as Dave Berg, Morris Weiss and Al Jaffee among others. By the 1960’s, Al Hartley had taken over as the main artist, and the title edged over from comedy into out & out romance, with declamatory and lachrymose covers. This restock is of more than thirty issues, ranging from 1946’s #7 to 1965’s #124, Patsy’s final issue, including team-ups with Millie the Model and Linda Carter, Student Nurse! As a bonus, we have a lovely condition copy of the 1966 one-shot, Patsy Walker’s Fashion Parade, a Queen-Sized special with no comics stories, but simply page after page of pin-ups, hairdo suggestions, and “fashions from fans” that were obviously prepared well before Patsy’s cancellation. This ingenious way of using up inventory was Patsy’s farewell to the Marvel Universe for a few years – until she snuck in through the back door by becoming a supporting character for the Beast, parlaying that into her current gig as a fully-fledged super-heroine, the Hellcat!
*DC: A new selection of the Caped Crusader’s adventures from the late 60’s to the early 70’s, with additions to our Batman stock between #192 and #260! Mostly in mid-grade, but with a couple of very desirable FN/VF, highlights of this selection include Neal Adams artwork, the shocking closure of the Batcave, the bombastic Blockbuster (no, not the defunct video emporium…), and the first two mentions/appearances, in #’s 258 & 260, of a homely little retreat called Arkham. Included are many 100 Page issues. Holy Bargain-Hunting!
*Marvel: Another graceful glide over the first decade of the Marvel Universe brings us re-stocks to many major titles: Captain Marvel (from #2 upwards), Daredevil, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Journey Into Mystery (with the premiere appearances of three of the God of Thunder’s deadliest enemies – the Absorbing Man, the Enchantress, and the Executioner!), Marvel Collector’s Item Classics #1, Marvel Super-Heroes (starring Spider-Man, the Black Knight, and the magnificent Madam Medusa!), Spider-Man, Tales to Astonish, and the X-Men (including the first appearances of the jovial Juggernaut and the ever-smiling Sentinels!). A cornucopia of classics, together again for the first time – because YOU demanded it!