The second in our What’s Old feature, where we spotlight items from existing stock you may have missed, highlights four items from our British Annuals category, now illustrated in our catalogue for the first time. Three of these are Annual firsts: Beezer 1958 (GD/VG £75), Radio Fun 1940 (VG £80) and TV Century 21 1965 (VF £60); the fourth item is a very rare compilation of 4 Classics Illustrated in hardback annual form entitled ‘Illustrated Library of Great Indian Stories’, issued in the 1950’s (GD/VG £50). Here’s your first chance to see these beauties:
*DC: On the DC half of this week’s “Big ‘Uns” mini-event, we have new entries for the series All-new Collectors’ Edition (#C-62, VG/FNp Superman The Movie £10), DC Special Series #25 (FN/VF £12, Superman II), #26 (FN/VF £15, Superman and his Fortress of Solitude), and the highly-sought #27 Batman Vs the Hulk, (FN+ £30), and Limited Collectors’ Edition #C-37, VG+ £12, a Batman All-Villain Issue! While the standout in this selection is of course the Batman/Hulk clash, co-featuring the Joker and with the exquisite art of Garcia Lopez, all of these tabloid-size comics are scarce (poorly or non-distributed in the UK), and very keenly collected, so we advise early ordering.
*DC: This is the point at which many of our regulars will raise an eyebrow and disdainfully intone: “Modern comics?”, but, having previously introduced the first twenty of Wolfman and Perez’s hugely popular New Teen Titans series to our inventory, we decided to go the whole hog and take the series up to its conversion into a reprint title with #59. So, newly added are every issue from #21 to #42, then scattered issues up to #53, Annual #2 (1st appearance of the second Vigilante in costume) and the 1982 mini-series, Tales of the New Teen Titans, which presented the origins of the new team’s freshly-minted members. Highlights in this run include the debuts of Brother Blood and Blackfire, the acclaimed ‘Runaways’ storyline, the ground-breaking ‘Who Is Donna Troy?’ secret origin, and Wonder Girl’s wedding bash in #50. Buy them; try them; and see why NTT as it was familiarly known, was the DC title even Marvel fans were buying in the awesome ’80s! Because this series is a successor to the ‘classic’ Teen Titans, it may be found under ‘T’ in our listings, beneath the elder title.
*Marvel: For this week’s foray into our on-going Spider-Mania event, we’re proud to present an affordable copy of #9 of the Amazing Spider-Man, with the debut of one of Spidey’s most famous Rogues’ Gallery members, Electro. This pence printed copy is graded at GD+, with a nice cover image and colour. There are a few creases and edge tears, including the remnants of what looks like a subscription crease, and a small oil-like stain at the top corner of pages throughout (only in the margins), leaving the story unaffected. Nothing bad in the defect department and priced accordingly at £100. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: In the week of International Women’s Day, we offer a Fab Five of Female-Fronted ‘Firsts’ from Marvel: Amazing Adventures #1 from 1970, which co-starred the Black Widow alongside the Inhumans, giving Madame Natasha the distinction of being the first female-starring ongoing series of the Marvel universe; Marvel Spotlight #32, with the first appearance and origin of the arachnoid adventuress known as Spider-Woman; Ms. Marvel #1, in which Carol Danvers gained the costume and powers of the (other) cosmic avenger; Savage She-Hulk #1, the first appearance of Bruce Banner’s courageous cousin and the one-off Marvel and DC Present – only the fifth true Marvel/DC crossover – bringing together the Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans against the venomous yet voluptuous villainy of the Phoenix!
*Marvel: In the Marvel half of our “Big ‘Uns” event, we welcome the Tabloid Variant of Marvel Comics Super Special #8 (VG £5, Battlestar Galactica, which was, unusually for the time, released as both a magazine and a tabloid); Marvel Special Edition #3, (FA+ £6, with the entire Star Wars movie adaptation in one extra-thick volume) and a range of Marvel Treasury Editions, three of which (#4 FN+p £12, #15 VG+p £7 and 19 VG+p £7) feature Conan the Barbarian, and the latter two boasting all-new material: issue #25, FN+ £15, co-stars Spider-Man and the Hulk at the Winter Olympics (Bruce cuts a dashing figure on the ice…), while #28 is the second Superman/Spider-Man team-up, co-starring Dr. Doom, the Parasite, Wonder Woman, the Hulk, and more! That last item is a FN+ copy at £25, and we don’t expect it to remain on our shelves for long!
*Modern Reprints: A further update to this popular category, this time featuring reprints of some classic DC material: the 100 Page Super Spectacular Love Stories, and the following softcover trade paperbacks: Justice League of America: Zatanna’s Quest, Tales of the Bizarro World and Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labors. As a bonus, we also have the complete three issue series of the Haunted Love series from IDW, reprinting pre-code horror stories with a romantic angle.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: It seems you can’t get enough of our vintage mags, so here’s some more of ’em! From Marvel, updates to Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu, Epic Illustrated, Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction, Vampire Tales, and because we file them in this section, #1 in the Marvel Graphic Novel series, Jim Starlin’s Death Of Captain Marvel. From the king of schlock horror, Skywald, we have more copies of Psycho and Scream, and one final oddity from Mayfair, a mid 1970’s edition of Quasimodo’s Monster magazine, a movie mag with no comics content.
*Classics Illustrated: To celebrate our new Classics Illustrated shop window display, we’re releasing a copy of the most sought after Classics Edition of them all, the UK only version of Dr. No! The UK series of Classics Illustrated predominantly reprinted (in a different sequence) its American ‘parent’, but occasionally ventured into brand-new stories. One such is #158A, Ian Fleming’s Doctor No, in which James Bond fights the handless mastermind in a 32-page story heavily derived from the movie, rather than the book, with characters drawn by Norman Nodel to closely resemble Sean Connery and his co-stars. Released in December 1962, it has huge crossover appeal to Bond fans who don’t normally buy Classics, and therefore prices have peaked in recent years. This copy is in VG grade, printed for distribution in Australia (identical to the version for UK distribution but with Australian ads) with minor spine wear but excellent page quality, at £200. In 25 years of trading, we’ve seen about one copy of this every five years, so if it’s something you’re after, best grab while you can! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Undergrounds: A dizzying variety of underground and ground-level, alternative and indie commix from the 1970’s through to the 1990’s. In the ‘classic’ underground line, we offer Arcade, Best of Rip Off Press, Cannibal Romance, Forbidden Knowledge, Mu, and inner City Romance; from the ‘ground-level’/indy zone we bring you Avenging World and Mr. A – two slices of Ditko unleashed – the Star*Reach companion book, Imagine, and two other Star*Reach spin-offs, Cody Starbuck and Parsifal; plus Hot Stuf’ the anthology with Corben, Gray Morrow, Alex Toth and more. Best represented this time, however, is the UK wing of the underground movement, with humorous erotica – Hunt Emerson’s Firkin the Cat paperback, collecting the series from Fiesta, and the lavish full-colour Oh, Wicked Wanda!, with Ron Embleton’s gorgeous painted artwork (depicted here); the classic underground paper IT, Cozmic Comics #1 from 1972, Heartbreak Hotel, and the entire ten-issue run of Pssst!with early works by Bryan Talbot, Glenn Dakin, Paul Johnson and Shaky Kane, an unnerving attempt at a British ‘bande-dessinee’ style magazine, with lots of pretention but frequent flashes of brilliance. The oddest new entry, however, is the arts magazine, Art & Artists, from 1969, one issue of which featured extensive coverage of the Underground scene, with a cover by Spain Rodruigez!
*Annuals: All the annuals in this update are in our Boys’ Adventure sub-category and comprise the following: Giant Book Of Amazing Stories (1950’s sci-fi), First Book Of Heroes (1958 text illustrated by Embleton & McLoughlin), King Arthur & His Knights (approx. 1960 illustrated text), Rip Kirby (1950’s album), Space Kingley Annual (1950’s sci-fi), Space Wars 1980, Starlord 1980, Superman 1954/55, Tiger 1969-75, Valiant 1971-79, the rare 1976 Valiant Book of Mystery & Magic and Vulcan 1977. Full details in our catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A long overdue update for Fleetway’s Lion, one of the most popular and enduring of all Boys’ titles. After a stray issue from 1957, this selection concentrates on the years 1968-1971, and although not plentiful, it does feature many issues previously missing from our catalogue, including the first Gadgetman & Gimmick-Kid issue (4/5/68) and the 1st Lion & Eagle from 3/5/69. A great period for Lion this, with Robot Archie, the Spider and many other fondly-remembered characters.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: For the final part of our CSD Collection of Picture Libraries, we have a selection primarily from the Britsh publisher L. Miller, who brought both reprint and UK-originated material to 1950’s newsagents in a variety of formats. Here, his digest-sized/Pocket Library contributions include Bronc Saddler (“The Modern Westerner”), and the more traditional Western hero Tex Austin, and detectives Mark Conway and Theo Drake. Non-Miller entries are Micron’s Paul Temple Library, with new adventures of Francis Durbridge’s celebrated sleuth, and Weird Science Illustories #1, from the Glasgow branch of the US’s Magazine Enterprises (!), which, despite its EC-inspired name and Fiction House rip-off cover, contains text stories and all-new comic strips. For grade and price details, as always, see our online listings. And so, we close the doors on the CSD Collection, a cornucopia of Cowboy adventures, Schoolgirl hijinks and Detective thrillers which has kept us entertained for months – but there’s many more Picture Libraries in our future listings, so keep watching these updates!
*TV & Film Related Comics: Released in 1967, Solo, the companion paper to TV Tornado, featured a line-up of film and TV tie ins with guaranteed star power -‘Sgt Bilko’, ‘Mary Poppins’, and the hugely popular ‘Man From UNCLE’. Oddly, the powers-that-be decided to go with Disney’s ‘Scarecrow of Romney Marsh’ as the lead cover feature. Nevertheless, these leads plus lesser lights – ‘Seaspray’? ‘Run, Buddy, Run’? – provided ample entertainment for the young readership, though it could be argues that the multitude of Disney cartoon strips brought the reading age down a bit. Despite its quality, Solo never achieved very wide circulation, and copies are seldom seen – particularly with the free gift – the Amazing Solar Saucer! (or, bit of spinning circular plastic, as we call it.) This copy of #1 is in VG condition, with minor spine weakness precluding higher grade, and the Solar Saucer, though the disc is present, is missing its accompanying launcher (see picture). This uncommon collectable can be yours for £95. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: A nice batch of Krazy new in this week from 1976-78, plus the following miscellany: Cor Summer Special from 1973, 2 copies of the Magnet #1 facsimile from 1965 with and without wraparound covers, Sparky from 1972, Whizzer & Chips from 1981 and Whoopee from 1974 & 1981.
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 American/British section: *Mad & Other Parody
and in our British section: *Annuals *Boys’ Adventure & War Comics (E-G)
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
It’s the turn of Classics Illustrated to take our window spotlight, with a panorama of famous covers as arranged by our exclusive window designer, the nefarious Dr. Evilla. There’s a huge international fan base for these adaptations from classic literature, and we have hundreds in stock ranging from bargain later printings for casual readers or beginning collectors up to some of the rarest editions for dedicated collectors. There’s a window photo shown here, although the scale of this doesn’t really do justice to the window design, better viewed in person!
*DC: For the last 10 months, we’ve been privileged to present one of the best Batman collections ever to pass through our hands, and we conclude this week with the choicest items of them all! For the final instalment of Batmania Max, we offer a very special selection of Golden Age Batman issues, each one featuring his favourite nemesis, the Joker! Ranging from 1944 to 1949, these vintage issues each have a Joker story, and three of the five feature eyecatching Joker covers. In a remarkable state of preservation for their years, these items present the Dynamic Duo’s classic clashes with the Harlequin of Hate, plus early appearances by the Jokermobile, the Jokerplane, and the Joker-Signal! Other highlights of this selection include the first appearance of the Mad Hatter, the debut of Vicki Vale, historic time-travels to the days of the Three Musketeers and the Arabian Nights, and Batman among the mermaids! We open with Batman #23 FN £900; then we have #32 VG £215, #37 VG £375, #49 VG+ £475 (full disclosure: this one isn’t actually the Joker, but his Arabian Nights equivalent, the Crier – but isn’t it a gorgeous cover?) and #53 VG+ £200. All five are illustrated below (left to right), but further details about the condition may be obtained from our catalogue listings. Given their antique status, these are beautiful copies, and the prices reflect not only their rarity but their relatively high grades. And so we wave goodbye to Batmania Max, until the Bat-Signal lights the skies over Putney once more…
*DC: You either love ’em or hate ’em, but there’s no denying that Jack Kirby’s Fourth World sequence for DC is hard to ignore, with its eccentric ideas and writing style. And there’s also no denying that the characters he created (Darkseid, Orion, Mister Miracle etc) have been a significant legacy for the DC Universe right up to today. His New Gods series was at the vanguard of the Fourth World stuff, and featured the first appearances of Orion, the Black Racer, Steppenwolf & the Forager. We have Jolly Jack’s complete 11 issue run of New Gods fresh in; a variety of grades, all pence copies. Carry On, Apokolips!
*DC: While we’ve been listing all the wonderful Batman and related titles in our Batmania Max event these past few months, a considerable number of Bat-items have popped up from other sources, and in this penultimate visit to Batmania Max, we’re adding them all to our listings. Included are: Batman #171 (1st Silver Age Riddler), the Anniversary issues Batman #200 & #300, Batman #227 with the classic ‘Demon Of Gothos Mansion’ cover, Batman Annuals, several issues of Batman Family, Brave & Bold #200 with the 1st Outsiders and Katana, DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular), a variety of Detective Comics including #500 and much more. Next week, we pay one last visit to Batmania Max, and… we’re saving the best till last!
*DC: An addition to our catalogue listings this update is Hellblazer, from DC’s ‘mature readers’ line of the 1980s (which later evolved into the Vertigo imprint). No-one ever calls John Constantine ‘Hellblazer’, but that’s the name execs nevertheless picked for the series, for reasons lost to history. Created by Alan Moore as a supporting character in his acclaimed run on Swamp Thing, the chain-smoking, scruffy, alcoholic and poly-lecherous Constantine was a breakout character, developed in his own series by writer Jamie Delano and a string of all-star artists – John Ridgway, Richard Piers Rayner, Mark Buckingham, Ron Tiner, and, in the Annual, Bryan Talbot. Highlights in this run, apart from the first issue at NM- £40 (pictured), include guest-writer Grant Morrison’s team-up with illustrator David Lloyd (issues #25 & #26), and #27, a one-shot by guest-creators Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, whom you might just possibly have heard of. Constantine is wily, treacherous, and has a habit of leaving his friends and lovers dead in his wake, but even though he consorts with devils, he’s nominally on the side of the angels! The first thirty issues of his ongoing series, plus Annual #1, are new to our lised stock, and price and grade details may be found in our catalogue.
*Marvel: The 1970’s Marvel Comics series of Star Wars isn’t commonplace in the UK, most of the first 50+ issues having been completely non-distributed in Britain, and the rest having only low circulation here in the Old Country. After a prolonged dry spell of some years when we only had a handful of issues in stock, we recently acquired a complete run, which did brisk business for us – and now, in the best tradition of London Buses, here’s another long run of them! Not quite complete this time, but a very nice selection of issues #1-81, plus the first two Annuals, an original owner collection in mostly outstanding grades, including many VF/NM and several NM. Highlights include, of course, the debut issue, VF+ at £125, and issue #42, introducing the bounty hunter Boba Fett, VF+ at £60. #1 and #42 are depicted here; for grade and price details on the other issues, check our online catalogue. SORRY, #1 & #42 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: 60+ issues of the Amazing Spider-Man new to our listings in the number range between #203-277. This selection of high grade and low distribution issues covers early appearances of the Dazzler (#203) and the Black Cat (#226-227), the offbeat and acclaimed “Kid Who Collects Spider-Man” tale (#248), the first appearance of Spider-Man’s black costume (the garment that would later become Venom – no really) in Spidey’s own series in #252, and the first and second appearances of one of Spider-Man’s most popular enemies, the Hobgoblin, in issues #238 & #239! Albeit more modern than most issues in our listings, these ’80s and ’90s Spider-Man issues remain enduringly popular, and we’re delighted to refresh our stock with so many sold-out numbers. Issues #238 (NM- p £100), #239 (NM+ p £50) and #252 (NM p £50) are pictured below; for grade and price details on the rest, see our online listings. SORRY, #252 NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A one-off addition to our third party graded stock with a copy of Silver Surfer #18, assessed by PGX at 7.5 (VF-) and priced at £45. As its the final issue in the series, the only one to feature art by the Surfer’s co-creator Jack Kirby and guest stars the Inhumans, there’s a whole lot of bang for your buck with this one!
*Marvel: Another run through some incoming Marvel stuff from the Silver & Bronze ages freshly added to our boxes and catalogue. This time we feature Dr Strange Annual #1 (a lovely tale with art by P. Craig Russell), an early Fantastic Four (#24), Hulk, Iron Fist #15 (final issue with the X-Men), Marvel Feature 2nd series #1 (Red Sonja), Marvel Tales #30 (with new Angel story), Marvel Team-Up (from #2 inc. #65, 1st US Captain Britain), Master Of Kung Fu, Sub-Mariner, Tales To Astonish (Giant-Man/Hulk) & Thor.
*Western: Howdy, cowpokes! Our last selection of new stock for Mighty Marvel’s Rawhide Kid proved so popular, that we’re doing it again, with more than thirty new issues to our listings! Opening with #33, a Jack Kirby back-up story framed by two Jack Davis Rawhide tales, we then skip to the range #65 to #112, with plenty of western action from that brother act of Lee & Lieber! The earliest issue aside, these are mostly nice grade issues, averaging Fine or better, with many in the FN/VF to VF range. Our Rawhide Kid stock has also been completely updated, with sold items deleted, so at this moment you can order with confidence – but given the popularity of previous Marvel western updates, y’all had better be quick on the draw!
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: Introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #129, the Punisher – Marvel’s answer to the numerous gun-wielding cops & vigilantes who were the hot media genre in the early 70’s – seemed suited to Marvel’s black & white magazine line, in which he could cut a rather bloodier swath than the Comics Code Authority would permit. In the second issue of the try-out mag, Marvel Preview, behind a rather spiffy Gray Morrow cover, Frank Castle’s origin was revealed in detail for the first time in an extra-length adventure. This issue also features the debut of Howard Chaykin’s swashbuckling anti-hero, Dominic Fortune, and a feature on the Executioner – a paperback hero who was largely the ‘inspiration’ (ahem, ahem) for the Punisher. A superior FN/VF copy of a magazine that had no significant distribution in the UK, this key issue is on sale at £65.
*Alan Class Reprints: Continuing our new listings for the Alan Class archive copies of his publications, we have our second wave of Creepy Worlds, close to 50 issues between #41 and #115. Our ‘Marvellous Alan Class’ feature spotlights the issues of AC series in which early reprintings – frequently the first reprintings – of Marvel stories occurred, and this selection offers us early tales of Ant-Man/Giant-Man and the Wasp from Tales to Astonish, the Human Torch and Doctor Strange from Strange Tales, Iron Man from Tales of Suspense, and Spider-Man and Daredevil from their own series! However, even the non-Marvel AC issues offer a splendidly cornucopia of miscellany, as any given issue is likely to feature stories of Captain Atom, the Fy and Fly-Girl, THUNDER Agents, the Jaguar, Pre-Hero Marvel thrillers by Kirby and Ditko, vintage 1950’s suspense…. or none of the above! This selection of Alan’s own file copies runs the gamut, grade-wise, from Poor to Fine/VF, and each comes with a signed certificate of authenticity from Alan Class himself. Selections from the ‘Marvellous Alan Class’ range depicted are #43 FN/VF £40. #64 FN/VF £35, #68 FN/VF £45 (with the original, uncorrected cover art not used on the American printing!), #69 FN/VF £40 and #112 FN £30. For details of grade and price on the rest, please see our online catalogue listing.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The last of Fleetway/IPC’s ‘Big Cat’ weeklies, Jag roared into the limelight in 1968, but immediately hit a snag – unlike its stablemates (pridemates?) Lion and Tiger, Jag’s unfeasibly huge dimensions (12″ x 15″) meant it was almost never displayed unfolded, and many newsagents refused to put it on sale, as it was too awkward to display (though oddly they didn’t have that problem with the larger, but familiar, Beezer and Topper..). Despite an exciting line-up of top creators from the Fleetway bullpen, Jag never regained the lost momentum from this miscalculation, and even shrinking down to standard size early in 1969 didn’t stop its downward spiral, resulting in cancellation and amalgamation into Tiger after just 48 issues. This debut issue of this short achieveable run is in VG+ condition, minimal edge & corner wear with clean unmarred cover scene, and comes with the original free gift – Bobby Moore Book of the FA Cup – in Fine. Comic and gift for £65. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: Dandy comics from 1973 to 1975 form our latest Humour update. Included are all three Christmas issues, some New Year, Easter and April Fool issues and even a very unusual promo flyer for the short-lived comic Buzz (from 1973).
*Humour Comics: A further update for D C Thomson’s tabloid-sized Beezer. This time we focus on the year 1971, with most of the year added, including the Christmas issue. A fair few previously not in our listings, and mostly in a nice VG/FN grade.
*Girls’ Comics: Several dozen issues of Girl, the distaff version of Eagle, added to our listings for the years 1957-59. Cover featuring during this period Wendy and Jinx and then Susan of St. Brides. These additions are mostly low grade affordable copies.
*Girls’ Comics: Small updates to three popular titles: a couple of early Dianas from 1963, its first year of publication, a couple of Jackies from 1981 and the New Year’s issue of Tammy from 1984, its last year of publication.
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: In the final distaff episode of our CSD: Putney (Cowboys, Schoolgirls and Detectives) event, we turn our attention to Princess Picture Library. This digest-sized spin-off from Princess Magazine (as the weekly comic liked to style itself) featured the two most popular comic-strip stars from that title in alternating adventures. For the first 50-something issues, the spotlight was held by either Sue Day, of the ‘Happy Days’ family, or Sally of the Ballet, but eventually, other features appeared, as Alona, Tilly Tuffin, and Julie’s eccentric inventor Uncle Lionel jumped in to the mix. We have around 60 issues new in, mostly in attractive high grades (as is characteristic of the CSD collection), ranging from #2 through to the final issue, #120, after which the series merged with June & School Friend PL from 366. Enthusiasts should note that the copies graded at VF are among the nicest we’ve ever seen of any picture libraries, and certainly as nice as anyone could want for a prestigious high-grade collection. Illustrated are #2 VF £30, #5 VF £30, #100 VF £20, and #120 VF £30; for details of other issue grades and prices, check our online catalogue.
We’ve become conscious that many of you who keep a regular eye on our website and/or get our Newsletter may not always browse through our catalogue and indeed may miss a gem or two listed there which are not new in. As our catalogue is now huge, now and again, we’ll use this ‘What’s Old’ feature to highlight some outstanding items from our existing stock that even the most eagle-eyed panelologist may have not spotted. Kicking off this week with arguably the most in-demand comic of the 21st Century, Walking Dead #1. Our copy is a sparkling NM (9.4 equivalent) and priced at £1000. This represents a rare chance to grab an unslabbed investment grade copy, so act now before the, um, zombie apocalypse… SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Welcome to the final instalment of Watching The Detectives in our Batmania Max feature. Judging from your reactions, you’ve been loving this Detective run every bit as much as we’ve enjoyed grading, pricing and listing them. Although with our final batch, we’re moving more into the early 1960’s and slightly more familiar territory, there’s still plenty to enjoy here with the familiar themes of wacky villains, bizarre transformations and strange aliens. Plus appearances by Batwoman, Bat-Mite and an Aquaman back-up strip. Despite being from the early days of distribution, these (mostly) superior copies are all cents. A gallery of cover images from this run surrounds this text — full details as always in our catalogue. Just two more weeks of Batmania remain!
*DC: The “Hot New Character” of 1960, Hal Jordan, Green Lantern, made his debut in Showcase and proved so popular that he was awarded the twin accolades of membership in the prestigious Justice League of America, and his own ongoing series! This debut issue dated July-August 1960, featured the first appearance of GL’s intergalactic mentors, the Guardians of the Universe, who previously had been operating ‘behind the scenes’. This specific copy has had its cover removed at some point, but the removal has been done neatly & without undue violence. The staples are still firmly attached, and while there is inevitably some wear to the spine, and a tiny tear at the top spine edge, the ‘guts’ are sound, clean, and the general condition may be estimated as a GD- equivalent. At £50, this is a relatively cheap opportunity to acquire a key issue of one of DC’s major players.
*DC: After successful try-outs in Brave & Bold and Showcase, the Teen Titans graduated into their own series in 1966, and at the start, fought oddball menaces in stories with a ‘youth angle’, deemed fitting to their sidekick status. As the series gained momentum, however, that worthy cause was abandoned, and straight, if somewhat kooky, super-heroics became the order of the day, with some of the most off-the-wall villains of the camp era:: The Mad Mod! Honey Bun! Captain Rumble! Ding-Dong-Daddy Dowd! And who can forget the Dickensian duo, Mr. Scrounge and, erm, the other one. ‘Barking’ Bob Haney handled most of the scripts turning out a middle-aged man’s skewed vision of teen argot, while artist Nick Cardy turned in beautiful glowing artwork with some of the most vivid and imaginative covers of the period. Plus he was obviously a little in love with Wonder Girl, as she benefitted most from his artistry, but hey, in the Sixties, everyone was a little in love with Wonder Girl! As the decade progressed, the series shifted through a brief ‘social conscience’ period, with the team abandoning their costumes to operate in civvies, then entering a dark supernatural phase, before being cancelled and revived for a short-lived Seventies series, in which the Joker’s Daughter and Bumblebee joined up, as well as the augmentation of the team with a West Coast branch. (And you thought the Avengers did that first? Ha!) Every single issue of the series from #1 to #53 is now in stock, including many high grade, unmarked cents copies.
*Marvel: Flush with success at the dawn of the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee had an epiphany: if Iron Man, Thor and company were successful on their own – how much better would they be together? Thus was born the Avengers, in which Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp were brought together by the fiendish machinations of Loki and an heroic dynasty began which continues to this day! The Avengers has lasted myriad issues, with a plethora of spin-offs, and a veritable regiment of members (not to mention an extremely lucrative movie franchise), but this is the comic in which it all began! This copy is in Fair condition, pence-printed. Generally structurally sound, it does have tape on the interior spine, and significant colour touches around the spine area, but the interior pages are unmarred. £400 for this piece of comics history.
*Marvel: For this week’s Spider-Mania update, a quintet of Lee/Ditko classics from the Wall-crawler’s early years: #20, with the debut and origin of the Scorpion, is VGp £85: #21, guest-starring the Human Torch and his least rubbish enemy, the Beetle, is an exceptional VFp at £175; #22, starring the Circus of Crime with their newest recruit, Princess Python, is a cents copy, FN/VF at £135; #23, with an early appearance by Spidey’s greatest enemy the Green Goblin, is FNp £85 and issue #24, a change-of-pace in which our hero is nearly ‘Gaslighted’ into madness (with a phantasmagorical cover) is GD/VGp £33.
*Marvel: Following the success of Master of Kung Fu, Marvel looked around for another martial-arts themed series, and struck paydirt with Iron Fist, who made his debut in the fifteenth issue of the tryout mag Marvel Premiere. This copy of Danny Rand’s adventure to K’Un-L’Un is in generally excellent condition, an apparent FN/VF with tight staples and edges, and clean white interiors. The Marvel Value Stamp has been neatly cut out, but does not affect story pages. With the imminent debut of Iron Fist’s Netflix TV show (and his appearance in the Defenders spin-off), interest in the character has never been higher, so here’s a chance to grab his first-ever appearance at the relatively affordable price of £60. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: In the late 1960’s and again in the 1970’s, relaxations in the then-Draconian Comics Code Authority encouraged both DC and Marvel to look again at the horror/mystery format, which had stagnated since the hysterical ‘purges’ of the 1950’s. DC did this by revamping its venerable House of secrets and House of Mystery series, which had become staid pseudo-sci-fi, with a roster of inventive new artists, and in short order Marvel followed with the all-new Chamber of Darkness and Tower of Shadows series, offering the Marvel Bullpen at the height of their game. Marvel went the all-reprint route very swiftly, but both companies’ efforts spawned dozens of spin-off titles, still keenly sought by aficionados of the suspenseful and mysterious. From DC this update, we offer new listings for Black Magic, Elvira’s House of Mystery, Ghosts, House of Mystery, Plop!, Unexpected, and Witching Hour. From Marvel: Chamber of Chills, Creatures On The Loose, Crypt of Shadows, Fear, Journey into Mystery, Monsters on the Prowl, Supernatural Thrillers, Tomb of Darkness, Tomb of Dracula, Tower of shadows, Vault of Evil, Werewolf by Night and Giant-Size Werewolf (for when an itty-bitty Werewolf just won’t do the job…) Come and join us in the crypt, horror-fans – but do leave a light burning to see your way out again…
*Modern Reprints: A scattershot of classic compilations across a variety of publishers in this popular section. From DC, the full-colour paperback sequential reprinting of the acclaimed O’Neil/Sekowsky ‘New’ Wonder Woman. From Marvel, the first softcover Marvel Masterworks volume of the Rawhide Kid, reprinting his earliest Lee/Kirby adventures. And our ‘Miscellaneous’ update includes such treats as the hardcover Phantom Lady compilations, collecting the entire Quality/Fox/Ajax series most famously illustrated by Matt Baker; Nelvana of the Northern Lights, a complete anthology of the 1940’s Canadian heroine from Triumph Comics; Dark Horse’s hardcover reprint of Richard Hughes & Ogden Whitney’s Herbie and Checker Book’s paperback collection of the first eight issues of Gold Key’s Star Trek comics.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: A diverse selection from Marvel’s short-lived attempt to conquer the magazine world in the 1970’s: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #17, with a striking cover of the late Bruce Lee by Neal Adams; Marvel Preview #12, starring Lilith, Daughter of Dracula in the Haunt of Horror; three later copies (#24, #26, #27) of Planet of the Apes magazine in high grade, low-distribution issues of an already scarce series; and a full set (#1-6 plus Special) of the Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction!
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: Among the least common mags about US comics are the booklets produced in association with comics conventions. Usually limited to print runs of between a few hundred and at most a couple of thousand, they contain a plethora of features, articles, and most of all artwork from a multitude of comics creators, the vast majority of which has never been seen since the original publication. We’ve been lucky enough to obtain a selection from Britain’s leading event, the United Kingdom Comic Art Convention (and its spin-off, the Glasgow Comic Art Convention), handsome A4 booklets featuring Ian Gibson, Jamie Hewlett, John Bolton, Simon Bisley, Dave Gibbons, Frank Quitely…and that’s just a selection of the cover artists! Plus, the Tenth Anniversary Edition (1977) of Phil Sueling’s Phillycon (located in our listings under Comic Art Convention), a 100+ squarebound extravaganza featuring guest of honour Berni Wrightson, and a plethora of illustrations from a few other people – Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Trina, Dave Cockrum, John Severin, Gray Morrow, Neal Adams, Stan Goldberg, John Romita (Sr. & Jr.), Gil Kane, Nick Cardy, John Buscema, Frank Brunner, and many other legendary talents.
*Tarzan/E R Burroughs: A couple of dozen new issues in of Tarzan Of The Apes Fortnightly from 1972/73 by Top Sellers/Williams, reprinting American Western Publishers material in full colour; nicely graded copies throughout, all FN or VF.
*Alan Class Reprints: Another split-screen effort for our ongoing Alan Class ‘events’: in our ‘Redux’ programme, we revisit one of Alan’s ‘Big Six’ titles, Creepy Worlds, for a selection of issues from #1 through to #39, around 30 issues new to our listings. These are Alan’s own file copies from his reference collection, each released with a signed certificate of authenticity from Alan Class, the publisher, himself. And in our ‘Marvellous Alan Class Reprints’ feature, we highlight those hotly-pursued issues which feature early cover-featured reprints – in many cases, the first reprint – of stories from the Marvel Universe. In this selection the keys are issues #32-38, which reprint the earliest issues of the Fantastic Four from #1 – though not quite in sequential order: issues #32-38 reprint, respectively, FF #1, #2, #4, #3, #5, #6, and #8. Grades on these range from Poor on the earliest numbers including #1, through to Fine or better on many of the later issues. In addition to the FF reprint sequence, highlights include many seldom-seen Ditko and Kirby mystery tales from the Pre-Hero Marvel years. Scans of issues #32 (PR £15), #33 (FN £50), #34 (VG/FN £40), #36 (VG £38), #37 (FN £40) and #38 (FN/VF £40) are reproduced here (some are also available in lower graded, cheaper copies) – for all grade and price details, see our website catalogue!
*Marvel UK: Marvel’s UK division is refreshed from its earliest days this week, with Mighty World of Marvel #1-5 back in stock! These issues from 1972 introduced the classic Marvel heroes to an entire generation of readers, and are fondly remembered these days. In above-average condition for their vintage, the sport new covers by John Buscema (issue #1) and a fledgling Jim Starlin (#2-5), and all have the notoriously difficult cut-out coupons firmly in place! Moving up to Marvel UK’s latter days, we also have a selection Spider-Man and Zoids from issue #2. These are sought after because of the new-material strips starring the characters from the toy franchise. In addition, we have smaller additions to Chiller Pocket Book, The Daredevils (with Alan Moore & Alan Davis’ Captain Britain), Complete Fantastic Four, Spider-Man Comics Weekly, and Rampage Weekly. Full details in our catalogue.