*Humour Comics: As previously mentioned, we’ve been looking at our Beano and Dandy stocks, ever mindful of the marketplace and what we learn about relative scarcity. We’ve reviewed and restructured our pricing policy for these two famous titles, in particular for the years 1951-1964, and you’ll now find that we have the early 1960’s prices at the same rate as the late 1950’s, since the later issues are in fact rarer than the older ones. However, all our prices for the years 1951-1964 for both titles are now considerably cheaper than they were, so there’s never been a better time to fill the gaps in your collection of these iconic British comic institutions!
The Alan Class part of our Extras section features our Rough Guide to the contents of the many hundreds of issues produced by this famed publisher. Each time we see an issue not already included in our guide, we add details of the content, and have just added details of a further nine issues from Astounding, Creepy Worlds, Sinister & Uncanny.
*DC: 1985’s universe-redefining DC series, Crisis On Infinite Earths, in which worlds lived, worlds died, and all the surviving parallel Earths were merged into one, causing headaches for writers and apoplexy for fans for a generation! Created to celebrate DC’s 50th Anniversary of publication, this series was a huge hit, a major event, and a quality item, being created by Wolman and Perez, the team behind DC’s then-hottest property, the New Teen Titans. There was a genuine feeling of momentous events, and the deaths of such characters as Supergirl and the Flash caused shockwaves through the industry – and proved ‘permanent’ for a surprisingly long time! All twelve issues of this much-imitated but seldom-equalled series now back in stock, mostly in extremely attractive high grades. Exact grade and price details in the catalogue listing. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: The 1970’s retooling of the venerable Western character, Ghost Rider, as a supernatural satanically-empowered cyclist raised eyebrows among the purists, to say the least – but no-one can deny it was a commercial success, and after a hit streak in Marvel Spotlight, former stunt-rider Johnny Blaze burned rubber into his own series! We have many new additions to our stock of the first 35 issues, commencing with the ‘Big One’ – #1 – on offer for £125 in an attractive VF+ grade (pence copy). Grade and price details of the remaining issues are available in the online catalogue.
*Marvel: Early appearances new in stock for two of Marvel’s more recent breakout characters. The first full appearance of Cable, the back-from-the-future warrior, was in New Mutants #87, and he shortly thereafter took over the leadership of the team and starring role in the series. We have both the first and second printings of this significant issue in stock, the first printing being a Pence copy in VF at £50, and the second a NM cents copy at £10. Cable also escorted the New Mutants through their transition into the X-Force, and we also have new stock of X-Force #1. Deadpool is represented not only by his second-ever appearance in X-Force #2, but also by his first solo issue, the Circle Chase mini-series #1, and the 50th issue of his first ongoing series! Cable and Deadpool prices are of course spiralling upwards owing to the recent Ryan Reynolds Deadpool movie smash (with Cable lined up for Deadpool II), so swift selection is recommended! SORRY, NEW MUTANTS #87 (BOTH PRINTS) NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Marvel’s 1970’s reprint line covered all bases, with stories of war, western, romance, funny-animals, and other moribund genres. One such title was Jungle Action, which, behind attractive new covers, re-presented 1950’s stories of such faded icons as Lo-Zar and Lorna the Jungle Girl. But with issue #5, all that changed – okay, #5 was still reprint, but it reprinted a Panther-centric Avengers issue, and paved the way for his all-new solo series beginning with #6! From the acclaimed and, let’s be polite, opinion-polarising team of Don McGregor and Billy Graham, the Panther’s series challenged stereotypes, invited new viewpoints, and broke boundaries – including, routinely, the boundary of how many words could, or should, be crammed onto a single page! We have every issue of the Panther’s Jungle Action run new in: issues #5-24, after which he went on into his first solo title under the hands of his co-creator Jack Kirby, and things took a decidedly different turn. But this is the series that established T’Challa as a solo star, and while the earlier issues aren’t all they might be condition-wise, many of the later ones have unusually nice VF/NM or even NM grades.
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: Three iconic UK comics fanzines are our feature this update, with more-or-less consecutive runs from 1975 to 1990! Oldest first is Comic Media News, one of the UK’s first ‘Prozines’, with occasional new covers by the then-fledgling Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, and others. We have a consecutive run, missing only one issue from #23 through to the final issue, #40, in 1980. Bemusing Magazine began as a humble mimeographed fanzine (ask your Mums), but by 1977’s #13 had graduated to a small-press printed production, which is where we join it. By the #20’s, it had abbreviated its title to BEM, started running colour covers, and gained enough popularity to be picked up by an American publisher – which is where it ultimately came unstuck when the US publisher crashed and burned, with 1982’s issue #36. Nothing daunted, Bemusing/BEM’s editor Martin Lock took over the venerable Fantasy Advertiser ‘zine with 1981’s issue #70, and rapidly recreated BEM’s success, making it the most respected British comics fanzine – a trend only enhanced when Martin Skidmore took over the editorship and reached out to people like Eddie Campbell, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and other significant figures in the 1980’s comics renaissance. With a plethora of otherwise-unseen work by Emerson, Bolland, Gibbons, Talbot, McMahon, O’Neill and many more, these fanzines, with print runs ranging from at best a couple of thousand down to perhaps a couple of hundred, these once-dismissed ‘zines are now hotly sought after when they appear on the market, which is seldom. This selection, with mostly consecutive issues from three of the leading ‘zines of the time, is a remarkable acquisition.
*Power Comics: Fantastic, the 1967 Power Comics weekly which served as many readers’ introduction to the Marvel characters, is restocked from its second issue through to #45, with only a few numbers missing from the run. These are averaging a sound and attractive VG/FN condition, with in most cases only slightly rusty staples being the flaw precluding a higher grade. In addition to the reprints of classic Iron Man, Thor and X-Men stories, the series also features newly-created anti-hero The Missing Link, who evolved later into the more acceptably heroic Johnny Future, strikingly illustrated by Luis Bermejo, and, rumour has it, several pin-ups in this run were illustrated by a baby Barry Smith (before the ‘Windsor’), though since the calibre of the pin-up art generally is striking in the wrong way, it’s honestly hard to tell!
*Girls’ Comics: Restocks of the cult girls’ weekly Misty, the horror/mystery anthology which redefined the expectations of girls’ comics during its brief span. Our sloe-eyed hostess (created by artist Shirley Bellwood, who illustrated many ethereal covers and frontispieces) narrated, week after week, tales of mystery and imagination written and drawn by many of IPC/Fleetway’s finest. Owing to the proliferation of sought-after artists, Misty is keenly collected, and prices trend high, but this new selection, though perfectly respectable reading copies, range more between Fair to Very Good, rather than VG to Fine, so are comparatively affordable. This range of almost 50 issues runs from March 1978 to the very last, in January 1980, and, as a bonus, includes a dozen or so early issues from Tammy when it absorbed Misty into its pages.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: After a short hiatus the Science Fiction bookshelves have been refilled, this time with a selection of anthologies not previously offered. Highlights include The Science Fictional Solar System (Asimov, Greenberg & Waugh eds.), Science Fiction Showcase (Mary Kornbluth ed.), Gentle Invaders (Santesson ed.) and Deep Space (Silverberg ed.). Also represented are the first of the very successful Spectrum anthologies (Amis & Conquest eds.), Alien Worlds (Hill ed.) and also edited by Silverberg, Science Fiction Hall Of Fame Vol. One.
*Marvel: Following tremendous sales on everyone’s favourite barbarian, we are delighted to announce a significant restock on Conan between issues #26 & #96, plus Annuals and Giant-Sizes. Typified by Roy Thomas scripts and the masterful art of John Buscema, whose style was really suited to such sword and sorcery, Conan flourished under Marvel’s imprint in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
*DC: This week, one last look for the Batmania Max collection in the main Batman title for those wacky aliens from the early 1960’s as we focus on four very collectable issues. Batman #128 VG- £60, #129 GD/VG £60, #130 VG £65, #134 VG/FN £70. Thrill to ‘The Interplanetary Batman’, ‘The Hand From Nowhere’ and ‘The Rainbow Creature’ Odd one out is #129, featuring the origin of Robin retold, the debut of a new villain, the Spinner, and a Batwoman bondage cover! Early 2017 will see the conclusion of our Batmania Max feature, but there’s still plenty of goodies to come, and we’re saving the best till last…
*TV & Film Related Comics: About 75% of the second series of TV21 fresh in, mostly in FN grades, ranging from #3 to #104 (the penultimate issue). Although this successor to the classic TV Century 21 series started out as its predecessor ended with football covers, these soon gave way to the more exciting fare offered by Thunderbirds (as shown on #8 pictured), more than ably backed up by Star Trek, Tarzan, Land Of The Giants and Joe 90. Joe actually shared billing with TV21 for the first 30 odd issues following his own short-lived series. Although perhaps overshadowed by the famous first series, this second series is still chock-full of cult TV strips of superior quality and forms an essential part of any British collection of such.
As time allows, we’re always striving to provide more information about the vintage comics we stock. Our latest venture in this direction is to include within our listing of the classic Eagle 1st series 1950-1969 the titles and issue numbers of all the Dan Dare serials, showing where each started and ended. See our Boys’ Adventure & War Comics section for full details. Now you can check which parts of which stories for the iconic spaceman we have in stock at any time.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: It’s the turn of Detectives in our Cowboys, Schoolgirls & Detectives Picture Libraries prestigious collection this week, in particular our final visit for this collection to Super Detective Picture Library, with a selection of mostly splendidly graded issues between #102 & #186. Featured stars are: Lesley Shane, Tod Claymore, The Toff, Vic Terry, Blackshirt, Rip Kirby, Buck Ryan, John Steel and, of course, the superbly illustrated adventures of Rick Random, who is represented in a spate of adventures. Several samples illustrated below. Full details as always in our catalogue. Next time, the Cowboys will be back!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Concluding our mammoth update of the popular war weekly Battle, we have significant restocks for the years 1981 to 1983, which were previously either poorly- or non-represented in our listings. This period saw the series expand its remit from purely war – already breached by its previous absorbing of the defunct Action – to a more generalised adventure/action profile, enhanced with such new series as the not-at-all-familiar Kung Fu thriller, “Fists of Jimmy Chang”. Combat, however, remained at the forefront, with regulars ‘Johnny Red’, ‘Rat Pack’, ‘Charley’s War’, et. al., firmly holding their positions as favourites. Battle, of course, didn’t end in 1983, running for several more years, but this monstrous influx, of in excess of 1,000 new copies from 1975 to 1983, concludes here. As a final bonus, however, in addition to the weekly issues we include four of the extra-length Holiday Specials, consecutively from the years 1979 to 1982.
While we do make every effort to adhere to our posted opening hours, people should be aware that industrial action on public transport at this time does make commuting to the shop a bit fraught and challenging. If we do miss our opening times on occasion during this action, please bear with us; we’re doing our best!
*Annuals: A flurry of feminine facts & fancies this update, with almost 50 new entries to this category including Bunty (1965-1985), Debbie (1980), Diana (1970-1976, including ‘Supercats’ prototypes the ‘Fabulous Four’ in 1975 & 1976), Judy (1964-1985), June (1972-1982), Mandy (1977-1984), Penny 1980, Princess (1965 & ’66), Princess Tina 1977, School Friend (1966-1969), Tammy (1975-1984), Valentine 1974, and – appearing on our lists for the very first time – Twinkle Annual from 1973-1988! (A trifle anomalous, since our Twinkle weeklies appear in our ‘Younger Readers Comics’ category, but we don’t have a ‘Younger Readers Annuals’ section!)
*Marvel: From 1968, most of the first series of Silver Surfer new in. From #2 through to #18 (final issue) we have fresh stock of the Sentinel of the Spaceways, with Stan Lee at his most philosophical and John Buscema at his most majestic on the art duties (with ‘King’ Kirby on the final issue). Giant-size issues up to #7; many mid-high grade cents issues and many multiples in varying grades to allow for a choice of budgetary options. Highlights include #2 (FN+ £50 1st Badoon), #3 (FN+ £75 1st Mephisto) and #4 (FN+ £150 classic Surfer vs. Thor cover and story with low distribution). This classic series remains ever-popular and early attention is recommended.
*Girls’ Comics: The ever-popular June & School Friend is restocked with around twenty issues from the year 1964 (prior to June’s enforced merger with the defunct School Friend), through to 1969, including Valentine’s and Christmas issues (the latter illustrated here, in honour of the season – it would grade as Fine but for some back cover scribble in pencil which does not affect the stories). Join Kathy of Marvin Grange, Vanessa From Venus, Mam’selle X, Cherry and the Children, Bessie Bunter and all your old pals for more fun and adventure!
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: One long-overlooked character in the Marvel pantheon was Star-Lord, the cosmic adventurer who was introduced in a few issues of Marvel Preview and Marvel Comics Super Special in the 1970’s, never really went anywhere, and then simmered into obscurity – until his revival as a central character in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, accompanied by the sensationally successful film (the sequel to which is due for imminent release), made him one of the bleated breakout characters of the 21st Century! This update, we present a FN/VF copy of his very first appearance, in 1976’s Marvel Preview issue #4. Steve Englehart and Steve Gan’s presentation of Peter Quill, the not-yet-legendary Starlord, has fewer laughs than the movie version (and definitely a much quieter soundtrack!), but this is where the character got his start, and prices have been going bonkers on early Star-Lord appearances. This is a FN/VF copy, pence priced with a rather fixed label, but a superior copy in every other respect; offered at £65. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Humour Comics: Over 150 issues of arguably the most famous British comic, the Beano, new into stock for the years 1967-1974. Christmas and other celebratory issues included plus issues with advertising flyers, as well as the first Nibblers appearance in 1970. We’re setting about overhauling our inventory of the two British classic humour titles Beano and Dandy, so watch this space in the coming weeks for further news and updates.
*Marvel: Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts, Dr. Strange, suffered a bit of a lull in the late Sixties following the failure of his first series, but came back in fine form, first with a successful ‘showcase’ run in Marvel Premiere, then from 1974, his revived ongoing title. We are pleased to have the entire 81-issue second series of Dr. Strange in stock, many of them non-distributed in the UK and therefore highly sought after. The roster of creators on this series is stellar, with, at various times, Frank Brunner, Steve Englehart, Tom Sutton, Steve Leialoha, Marshall Rogers, Roger Stern, Paul Smith, Mike Golden and of course Gene Colan doing exceptional work. Most of these issues are in exceptional grade – the earliest are respectable, but the condition rapidly escalates to an average of VF/NM, with many NM (a grade we only cautiously allot to comics of this vintage) among their number. We round off the complete run with the one-shot Giant-Size issue, and the first series Annual, a thing of beauty illustrated by P. Craig Russell, illustrated here. As always, full grade and price details are available in the Marvel section of our online catalogue. Despite their remarkable condition, many of these vintage items still work out cheaper than modern comics – and, on average, are much better!
*Younger Readers’ Comics: A nice top-up to our stocks of Playhour, the children’s weekly title with plenty of TV star power, in particular The Magic Roundabout (cover featured), plus Mr. Men and that couple of odd couples Pinky & Perky and Leslie Crowther & Peter Glaze of Crackerjack fame. Highlights include a story where Zebedee lost his moustache (as you do) and Dougal featured as a Christmas fairy (on the Christmas 1975 issue as pictured). Our new stock starts from 1968 and runs through to 1976, with 1971 and 1972 more prominently featured. Boinggg!
*Girls’ Comics: A bit outside our usual range, we have acquired a 1980 issue of the US music newspaper Goldmine, 176 tabloid-sized pages of mostly ads, but including features and articles including “Beatles Rarities”, “The Return of the Troggs”, and myriad other profiles and interviews with the great, good, grotty and obscure of the rock world. General good condition, a bit chipped and yellow at the edges (but aren’t we all?) It’s a veritable cross-section of rock memorabilia from the pre-internet days! We have, I freely confess, no real idea what this sort of thing goes for, so we’re trying it out at £10.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: We continue our mammoth update to Battle, the famous weekly title with the years 1979 and 1980; now almost every issue for those years in stock. The first issue of 1979 is #200 (GD/VG £15), with the first of the acclaimed Charley’s War strip written by Pat Mills and drawn by Joe Colquhoun, unarguably (we think) the finest story of World War I ever created. Also included is the 5th Anniversary issue in 1980. Nice copies throughout here, mainly FN and VG. Look out for the conclusion of our Battle marathon next week!
*Marvel: We conclude this segment of our Slab Happy feature with a couple of Marvel milestones: first up, Daredevil #181 CGC 9.0 (VF/NM) by Frank Miller, featuring the ‘death’ of Elektra & appearances by Bullseye & the Kingpin (offered at £30); secondly She-Hulk #1 from 2005 CGC 9.8 (NM/M), by Dan Slott & Juan Bobillo, with Slott’s distinctive take on everyone’s favourite lawyer cum super-heroine, at £40.
*DC: In 1964, the sales of Detective Comics starring Batman had slumped to such a low ebb that serious consideration was being given to ousting Bats and having the Flash take over the lead slot in the title. Before such a drastic move, however, the editorship of detective was switched to Julius Schwartz, and a New Look was introduced – the first of many, many DC ‘reboots’, but probably the most successful! Back-up feature Martian Manhunter was shunted over to House of Mystery and replaced with the Flash’s crime-solving buddy, the Elongated Man, while scripter John Broome and illustrators Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella brought a slick, sophisticated and modern look to the Batman series, utterly devoid of aliens, robots, gorillas, and all the other tropes that had characterised the previous run. This series of Detective opens with #327, the first ‘New Look’ issue, and continues through to #358, just before the debut of a certain Dominoed Daredoll. Along the way, we take in such highlights as the death of Alfred, the first appearance of the sinister Outsider, a pair of guest appearances by the enchanting Zatanna (one, admittedly, in heavy disguise), the premier of Blockbuster, and the first appearance of the Cluemaster. Oh, and they did slip in one or two gorillas, for old times’ sake – but taken much, much more seriously!
*TV & Film Related Comics: We’re particularly blessed to have got our second batch of Joe 90 in during the last couple of months. This short-lived Gerry Anderson series doesn’t turn up very often, so this is a noteworthy event! 25 of the 34 issues new in, from #2 and inc #34 (final issue, pictured). Almost all are VG or in over half the cases, a sparkling FN grade.
*Marvel: From the 1970’s, the unexpected debut of a later cult character. Jack Kirby’s adaptation, then thematic continuation, of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey raised many baffled critical eyebrows at the time of its release, but in issue 8, the series finally acquired what it had lacked – a central character for the readers to empathise with – in the shape of Mister Machine, a robot with a soul who fought to find his purpose in existing. The 2001 title expired shortly thereafter, but Kirby, then Ditko, continued our hero’s adventures in his own series – renamed Machine Man, the title under which he’s more generally known. Since then Machine Man has gone on to lengthy service in such series as Marvel Zombies, Avengers, and Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E., but this is where his career began. This is a cents copy (no pence copies of this non-distributed issue exist) in VF- condition. Generally in excellent shape, but an original machining/guillotining error at the printing press has resulted in very faint irregularities to the upper right cover edge, without which it would have been an easy NM. Nevertheless, an affordable copy of a character debut, offered at £25. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel UK: A further huge update to our stocks of Mighty World Of Marvel, one of the longest running of Marvel UK’s titles, home to the Hulk and many other Marvel denizens, with over 150 issues added between #37 & #342. All now graded, these additions are mostly FN or VG copies. Fill yer boots!
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following file in our American section:
and in our British section:
*TV & Film Related Comics
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: The latest offering from our fabulous CSD: Putney collection of Picture Libraries features June & School Friend PL (later adding Princess to its title). This series continued the numbering from Schoolgirls’ Picture Library and later absorbed the defunct Princess PL to boot, thus inheriting continuing characters from both classic series. Dozens of issues added to our stock between #329 & #515, very many in as high a grade as VF, which although it’s a grade we seldom assign to British comics, is typical of the CSD: Putney collection, where rusty staples are the exception rather than the rule. All your favourite features are here, including Zanna of the Jungle, Lucky’s Living Doll, Mimi the Mesmerist, Sue, Sally, Mam’selle X and many more. Some samples are illustrated below. Next week, it’s the turn of Detectives in our CSD: Putney feature.
*DC: A quartet of beauties that are among the closest to our collective hearts here at 30th Century – in Justice League of America #21 & #22, the groundbreaking “Crisis On Earth-One” and “Crisis On Earth-Two”, the heroes of the Justice League met their parallel-world counterparts, the Justice Society of America, for the first time, and an annual tradition was formed. Superbly created by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, the multiple heroes and villains of these stories were expertly juggled, with everyone getting their moment to shine. Reader response was such that in issues #29 and #30, we were brought the two-part, “Crisis On Earth-Three”, and “The Most Dangerous Earth of All!” respectively, which introduced the Justice League’s evil counterparts, the Crime Syndicate of America, from yet another parallel world. After a period in limbo, the CSA were revived in later decades, and have become major antagonists in subsequent DC Universes, spotlit in Grant Morrisson and Frank Quitely’s acclaimed “Earth-2” graphic novel, and the ‘big bad’ in the New 52’s “Forever Evil” mega-event. The Justice Society went from strength to strength, and have starred in several ongoing series since. These are the issues that kicked it all off, and they’re available in affordable mid-high grades, all cents copies – #21 is VG £55, #22 VG/FN £55, #29 FN+ £65, and #30 FN+ £50. All four illustrated below. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: The horror series, Werewolf By Night, starring the implausibly-named Jack Russell as the eponymous lycanthrope, launched an unexpected career when in issue #32, the villain du jour was one Moon Knight, a silver-clad crusader with an agenda to claim the Werewolf’s pelt. Needless to say, it was all one of those wacky heroic misunderstandings, but nevertheless, Moon Knight caught the public’s eye, rapidly getting his own tryout strip in Marvel Spotlight, and, after a number of other guest-appearances, his own title by Moench and Sienkiewicz, who brought the character such prominence that he has seldom been out of publication since. Don Perlin, illustrator of this issue, isn’t Bill Sienkiewicz – to put it mildly – but this is the first appearance of the hugely popular character, and shooting up in price. This is a pence stamped copy, which has also had a (slightly-higher price) pence sticker placed over the overstamp. In every other respect, it’s an attractive VF+ – would grade higher without the sticker – and is offered at £275. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Continuing our update on the oversized editions, we’re also pleased to present the second team-up of Superman and Spider-Man – this time helmed by the House of Ideas, and presented under the official title of Marvel Treasury Edition # 28! Orchestrated by Jim Shooter and John Buscema, this features the villainy of Doctor Doom and the Parasite, and guest-stars the Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman; this FN/VF copy is available at £40. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: From the 1970’s, several of the tabloid-sized Collectors’ Editions with which DC regaled the market. These oversized issues show off the art to the best advantage, and the examples we have in mostly deserve such display; DC Special Series #27 presents the epic clash of Batman Vs. the Incredible Hulk, with superlative art by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, and featuring the villainy of the Joker: FN+ at £40. Famous First Edition C-61, released to coincide with the first Superman movie, presents the entirety of Superman #1 from 1939; okay, the art’s a little crude by contemporary standards, but it’s dead ‘istoric, innit? Limited Collectors’ Edition C-51 gathers together the first epic clash of Batman with Ra’s Al Ghul, with Neal Adams artwork and an awesome Adams cover created specially for this edition. And the biggie is Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man the first proper DC/Marvel co-productions, in which the companies’ respective solo super-stars met fought the first time. We offer a FN/VF copy at £45, but for the more economically-minded, we also have a GD p at £15. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Roy Thomas and Barry Smith’s comic book recreation of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian was a breakout hit for Marvel in the early 1970’s, but yet another fantasy comics star made her debut in Conan #23 (Feb 1973), when Conan encountered Red Sonja, a female brigand and adventurer who was every bit his equal. Sonja rapidly caught the public’s imagination and spun off into her own series (regrettably with a skimpier and more impractical outfit than her earlier look), and more than forty years later – being a licensed character not linked to a specific publisher – continues her comic-book career to this very day. It all began here, folks: Conan #23 VF+ offered at £40.
*DC: DC, attempting to increase their traditional audience, tried an unprecedented launch of a comic starring a super-villain in 1975. They certainly picked the right candidate in the Batman’s arch-nemesis the Joker, but despite conscientious scripting by Denny O’Neil, the requirements of the Comics Code Authority forced each issue to end with the Joker’s defeat – and a comic book starring a persistent loser didn’t sit well with the general public! Nevertheless, the subsequent meteoric fame of the Joker in comics and other media has made his first solo forays highly desirable now, and we’re pleased to have the full 9-ssue run in mid-to-high grades for this week’s Batmania Max update, several of them cents copies, with a couple of duplications. Co-starring friends and foes of Batman such as Catwoman, Creeper, Green Arrow and Black Canary, the Royal Flush Gang, the Scarecrow, and, er, Sherlock Holmes (kind of), this is an interesting experimental cul-de-sac in the Gotham cityscape.
*Marvel: One of the most sought-after series of Marvel’s Silver Age is the Silver Surfer, a short achievable run (18 issues only) of a cult character presented by Stan Lee and John Buscema (all but the final issue) at what is generally regarded as the height of their creative abilities. We are pleased to have three CGC Blue Label (unrestored) issues – the final three, in fact – in very affordable mid-grades. Issue #16 is 3.5 VG-, #17 is 4.0 VG, and #18 (the issue illustrated by Jack Kirby, where the Surfer clashes with the Uncanny Inhumans) is 5.0 VG/FN. All three are offered at £25 each, an ideal entry level for those wishing to dip their toes in the water of third-party graded comics.
*TV & Film Related Comics: TV Century 21, the comic-strip adaptation of the TV Shows of Gerry Anderson, goes from strength to strength with the enduring popularity of its characters – Thunderbirds, Stingray, Fireball XL5 and company – and the top-notch quality of its illustrators. We are pleased to restock the later half of the series, with a stray issue #75, then a substantial, though not unbroken, run beginning with #163 and ending with #216, the period during which Captain Scarlet, the indestructible agent of SPECTRUM, held sway over the front cover. This selection also includes #192, in which TV 21 gobbled up its companion title TV Tornado, adding The Saint and Tarzan to its line-up. Approximately 50 issues new in to our listings.
This coming holiday period, we shall be open as normal Monday-Saturday 10:30 to 18:00, with the following exceptions:
Christmas Eve Saturday 24th December: Open 10:30 to 16:00
Christmas Day Sunday 25th December: Closed
Boxing Day Monday 26th December: Closed
New Year’s Eve Saturday 31st December: Open 10:30 to 16:00
New Year’s Day Sunday 1st January: Closed
Bank Holiday Monday 2nd January: Closed
Dr. Evilla, our window designer, has created a festive tableau to celebrate the season, showcasing many characters you’d all like to see turning up in your stockings. You can see it better in the flesh, as it were, by paying us a visit, but for those of you unfortunate enough not to able to call in this month, here’s some pictures!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: The New Year 1961 issue of the classic Boys’ comic Eagle cajoled you to ‘start 1961 with a Dan Dare story’, so in this huge update for Volumes 11 & 12 of said publication, we invite you to end 2016 with one. And there’s plenty to choose from: 1960 continued Trip To Trouble, ran all of Project Nimbus, then Mission Of The Earthmen which rounded out the year. 1961 commenced with The Solid-Space Mystery, continued with Platinum Planet and began the Earth-Stealers. Of course, although Dan Dare is the iconic British spaceman of the Atomic Age, there are plenty more excellent strips and features to enjoy in Eagle, and we are delighted to have these volumes, previously underrepresented in our stock, now fully charged and virtually complete in a choice of grades and prices.
*Marvel: Concluding our Avengers Very Finest event, we finish off our recent acquisition of high-grade cents issues of Marvel’s Mightiest team as we present a selection from #63 to #100. Highlights include #63 (1st appearance of Hawkeye as Goliath), #69 (1st cameo appearance of Nighthawk and the Squadron Sinister), #70 (1st full Nighthawk and Squadron), #83 (1st Valkyrie and the Lady Liberators), #93 (during the Kree-Skrull War, Ant-Man’s odyssey into the Vision, with exquisite Adams art) and #100, a Barry Smith-illustrated epic starring every Avenger ever…all 14 of them! (If they were to do that these days, they’d need a lot more pages…) Full prices and grade details in the catalogue as usual, with a splendid selection of illustrations below.
*Marvel: From 1972, a complete (4-issue) run of the Cat (“Beware…The Claws of the Cat”, as it was also known), one of Marvel’s short-lived attempts at a female-led comics line, together with Night Nurse and Shanna the She-Devil. Written by Linda Fite, the story of Greer Grant Nelson’s physical and intellectual empowerment, as she changes from supressed housewife to super-heroine, is very much of its time, but notable for the prominent creators who contributed to its short run. Marie Severin, Jim Mooney, Paty Greer, Jim Starlin and Alan Weiss. Of particular note is Wally Wood’s superb embellishment of issue #1, making it the standout issue. Sadly, despite some intelligent writing and good intentions, the Cat failed to find an audience, and was swiftly cancelled, but she evolved into two more successful heroines: Greer herself became Tigra the Were-Woman, while Patsy Walker took up the discarded costume and became the happy-go-lucky Hellcat!
*Marvel UK: Once more into the breach with our ongoing refurbishment of our Marvel UK stock, and this time we’re focusing on Spider-Man Comics Weekly, the second Marvel UK title, which launched in 1973, and, at 666 issues, became the longest-running Marvel UK publication, finally hanging up its web-shooters in 1985. Our new additions to this title run from #14 through to #585, in excess of 200 numbers previously unlisted in our inventory, plus, as with all Marvel UK stock (eventually), the previously flat-rated and ungraded numbers have now been given full gradings to bring them up to standard with the rest of our back catalogue.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: From Marvel’s 1970’s experiment with the black & white magazine-sized comic format (with a smattering of later additions in full colour), we restock Bizarre Adventures, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, Doc Savage, Epic Illustrated, Haunt of Horror, Kull & the Barbarians, the Legion of Monsters one-shot, Marvel Graphic Novel (including Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom by Mike Mignola), Marvel Preview (with an early appearance by the not-yet-legendary Starlord), Monsters Unleashed, Rampaging Hulk (from # 1), and Savage Sword of Conan, by Crom! Many early works by people who later became much more famous lurk within the pages of these experimental editions. Overall, around 35 new items in this popular section.
*Girls’ Comics: Over a hundred issues of Fleetway’s Jinty fresh in this week, ranging from April 1979 through to the final issue dated 21/11/81. Similar in appearance and feel to its stablemates Tammy & Misty, Jinty concentrated on stories with science-fiction and fantastical elements, although humour and other more traditional girls’ comic subject matter also featured. This selection features Anniversary, Christmas, New Year, Fireworks and Royal Wedding issues, as well as the first merger with Penny issue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: For this week’s visit to our Crime, Schoolgirls & Detectives Picture Library event, we’re saddling up with dozens of issues of the less common Western Picture Library published by Pearson’s, and commencing in 1958. We don’t see these too often, and this is by far the biggest haul we’ve ever had of them in one go. Starting with #1 (FN £20, pictured left below), we run through to #78 (with gaps). Starring such Western stalwarts as Mustang Gray, the Texas Kid, Arizona Jim, Peacemaker Ryan, Clint McCoy and many more, this selection, like most of our CSD incoming, is mostly in exemplary condition, with many FN and even VF copies, without a hint of the usual rusty staples. For the first time, we’re now featuring full issue number and story title information for this series in our website listing. More from CSD: Putney very soon!