*Mad Books: Even more Mad books have joined our collection, now placed on the bookcases near the stairs. Highlights include a NM copy of Don Martin’s second Captain Klutz (which includes his origin story), Sergio Aragone’s Mad As A Hatter! (VG) and The Self-Made Mad (VG), but there is also the eponymous It’s A World, World, World, World, World Mad as well as Mad In Orbit / Howling / Striking Back, Non-Violent /Polyunsaturated / Questionable Mad and many others.
We’ve now added many new bookcases inside our shop (located near the staircase to the basement) and this new location is where you’ll now find TV/ Film Tie-Ins, Pulp Fiction, Childrens’ Books and Mad Books, leaving Science-Fiction, Fantasy & Horror and Crime Spies & Sleaze in the tall bookcases at the rear of the shop. This allows us room for about a further 600-700 books to go out on sale, so look for a big expansion to our book stocks in all categories in the weeks ahead.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Spinning off from the phenomenally popular DC comic of the same name, Warner Books produced two paperback volumes of the House Of Mystery in 1973. Written by Jack Oleck, each volume contains 8 short horror text stories in the same vein as the comic title, and exquisitely illustrated by the master of the genre Berni Wrightson with many full page black and white images. All contained within Wrightson colour covers, these two rare volumes comprise the complete series and we’ve graded them as Very Fine at £20 each, being in virtually as new condition. The only time we’ve ever seen these, and we don’t expect them to hang around!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A decent-sized update to three of our best-selling Boys’ titles: Lion (just a soupcon from 1952 & 1964 then many from 1971-74), Tiger from 1965-68 and Valiant (a soupcon from 1965/66, then many from 1972-75).
*Annuals: A small update featuring Flash Gordon & UFO in TV/Film, Giant Holiday Fantasy Comic Album in Boys’ Adventure and, from the Wild West, 1950’s Buck Jones and Kit Carson.
*Marvel: A Nifty Nineties Triple-Threat this update, as we venture out of our vintage zone to present the first appearances of a trio of characters who defined the decade of big hair, implausible musculature and a superabundance of weaponry! First up, New Mutants #87, the first full appearance of Cable, the telekinetic mercenary who was sent back from the future to prevent his present becoming the X-Men’s past. Or something like that. This VF/NM pence copy (£40) has excellent white pages, and only the tiniest spine roll precluding a higher grade. Following on, another New Mutants, this time #98, with the palpitating premier of everybody’s favourite Merc-With-A-Mouth, Deadpool, as well as the accompanying debuts of the delightful but deadly Domino and the villainous Gideon. This is a Fine cents copy (£50), in decent shape but with light label residue at the upper cover corner. Rounding out, Uncanny X-Men #266, with the least plausible French accent since the cast of ‘Allo ‘Allo, the debut of Gambit, soon, if rumour is to be believed, the star of his own movie franchise! (As soon as anybody works out exactly what his powers are.) A very decent VF pence copy here (£50). SORRY, NEW MUTANTS #98 HAS NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: A scattering of Sally from 1970 and 1971, with ‘Cat Girl’, ‘Maisie’s Magic Eye’, ‘Sara’s Kingdom’, the ‘Silent Shadows’ (yet another group of masked schoolgirls fighting the Nazis – it’s a wonder the Third Reich ever got anything done!) and ‘Twangy Pearl the Elastic Girl’, among other features. As a bonus, the 6/2/1971 issue sports a promotional flyer for ‘Tammy’, the young upstart weekly who would absorb the faltering Sally later that same year. How ironic! Sally always sells swiftly, so fire up your e-mail now!
*Marvel: Marvel’s most controversial hero of the Silver Age, the Silver Surfer, restocked this update! Issues from #2 to the final issue #18, of his original series are now back in stock, mostly mid-high grade copies up to Very Fine+. By John Buscema at his most awesome, and Stan Lee at his most loquacious, these well-remembered and highly acclaimed tales express the Sentinel of the Spaceways’ despair about humanity’s propensity for intolerance and violence – usually just before he turns around and twats someone with the Power Cosmic! Dramatic highlights from this selection include #2 (debut of the brutal Badoon), #3 (first appearance of Surfy’s arch-nemesis Mephisto), #4 the rare Thor crossover issue), #14 (battle with Spider-Man) and #18 (in which our peaceful hero finally loses the plot and decides he’s at war with planet Earth – so it’s just as well his book was cancelled! Phew!)
*Girls’ Comics: Following on from our recent and hugely popular pop, romance and fashion update from the 1950’s and 1960’s, we now present similar fare 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s style, courtesy of Blue Jeans, Hi, Mates, My Guy & Oh Boy. If you can’t get enough of poptastic hunks and babes, or want to learn how to lose weight, how to write a saucy love letter or how to knit a nubbly waistcoat, these are the comics for you!
*DC: Several issues of Detective Comics new in from #349 upwards, including many 100 Page issues and culminating in the 500th Giant Anniversary issue.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: All gardeners know how it is at the end of summer, when all your carefully tended plants are laden with fruit. This year the SF bookberry bushes have been especially prolific, allowing us to add a large number of anthologies. These include a great selection of ‘Best Ofs’: L Sprague de Camp, Lester Del Rey, Raymond Z Gallun, C L Moore, Eric Frank Russell and Clifford D Simak, all three Andromeda collections (edited by Peter Weston), a range of anthologies from those stalwart editors Brian Aldiss and Damon Knight as well as many more. We’re particularly pleased to have Casey Agonistes by Richard McKenna, an author who died far too young.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: For this week’s magazine update, we turn to 1975 and feature 6 out of the 8 issues of Marvel’s Doc Savage magazine, the pulp favourite hero in beautifully-rendered adventures. All issues present except #1 & #4, mostly in Fine condition.
*Science-Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A special update to this section featuring exclusively the works of Gardner Fox. Best known as a comics writer, he was one of DC’s main architects of the Silver Age, with his work on Justice League, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Adam Strange, Atom and many more. Active from the Golden Age, he was the creator of the Flash, Hawkman, the Justice Society, the Justice League and the concept of Earth 2. Some comic fans may not be aware that he also wrote proper books, and in this selection we delve into his sword and sorcery heroes Kothar & Kyrik, his other-world heroic fantasy Llarn and more traditional science-fiction Escape Across the Cosmos and (writing as Bart Somers) two novels featuring the heroic Commander Craig. The Warrior Of Llarn book features a cover and frontispiece illustration by Frank Frazetta, no less. On a personal note, Gardner Fox is my hero when it comes to comic writing (I’ll always be grateful to him for creating Zatanna!), and his books, scarce in the UK, have much to appeal; this update includes many first editions.
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:
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Humour Comics: A substantial update to our Humour stocks, covering the following titles: Buster 1961, Giggle 1967 (#2), Hoot #1 & 2, Krazy 1977, Magnet 1937, Monster Fun 1975, Nipper 1987 inc final issue, Shiver & Shake 1973/74, Topper 1955 & 1981-83, Viz and Whoopee 1974 (from #3), 1976 & Best Of Monthly.
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 Books section:
As of the time of writing, this category is bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Power Comics: A long overdue update to the Odham’s Press titles with small amounts of Fantastic & Pow and quite a few more Smash & Wham.
*TV & Film Related Comics: Small amounts added of the ever popular Look-In (1971, 1974, 1975 & 1979), TV Tornado and a TV Comic Holiday Special (1982), as well as more esoteric fare with the first issue of Action 21 from 1988 and Hanna-Barbera’s Fun Time from 1973.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Titter ye not Missus! It’s not that type of adult fantasy, instead it’s fairy stories for grown-ups, the sort that Lin Carter and C S Lewis would have approved of. Around 1970 Pan/Ballantine issued a set of adult fantasy books that are considered to be the definitive collection of the genre. We are delighted to add a number of them to our Books section, including The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle, Don Rodriguez and At The Edge Of The World by Lord Dunsanay, The World’s Desire by H Rider Haggard & Andrew Lang, Evenor by George MacDonald, The Wood Beyond The World by William Morris (taking time off from wallpapering) and three by Evangeline Walton, The Children Of Llyr, The Song Of Rhiannon and The Island Of The Mighty. The books mainly range from GD to FN and all have beautiful and distinctive cover art.
*Humour Comics: A nice selection of very affordable Summer Specials in for Beano, Dandy and the Bash Street Kids from the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A big update to our classic Eagle stocks, starting in 1950 with a few issues from Volume 1, then substantial amounts from Volumes 17-20, right up to and including the final issue Volume 20 #17 26/4/69.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A chunky update to our stocks of 2000 AD from 1984-1988, issues between #363 & #601, taking in the first Halo Jones by Alan Moore and the first Zenith by Grant Morrison.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: A small selection of early numbers of War Picture Library new in between #5 & #20, mostly in VG to FN condition.
*Marvel: A touch more recent than most of our catalogue stock, Marvel’s 1990 Spider-Man series, written and drawn by Todd McFarlane, was an instant hit, with so many printings and variant editions that you’d swear that there was at least one printed for every person on the planet! Nevertheless, it’s become a desirable collectible in recent years, no more so than with the extremely limited, one-per-retailer Platinum Edition, which we’re delighted to make available in a pristine Near Mint/Mint copy at £200, together with the Marvel letter to Retailers that accompanied its circulation. We’re also taking the opportunity to list it in two other delicious flavours for the more budget-conscious collector: Regular Edition NM p at £8 and Silver Edition NM at £10.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: This week’s magazine update features, from 1980 onwards, a complete run (34 issues) of Epic Illustrated, Marvel’s shameless attempt to tap into the Heavy Metal market – but with fewer airbrushed boobies and a bit more, you know, actual content. This slick full-colour mag showcased a galaxy of star talents, and really needs no better sales pitch than a list of the illustrious contributors: Ellison, Moorcock, Corben, Byrne, Adams, Windsor-Smith, Sim, Starlin, Vess, Gulacy, Claremont, Bolton, Austin, Moore, Bode, Sienkievicz, Wrightson, Williamson, Veitch, Totleben, Steranko, Russell, Bode, Kaluta, Steranko, and scores more! This run averages VF, with a scattering of Fine and nothing less than VG.
*Marvel: 1972’s Iron Man #55, at the time a ‘fill-in’ issue written and drawn by Jim Starlin, has become an unexpected collector’s item over the ensuing decades, particularly after the release of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which brought Drax the Destroyer and Thanos into public consciousness. This issue was used by Starlin to lay down many of the cornerstones for his patented cosmic epics, and it features the debuts of not only Thanos; not only Drax the Destroyer; but also of Eros (later to play a major part in Avengers history as Starfox), Mentor, Kronos, and guest-villains, the bodacious Blood Brothers! We think Iron Man shows up for a couple of panels here and there. This latter-day collectible is in VG condition; it’s superficially an attractive grade, with excellent interior page quality, but a fine diagonal crease at the lower right cover corner, plus some colour over the Iron Man figure in the logo/masthead, make it a tad more affordable. VG p at £125.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: Werewolf By Night, featuring the adventures of the lycanthropic Jack Russell (yes, someone must have been having a laugh…) had a respectable run and is reasonably commercial, but one issue almost never found is #32, which is sought-after not for our hairy hero, but for the guest mercenary hero-villain, Moon Knight. Created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, the silver-clad avenger proved such a hit with the readership that he made numerous return appearances all over the Marvel Universe before gaining his own series, which has appeared intermittently to the present day. This is the first appearance of the character known as “Marvel’s Batman”, and copies in high grade command wince-inducing prices; this GD/VG pence copy is marred by light creasing of the lower right cover and some mild spine wear, but is much more affordable at £35.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: We begin the listing for a collection of Boys’ comics/story papers from the 1930’s, spear-headed by the first ten issues of Hotspur from 1933. Hotspur (through 2 series) lasted from 1933-1981, and it all started here. Features commencing in issue #1 include Buffalo Bill’s Schooldays, Japers Of the Red Circle, The Son Of Scarface, The Swooping Vengeance (cover featured), Colorado Kid, The Big Stiff and The Traitor Of the Team. Decent page quality for their age on #1-10, with varying degrees of cover wear and tear, most prominently to right edges. #1 is FA/GD at £100. A very worthy update of historical significance; #1-3 pictured. More artefacts from the 1930’s to be unearthed soon!
*DC: From the days before UK distribution, we have two early issues of Brave & Bold from the late 1950’s. In those days, before it later became a try-out series for new characters in a similar vein to Showcase, Brave & Bold featured tales of heroes of bygone years, namely the Silent Knight, Robin Hood, and, in particular the Viking Prince, the latter superbly illustrated by the incomparable Joe Kubert. These two issues, both a very presentable VG at £50 each, are the earliest Brave & Bold we now have in stock, and wonderful comics they are too!
*Marvel: Following on from recent voluminous sales, we’re delighted to have a few new Marvel Treasury editions in stock, featuring Dr. Strange, Howard The Duck and several different Conan editions.
*Girls’ Comics: A couple of dozen issues of material aimed at older girls this week, which means fashion, pop & romance! Romeo, the long-running DC Thomson romance weekly for young women, is scarce as the proverbial hen’s teeth, so we’re particularly chuffed to have ten new issues for our stock, ranging from 1959 to 1972, in grades from Good to Fine. The psychedelic fashion covers from the ’70’s are worth the price of admission alone – But we don’t stop there! Other new listings in this category include Roxy from 1958 & 1959, Mirabelle from 1961 to 1969, and Valentine from 1969 & 1970 – the latter providing a particularly intriguing contrast, as Valentine swaps its blue & white comic-strip covers for the ubiquitous photo-covers during this time. We also have one issue of Go-Girl from 1969 (no, we’d never heard of it either – learning all the time!), and, in an experiment, several issues of Petticoat from 1969, a young women’s magazine with no comics content. These provide a kaleidoscope of fashions, hairstyles, dating rituals and tactical strikes in the battle of the sexes over three decades – and the art, by Romero and other European illustrators, is often very lovely indeed. If you’re going to catch Cupid’s arrow, move sharpish – these are never on our shelves for very long!
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Edgar Wallace was one of the most prolific and successful crime/thriller writers of the early-mid 20th Century. Very many of his ideas have been adapted into film and TV series, notably King Kong, the Four Just Men and The Mind Of Mr. J. G. Reeder. From my youth I remember the Edgar Wallace Mystery Hour TV show. So far he has been sadly unrepresented in our Crime section, but no more. We have added a selection of the ever popular Pan editions, including 6 Great Pan. The dates range from 1950 to 1975, so there are a range of cover styles, mainly in GD or VG grades. Although there’s no denying his massive popular appeal, his output has earned him the delightful sobriquet: ‘The Man Who Wrote Too Much!’
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our Books section:
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: After Roy Of The Rovers, Scorcher is probably the most famous and best of the boy’s weeklies dedicated to football. Here we present a huge update to our stock, with over a hundred issues new in from 1970 (its first year) up to 1974 (its final year and previously unrepresented in our listings).
*DC: Two lovely Golden Age items from DC this week that have both seen better days, but still have much enjoyment left in them. First up, from 1944, Leading Comics #12, with a classic book-length Seven Soldiers Of Victory story; heavy spine wear but decent page quality and unmarred cover image; GD+ £45. Secondly, from 1954, World’s Finest #69, with solo stories for Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Tomahawk & others; heavily taped spine, heavy cover scuff over Superman figure; worn and torn but complete; PR £25.
*Girls’ Comics: A huge update to Judy, D C Thomson’s second longest-running girls’ title, between the years 1968-1972, with over a hundred issues newly listed. Most of these new issues were not already featured in our listings, particularly for 1971, where we previously only had one issue listed and now we feature virtually the whole year.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Most of the 36-issue run of War At Sea Picture Library now in stock, including many multiple copies in a variety of grades to suit every budget. Many of these are in an unprecedented FN/VF or even VF condition, highly unusual for an item of this vintage, (1962-1963) and feature very sharp glossy covers and crisp white interior pages, but there are also plenty of comfortably-priced reading copies. #1-3 pictured, all in VF.
Regular visitors to our shop or veterans of our online window updates will be familiar with our dark red livery, which in one form or another has graced our exterior since its inception. Well, we’re having a change and from this coming Sunday (weather permitting), we’ll be sporting a shiny new blue exterior. For one week only, we’re showing a grey frontage, which is the undercoat for our new paint job. Here’s the image for how the shop looks now and we’ll post a further picture of the finished look very soon!
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Seven books to strike terror into your heart/organ of choice whenever anyone mentions spare parts surgery. We start with a copy of the original story, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. After enough time to forget that Frankenstein created the monster (rather than that the monster was called Frankenstein), we find four of Donald F Glut’s New Adventures of Frankenstein, including the imaginatively titled Frankenstein Meets Dracula (it had to happen!). We conclude with two more continuations of the monster’s story by Robert J Myers. All copies are GD to VG, apart from a FN grade Slave Of Frankenstein. After reading these you may feel like tearing up your organ donor card!
*Marvel: A quartet of short-run cult series from the 1970’s, restocked from their debut issues up! From the mind of Jack Kirby come the Eternals, ageless protectors of humanity, and 2001, which takes the Kubrick classic film and sends it on a sideways spiral, culminating in the debut of X-51 in #8, later known as Marvel’s Machine Man. In addition, Nova, Marvel’s second-string space sentinel, and Son Of Satan, the peculiar post-Exorcist attempt to cast a demonic hellspawn as a hero! Some of the kookier tangents of the Marvel Universe, in mid-high grades, now in!
*Girls’ Comics: One of the most popular Girls’ titles, Tammy, is extensively re-stocked this week from the very first issue (6th February 1971) right through to 1982, including the Tammy & Misty and Tammy & Jinty years. We have 2 copies of #1: GD/VG £35 pictured (discoloured right edge and small tear last few pages) and FA £20 with a faded cover. Issues #2 & #3 are FN but with the pull-out supplements missing (otherwise complete). This is just the beginning of a massive update to Tammy to follow in the weeks ahead, so keep watching!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A chunky update for one of the longest-running Boys’ titles, Tiger, with over a hundred issues new in from 1969 all the way up to 1985, its final year.
*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:
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: A further update to war-themed Picture Libraries, all pre-decimal, including Combat, Commando (between #200-500), Lion, Valiant & War (from #3).
*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?