*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: Twelve more issues added of Marvel’s self-published ‘prozine’ from the 1970’s, FOOM (Friends Of Ol’ Marvel), which featured an array of creator interviews, features, and much archival and unpublished artwork, a plethora of delight for the Marvel maniac! New additions range from #8 to #21, and include ‘theme’ issues such as Cosmic Heroes (#9), X-Men (#10), Kiby’s Return (#11), and Star Wars/Sci-Fi (#21).
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: We present a near complete run of classic 1st series Eagle Volume 14 from 1963, inc two issues following the merger with Swift that include the Free Gifts. #10 (GD with VF Free Gift) at £20 is the first issue of Eagle & Swift and includes both the pictorial plastic wallet for football player cards and the first four full colour cards for it; #11 (GD with VF Free Gift) at £10 includes four more cards for the wallet. Volume 14 of Eagle started out with classic racing car covers, before Dan Dare returned to the cover slot as illustrated by Keith Watson, who was responsible for some of the most striking cover imagery of the entire series. Famous interior features included Frank Bellamy’s Heros The Spartan in full colour across the centrefold and Blackbow the Cheyenne.
*Humour Comics: Dandy, the second most famous weekly humour comic, is restocked with approximately 100 new issues in our ongoing campaign of revitalising our Beano and Dandy inventory. Apart from a token 1957 issue that slipped through our radar previously, this latest update spans the years 1964-1968, and features not only the famous Dandy alumni ‘Korky the Cat’ and ‘Desperate Dan’, but also such obscure series as ‘Winker Watson’, ‘Dirty Dick’, and ‘Spunky and His Spider’. Really, what more needs to be said? There’s a nice selection of Christmas, Easter and April Fool’s issues present, and the majority of the new stock is in very affordable low-to-mid grades.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Top-ups of two perpetually popular papers this week, both from the famous Scottish publisher D.C. Thomson. Warlord, which was launched in the 1970’s but with a very retro WWII ambience, has its earlier issues replenished – most of the first forty numbers, from #2 up plus many issues from the 1980’s. And from an earlier time, when the actual WWII was fresh in the minds of most adults, Wizard is restocked for 1952, 1953, and 1960, three years previously under-represented in our archive. These years are not complete, but they do offer a substantial proportion of the extant issues, with more than 100 copies new in.
*Marvel: For this special release, a very special quartet of comics starring Tony Stark – millionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist, and the Armoured Avenger!
We begin with Iron Man’s very first appearance, in the pages of Tales of Suspense #39, abducted by Reds behind the Bamboo Curtain (it was a different time…) and forced to manufacture advanced weapons to crush capitalism, Tony Stark turned the tables on his captors by devising a cybernetic suit of armour which transformed him into an unstoppable juggernaut of justice – but at the cost of a near-fatal injury to his heart, which required constant contact with his robotic armour to keep beating! Under the artistic talents of (usually) Don Heck (who devoted special attention, bless him, to the many shapely ladies Tony Stark romanced), the sophisticated world of Tony Stark vied with the action-adventure of his Iron Man persona for the readers’ attention. Following the blockbuster success of the Iron Man movie franchise, demand for this issue has never been higher. This cents copy is GD/VG, a sound, clean and attractive copy with flexible off-white interiors and very minor spine wear which would easily grade VG or better but for a small (3 x 2 cm approx.) corner torn off the lower right cover, as may be seen in the accompanying scan. In every other respect a superior second-hand major key issue, but that defect does bring it into the range of affordability at £2,000. High resolution scans are available on request.
With Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1, ‘A Special Once-In-A-Lifetime Issue’, its unique position is simply a result of a scheduling tangle which arose when Marvel was finally allowed by its distributors to increase its restricted range of titles. The Hulk took over the numbering of Tales to Astonish, and Captain America the numbering of Tales of Suspense, but that left ‘orphaned’ chapters of the Iron Man and Sub-Mariner serials languishing, so they were used in this oddball one-off so that both Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner could start off their #1’s with new book-length adventures. This cents copy, with no UK price or overstamp, is a lovely clean, tight & bright copy with excellent cover gloss. One of the easiest Silver Age Marvel titles to complete – buy one and you’ve bought them all! FN/VF at £65
Our third star item this update is Shell-Head’s first solo issue from 1968, Iron Man #1. As mentioned earlier, after a long run as the co-star of Tales of Suspense, Iron Man was given his own title when the ‘Berlin Wall’ of Marvel’s distribution was broken down. With the kinetically frenzied artwork of Gene Colan at its finest, this FN pence-stamped copy boasts glorious deep purple colour, unfaded and vivid, with white interior pages. Offered at £225.
And finally Cyril, 1972’s Iron Man #55, at the time a virtual ‘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 in Captain Marvel and elsewhere, and it features the first appearances not only of Thanos and 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! Iron Man shows up for a couple of panels, here and there, we’ve heard… This cents copy is in VG/FN condition; other than the vestiges of a subscription crease (a long, but light vertical crease down the middle of the comic, where it was originally folded for mailing), there are no other flaws. Offered at £175. (And don’t forget that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is scheduled to hit cinemas soon, so buy now before the speculators attack!) SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
Dr Evilla has gone for a simple design to celebrate our New Year Graphic Novel Sale which starts on 3rd January, showing a selection of just a few of the goodies on offer. (She strenuously denies the scurrilous rumour that it was a quick job done yesterday following a late night of carousing on 31st!)
2017 kicks off with the biggest sale of graphic novels and similar material that we’ve ever staged, with hundreds of trade paperback and hardcover collections offered at up to 75% off normal retail. Super-Heroes such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Deadpool and the Guardians of the Galaxy and many more are all heavily featured, along with darker Vertigo material such as Transmetropolitan and other independents by the likes of Alan Moore, Garth Ennis etc and alternative independent stuff by creators such as Will Eisner, Donna Barr, Carla Speed McNeill and Posy Simmons, to name just a few. The sale includes very many graphic novels that are long out of print. Everything is offered on a first come, first served basis for shop visitors only — due to the expected high turnover, we are unable to list these sale items on the website or offer them by mail order. The sale starts on Tuesday 3rd January at 10:30 when our shop reopens after the New Year break.
*DC: A lovely key issue in this week’s Batmania Max update: Detective Comics #267 features the debut of that interdimensional imp Bat-Mite. Although Bat-Mite’s stated purpose in visiting our dimension was to aid Batman, just like his Superman related counterpart Mr. Myxyzptlk, his real intention seemed to be to have fun (without perhaps the edge of menace inherent in some of Superman’s imp’s appearances); nevertheless the outcome was the same — mischief, headaches and problems for the Dynamic Duo! Our copy of Detective Comics #267 is a lovely clean bright FN/VF issue at £325 (cents copy, of course, since it predates UK distribution) with minor edge and spine wear and a couple of pressure marks near the logo (only visible in a certain light) precluding a higher grade; nice just off-white page quality too! A seldom seen key! SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Last time we had these comics in, Will did such an entertaining write-up on them that we’re unashamedly using it again. When the Ant-Man name was unclaimed in the late 1970’s a scientific opportunist and sneak-thief, Scott Lang, stole Hank Pym’s old apparatus and became the second bearer of that title! But it’s okay – he did bad things for good reasons, to find a cure for his dying daughter, as was revealed in Marvel Premiere #47 and #48, the two-part tale which (after a cameo in Avengers #181) was Scott’s first full-length adventure. John Byrne and David Michelinie created this different take on the hero, and since then, Scott has had a few setbacks – been in jail a few times, been dead a few more, been a love-slave of the Purple Man – but he’s fought his way back to respectability, and is currently the star of one of Marvel’s more entertaining series – as well as the recent Marvel cinematic hit. This double-portion debut consists of a VF+ p #47 at £60, and a FN+ p #48 at £10.
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:
*Miscellaneous 1960 Onwards
and in our Books Section:
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*TV & Film Related Comics: We’re delighted to have another batch of second series TV21 from 1970/71 fresh into stock. Starting out with a mixture of Football, Gerry Anderson, Star Trek and other TV favourites, it morphed eventually into more of a Marvel reprint title, featuring Spider-Man, the Silver Surfer and the western Ghost Rider (of all things). Star Trek was there till the bitter end though. About 20 issues between #15 & #93 new in, all in nice grades.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A further chunky update to our stocks of Tiger, between the years 1974 and 1980 plus 1983/84, with over 175 issues added to our listings. This period for this classic title has grown significantly in popularity over the past few years, so a good opportunity here to check your wants against our catalogue stock!
*Humour Comics: Overdue updates to one of our most popular categories, as we top up Cor (1970/71), Sparky (1969-1971) and Whizzer & Chips (1969 inc 2nd issue VG £15 as pictured, to 1971). About 40 issues in total.
*Marvel: It’s been a while since we just breezed on through the Marvel stock, topping up and gap-filling with some (following recent huge sales) still pretty significant selections of stock. Highlight of this latest update include Avengers Annual #10 (1st appearance of Rogue, featured character in the new Star Wars movie…what do you mean, “That’s a different Rogue?!”) in a very affordable VG, the first issue of Black Panther’s solo book from 1976, with Kirby Kraziness unleashed in “King Solomon’s Frog!”, a lovely high-grade early Captain America #107, a selection of Daredevil between issues #13 and #198, including Moondragon’s origin by Jim Starlin in #105, the first US appearance of Captain Britain in Marvel Team-Up #65, a run of X-Factor between issues #2-26, and a wide range of issues of X-Men between #132 and #264, plus token touch-ups to Ghost Rider, Ka-Zar, Marvel Two-In-One, Master of Kung Fu, Nova, Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Sub-Mariner and Thor.
*DC: A monumental top-up to the adventures of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes, as JLA is restocked with every consecutive issue from #101 to its fateful finale, #261, including the first series of Annuals! This was a period of great change for the team, and this run sees the expansion of the roster by recruiting Elongated Man, Red Tornado, Hawkwoman, Zatanna, Firestorm, and eventually – Gods Help Us – Vibe, Vixen, Gypsy and Steel! (But we try to remember the good times…) The JLA/JSA team-up also inaugurated the tradition of including a third team in the mix, such as the Freedom Fighters, Shazam’s Squadron of Justice, the Legion of Super-Heroes, the New Gods, All-Star Squadron and Infinity Inc. Suffice to say that some combinations were more successful than others! Highlights include the 100-Page issues in the early #100’s, the acclaimed Steve Englehart-scripted run commencing with #140, the Identity Crisis retconned cross-overs in #166-168, and three unique items from the Brian Bolland collection, complete with certificates of authenticity signed by Bollo himself! While this run encompasses a wide range of grades from Fair to VF/NM, it’s accurate to say that they skew towards the higher side. As always, full price and grade listings in our online catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: It’s the turn of Cowboys (and Indians) in our CSD event this update, and we have another oddity for you – Totem Picture Library! Commencing in 1961, Totem brought us, like its companion title Radar, translated-from-the-Spanish adventures of ongoing characters Kit the Sheriff, Roy Dallas, and, in later issues, Canada Pierre (isn’t that a stop on the Docklands Light Railway?) in tales of Western derring-do. This selection, though not a complete run, offers a substantial amount between #1 and 1964’s #40, in very respectable condition, averaging FN/VF and with many VF copies among the incoming.
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: More from Marvel’s ‘mature readers’ version of Cimmeria’s favourite son, Savage Sword of Conan, with new issues in stock from a range between #17 to #65. Reputedly artist John Buscema’s favourite assignment, and his enjoyment of his work shows. Join everyone’s favourite savage swashbuckler for adventure, magic and mystery in the Realms That Never Were…
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Three separate titles with two very different philosophies recharged this update: 1976’s Bullet, one of the later entries in D.C. Thomson’s adventure oeuvre, nevertheless hewed very firmly to the old school of boys’ weeklies, with war, sport and spies being the staples – underneath the trendy veneer of moustache, mullet and medallion, our protagonist ‘Fireball’ was reassuringly stiff-upper-lipped after all. By contrast, the 1980’s brought the comics revolution in the UK – a halcyon decade in which comics were going to be the next adult mass communications medium (remember then?) and two of the comics in the forefront were Deadline, birthplace of Hewlett and Martin’s Tank Girl, and Crisis, the 2000 AD spin-off which took a dystopian look at the near future. All three of these series have fresh stock – scattered in the case of Deadline, extensive in the cases of Bullet and Crisis – added for your delectation. Full grade and price details, as always, in our catalogue listings.
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
All that remains is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a busy collecting New Year, from all of us here at 30th Century!
*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