*TV & Film Related Comics: A further outing for those Heroic Autobots of Marvel UK, the Transformers, featuring dozens of issues between #44 & #206, filling some gaps in our stock.
*Girls’ Comics: The finale to the mammoth Mandy project we’ve been working on for some time, with virtually all of 1988 added and the start of 1989. We’re sure they’ll be more Mandys in our future, but for the time being, we have plenty listed to be getting on with!
*Horror 1940-1959: As if last week’s horrific Halloween happenings weren’t enough, there’s a further nine entries in our Pre-Code Horror Fest this week, each one a different title: from Fiction House, we have Ghost #4 (Maurice Whitman cover), from Comic Media, Horrific #12 (Don Heck ‘Big Head’ cover), from Standard, Out Of The Shadows #12, from Atlas, Spellbound #23, Strange Tales #30 (pictured) and Uncanny Tales #45, from Star, Spook #24 (with L B Cole cover and transvestism story), from Fawcett, the one and only issue of Unknown World (with Norman Saunders painted cover), and from Ajax Farrell, Voodoo #16. Affordable grades here for a cauldron full of chills! And more to come…
*Childrens’ Books: Today we release some examples of the most well-loved and memorable childrens’ books. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland is available in a 1933 hardcover edition, with stunning illustrations (colour plates) and pictorial board by A E Jackson. C S Lewis’ Narnia books are represented in both the Puffin editions with all illustrations by Pauline Baynes and Fontana Lions editions illustrated by Steven Lavis (cover) and Pauline Baynes (interior). Two Monica Edwards stories, Punchbowl Midnight and Spirit Of Punchbowl Farm have been added as well as The Lost World (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), The Moon Of Gomrath (Alan Garner) and a fine facsimile edition of Billy Bunter In Brazil.
*DC: Ten new issues in of Detective Comics from the early 1960’s between #275 and #332. All in lowish, affordable grades, highlights include a lovely Bat-Mite/Batwoman cover on #276 and a Joker cover and story (#332). Backing up the Batman main feature at various times are the Martian Manhunter, Roy Raymond TV Detective and the Elongated Man.
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.
*Humour Comics: A couple of dozen issues of the wacky Jackpot fresh in, mostly from 1980, but with a smattering from 1979 and 1981 as well, mostly in a nice Fine condition.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Fritz Leiber’s Sword and Sorcery tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser’s exploits in the land of Nowhen first appeared in 1939, continuing for another 50 years. Much applauded and loved, and often imitated, the stories were highly influential for many authors, including Joanna Russ (Alyx) and Terry Pratchett (Bravd and the Weasel). We have all seven titles of the series, in high grades (VF/NM or NM), the first six all being the Mayflower edition of 1979.
*Marvel: We present a stunning VF+ copy of Avengers #8, with just very minor edge wear preventing a higher grade. Featuring the first appearance of the nefarious Kang, this cents copy is tight and flat with excellent page quality.
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.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Not one, but two, of the attempts to mass-market Don Lawrence and Mike Butterworth’s cosmos-spanning epic from Look & Learn magazine: the Hamlyn 1978 hardcover, VF at £40, and the 1989 Hawk Books edition, also VF at £35. One question we’ve often been asked about these collected editions is whether they actually collect the same material. Having both in stock at the same time for the first time we can recall, we are finally able to give the answer; no, each reprints different stories.
*Charlton: Updates to two of Charlton’s sci-fi/mystery titles from the 1950’s: Mysteries Of Unexplored Worlds & Out Of This World; each one of these low grade and inexpensive issues new in features one or more stories by Steve Ditko, many with Ditko covers too.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: We conclude our ‘Big Cats’ mini-event with more than 250 issues new to our listings of Tiger, with some years previously unrepresented now considerably stocked. This influx’s dates range from 15th June 1957 through to 29th December 1962 – not every issue, by any means, but a substantial selection. This run starts out averaging Poor/Fair, but rapidly improves in quality. The majority of them are VG, and many are FN, a grade we very seldom apply to pulp comics of this period. Roy of the Rovers fronts the weekly, with all his pals from Melchester, but highlights from this run also include the debut of the popular and enduring “Olac the Gladiator”, the first combined issue of Tiger with the venerable Comet, which brought “Jet-Ace Logan” to the title, and, ahem, the first issue in which a real soccer ace – Man U. and England star Bobby Charlton scripted “Roy of the Rovers”. Or his publicist did. Or, you know, someone who had met him. Anyway, masses more Tiger than we’ve ever had in one update, new for you!
*Girls’ Comics: A long overdue update with 35 new issues of Jackie added to our lists, mostly from 1978 or 1980, but including samples from 1969 (Halloween issue!), 1977 (Silver Jubilee issue!), 1979 (Christmas issue!) and 1981. For decades, Jackie was a weekly confidant to generations of girls who’d outgrown Bunty, dispensing style tips, fashion advice, relationship counselling, romantic picture-stories and pop pin-ups galore. So whether you want to plan a New Look For Summer, discover whether a celebrity is Right For You, discuss personal problems with Cathy and Claire, or yearn to learn more about Lief Garrett, you’ve come to the right place!
*Undergrounds: A welcome return to our listings for those doyens of counter-culture, Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. We have most issues back in stock (some US, some UK editions) and, as a bonus, we also have the first two issues of Fat Freddy’s Comics & Stories and Wonder Wart-Hog & the Battle Of the Titans.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: Another selection of incoming Lion issues from the 1950’s – carefully selected for your reading pleasure, and not at all the result of a pile being set aside and overlooked. Honest. These issues date from 1957 and 1958, with a remarkably unvarying line-up of features: aviator “Paddy Payne”, space adventurer “Captain Condor”, schoolboy hi-jinks with “Sandy Dean”, felicitous prankster “Lucky Guffy” and Bruce Kent’s invitation to “Spot the Clue” being mainstays throughout. Among the few debuts of this selection is the premier appearance of “Jungle Jef” (it was a poor jungle, they couldn’t afford the second ‘f’), whose greatest achievement was escaping the attentions of the lawyers of Burne Hogarth and the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate, for his two-year run in the title!
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: For Halloween Week, from 1972, the first issue of Werewolf by Night! Created by Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog, the story of a young lad named Jack Russell (no, really; stop laughing at the back there) who contracted a lycanthropic curse hit a high note with the readership when tried out in issues #2-4 of Marvel Spotlight, being awarded his own title, which ran for 43 issues. This is a presentable Fine copy at £35, with minimal spine and corner wear, slight creasing around staples, but unbroken cover colour, with only a hand-written small ’10c’ in one cover corner detracting from the grade.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: “Warning: Not to be purchased by those easily frightened!” So ran the tagline on Legend Horror Classics, a monthly periodical which briefly enlightened the UK’s newsstands in 1975 and 1976. An ingenious fold-out format presented one (sometimes two) giant horror posters (usually stock photos from movie studios), and an all-new comic strip, many of which – as well as most of the series’ covers – were generated by a baby Kevin O’Neill (famous for Marshall Law, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, etc.), in what must have been one of his first pro gigs. Criticised by Mary Whitehouse and her League of Meddlesome Ratbags for violently corrupting the nation’s youth, this was one instance in which Mrs. W. and her chums need not have exerted themselves to get on their high horses, as issue #12 was the final edition. We have the first 9 issues in decent shape, averaging Fine – they have all at one point been folded out, but they’ve been folded back carefully, and have no tears, stains, scribbles or excessive creasing – and since with issue #10 they dropped the comic strip, we don’t really care about the rest, do we?
*EC: Probably the most famous horror title of all in our second visit to the Mother Of All Pre-Code Horror Fests in this Halloween Week, four issues of EC’s Tales From the Crypt new in, in grades ranging from Poor to GD-, with admittedly some wear and tear, but featuring all the ghoulish goodness we’re accustomed to from the premier league artists of the 1950’s. Plus, as a bonus, the one-off 3-D EC Classics, GD- at £75, a solid, presentable copy of one of the rarer titles from the short-lived 3-D comics craze; please note this does not come with glasses.
*Marvel: What better way of tying in our Spider-Mania event to Halloween Week than by featuring several issues with appearances by his arch-nemesis the Green Goblin, that most Halloweenesque of all the classic Spidey villains? We have the early issues #23 (FN+ £125) and #26 (VF £200), as well as the classic #39 featuring the debut of John Romita on art duties, plus the non-code approved drugs Goblin trilogy (#96-98) and the first two appearances of Harry Osborn as the Goblin in #136 & #137. Goblin issues are always among the most fiercely sought after of Spidey’s adventures, so don’t dally if you want any of these. And more from Spider-Mania next week!
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: COWER PUNY MORTALS FOR I AM THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS! Well, strictly speaking, today’s tome is Prince Of Darkness, an anthology of evil edited by Gerald Verner. Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes, and this book will let you face Halloween or any other occult occasion with sang froid rather than your blood running cold. Featuring works by Algernon Blackwood, John Buchan, Margaret Irwin, F G Loring, Cotton Mather (who chronicled the Salem witch trials), Sax Rohmer, Saki, Dorothy L Sayers, Montague Summers and Gerald Verner himself (who also wrote as Donald Stuart) the book covers Witchcults, Satanism, Sorcery and Lycanthropy. This is a very rare edition from 1960 in VG grade at £70.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: As we approach the dread day of All Hallows Eve, we release a rare horror title, The Orgy Of Bubastis. As any fule kno Bubastis (now called Zagazig) is a city in Egypt that was a centre for the worship of the cat-headed goddess of the home, Bast. Many mummified cats have been found within the ancient city. Taking a lax approach to archaelogical and theological accuracy, Derek Hyde-Chambers’ story has a small group of actors reviving the worship of Bast with terrifying results. Featuring the worst example of feline taxidermy ever on the cover, this is the first UK edition of the book in paperback, in FN grade; a rarity at £55.
*Boy’s Adventure & War Comics: A near complete run of all 15 issues of Scream, the notorious British horror title from 1984, which lasted 15 brief issues before being eradicated, not by the censorship lobby as is widely believed, but by an industrial printer’s strike. Includes work from notable UK creators such as Alan Moore, John Wagner, Alan Grant, Cam Kennedy & Brendan McCarthy. We also have a couple of the rarer Holiday Specials from 1985 & 1986 in high grade. We particularly like the fact that the cover gives the price in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia AND Transylvania! (Good to know the British Empire spread that far…) As the cover proclaimed, ‘not for the nervous’! NB more than 1 copy of #1 now in stock!
*Horror 1940-1959: Our first visit in Halloween Week to the Mother Of All Pre-Code Horror Fests features four issues of the long-running Atlas title Journey Into Unknown Worlds. The earliest issue (pictured) is #21, in a very nice FN- with a decapitation cover. The remaining issues in this update are post code, but still feature the same quality artists from the Atlas stable. Stay tuned for a further visit to our Fest later in the week!
*Marvel UK: A Halloween Week quickie! Half a dozen issues of Marvel UK’s digest-sized Chiller Pocket Book, cheap and cheerful black and white reprints of their 1970’s horror line inc. Man-Thing and Tomb Of Dracula.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: A further update to our 1970’s DC stock for Halloween week, including a substantial update to DC premier horror title House Of Mystery between #190 & #235, when the company were really taking some time and trouble over this venerated title by running the work of such notable exponents of the genre as Neal Adams and, in particular Bernie Wrightson. Mostly high grade copies here. We also have a couple of contemporary issues of House of Secrets in nice shape (#93 & #94) from that title’s ‘gothic’ period. Rounding off with a couple of Unexpecteds (inc final issue #222) and an early Witching Hour (#5), a superior batch of classy horror!
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: A new influx of 1970’s Marvel Horror Magazines for Halloween Week, including Haunt Of Horror (from #1), Monsters Unleashed & Tales Of The Zombie.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Were Badger Books solely the work of Lionel Fanthorpe? When were they published? Did they have to ask a question on every front cover? How often did they forget the question mark. Answers:- No, Hard to tell, Apparently and Occasionally. All this is to say that today’s terrifying tomes are a pair of Badger books. The Forbidden (a Supernatural Special), ostensibly by Leo Brett, is actually by Badger stalwart Lionel Fanthorpe and Night Of The Black Horror (Science Fiction) is by Victor Norwood as himself for once (he wrote under at least 26 other names too). Although Badger books were written to tight deadlines they remain very collectable, with distinctive cover art.
*Humour Comics: Launched in 1973, Shiver & Shake continued the ‘two comics in one’ theme from Whizzer & Chips, as the hosts of the comic, Shiver (a ghost) and Shake (an elephant) each had their own section of the title. Spooky comedy was the main theme in both halves, however, with two star strips: Ken Reid’s “Frankie Stein”, formerly of Wham!, and Leo Baxendale’s “Sweeny Toddler”. Other well-remembered strips include “Gal Capone”, “Tough Nutt & Softy Centre”, “Moana Lisa”, “Scream Inn”, “Grimly Fiendish”, “Biddy’s Beastly Bloomers” (flowers, rather than underwear, we hasten to clarify), and, peculiarly, the real-life stand-up comic Charlie Williams. Obviously, somebody thought a black comedian with a broad Yorkshire accent qualified as ‘horrific’! Despite all this star power, Shiver & Shake wasn’t a huge hit, lasting only 83 issues before being absorbed into Whoopee!, but it’s hotly pursued now, and we have 44 new issues – more than half the run, including the final edition – new in this update.
*Pulp Fiction: Weird Tales was published in its first run from 1923 to 1954, generating a new genre, ‘weird fiction’. It struggled financially for most of its time, not helped by being almost closed down when a 1924 story caused outrage by mentioning necrophilia. Circulation figures for other pulps were considerably higher: Weird Tales never passed 50,000, compared to figures of 300,000 for titles such as The Shadow or Doc Savage. Nevertheless Weird Tales was highly influential, evidenced by its enduring fascination with collectors. It launched the careers of several influential artists (notably Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok and Margaret Brundage, the only female cover artist of pulps) and numerous authors. When the title started it particularly featured H P Lovecraft, Robert E Howard, Clark Ashton Smith and Seabury Quinn. Later a host of newer authors honed their skills (and paid their bills) writing for Weird Tales: Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Henry Kuttner, Fritz Leiber, C L Moore, Margaret St Clair and Theodore Sturgeon.
Today we release 24 Copies of Weird Tales spanning three decades, 1930’s to 1950’s. In addition to the cover artists already mentioned there are gems by Jon Arfstrom, Lee Brown Coye, Boris Dolgov, Joseph Eberle, Matt Fox, Frank Kelly Freas, John Giunta, Ray Quigley, J Allen St John, A R Tilburne and Bill Wayne. Two issues (December 1938 and November 1939) also have whole page internal art by Virgil Finlay. Featured writers not previously mentioned include Isaac Asimov, August Derleth, Alison V Harding, William Hope Hodgson, Frederik Pohl (writing as James Macreagh), Eric Frank Russell (writing as Duncan H Munro) and Jack Williamson.
Notable issues include April 1933 (GD £75), June 1937 (VG £75), March 1940 (VG £60), September 1940 (VG £60), the 25th anniversary copy from March 1948 (VG £50), November 1949 (FN £50) and March 1953 (VG/FN £50).
*DC: An oddity from Halloween Week! An early selection of mid-to-low grade issues of House of Secrets, between #22 & #33, including the premier appearance of Mark Merlin, paranormal investigator, who, together with his lovely assistant Elsa, cracked case like the “Beast From The Box!” and the “Case of the Prophetic Pencil!”, in a world where frightfully clean and cuddly monsters genteelly menaced skirt-wearing ladies and tie-and-hat wearing gentlemen.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: During the 1970’s interest in Dracula was rekindled by a newly discovered link between Vlad the Impaler and Bram Stoker and a plethora of films, notably with Christopher Lee as the Count. Fitting right in to the milieu was the Return Of Dracula series by Robert Lory (officially joining our shelves for the first time, although he also wrote many Expeditor books under the house name of Paul Edwards), featuring the adventures of a (metaphorically) defanged, resurrected Count Dracula. A sliver of stake close to his heart, implanted by a telekinetic paralysed criminologist (who else?), prevented any evil-doing. Today we release the first six of the nine novel series: Dracula Returns, Dracula’s Brothers, Dracula’s Gold, The Drums Of Dracula, The Hand Of Dracula and The Witching Of Dracula. Something to really get your teeth into!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: More from Halloween Week! In the early 1970’s, paperback publishers New English Library decided to experiment with an adult horror comic, and hit on the idea of calling by the instantly-recognizable name of Dracula – despite the fact that Dracula himself appeared nowhere within its pages! What did appear was a strange melange of bought-in European reprints, eccentrically translated, psychedelically coloured and making not a lick of sense, but nevertheless possessed of some lovely illustrations courtesy of Esteban Maroto, Enric Sio and their pals. Lasting a mere twelve issues, we have new stock in very affordable mid-to-low grades.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980’s: We continue Halloween week with a selection of 1970’s Charlton Horror/Mystery, which are making quite a comeback, as they feature artwork by such luminaries as Ditko, Sutton, Boyette, Staton, Newton, Zeck, and Byrne, unfettered by much in the way of editorial controls – because Charlton’s editors weren’t paid enough to care! Light top-ups this time to Beyond the Grave, Ghostly Haunts, Ghostly Tales and Monster Hunters (including #1), and more substantial selections added to Ghost Manor, Haunted, and Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves (including the scarcer final three issues, entitled just “Dr. Graves”).
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: As the nights draw in and the mercury falls, Halloween looms. In keeping with our Halloween Week Updates we’ll be releasing spine-tingling books daily. We start with a wide selection, ranging from classics by Bram Stoker (Dracula and The Lair Of The White Worm) and Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla) to more modern, but equally chilling works such as James Darke’s Witches (The Escape, The Meeting and The Killing), Peter Saxon (Satan’s Child and The Torturer), Robert Bloch (American Gothic and Night-World) and a trilogy by Robert Stallman (The Orphan, The Captive and The Beast).
Snuggle up in front of a roaring fire, pour yourself a measure of your favourite beverage, and keep the cold at bay as the nights draw in, but prepare to be chilled by the ghoulish delights we’re unleashing here all week — you might want to sleep with the lights on as Halloween Week starts right here and now!
Join us all through the week next week as we celebrate Halloween with a range of new stock exclusively horror themed in American & British comics and Books. Our site will be updated daily with tons of gruesome and ghoulish goings-on, all wrapped up in our regular Newsletter on the big day itself. And mid-week, there’ll be the last of our Newsletter Extras for the month, featuring a sensational haul of the most famous Horror pulp magazine of them all. We’ll see you then — if your nerves can stand it!
*Marvel: In our Spider-Mania event this week, a distinctive range of Amazing Spider-Man issues between #’s 21 to 32, all cents copies with no UK price or overprint, and all in high grade, ranging from a ‘low’ point of FN- to a lustrous VF+, and all graced with the art of Steve Ditko – still the only ‘proper’ Spider-Man artist for those of us of a certain vintage! #21 FN- £75, #24 FN £70, #25 FN+ £110, #30 VF+ £210, #32 FN+ £60.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: In our Free Gift Farrago this week, Additions to the D.C. Thomson Boys’ Adventure papers, Skipper and Wizard, with the unusual bonus of the original Free Gifts still being present! From 1936 and 1937, the proportion of surviving issues is comparatively low, and the Gift’s presence in items of this vintage is phenomenally rare. One issue of Skipper and one of Wizard from 1937 with the Boys’ Coronation Library booklets of the King’s Air Force and the King’s Navy, respectively, plus a 1936 Wizard with the completed album of “The World’s Biggest” what-have-you, with all of the cards inserted. The Coronation picture Libraries are GD/VG grade, while the “World’s Biggest” album is GD. Our Farrago will return in two weeks’ time, after our Halloween week next week!
*Marvel: In the early 1970’s, Marvel was trying to revive several defunct genres, including the jungle epics of years gone by; Jungle Action started out as an all-reprint title starring Fifties characters Lorna, Jann, and Tharn (a rechristened Lo-Zar, so dubbed to avoid provoking the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate). With new covers by Gil Kane and a fledgling Jim Starlin, these passed the time amiably, but with issue #5, someone had the idea of starring Marvel’s premier African hero, the Black Panther, in the title; and so was born one of the most controversial series of the 1970’s. Writer Don McGregor (aided by artists Gil Kane, Billy Graham and Rich Buckler) produced notoriously logghoreaic scripts with a florid descriptive style that went down well with those folks who wanted to push comics as literature. We have a virtually complete run of Jungle Action, lacking only issue #1, and with all of our latest additions being cents copies with no UK price or overstamp. Given the news of the upcoming Black Panther film, interest in T’Challa and his T’Chums has seldom been keener, so we anticipate this mid-to-high range of issues will sell with alacrity. Get on the bush telegraph quickly to secure your copies!
*Modern Reprints: DC revitalized one of its more tired properties in the late 1960’s, when Wonder Woman abruptly lost her mighty Amazon powers and became, instead, a heroine of the people, struggling by like the rest of us – though with the tiny advantage of being taught awesome martial arts skills by a slightly clichéd Oriental mentor! Often described by critics as “The Emma Peel” years, these are actually more akin to Modesty Blaise, as Mrs. Peel, for all her steely charm, seldom made a move unless she was told what to do by a man, whereas WW took it upon herself to battle assassins, evil geniuses, sadists, witches, dictators and monsters without getting her white jumpsuit grubby! Brainstormed by Mike Sekowsky and Denny O’Neil, the ‘New’ WW was a refreshing change in the staid superhero scene, and the original issues remain in high demand – but luckily for you, DC collected the entire run in four handsome full-colour paperbacks, now available for a mere £15 each!
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: In an unusual addition to our inventory, we have acquired four bound volumes of Swift, the junior companion to Eagle, which featured ‘Tarna the Jungle Boy’, ‘King Arthur’ and ‘Robin Hood’ by Frank Bellamy, and ‘Red Rider’ by Jim Holdaway, among a myriad of other features. We have two bound sets of Volume 1 from 1954, one averaging VG at £350, and one averaging Good at £200 (though the binding on the latter averages Fair, and the #1 is the poorest in that volume, being at the front of the book. Volume 3 (1956) and Volume 4 (1957) are each averaging GD/VG at £125 each. All volumes feature some browning to page edges, slight brittleness in a few cases, but vibrant colour. In light of the slight trimming of the margins for binding purposes (though not encroaching on the stories), we have calculated the prices for these complete years at roughly half the value of the issues sold individually. More details on Swift can be found in the article in our Extras section.
*Religious: Like other genres of fiction, religion has been the inspiration for myriad comics stories over the decades, and we’re happy (well, more like wryly amused) to offer a new selection of salvation this update. On the more benign side, there’s a number of one-shots from Spire Christian Comics, all illustrated by Archie artist Al Hartley, who gives even the dire warnings about eternal damnation a disconcerting cuddly charm; new in are The Cross And The Switchblade (aren’t they Spider-Man villains?) The Hiding Place, My Brother’s Keeper, There’s A New World Coming, and several one-shots starring Arch and the gang; Archie’s Love Scene, Archie’s One Way, Archie’s Clean Slate, and Archie’s Sonshine. (No, that last one isn’t a typo). On the darker side of the street, Jack T. Chick’s company produced the Crusaders, a carefully co-ethnic cadre of Christian wanderers who roam the country while praying for the deaths of unbelievers. No, really. Forget about Marvel’s Nextwave – these are the Agents of Hate! Several issues of the Crusaders new in, between #1 to #17, plus one-shots The Big Betrayal and King of Kings. Lastly, from the Catechetical Guild, 1956’s educational one-shot, God’s Heroes In America – presumably because the rest of the world was doing okay without them. All aboard the Ark!
*Charlton: While most comics companies turned their backs on super-heroes in the 1950’s (at least until DC’s fateful relaunch of the Flash), Charlton, that beloved b-list publisher, kept trying the genre out through the decade, and we have two of the odder entries this update: Zaza the Mystic and Nature Boy! Zaza could best be described as a Poundland Madame Xanadu, aiding her hunky detective boyfriend in solving his cases by her mystic wiles – though even in her own private thought balloons, Zaza switched from believing she had actual powers to admitting she was only a clever trickster – what’s that crystal ball made of, Amnesium? Meanwhile, a (literal) orphan of the storm was rescued at sea by a bunch of under-employed deities and sent back to his startled parents with the powers of – Nature Boy, able to command the elements! Nature Boy featured early artwork from John Buscema and Dick Giordano, and ran three issues from #3 to #5; we have the final issue, #5 (with the first and only appearance of his distaff counterpart, Nature Girl!) in a rather lovely VF at £60. Zaza’s entire run (#’s 10 and 11 – Charlton numbering can kindly be described as ‘eccentric’) is also new in stock.
*Humour Comics: A further update to our stocks of Sparky, the very popular humour weekly, focusing on the mid-period years from 1968-1972, with a hundred or more new issues added. This run includes the first appearances of such notable strips as Puss’n Boots (1969), Ali’s Baba & Rudolph The Red-Nosed Mountie (both 1970) and Willie Getaway (1971).
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Combat Picture Library, published by GMS, whilst perhaps not as popular as it’s illustrious contemporary Fleetway cousins Air Ace, Battle, Commando & War, is nevertheless keenly sought after by some collectors and has stories of a similar quality. We have a substantial run in of early issues, including #1-3 (pictured below). The previous owner, at some point after he bought them as new, chose to reinforce them with extra staples and tape (in some cases), and has done them no favours. It’s a great shame since without those ‘precautions’, many of them would have graded FN. Nevertheless, it makes these uncommon issues very affordable and they’re still very capable of giving many hours of reading pleasure!
*Girls’ Comics: A substantial update to our stocks of the very popular girls’ weekly, Mandy, from August 1985 through to December 1987, nearly every issue added, filling many gaps in our stock and featuring copies that are all at least VG, with the vast majority being fine.
*EC: We turn this week in our Mother Of All Pre-Code Horror Fests to EC, surely the most (in)famous publisher of them all, and several issues of two titles: Crime Suspenstories and Haunt Of Fear. The former, ostensibly a crime title, is really more horror-orientated, focusing on the more gruesome side of crime, and indeed the earlier issues in this update include a story from its stablemate Haunt Of Fear, which itself is represented here in four full-on horror issues in low, affordable grades. Both series of course are crammed full of art by the best the industry had to offer in the 1950’s, and arguably, the best ever artists. Our Fest will return next week, in the special Halloween Week here at 30th Century.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: It was just after 10.30 and the shopowner was still switching on lights as I bid Farewell, My Lovely to the dame who had driven me here. The shop front was blue, with a High Window. The white shops on either side made it look like a skink tongue sandwich. The Little Sister had told me that The 13th Spy with The Eyes Of The Tiger would be there to discuss the case of the Killer In The Rain. I went in – a bell chimed as the door opened………..
…… Nick Carter had used the time since arriving at the shop to reconnoitre: the layout map from the Brain Boys had been as exact as ever, but even they, he mused, hadn’t been able to solve the conundrum of the man he was due to meet. John Dalmas or Philip Marlowe? Which was the real man – or were the rumours of a third identity – Raymond Chandler- true?…….
…….Spotting the Killmaster I headed for the Book section at the back of the shop. He moved like The Golden Serpent and was dressed smartly, in the latest fashion – no wonder the doxies fell like ninepins for him. He was holding The Judas Spy – the right book. I picked up The Lady In The Lake and looked him in the eyes……..
……..Could this world-weary and jaded man be the legendary PI he was expecting? Would he be able to trade information important enough to defeat the Commie menace? Only one way to find out. Nick gave the code phrase, “Operation : Moon Rocket”, and was pleased to hear ” A Bullet For Fidel” in response. The man gave Nick a quizzical look, arched an eyebrow and said “Well, Trouble Is My Business”.
*Annuals: A small update to our annuals stock, featuring five Eagle annuals from the 1960’s in decent shape, plus the Lion Annual from 1971.