*DC: It’s not very often that Action Comics this early ever get offered for sale in the UK. They’re not exactly common in the USA either. This copy of Action #14 is the earliest we’ve ever had through our hands in 30 years, so early in fact that Superman doesn’t even make the cover, apart from a small ident. Instead, it’s the magician Zatara (these days most famous as Zatanna’s Dad) who takes the cover scene, and what a great image conjured by Fred Guardineer! Zatara features inside in the story ‘The Fountain Of Youth’, but of course the lead story is the 13 page Superman feature where he clashes with the Ultra-Humanite. Other strips feature a whole host of adventure characters, including the debut of Clip Carson. Writers and artists read like a Who’s Who of comics in 1939: Jerry Siegel, Gardner Fox, Paul Cassidy, Bernard Bailey, Bob Kane and Fred Guardineer. This is a CGC blue label unrestored copy, graded at 0.5 (Incomplete); the CGC label has the following information: ‘Last page missing, affects story. Spine of cover completely split and detached. Incomplete. Brittle pages.’ You can see a few chips out at the edges of front and (mainly) back covers, but these do not detract from the vivid cover scene. A great artefact from the dawn of the Golden Age of Comics.
PICTURED: ACTION COMICS #14 CGC 0.5 INCOMPLETE £455 SOLD
*DC: Fan favourite Todd McFarlane drew just one cover for Batman, but it’s a very distinctive and stylish one that has gone on to have much collector appeal. Our latest copy of Batman #423 isn’t a great one. It has excellent colour cover and gloss and nice tight staples. There is some minor edge wear and a bit of corner blunting, but it is marred by three creases across the bottom right corner, varying in intensity. One is soft and not colour-breaking, one just visibly breaks colour and the third is quite severe, emphatically breaking colour. These don’t impinge much though on the visual appeal of the cover image.
PICTURED: BATMAN #423 VG £40
*Marvel: In issue #28 of the FF, the X-Men guest-starred in a packed issue with the menaces of the Mad Thinker & his Awesome Android and the Puppet Master. As is usually the case in these early crossovers, the two teams are pitted against each other as a result of the villains’ machinations. Kirby managed to fit all members of both teams plus the Awesome Android on to the cover without it looking overcrowded. This is a superb pence printed copy, the nicest we’ve ever seen of this issue. The cover is fresh and totally unmarked with a white background and vivid colour, the spine is completely intact, the staples are tight and firmly attached, the corners square with just the faintest hint of blunting. Pages are superb, off-white to white. No creases, no chipping, virtually no discernable wear. This copy would be a joy to own! High resolution images are available on request.
PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #28 VF+ p £500 (Front, back and splash)
*Marvel: Following his return to active service in Avengers #4, Captain America became a companion feature of Iron Man in Tales of Suspense. After the division of the Marvel double-feature books in 1968, when distribution embargoes were slackened, Cap gained his own series again, though it retained the numbering of Tales of Suspense, premiering with #100. Featuring the talents of Lee, Kirby and Shores, this re-introduced the Sentinel of Liberty in solo action to the modern age. This is a decent, if slightly dingy cents copy, with some minor cover grubbiness and fine creasing, 1 cm lower spine split, corner blunting, good tight staples and unspoilt cover image.
PICTURED: CAPTAIN AMERICA #100 VG+ £165 SOLD
*Marvel: Following his debut in Fantastic Four #48, Norrin Radd, Herald of Galactus, gained popularity as a recurring guest star, and his status was confirmed when Marvel launched the Silver Surfer’s own series in the double-sized format in 1968. This premier issue featured, for the first time, John Buscema’s illustrations on the Surfer, a body of work generally acknowledged to be among his finest, and presented also for the first time a 38 page account of the Surfer’s origins, plus (in the back) a 13 page tale of the Watcher, detailing the reasons behind the Watcher’s oath of non-interference. The first run of the Surfer’s solo series has achieved cult status, with the first seven double-sized issues in particular being keenly sought out. Make no mistake here — our latest pence stamped copy of #1 is NOT a beauty; in fact, it comes in three parts — the front cover, the body of the comic and the back cover. What’s left of the spine is in tatters. The good news is that, despite wear and (small) tears, the cover image is relatively intact and unmarked, the staples hold the pages firmly bound and the page quality is actually quite good. But be sure you know what you’re buying here!
PICTURED: SILVER SURFER #1 PR/FA p £150
*Marvel: In the Frank Miller era of Daredevil, Bullseye, the unfailing assassin, became firmly established as DD’s bête noire, causing the Man Without Fear endless grief and misery. And can we ever forget Colin Farrell’s epic scenery-chewing as Bullseye in the Daredevil movie? Well, maybe if we’re lucky and get hit on the head with a blunt object. But a lot of people, even today, aren’t aware that Bullseye wasn’t a Miller creation; step forward Marv Wolfman and Bob Brown, who presented The Assassin Who Never Misses for the first time in Daredevil #131, two years before the Miller regime kicked in! Our latest pence printed copy is very nice, great cover colour and gloss, tight and flat with firmly attached staples; there are tiny stress marks at the spine and very faint, barely visible creasing around the area of the UPC box; no colour is broken.
PICTURED: DAREDEVIL #131 VF p £130
*Marvel: Some tasty odds and ends added to our Amazing Spider-Man stocks this week as follows: #126 (Kangaroo), #146 (Scorpion), #161 (Punisher, Nightcrawler plus 1st Jigsaw cameo), #228-230 (latter two with Juggernaut), #289 (Hobgoblin revealed), #317 (Venom), #364 (Shocker) & #-1 (Flashback issue). Plus Giant-Size #1 with Dracula and #2 with Master Of Kung Fu (the man of the moment). Full details in our catalogue.
*Marvel: In our ongoing series focusing on key events in the ‘Wandavision’ TV hit, we look again at the underestimated run by John Byrne as writer/artist on West Coast Avengers. Our previous WCA ‘VisionQuest’ set detailed the origin of the pallid Vision ‘2.0’ which was borrowed by the TV show, but Byrne threw more drama at comics’ favourite mutant/synthezoid couple, as the strain of her newly emotionless husband, plus shocking revelations about the true origin of her children, drove Wanda to a breaking point, leading to the eventual dissolution of her marriage – and the virtual destruction of the team at her hands, as her powers became more corrupt! All this plus the USAgent, the original Human Torch, and the Great Lakes Avengers! This complete run of Byrne’s WCA is from #42 to #57, but missing the ‘White Vision’ issue, #45. Great comics, highly recommended and cheap as chips; take a look in our catalogue (listed under ‘A’, after Avengers).
*Marvel: Continuing our alphabetical romp through the Silver and Bronze Ages of the Marvel Universe, we reach the letter ‘T’, which in this case stands for a few issues each of Tales Of Suspense and Tales To Astonish, dozens and dozens of issues of Thor, right through from the heart of the Silver Age up to the Simonson run, and rounding off with a couple of issues of 2001: A Space Odyssey, all freshly added to our catalogue.
*EC: Arguably, EC’s Tales From The Crypt is the most famous of all pre-code horror titles and the yardstick by which all its contemporaries are measured. Two of the later issues of the series new in this week, both rich with the work of the cream of EC’s talented art pool: Jack Davis, Joe Orlando, Jack Kamen, Graham Ingels and George Evans. Sadly, both copies have seen better days; #39 is heavily water damaged and stained, #43 has an almost entirely split spine. But both issues are complete and relatively affordable.
PICTURED: TALES FROM THE CRYPT BOTH SOLD
#39 PR/FA £45
#43 PR/FA £45
*War: We very rarely get DC war issues from the early 1950s, just after their inception, through our hands, so are particularly pleased this week to bring to the table five such issues, from the days when they featured generic war stories, rather than featuring the recurrent characters who would populate DC war comics into the 1960s and beyond. Three issues of Our Army At War, one Star-Spangled War Stories and an All American Men Of War (#6, not pictured) feature in this rather nifty update, all issues executed with DC’s superior qualities; both Our Army At War #13 & #14 feature Krigstein art, with a US flag cover by him on #13.
OUR ARMY AT WAR
#13 VG £90
#14 VG £87
#16 GD+ £47
STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES #12 VG+ £49 SOLD
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. Timely/Atlas’ Miss America Magazine wasn’t named after the beauty pageant, but after Miss America, the premier super-heroine of Timely Comics, created by Otto Binder, who made her debut in Marvel Mystery Comics #49 in 1943, and proved so popular that she was awarded her own title a year later. With the second issue, however, the editors decided to alter the concept. From a straight super-hero book, Miss America became a hybrid comic and general girls’ magazine, with features on fashion, beauty, dating, movies, and prose fiction in addition to the comic strips. More significantly, from our perspective, a new feature was introduced. Patsy Walker, created by Stuart Little and artist Ruth Atkinson, graced the pages of Miss America Magazine #2 for the first of thousands of stories over dozens of titles. We have Patsy’s first two appearances available for purchase.
Miss America Magazine #2, November 1944, features a 14-page story of Miss America versus super-villain ‘The Shocker’, and a photo-cover of a model dressed in the super-heroine’s iconic costume, the first ‘super-hero cosplay’ cover we’re aware of. Patsy’s 7-page debut is the only other comic-strip content in this 68 page issue. As previously noted, Ruth Atkinson drew Patsy, while Miss America’s adventures by this time were illustrated by Pauline Loth, a former animator, in a delightful lively style. This copy of Miss America #2 is Apparent VG/FN: there is slight foxing on the white cover background, but the interior pages are cream-coloured and flexible, no trace of brittleness and browning, the staples firm at cover and centrefold; the top staple is loose at the front cover only. The reason for the ‘Apparent’ designation is that pages 39-40 have had a large corner, approximately 25% of the page, ripped out. This does NOT affect the comics, but impacts upon two text features, a fashion page and a story on baby-sitting. Otherwise this is an extraordinary grade for its vintage. #2 App. VG/FN, on sale at £1,750. Images of front and back cover, splash page and Patsy splash page are shown to the left above; high resolution images are available on request.
Miss America Magazine #3, December 1944, is a ‘girl power’ special! In addition to all the text features carrying female by-lines, Ruth Atkinson illustrates Patsy’s second story, the striking painted cover is by Louise Alston, and Pauline Loth illustrates not one, but two Miss America tales, as our teenage heroine takes on the villainous King Cobra and ‘The Mystery of the Ring!’ This is an unabashed Fine, with only very minor wear at the extreme outer edge. Cover colours are bright and vivid, interior page quality excellent, staples firm and tight corners. On sale at FN £900. Images of front and back covers, splash page, Miss America splashes and Patsy splash are shown to the left and below; once again, high resolution images are available on request.
These issues carry not only the cachet of Patsy’s earliest appearances, of a character still active in the Marvel Comics and Media Universes today, but also of being Golden Age Timely super-hero issues – Miss America herself has appeared many times in the current Marvel Universe in flashbacks and retro series, so both characters have strong ties to the current continuity. We anticipate keen interest in these lovely items, so don’t hesitate!
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: If you were here during the first lockdown, you may have read me eulogising over my favourite of all the jungle glamazons, Lorna. In case you missed it, it’s still showing in our Extras at this link: It’s A Jungle Out There. Nothing much I can add about these half a dozen issues of Len Miller’s UK reprints, except to comment that the art by Werner Roth and Jay Scott Pike looks sharp in black and white and gave me an interesting new perspective on this personal favourite series. Details of all issues new in can be found in our catalogue.
PICTURED: LORNA THE JUNGLE GIRL #19 FN £15
*Alan Class Reprints: A further update to one of Alan Class’s ‘big six’ titles, Uncanny Tales. We have new issues available in our regular listings section from some of the earliest (starting with #2) right through to some post decimal offerings.
PICTURED: UNCANNY TALES #2 GD/VG £33
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: I’ll let you into a little secret. Before I discovered American comics in the early 1960s, I was an avid young reader of British comics, specifically Lion for thrills and adventure and Dandy for laughs. I used to look forward every week to the latest issue of each thumping on to the mat inside our door. This batch of Lions fresh in this week though are a little before even my time. We have every issue from 1955 from 1st January up to and including 16th April. In these days, Lion was numbered as well as dated, so these are issues #150-165. From an original owner collection, these are lovely copies in a well-preserved state, all VG or VG/FN; staple rust, the curse of this title, is at a minimum with virtually no migration. Captain Condor, Sandy Dean, Mr X, Brett Marlowe and many more adventurous types await you within. Full details as always in our catalogue. ALL SOLD
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Rick Random was one of the best of the 1950s spacemen prolific in British comics. Debuting in Super-Detective Library #37 and created by Edward Holmes (writer) and Bill Lacey (artist), many subsequent stories were graced with the wonderfully stylish artwork of Ron Turner; the famous American science fiction author Harry Harrison had a hand in writing several. This week, we are delighted to present the first four of Rick’s adventures, including the debut issue, plus one slightly later story. All from an original owner collection, these are uniformly in a nice VG/FN condition, with intact spines, vivid clean covers, superb page quality and the inevitable rusty staples; however, very little rust migration.
PICTURED: SUPER-DETECTIVE LIBRARY
#37 VG/FN £25 1st Rick Random
#44 VG/FN £20 Turner art
#48 VG/FN £20
#49 VG/FN £20 Turner art
#70 VG/FN £20 Turner art SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: IPC/Fleetway’s Love Story Library (later Love Story Picture Library, to distinguish it from the numerous all-text series), featured picture strip romances for young women (and nostalgic housewives), frequently beautifully illustrated. It ran a respectable 1500+ issues between 1952 and 1976, and our latest additions are all in the second hundred issues, 45 newly listed between #103 & #192. While copyright dates were not a legal requirement back then, we estimate these to date between 1954 and 1957. From a newsagent’s unsold stock, these would grade FN if not for the pernicious staple rust of long term storage, which, although not harming the stories themselves, is a little heavy in places, bringing most of these down to a GD grade, with a few a little better.
PICTURED: LOVE STORY LIBRARY
#130 GD/VG £4.50
#173 GD/VG £4.50
*Childrens’ Books: Something a little different, quirky and quite rare in our Books update this week. ‘Blitz Books’ is a generic name for various publishers’ series of miniature books (approx 3 x 4.5 cm, around 16 pages, and published 1940-1944), these booklets helped distract children in air-raid shelters and Underground stations during bombing raids over London. They became known as ‘Blitz Books’, and, like many publications from the years of World War II, are quite scarce, particularly in as nice condition as the examples we have here. Five from the Pocket Series, illustrated text stories with colourful, evocative covers. None of these have ever passed through our hands before.
PICTURED: BLITZ BOOKS: POCKET SERIES ALL SOLD
#6 THE PEARL SMUGGLERS FN/VF £9
#15 THE FLOATING ISLAND VG/FN £7
#19 THE TERROR OF THE CAVE FN £8
#23 THE VENGEANCE OF BLACK ANDREW VG/FN £7
#32 STOLEN FLIGHT FN/VF £9
*DC: The villainous Star Sapphire was originally a foe of the Golden Age Flash, but as with so many Golden Age DC characters, was reinvented for the Silver Age. This time she was a nemesis of Green Lantern and her alter ego was Hal’s love interest (and boss) Carol Ferris. Carol was brainwashed into the role by the Zamarons, a race of warrior women out to prove men inferior. The Star Sapphire concept has been much broadened by DC over the years, but never bettered, in my opinion, than these original appearances in the classic Silver Age Green Lantern series, particularly as depicted by Gil Kane. Shown below, #16 (first appearance) is a pence stamped copy, in decent condition with some edge wear and corner blunting, a small upper spine split of less than 1.5 cm, tight staples and an unmarked cover. #26 (2nd app) has edge wear, corner blunting and minor soft creasing (virtually no colour breaks), pence stamped, tight staples, unmarked cover. #41 (3rd app), has some edge wear and corner blunting, good cover gloss, a soft diagonal crease which just breaks colour across the logo, pence stamped, good staples.
PICTURED: GREEN LANTERN
#16 VG- p £100 SOLD
#26 VG p £50
#41 VG p £20
*DC: A smattering of miscellaneous Batman titles featured in this week’s Batmania update. From regular Batman series, #252, #253 (with the Shadow) and #308 (1st Tiffany Fox), Batman Family #1 & #3, Batman & The Outsiders #1 (1st series 1983), and the Batman Spectacular from DC Special Series #15.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Following on from previous releases of earlier numbers, we now have most issues between #52 & #75 of Commando War Stories In Pictures from the same source. A previous owner at some point decided to place two to four reinforcing staples through the spine, quite skilfully so as to not hamper the opening of the item nor hide any of the content; there is minimal bleed from these staples and the page quality is really rather nice. As we move up the numbers, the overall condition quality improves, so in most cases, the grade is assigned through wear rather than specific defects. A selection of the issues now available is shown below; please consult our catalogue for full details.
#64 VG £20
#71 VG £20
#73 VG £20 SOLD
*Marvel: Smiling Stan tested the waters for a fully-fledged return of Captain America with this appearance in the Human Torch story in Strange Tales #114. Spoiler Alert: Of course, this wasn’t the real Cap; as revealed at the story’s conclusion, it was really the Torch’s old foe the Acrobat. But Stan made no bones about testing the water for Cap’s proper return, asking for letters to see if fans wanted the real Cap back. Of course, it was just a short while until Avengers #4, and the rest is history! Speaking of letters, the third ever Dr Strange story appeared as back-up here, in response to fans’ positive reaction to the character in #100 & #111. So, a very significant issue. Pence stamped, solid with good staples and nice pages, only minor edge wear and corner blunting. The cover has two things marring it a little. The distributor used an ugly stamp over the original US price and there is a pencilled ‘6’ central on the cover between Cap and the Torch, although this is not too intrusive; both these defects should be visible on the scan and are taken into account on the grading and pricing.
PICTURED: STRANGE TALES #114 VG+ p £125 SOLD
*Marvel: It had already been a busy time for Marvel’s newest team, the merry mutant X-Men, when, in issue #9 of their own series, they faced up against the might of the Avengers, although, truth be told, it was more of a skirmish here than a battle royale, as the real threat in this issue was the mysterious Lucifer. Still, there’s nothing quite like Lee & Kirby pitting two teams of their creations against each other! This is a nice pence stamped copy with good cover colour and gloss, tight and flat with good staples, an unmarked cover and only minor edge wear and corner blunting; one tiny Marvel chip out right edge.
PICTURED: X-MEN #9 FN p £260 SOLD
*Marvel: Growing up reading DC, I was a relative latecomer to the Marvel Age of Comics. I tried a few before coming to my first issue of Amazing Spider-Man: #27, the second of a two-parter featuring the Crime-Master and the Green Goblin. At first, I didn’t know quite what to make of it. It was , I think, my first exposure to the work of Steve Ditko, and the gangsters depicted on the cover looked so old-fashioned that I found myself wondering if the story was set in some earlier period. And who was that grinning gargoyle floating in the background? The teenage me also loved Stan’s way with titles. This is a reasonable cents copy (with a small 9d price written in pen on the ‘D’ of Spider, with a rich colour cover (dark blue background), stapled in from the spine, so there is a reading crease along the spine where the comic has been opened to read, a fairly soft central subscription crease which just breaks colour and a colour-breaking crease across the right bottom cover. Other than that, only minor edge wear and tight staples.
PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #27 VG+ £95
*Marvel: Ms Marvel, spinning out of Captain Marvel, former background character Carol Danvers got her own set of super-powers and a whole new supporting cast (including new boss J. Jonah Jameson) as she attempted to discover the mystery behind her own origins. Although moderately successful, the series was attacked by critics who derided Carol’s derivative costume, which made her look like Captain Marvel’s sidekick, and the fact that Marvel were offering a ‘powerful, confident’ heroine who suffered from blackouts and amnesia. Despite these jibes, Ms Marvel has been a prominent member of the Marvel Universe for nearly forty years in one guise or another – whether as Ms Marvel, Binary, Warbird, or most recently the latest Captain Marvel, her chequered history has provided many intriguing plotlines. With the Captain Marvel movie, starring Carol Danvers, being a blockbuster hit worldwide, early appearances of the character are hotting up. We have a pence printed copy new in, sound with good cover gloss, minimal edge wear and corner blunting and a tiny crease at top right edge which just breaks colour. Tight and flat with great staples and page quality, an attractive copy.
PICTURED: MS MARVEL #1 FN+ p £55 SOLD
*Marvel: A chunky update to the Man Without Fear, as we add a couple of dozen issues of Daredevil to our catalogue between issues #30 and #108. In a mixture of grades, we now offer a choice of grades on more issues plus many issues not previously in our listing.
*Marvel: We continue our alphabetical jaunt through the Silver & Bronze Age Marvel Universe, with new stock for the following titles: Red Sonja, She-Hulk (both Savage and Sensational), Son Of Satan, Sub-Mariner and Super-Villain Team-Up.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: We dip our toes into Tomb of Dracula this week, the famous series by Marv Wolfman & Gene Colan, with four issues featuring the super-star Vampire Slayer Blade, who debuted in issue #10. All four issues are cents copies in high grade: #28, #42 (with a very faint price stamp centre cover – see scan), a Blade/Hannibal King encounter in #45, and another in #53. #45 is particularly drawn to your attention as it has received much attention in recent times for featuring the first full appearance of Deacon Frost, the vampire who bit Blade’s mother; a beautiful very high grade copy with just the tiniest hint of wear on a corner of the back cover.
PICTURED: TOMB OF DRACULA ALL SOLD
#28 VF/NM £55
#42 VF £30
#45 NM- £225
#53 NM- £35
*Classics Illustrated: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. Whilst Dr No is undoubtedly the most famous of the Classics Illustrated editions published exclusively for the UK market, there are a number of others for which no American version exists, and this week we feature quite a handful that we have in stock of these rarities. Images are shown below and full edition details, as for all issues of Classics Illustrated in stock, are as shown in our catalogue. We also have low grade copies of #150 (The Canterville Ghost) and #161 (The Aenid) listed.
PICTURED: CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED UK
#143 VG+ £80 Sail With The Devil
#146 GD/VG £59 The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
#148 VG- £65 Nights Of Terror
#156 VG+ £80 The Dog Crusoe
#159 VG £70 Master And Man
#162 GD+ £55 Saga Of The North
*Power Comics: Appetite for UK reprints of Marvel Silver Age key issues has grown enormously over the last few years, driving the prices upwards. In this instance, if you add the factor of the hugely successful WandaVision TV series, these first UK reprints of X-Men #4, featuring the debut of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (inc Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch) are now highly sought after. Now, take care here — there are sellers on eBay (and elsewhere) who will try to convince you that Fantastic #6 features the debut of the Scarlet Witch — that’s not true. Odhams reprinted X-Men #4 over two issues in Fantastic #5 & #6. Although the cover of X-Men #4 featured on Fantastic #6 (complete with Wanda’s miscoloured outfit), she actually debuted in the first part of the story in Fantastic #5. We’re offering both issues in one lot, both VG (loose centrefold on #6) for one price.
PICTURED: FANTASTIC #5 & #6 VG £40 SOLD
*Annuals: A splendid copy here of the first Lion Annual from 1954. Within a wonderful retro science fiction cover, early Lion regulars Captain Condor, Sandy Dean and Archie the Jungle Robot await alongside a wealth of other picture strips, illustrated text stories and features. This annual is in superb condition — it’s as old as me and has fared much better – with a perfect spine, white pages and tight binding. A tiny chip to the right edge of front board is the only defect.
PICTURED: LION ANNUAL 1954 FN/VF £20
*Humour Comics: Following on from the example of our Dandy 1956 update a couple of weeks back, we have a new batch of Beano in this week from 1957 and 1958, and we have now annotated all our stock for those years with details of strip debuts, so look out for the first appearances of Brannigan’s Boy, Thrill-A-Day School, Dippy the Diver, Fusspot Annie, Bringing Up Dennis, Johnny Go Back, Bristol Billy, Rattlesnake Ranch, Cookie, Betty’s Grandad, the Hogan Boy, Sparky’s Space Helmet and Dashalong Dot (whew!) As well as all that, we also have not one but two issues which include a promotional flyer for Bunty #1. We’ll be adding first appearance data to all new Beano issues listed from now on, and, if we ever have time, we’ll go back and look up that info for all our previously listed stock as well.
#808 VG £20 with Bunty #1 Promotional Flyer (slight edge damage)
#809 VG £20 with Bunty #1 Promotional Flyer SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Continuing our listing for Pearson’s Picture Romance Library, we’ve now added a few dozen more issues between #47 & #99. In common with Pearson’s output, these are only numbered on the last page rather than the cover, so we’re including the story title for each issue as well as the number for ease of identification. In assessing these, I was struck by the unusual observation that, in my opinion, the interior art in most issues is of a higher standard than the cover art (normally of course, it’s the other way round); the covers are competent and colourful, but don’t really hint at the quality within.
PICTURED: PICTURE ROMANCE LIBRARY #78 VG £9
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Post-war faux American gangster novels (often termed pulps due to their paper quality) written and published in the UK have become something of a collector thing over the last decade or so. Written mostly by house names and featuring sleazy dame covers, the most famous of these are by the Hank Janson/Reginald Heade combo, but there are plenty of other fish in the sea too, for all the rarity of editions that have survived the decades. This week we have four more examples as detailed below.
IMPATIENT VIRGIN by DONALD HENDERSON CLARKE 1st UK PB 1950s John Long VG £40
(slightly grubby with minor foxing at cover edges; more a racy sex novel than a gangster thriller)
STICK OR BUST by RICKY DRAYTON 1st UK PB 1983 Scion GD/VG £40
(cover art by Roger Davis; slightly foxed)
TOO TOUGH TO LIVE by GRIFF 1st UK PB 1950s Modern Fiction VG £45
(cover art by Oliver Brabbins)
THE HOUSE OF SIN by ANDRE LATOUR 1st UK PB 1950s Kaye GD/VG £40 SOLD
(small spine split to rear cover bottom)
We’re getting so many questions about ‘when is the shop going to open?’ that we thought it was worth repeating this message from last December:
‘As you probably know, our shop has been closed since the initial lockdown in March (2020). Since then, we have been trading very successfully by mail order only, and thanks to the support of our many loyal (and many new) customers, this arrangement has vastly exceeded our expectations, and in fact sales have been higher than when the shop was open, with far fewer overheads.
We were intending to convert fully to mail order at some point in the future, since we’re all now around our mid-sixties, but the pandemic has brought this move forward. We have therefore taken the difficult decision that the shop will not be reopening to visitors and we will now be trading by mail order only. We know this will be a disappointment to many who enjoyed their trips to Putney and browsing through our stock. We too will miss the personal contact with you all. However, the extra time this move affords us is already allowing us to add a greater range of stock to our online catalogue than ever before with more images, as well as enabling us to keep the catalogue as up to date as it’s possible to get. We hope you will get to enjoy browsing online almost as much as browsing in our shop, confident that what you see in our catalogue is what we have in stock.
We remain very much open online for buying and selling vintage back issues, and look forward to dealing in vintage comics, books, annuals and picture libraries in the years ahead.’
*DC: In Batman #294, the Joker testifies how he killed Batman. But did he really? Reader, what do you think? A nice cents copy, with no specific defects beyond minor edge and handling wear.
PICTURED: BATMAN #294 VF £55
*DC: We’ve got a couple of lengthy titles to list in our alphabetical trip through the DCU starting with ‘J’, so we’re splitting that into two. First up, Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen. Like Lois Lane, starting up in the 1950s I suspect as a way of getting more mileage out of the Superman franchise, the Jimmy Olsen title fairly quickly evolved into one of wacky fantasy, irony and humour. We have dozens of issues newly listed, many filling gaps in our inventory, between #41 and #160, towards the end of the run. Aliens, monsters, Lucy Lane, the Legion of Super-Heroes, spies, ‘Beatles’, masquerades and disguises, gorilla brides, giant issues and all the accompaniments of Superman Family lore will be found in these pages, quite unlike anything else ever published (except Lois Lane, of course). Now’s a great time to explore this title as we have more listed in our catalogue than ever before!
*Marvel: In Fantastic Four #18, the Skrulls, sworn enemies of the FF since their second issue, developed their own super-soldier with all the powers of the FF – and one more! The Super-Skrull has been more seen on Marvel’s cosmic stage than with the FF in later years, but this is where he got his start. This is a pence printed copy with rich colour covers and nice pages with a couple of small edge tears. Minor edge wear, plus a couple of colour breaking creases across the bottom edge and right corner; there is also a 2 cm tear to the bottom cover edge. Small tears at the bottom staple have been skilfully sealed and the price reflects that; staples are firmly attached.
PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #18 VG p £160 SOLD
*Marvel: One of Marvel’s most successful attempts at diversifying their line in the 1970s was their cash-in on the Martial Arts craze, with Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu! His inauspicious debut in Special Marvel Edition, a series previously devoted to reprints, indicated that there wasn’t much faith in Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin’s co-creation, but readers took him to their collective hearts, and more than 100 issues ensued, with a star roster of creators including Doug Moench, Gene Day and Paul Gulacy. Here, however, was where it all started, in Special Marvel Edition #15, December 1973, with the Son of Fu Manchu discovering his villainous heritage, and setting out to oppose his father. Shang-Chi is now in line for a big screen debut – Marvel doubtless hoping to repeat the ‘outsider’ successes of Black Panther and Captain Marvel – and this debut is escalating in value. Never distributed in the UK, and therefore doubly sought after on these shores. This is a quite lovely copy, glossy black background cover, nice page quality and tight staples, with very minimal edge wear; it would grade VF but for a stiff crease along the length of the right cover edge; this does not break colour and is not too obvious — it looks like something heavy has rested against it at some point in its history. If you can live with it, this is your chance to get a quite lovely, fresh copy at the fraction of the price it would be without that defect.
PICTURED: SPECIAL MARVEL EDITION #15 VG/FN £300 SOLD
*Marvel: After a one-off black & white magazine in 1975, Legion of Monsters, used up a rag-bag of separate inventory stories starring Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, Manphibian and other horror heroes, someone at Marvel decided that the title was nifty enough to merit a further outing, and therefore the bizarre and otherwise inexplicable Marvel Premiere #28 came about. Unlike the Legion of Monsters one-shot, which featured unrelated stories, Marvel Premiere #28 brought Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Werewolf By Night and Morbius the Living Vampire together as an actual team, albeit one even more mis-matched than the Champions! From the team of Bill Mantlo and Frank Robbins, it’s… everything you might expect! For decades discarded in bargain boxes everywhere, this issue has acquired white-hot collector’s status in the last decade. This is a nice, glossy cents copy with sharp corners, tight staples and off-white pages. No marks or creases.
PICTURED: MARVEL PREMIERE #28 VF £85 SOLD
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. This week, a splendid issue of Journey Into Mystery with Thor, featuring Stan & Jack at the height of their powers. After Thor’s alter ego, Don Blake, saves the life of Marvel’s other Doctor, Stephen Strange, in the operating theatre, Dr Strange is able to assist Thor in his struggle against Loki following the latter’s kidnapping of Jane Foster. All this plus a cameo by the Avengers too! (The Wasp: ‘You were expecting maybe the Beatles?’) Epic, classic stuff and a lovely well presenting pence printed copy, great colour, excellent page quality, unmarked cover, tight staples; some minor corner blunting, a minor corner crease at the bottom of the spine and a small colour-breaking one across the bottom right cover. Looks great.
PICTURED: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #108 VF- p £100 SOLD
*Marvel: Hawkeye’s first mini-series from 1983 was the story in which he and Mockingbird became an item. Clint Barton has been a stalwart of the Avengers virtually since the beginning, epitomising them almost as much as Captain America, Thor and Iron Man and is a true fan favourite character. All four issues of this entertaining series by Mark Gruenwald now available in one set in VF/NM grade.
PICTURED: HAWKEYE #1 VF/NM; COMPLETE SET 1-4 VF/NM £40 SOLD
*Marvel: A large batch of Spectacular Spider-Man in this week, between #48 & #100, mostly in nice VF grades. A rich period for the old web-head this, with many appearances of friends and foes old and new such as the Molten Man, Kraven the Hunter, Cloak & Dagger, Dr Octopus, Gladiator, Punisher, Kingpin, the Fly, Silvermane, the Spot and, especially, the Black Cat.
*Marvel: We continue our series of spotlights inspired by the Disney+ smash series ‘WandaVision’ with Giant-Size Avengers #4. Remember how in the TV show, there was some doubt cast as to whether Wanda and Vizh had ever officially married? Well, no such question about their comic book union, which was solemnized in the this very issue, as a mutant sorceress and a synthetic human wed in a double ceremony with a Celestial Madonna and her dead boyfriend’s body which was inhabited by an intelligent tree spirit, the whole ceremony being conducted by a Ruler of Limbo and occasional villain who may or may not be a manifestation of Kang. Got that? So, all perfectly above board, then! Sadly, only a low grade copy on offer here, superficially okay but with a long spine split, about 3/4 up from the bottom.
PICTURED: GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #4 FA/GD £10 SOLD
*Magazines/Books About Vintage US Comics: A long overdue update to this most popular category, with new stock for Alter Ego, Amazing World Of DC Comics, Bah Hembeck, UK Comic Art Convention, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Marketplace, Comicology, Comics Journal, ERBdom, Golden Age of Comics, Heroines Showcase, Jack Kirby and Wallace Wood Checklists and a Wallace Wood Sketchbook. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Alan Class Reprints: For many years now, we’ve been scouring the personal archives of legendary publisher Alan Class (who is still very much with us) and with his full co-operation, releasing for sale sets of the original printing plates that were used to print the covers of his comics from 1959-1989. We have now reached the final phase of these plate set releases, which will last us through 2021 and probably into 2022. These sets are time-consuming to prepare, so our release schedule will be staggered. But the good news is that all the sets we have left are among the best, either featuring a classic Marvel comic reprint, or else a very early fantasy/mystery issue. So, this final phase represents your last opportunity to add one or more of these unique pieces to your collection. Each set comprises the lead printing plates used in the original comic’s colour printing, a copy of the comic printed with these plates and a signed certificate of authenticity signed by Alan Class himself. These are packaged in a special protective presentation case. Several sets (as noted) have additional historical artefacts such as colour proofs, interior page plates, printers’ photostats etc. (Please be aware that these weigh a lot and postage will be expensive. Also note that due to the onerous paperwork required for customs declarations following Brexit, we can no longer post these Plate Sets outside the UK.) Full details as always in our catalogue.
We start this week with the following:
ASTOUNDING STORIES #1 £100 Comic FA Reprints Charlton (mostly SF), 1 western story, 1 Nyoka story. Extra: several printer’s cover colour proofs and finished cover. SOLD
CREEPY WORLDS #103 £80 Comic GD Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #53 & #54, plus Atlas. Extra: cover print SOLD
CREEPY WORLDS #104 £85 Comic VG Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #55 & #56, plus Atlas plus pre-Hero Marvel (1 Kirby). Extra: interior plate of lead story splash page. SOLD
SUSPENSE #2 £50 Comic FA Reprints Atlas (1 Williamson)
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: More Battle Picture Library this week, one of Fleetway’s Big Three. More than 20 newly listed numbers between #1000 & #1056, all circa 1976. A mix of grades, but very many are a sparkling VF and look unread.
*Girls’ Comics: Another brace of Free Gift issues from the UK’s longest running girls’ title this week. From 1972, #766 comes with ‘the Bunty Fairy Ring’, #767 with ‘The Bunty Blue Necklace’. Both comics are VG, having suffered some creasing in storage with their gifts over the years, but with no other defects. The Fairy Ring is VF, still sealed in its original envelope; the Blue Necklace is still mounted on its original card and is in great condition, although the card itself is a little worn, so FN.
#766 VG WITH FREE GIFT VF £35 SOLD
#767 VG WITH FREE GIFT FN £35 SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: 11 more early issues of the keenly collected Schoolgirls’ Picture Library now listed between #50 and #100, mostly in quite decent condition and featuring many issues previously missing from our catalogue. Take a look there to check them out.
PICTURED: SCHOOLGIRLS’ PICTURE LIBRARY #81 VG £15 SOLD
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Philip K Dick is one of our best-selling authors. I guess his themes of religion, drugs, counter culture and destructive relationships appeal. So we’re pleased to present five of his works this week in paperback. Clans of the Alphane Moon is about human survivors of a hospital moon and the family clans they comprise, Counter-Clock World is a story where time moves backwards, Eye In the Sky is a surreal tale of a personal world realisation with religious overtones, Our Friends From Frolix 8 is about a search for help for humans from the stars and the Penultimate Truth is about a feudal oppression of the masses in the future. Full details of all editions in our catalogue.
CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON VG £7 US PB 1972
COUNTER-CLOCK WORLD VF £8 UK PB 1977
OUR FRIENDS FROM FROLIX 8 VG £7 1st US PB 1970