On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our American section:
*Miscellaneous 1960 Onwards
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*DC: After his abandoning Marvel, Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, moved over to DC, where one of his earliest assignments was the Creeper, a bizarre anti-hero created when TV reporter and commentator Jack Ryder, fired for his outspoken views, falls in with scientist Dr. Yatz, whose knowledge gives Ryder greatly enhanced strength, agility and damage resistance, which he uses to terrify monsters and enforce his own kind of justice. Although ostensibly scripted by Denny O’Neil, the plot and opinions carry strong flavours of Ditko’s own libertarian views, and present a considerably more politically-motivated hero than was commonplace at the time. The art, though, is what sells the book, a newly refreshed and remotivated Ditko turning out moody, vertiginous artwork fully exploiting the character’s agility. The Creeper remains a recurring figure in the DCU, and this copy of his premier appearance is a stunning VF, bright and lustrous with only minimal spine wear. VF p £50. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: This week’s Batmania update features Detective Comics, the title where it all started, with a nice new run in, in a mixture of grades straddling the old and new look which dominated the 1960s, and the 10 cent to 12 cent price change. Issues between #245 to #382 filling our boxes with many now in a choice of grades.
*Marvel: Our Mighty Marvel Firsts sequence continues this week with the most sought-after comic of the 1970s. Hulk #181 features the first full appearance of Wolverine, the Canadian super-hero who, outstripping everyone’s expectations, became the most popular Marvel character created since the dawn of the Marvel Age. Created by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe (from a John Romita design), Wolvy was revived by Wein when he put together the ‘New’ X-Men who debuted in Giant-Size X-Men #1, and since then, Wolverine has become the star of the lucrative X-Men franchise, and a multi-media darling in his own right. This issue, where it all really kicked off following a one-panel cameo in the preceding ish, has good interior page quality, excellent cover colour and a number of faint fine creases at cover edges and corners which do not in any way detract from the cover scene. There is light spine roll, causing the back cover to ‘lean’ slightly, but staples are attached at cover and centrefold and, most crucially, the Marvel Value Stamp (probably the most important appearance of Shanna the She-Devil, bless her!) is still in place. This promotional coupon is the blight of Marvels from a certain period, often clipped and missing – but not in this instance! Between the frequently-missing Marvel Value Stamp, and the fact that this issue was never distributed in the UK, intact copies of Hulk #181 in any grade are at a premium. We have graded this full debut of Marvel’s most popular mutant at VG-, and the price is £950. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Following his return to active service in Avengers #4, Captain America became a companion feature of Iron Man in Tales of Suspense. Following 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 (though between the retelling of his origins and his ongoing plotlines, he certainly had enough pals along in his first issue!). This copy is a very respectable VG pence edition, with moderate spine wear and a light book centre stamp just below the faint distribution mark at the cover’s right edge. A clean, appealing copy of a premier issue, VG p £70
*Marvel: In the 11th issue of the X-Men, Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants accosted a mysterious figure who appeared to be a mutant possessing power to dwarf even Magneto’s own – but the Stranger was soon revealed to be much, much more, a cosmic entity rivalling the Watcher in might, but, unlike Uatu and his chums, all too willing to use that power! A chain of events began which led to the dissolution of the Brotherhood, and the beginning of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch’s road to heroic redemption, all in this Lee/Kirby classic – oh, and Chuck X. and his merry mutant students are in there too! This is a very lovely FN- cents copy on sale at £90.
*Marvel: Two early Daredevils in very affordable low grades this week: his second issue, featuring crossover Spidey villain Electro and a fleeting appearance by the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing, and his third issue, with the debut of one of DD’s most enduring villains, the Owl, a seemingly harmless portly gent about whose evil schemes our hero swiftly learned to give a hoot. They’re ropey, but complete, so swoop in while the getting’s good! DD #2 is FA p £25, #3 PR/FA p £11. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel: One of many new titles launching for Marvel in 1968, we present a chunky run of Captain Marvel, most of the first 20 odd issues starting with #2, including the costume change in #17, and #28 (4th Thanos) and #29 when the good captain attained true cosmicosity at the hands of Jim Starlin.
*Miscellaneous 1960 Onwards: In the 1960s, the spy craze and the super-hero craze were both in full swing – so what could be better than a series about spies who were superheroes? Enter the THUNDER Agents – The Hugher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserve, for those of you who were wondering – Dynamo, NoMan, Menthor, Lightning, Raven and their non-enhanced support team the THUNDER Squad, fronted by the lethal and lovely Katherine ‘Kitten’ Kane. This crack team took down threats domestic, foreign and extraterrestrial, in team and solo adventures illustrated by the very finest artists of the day – Wood, Ditko, Whitney, Sekowsky, Kane, Crandall and more, with characters who, despite their powers, still had human foibles – Dynamo’s romantic lucklessness, the android NoMan’s mourning for his lost human identity and so on. Charming, inventive, and superbly depicted, the THUNDER Agents are still fondly remembered today. We have most of the twenty-issue run back in stock, as well as issues of NoMan’s solo book and the companion title, Undersea Agent.
*Horror 1940-1959: Leading off our Atlas Explosion event, and continuing with our Pre-Code Horror Mega Fest this week, we turn of course to Atlas Horror. When Atlas embraced the Horror genre, they embraced it with a vengeance! 1952 saw the launch of several horror anthologies, including this week’s spotlit series, Adventures Into Weird Worlds! We have twenty of the thirty-issue run (it faltered in 1954, just shy of the advent of the Comics Code Authority) new to our listings, commencing with #2 and ending with the final issue #30. The stellar line-up of artists we’re accustomed to is present – Everett, Heath, Williamson, etc. – but it has to be observed that they excelled in producing a number of gloriously lurid covers for these shock-fests. (A particular favourite being #9…talk about ‘putting your face on’!) This selection runs from low to mid-grade, with some hitting VG or nicer. Depicted are #6 VG- £68, #9 GD/VG £59, #11 VG £73, #12 VG £73, #15 GD/VG £55, #16 FN £110, #28 VG £73 and #29 VG+ £72. This title, entirely Pre-Code, offers a plethora of delights to connoisseurs of the arcane and macabre.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: A zarjaz selection of 2000 AD Summer/Holiday Specials! From 1977, the very first 2000 AD Summer Special, featuring several of the iconic series and – because the weekly hadn’t been going that long – some other features that looked decidedly quaint to the discerning reader. But the pace picked up the following year, as 2000 AD’s stars – Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog, Halo Jones, Ro-Busters, DR & Quinch, Tyranny Rex and more – joined the fun at various times over this sequential run of what became known as the Sci-Fi Special, complete from 1977 to 1990 apart from a missing 1986. There are even duplicate copies of many, to give a selection of available grades! The 1977 Summer Special ‘Supercomic’ – to give it its full title – is FN/VF at £22.50; for details of the others, see our online catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: In January 1961, Battle Picture Library joined its elder brethren, Air Ace and War, to complete the ‘Big Three’ of Fleetway/IPC Picture Libraries, running, between them, thousands of issues and showcasing scores of talented writers and artists. Early issues of these iconic titles are increasingly sought-after, and we are delighted to have Battle Picture Library #1, ‘The Rats of Tobruk’, back in stock in a highly attractive VG+ £80. The cover is tight and flat, spine in generally excellent shape with minor wear at top, and only very slight penetration by staple rust at mid-spine. These minor flaws, however, are offset by vibrant unfaded cover colour and superior interior page quality, resulting – as you can see for yourselves in the illustration – in a copy with considerable eye appeal at £80. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*TV & Film Related Comics: With #155, the acclaimed weekly starring the creations of Gerry Anderson dropped the ‘Century’ from its title, and became just ‘TV21’. This issue also saw a Free Gift of a ‘Spectrum File’ – a booklet on Captain Scarlet, the then-prominent Anderson TV series – which was intended to be filled with full-colour ‘spectraprints’ given away in the next two issues. This copy of TV21 is an attractive VG, with the Free Gift present – including pasted-in ‘spectraprints’ from issues #156 & #157 – but the gift itself is in only Fair to Good condition, having considerable spine wear and the cover being detached from the body of the booklet. Issue #155 VG and Free Gift FA/GD for a combined price of £25. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*TV & Film Related Comics: The ever-popular Star Wars weekly from Marvel’s UK division has been refreshed with 60 issues, pre-screened by our crack Stock Control Team, that were not previously in our inventory! from 1978’s #3 to 1980’s #117, the adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy and the gang, in mid to high grades, in glorious black & white and recut to fit the UK format, are yours to enjoy anew!
*Girls’ Comics: In the 1960s, the posh girls’ weekly Princess indulged the public’s then-craze with the Royal Family by festooning its covers with pictures of the Princesses Margaret, Anne etc., and hiding the comic strips inside like a grubby little secret – a policy which ensured it a regular readership for several years until folding in 1967. Flash-forward almost two decades, and in the wake of Dianamania, Fleetway/IPC decided to try the same shtick again with a different Royal, pasting the newly-minted Princess of Wales on the covers, although Her Highness had no discernible connection with the serialised comic strips inside, which tended towards well-mannered gentle fantasy – ‘Ring of Feathers’, ‘The Incredible Shrinking Girl’, and so on. The public proved less gullible this time around, and after a scant 28 issues, Princess Mk II fell into the maw of the ever-voracious Tammy, leaving a short achievable run, which we have in its entirety! Issue #1 (pictured) is VG at £10; the others may be found in our online catalogue. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
Exploding on to our What’s New page over the coming months will be one of the most significant collections of Atlas comics (the 1950s Marvel pre-cursor, not the 1970s failed experiment) that we’ve ever seen. Covering several genres (Horror, Western, War, Crime, Adventure and Miscellaneous, with a smattering of Super-Heroes, Romance, Funny Girls, Science-Fiction and Humour/Satire) and full of the work of such artistic greats as Everett, Heath, Severin, Maneeley, Pike, Colan, Baker, Krigstein, Shores, Williamson, Torres and many more, this will be a rare opportunity to build or add to a very nice range of Atlas in your collection, with over 1500 comics to choose from. We’ll be starting to list them this weekend, and will be working through them as quickly as time permits. Look out for the ‘Atlas Explosion’ tags on our What’s New page and in our Newsletter week by week!
One of the myriad concepts Atlas tried, in their Pre-Marvel years, to capture the attention of the dwindling readership, was the Yellow Claw, a wily Oriental scientist whose relentless attempts to conquer the world were thwarted only by the ceaseless vigilance of FBI Agent Jimmy Woo – the company’s first Asian-American hero, historians please note. Resemblance to Sax Rohmer’s legendary Doctor Fu Manchu is entirely coincidental, ahem ahem. In this fourth and final issue of the Claw’s series, he launches four separate attacks upon democracy: the Living Shadows, Solidified thought-projections, the unnerving bird-human hybrids the Skreemies, and his most fiendish plot yet – brainwashing by television! All four tales are illustrated by Jack Kirby and John Severin (behind a solo Sev cover), and the combination of the two artists gives a compelling air of palpable menace, highly appropriate to the narrative. The Yellow Claw returned to the Marvel Universe in the 1970s as an antagonist of Captain America, and Jimmy Woo became one of the Agents of SHIELD (and then Atlas), so both hero and villain are still very active today. This copy is GD/VG, sound clean and very presentable, with vivid colour and largely unmarred cover scene, on sale at £100.
*Marvel: I don’t know, you wait around for ages for an Amazing Fantasy #15 to turn up, and then two come along at once! Join us as we celebrate the ultimate Spider-Mania/Mighty Marvel Firsts event — the first appearance of the Amazing Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15.
In the final issue of the mystery anthology Amazing Adult Fantasy, dated September 1962 and renamed Amazing Fantasy for that one issue, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created a character who was destined to change the then-nascent Marvel Comics’ fortunes, and the face of the comics industry. Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, became Marvel Comics’ solo super-star, wisecracking his way through all the slings and arrows a capricious fate (and the imaginative writers) could throw at him, and, decades later, following thousands of comic books and multiple multi-million media adaptations, he remains one of the most recognized characters worldwide. Copies of his first appearance, pre-dating his own series, are the most sought-after comics ever, always topping such lists of ‘hot’ comics that are compiled, so we are highly pleased (and honestly, a little staggered) to have not one, but TWO copies of this ground-breaking debut issue available.
The first is an unabashed Poor: a Pence copy, this has a long horizontal taped tear across the front cover, bisecting the logo. The spine is heavily taped, and there is a corner, approximately 2 x 3 inches, off the upper left back cover, which also has a horizontal taped tear similar to that of the front cover. The body of the book is taped to the inside front cover at the staple areas. There are minor biro markings on the advertisement on the inside front cover. There are two sets of rubber-stamped initials, one at lower splash page margin, another (with added date 1967, presumably a previous owner’s year of purchase) at the bottom of the inside back cover. All interior pages are present and complete, with no defacements or significant defects, and the interiors, if considered in isolation, would present as GD+ to GD/VG. Although there are, as detailed above, extensive drawbacks with the cover, they do not significantly impact upon the cover image, which is clean and unmarred. For this PR p copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, the price is £4,000.
The second copy is a significantly higher grade, which means, paradoxically, that there is less to actually say about it. Another Pence copy, we have graded this as GD+. There is one tiny diagonal tear on the lower cover edge, around ¼”, just below the yellow Editor’s Message box. There is moderate to significant spine wear, but the spine remains firmly intact, and staples are solid at cover and interiors. Numerous small creases and ‘scuffs’ on the cover image, but none of a cumulative magnitude to detract from the cover image. No tape or any interior markings of any kind. Interiors clean, off-white and flexible. Owing to the multiple small and light creases and spine wear, as detailed above, we have graded this copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 at GD+ p and the price is £10,000.
Front and back covers and splash page images are shown here. High resolution versions of these are available on request. Please note that viewing of either or both copies can be done at our shop, but STRICTLY by appointment only; since we do not keep these comics on the premises, we will require a minimum of 24 hours’ notice for an appointment to view. SORRY, THESE HAVE BOTH NOW SOLD
*Clearance Corner: Our latest bargain clearance is our complete stock of Skipper, the D C Thomson weekly story paper which ran from 1930 to 1941 for a total of 544 issues and featured both humour and adventure stories. We have 13 issues available from 1934 to 1937, grades ranging from FA to GD, including one issue with accompanying Free Gift (#344, King’s Air Force Book), plus 4 extra Free Gifts without the accompanying comic (these comprise gifts for #451-454, being small booklets on various subjects). The whole lot for just £20; UK postage if required will be an extra £3.50. SORRY, THIS LOT HAS NOW SOLD
*Collected Editions: Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ animated feature, ‘Yellow Submarine’, Titan Books have released a previously-unpublished graphic novel adaptation of the film. In 1998, artist Bill Morrison, having established his reputation with Bongo Comics’ The Simpsons and their companion titles, was asked by Dark Horse to produce a Graphic Novel Adaptation to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the movie. Some 25 pages in, the project stalled, but now, in time for the movie’s half-century, Morrison has extensively redrawn the previous pages and completed the work, for a full-colour hardcover extravaganza creatively adapting and reinterpreting the original! This brand-new iteration of a pop-culture landmark is £27.
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our British section:
*Alan Class Reprints
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries
*Girls’ Picture Libraries
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: This time we’ve added eight Corgi SF books, all from the 1950s or 1960s. The five earliest editions are all the slightly shorter and squarer Pocket book size, while the later three are the standard (for their time) size. The earlier set consists of The Silver Locusts (Bradbury), Space On My Hands (Brown), The Big Eye (Ehrlich), World Out Of Mind (McIntosh) and Timeliner (Maine). Several of these have cover art by John Richards, although the cover art on Space On My Hands is by Charles Binger. Of the standard size Corgis we have another Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes with a Bruce Pennington cover, New Writings in SF-13 (Carnell ed.) with a Josh Kirby cover and an unusual edition of Miller’s classic A Canticle For Leibowitz.
Please note that due to holidays, we have no transport available to us this coming week, and due to the lack of a reliable Post Office within walking distance, we will not be posting out orders this week. Orders by mail will not be posted until the week commencing Monday 10th September; we apologise for the inconvenience.
Also due to holidays, there will be no further updates to our What’s New page until the week commencing 10th September, and therefore no Newsletter next week. But we have some stonking stuff lined up for when we re-commence!
*DC: Something a little more modern in this week’s Batmania instalment. Originally planned as a regular Batman Annual, the story which would become The Killing Joke evolved by accident; as the wait lengthened for the pages to come in from illustrator Brian Bolland, Alan Moore’s story shifted, becoming more of an examination about the nature of the relationship between Batman and his arch-nemesis the Joker. Collateral damage along the way was Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, who was crippled and traumatised in the start of events which transformed her into Oracle, a sequence which outraged many at the time and polarises factions even today. Regardless of whether you love it or hate it – and there’s many on both sides – its importance and popularity can’t be denied, as it has remained constantly in print and gone through a myriad of formats. We are lucky enough to have received two copies of the first US Prestige Format printing, one in NM at £60, and the second in VF at £50. In addition, we have a copy of the first UK printing – identical in format and content – in NM at £20.
*DC: A selection from the Silver Age Justice League of America, commencing with issue #3 and ending with #12, in mid-grades but with each copy having two punch-holes in the left side of the book, having been stored in a ringbinder at one point. Although the punch-holes do not encroach on the story proper (margins were a lot wider in those days), it is a defect which significantly impacts upon the books’ eye-appeal. Nevertheless, at £20 or less per issue, this is an affordable opportunity to get early issues of a classic and much-beloved series, with significant events including the first appearances of major villains. Kanjar Ro in #3, Doctor Destiny in #5, the previously-untold origin of the JLA in #9, the debut of Felix Faust and the Demons Three in #10 and the premier of Doctor Light in #12 are some of the highlights. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*DC: A selection of Aquaman issues from the final years of the King of the Seas’ Silver Age run. Jim Aparo’s spare, kinetic artwork gave a genuinely alien feel to the undersea adventures, and while the previous artist, Nick Cardy, had abandoned the interiors by this point, he was designing the heck out of the covers, producing some of the most lush and innovative images of his career. This selection runs from #50 (guest-starring Deadman by Neal Adams) to #56, the final issue of the original series, with the dynamic debut of a new DC super-star – the Crusader! (Spoiler: don’t get too attached…) In attractive grades, averaging FN or better.
*Marvel: One of Marvel’s most enduring mavericks, Hawkeye has been a hero and a villain, and has frequently ended up doing good things for bad reasons – or vice-versa – but his roguish charm and eye for the ladies have earned him generations of fans no matter which side of the moral fence he’s jumped over to. He made his debut as a villain, lured over to the dark side by slinky Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, and became a half-hearted antagonist of Iron Man for a few years before reforming and becoming one the Avengers’ most long-serving members. Now incarnated in the popular Avengers movie franchise by actor Jeremy Renner, and having been the subject of several acclaimed series, Clint Barton’s status has never been brighter. This is a stunning FN+ p copy, with clear white background, no scuffs, stains or scribbles, tight staples, sharp corners, white interior pages, and only minimal edge & spine wear indicating its age. A crisp, fresh copy of a key issue, FN+ p at £300. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Ditko Spider-Mans are always a welcome addition to our lists, and this is one previously unrepresented in our inventory. Returning from a period of insecurity and self-doubt, Spidey roars back into action despite the Daily Bugle’s carefully-orchestrated smear campaign, aided by his best ‘frenemy’ the Human Torch, as they take on the combined menace of the Sandman and the Enforcers. A Lee/Ditko classic, with all the tropes you look for – JJJ’s insane ranting! Aunt May’s dicky ticker! Betty and Veronica – sorry, Betty and Liz’s – dating shenanigans! And, as a bonus, the first fleeting appearance of MacDonald ‘Mac’ Gargan, the man who would become the Scorpion! This copy is a cents copy with no pence price or overstamp, in VG with just a hint of sunshadow in a very narrow band at the spine, and a light sub crease (best seen in the illustration by checking out the sole of Spidey’s outstretched foot), otherwise it would be still nicer. On sale at VG £75. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A Mighty Marvel Firsts Bonus! 1965’s Fantastic Four #46 saw the culmination of a long-running subplot: the mysterious Madame Medusa and Gorgon had already appeared in the FF’s annals, and issue #45 revealed their common origin – well, not exactly ‘common’, as both were revealed to be members of the royal family of the Inhumans, a hidden race of super-beings. But the Inhumans’ monarch, Black Bolt, was only ‘teased’ in a cameo in #45, and this issue, #46, was the first full appearance of the stoic, silent, ruler of the Inhumans, as well as being only the second appearance of the Inhumans en masse. This copy of FF #46 is an appealing cents copy, no UK price markings, very minor wear at cover edge, but lovely vibrant colour, on sale in VG/FN at £85. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: From 1984, a little later than most fare in our catalogue, the famous Marvel series which launched a sequence of crossover ‘events’ which still reverberate through the Marvel Universe today. Secret Wars was the first of its kind, and featured many landmarks, but most famously the origin of Spidey’s black costume (later revealed to be the alien symbiote Venom) in #8. Cuddly brain-eating symbiotes remaining eternally popular with the kiddies, this origin issue is keenly sought-after – especially now our evil protoplasmic chum is the star of his own movie franchise – and our new copy of Secret Wars #8 is a highly attractive VF p copy at £40. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: Jack Kirby’s heavily Von-Daniken inspired (cough cough) cosmic saga, the Eternals, has now been optioned for a big-screen cinematic event, so issues of this series, once regarded as one of Kirby’s lesser efforts, are now increasing in collector interest. We have new copies in ranging from #3 to the penultimate issue, #17, in affordable VG/FN grades. Join Makkari, Ikaris, Sersi, Thena and the gang for fun, frolics and fearful fisticuffs galore!
*Horror 1940-1959: In the 1950s, every comics publisher was having a go at the horror field, and the relatively neophyte Charlton Comics was no exception. One of their most notorious and lurid titles is This Magazine Is Haunted, with the usual Pre-Code array of giblets and gore, but occasional flurries of creative potential. We have two issues of TMIH new to our lists: #15, FA/GD £20, with a cover by Dick Giordano – another artist who would go on to greater things and issue #18, with striking cover and interior art by then-newbie Steve Ditko. #18 is a superior mid-grade copy with moderate spine wear, and only slight creasing to right edge and lower corner, not impacting on the cover scene; illustrated, GD+ at £63. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Marvel UK: In 1976, Marvel UK’s attempt to broaden their readership by generating a new British hero, Captain Britain was the subject of much controversy, not least because he was created by two Americans (Chris Claremont & Herb Trimpe) whose interpretation of the UK’s manners and mores made the Austin Powers films look like documentaries. Despite this, the character became a respected figure in later iterations, so these early issues are now attracting keen collector attention. All three Free Gift issues of the Captain’s first run are new in this week: #1 is VF with Free Gift (CB Mask VF at £40, and we have a second #1 GD with Free Gift in GD at £20; #2 is VF with Free Gift (Boomerang) in FN at £30 and #24, in our experience the rarest of the three Free Gift issues, is FN with Free Gift (Super-Jet glider) in VF at £50. Rumours still abound of the Defender of Albion being optioned for his own media crossover, so better buy now while the opportunity’s there!
*Power Comics: Although Alan Class had been reprinting Marvel super-hero tales in his various titles from the early 1960s – and Len Miller presented some in his anthologies ‘Spellbound’ and ‘Mystic’ – it took until 1967 before a concerted attempt was made to reprint Marvel superheroes in sequential order. That was in the Power Comics weeklies, and after trials in Smash! Wham! and Pow!, they released Fantastic, a weekly devoted entirely to super-heroes, with Thor, Iron Man and the X-Men from the beginning, in glorious black & white and oddly re-edited for the UK market (such as changing American idioms for more intelligible jargon). We may mock – in fact, those of us who’d been reading the originals all along did – but for those benighted parts of the country where the American editions weren’t imported, this was a gift much appreciated, and many people’s first exposure to the Marvel Universe was in these pages. Followed later that same year by Terrific weekly – starring the Avengers, Sub-Mariner and Doctor Strange – these hooked an entire generation of readers on the Marvel habit, and we are delighted to have almost full runs of both, from their first to their final issues (#89 for Fantastic, #43 for Terrific) back in stock for your browsing pleasure!
*Annuals: A tempting top-up to our Annual selection with the Huckleberry Hound Album #3 from – the early 1960’s? (World Distributors didn’t bother with such trivialities as dates), TV Comic 1970 with Doctor Who and the TV Avengers (Steed/Tara King iteration), Action 1978 and 1982, Champion from 1968, Hotspur 1972, Superman Giant Bumper Book 1970 (despite its title a standard-sized hardcover Annual with comic strips), Valiant from 1973 to 1976, Victor 1973 and 1982, and the dynamic duo of Sandie (1973-1975) and Tammy (1976-1978).
*Humour Comics: From one of the last long-running humour launches, Whizzer & Chips Holiday Specials – the final few editions. The Whizzer & Chips Holiday/Summer Specials began in 1970, one year after the weekly comic’s launch, but by the 1990s W & C was reaching the end of its long run, and the last few are not commonplace. We have what we believe to be the final few W & C Holiday Specials – 1991, 1992, and 1993 – plus an undated and unidentifiable issue from the same period (cover shows the Whizz-Kids invading the Chip-Ites’ sandcastle, if that’s any help at all), all VF at £10 each. Join ‘Sid’s Snake’, ‘Shiner’, ‘Wear ‘Em Out Wilf’, ‘Odd Ball’, ‘The Toughs and the Toffs’, ‘Fuss Pot’, ‘Sweet Tooth’, and more popular features in what, unbeknownst to them, were their final years. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Girls’ Comics: Thirty new numbers of Pink, the pseudo-Jackie which featured, as so many did, a plethora of pop pin-ups, make-up and fashion tips, and helpful hints for the young distaff population – but also offered some rather splendidly drawn comic strips, including teenage drama ‘Patty’s World’ (which it inherited from Princess Tina after that title’s demise) and the highly amusing adventures of scheming, venal, wannabe-starlet ‘Sugar Jones’, as well as, in later issues, commerce-themed soap ‘The Store’. Climb into your platforms and prepare for all the David Essex, BCRs and Starsky & Hutch you can eat, as we flashback to the era of Flintlock, flares and flick hairdos! SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
Born 21st August 1929 in East Rockaway, New York, Severin began her career in the 1950s, by doing a favour for her brother, artist John Severin, who needed help in colouring pages for EC Comics. Her flair for the job was evident, and she became chief colourist for EC, as well as working in production, paste-up and in her own words ‘whatever else needed doing’. Following EC’s demise, Severin worked for the US Treasury Department, producing educational comics on banking and economics.
At Marvel in the 1960s she began, again, in colouring and production, but also started illustrating stories of the Hulk, Doctor Strange and the Sub-Mariner. Her first Marvel Bullpen Nickname, ‘Marie the She’ was a sad commentary on the fact she was at that time the only female comics creator in the superhero field (Ramona Fradon, co-creator of Metamorpho, having retired the year previously to become a full-time mother). Later, the nickname was changed to ‘Mirthful Marie’, to reflect her mischievous sense of humour, as shown in the caricatures of her co-workers she frequently drew. This adept cartooning was pressed into service in Marvel’s parody title, Not Brand Ecch, which Severin stated was one of her favourite assignments, and later in Marvel’s Mad parody, Crazy.
Her versatility, speed and dedicated work ethic led to her becoming, for several years, essentially Marvel’s Art Director, drawing many of the company’s covers, and providing layouts for the majority of the other cover artists to work from. Despite this, she never received the official job title or promotion. During this period, she continued to turn out acclaimed artwork, particularly in conjunction with her brother John on Kull the Conqueror.
In the 1980s she was assigned Marvel’s Special projects, producing illustrations for merchandising and licensed properties. She retired in the early 2000s, but contributed occasional illustrations to special projects until her first stroke in 2007.
In 2001, Severin was inducted into the Will Eisner Comics Hall of Fame as well as receiving the Comic Con Inkpot Award in 1999. That was followed up in 2017 with a Comic-Con Lifetime Achievement Award.
Prolific comic book artist Russell Heath Jr, better known as Russ Heath, passed away at the age of 91 in Long Beach, California. According to his daughter, Sharon Heath Herzel, the cause of death was cancer.
Born in Manhattan on September 29th 1926, Heath began his career in 1941 on the obscure aviation title Contact Comics and, save for a brief spell in the US Air Force, worked consistently in the field until the early years of this century. His career covered a multitude of genres, including western, crime, horror, fantasy/adventure and even occasional romance stories, but his greatest body of work was for the war genre, most notably in the series Sgt Rock and The Haunted Tank. His hyper-realism, heroic figures and meticulous attention to detail in terms of uniforms, weaponry and artillery gained him huge popularity in the field and among his fellow artists – Heath’s accuracy became so renowned that other artists used his work rather than photos as reference for their own stories.
Unusually, Heath seldom ventured into the superhero field which dominated the comics arena, with only a handful of superhero credits to his name – a 1950s Human Torch story, an issue of the revived Mr Miracle, a story arc in Legends of the Dark Knight and a chapter in the Justice Society Returns event being his only notable contributions. His closest approximation of a regular super-hero title was the adventure series Sea Devils, where his superlative illustration technique made even the (frankly) rather ludicrous stories into glowing fantasy epics.
He did, however, diverge into a different kind of fantasy comic when he produced pages for Kurtzman and Elder’s ‘Little Annie Fanny’ strip which ran in Playboy magazine.
Heath was one of the artists plagiarized by ‘Pop Artist’ Roy Lichtenstein, whose large-format tracings of comic panels created a stir among the art world in the early 1960s. When in his 80s Heath addressed this in a six-panel comic strip and made the same point, somewhat less subtly, to the Boston Globe in 2006, in an article entitled ‘Lichtenstein: Creator or Copycat?’.
Heath’s final comics work was a four-page flashback sequence for Iron Fist in 2009, and illustrations for Dave Sim’s Glamourpuss in 2010 and 2011.
*Clearance Corner: Three complete and self-contained mini-series starring the Gotham Guardian in this week’s Brucie Bonus – sorry, Clearance Corner. Gotham Nights II, from 1995, is a follow-up (though not a direct sequel) by John Ostrander and Mary Mitchell to their previous GN series, focusing on the citizenry of Gotham, integrating the everyday lives with the extraordinary events which follow the Caped Crusader. Intelligent and thoughtful, it’s quite a contrast to the two Batman: Odyssey series, from 2010 and 2011, in which legendary creator Neal Adams writes and draws… those. The good news? His artistic skills are undiminished. The illustrations are superb, emotive and breathtaking. The bad news? The script is insane ranting gibberish. No, really. I can’t even describe it. Must be seen to be disbelieved. Don’t ask, just look at the pretty pictures. To clear up any possible bewilderment, Odyssey was originally solicited as a 13-part series, but after six issues, Neal had to go and have a lie down, so despite the strapline saying ‘of 13’, it ended with #6, to be taken up again with series 2, #1 the next year. So: complete four-issue Gotham Nights II, 6-issue Odyssey I, and 7-issue Odyssey II, all around VF/NM, yours for £20 (UK postage if required will be an additional £3.50). Bargainacious!
On a regular cycle, we sweep through our entire stock to delete sold items and keep our listing as up to date as possible. We’ve just finished deleting sold items from the following files in our American section:
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics
As of the time of writing, these categories are bang up to date, with every item listed available.
*Childrens’ Books: Although we already have a range of Enid Blyton books we have a few of her iconic series missing, which we start to rectify with this update. We’re adding three HC Secret Seven books, all later printings of the 1st editions. Starting with #3 in the series, Well Done Secret Seven, then proceeding to #6, Good Work Secret Seven and ending with #9, Secret Seven Mystery. Consisting of Peter, Janet, Jack, Barbara, George, Pam and Colin, the Secret Seven also includes the obligatory canine (but unofficial) member, Scamper the golden spaniel. Their adventures include a discovery in a tree-house, a stolen car and a search for a runaway.
*DC: One of the earliest issues of Detective Comics we have ever had in stock, this lovely Golden Age issue, dated September 1940, is contemporary with Batman #2 and All-Star Comics #1, both mentioned in house ads in this very issue! From the earliest days of the DC Universe, this features Batman and Robin in ‘The Case of the City of Terror’, plus Speed Saunders, Slam Bradley, the Crimson Avenger and multiple other adventure features in its 64 interior pages. Given its age, this is in a remarkable state of preservation; cover colours vibrant, even noticeable cover gloss, flexible interior pages, though there has been some careful reinforcement of the staple area and lower spine, visible on the inside front cover. The only drawback is that a narrow diagonal corner has been torn off four interior pages, affecting the ‘Cliff Crosby’ and ‘Slam Bradley’ strips. However, the Batman and Crimson Avengers strips are completely untouched. Given these flaws, which do not detract significantly from the book’s appeal, we have graded it as an Apparent VG+ and are asking £375. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*DC: Additions to DC’s other tryout series, The Brave And The Bold (to give it its full official title), spanning almost 100 issues in range, from #35 (the Second Silver Age Hawkman & Hawkgirl), through to #130 (a Batman team-up co-starring Two-Face and the Joker, less common in the UK). Along the way, we have some of comics’ master artists at the height of their abilities: Joe Kubert (Hawkman in #35 and #42, Cave Carson in #40), Alex Toth (#53), Ramona Fradon (#57 & #58, the first two appearances of cult character Metamorpho) and Murphy Anderson the superlative Starman & Black Canary team-up issues in #61 & #62), Most of this range is from before B & B settled down into being just another Bat-book, when the title still had a dazzling variety of content and creators.
*Marvel: Over the coming weeks, we’ll be combining our Mighty Marvel Firsts feature with our Spider-Mania feature, spotlighting the fist appearances of many of Spidey’s most infamous foes! Early issues of the Amazing Spider-Man series are of course at a premium with the character’s multi-media popularity, and particularly desired are the issues featuring the premier appearances of his key villains. New in to our stock is Amazing Spider-Man #3, a Lee & Ditko classic featuring the debut of Doctor Octopus, the villain who, perhaps jointly with the Green Goblin, is regarded as our hero’s definitive nemesis. This is a cents copy, with no UK overstamp or price marking; the cover scene is clean and unimpaired, with excellent cover colour and gloss, interior pages off-white and flexible, with no brittleness of browning. Tight staples at cover and centrefold. There is a small (2.5 cm) lower spine split, and at some point a previous owner has very lightly touched up the solid black at the cover’s lower edge, but only very lightly in a couple of tiny spots. The visual presentation of this copy is superb, and its historical significance in the Spidey legend cannot be underestimated. This copy is FN-, on sale at £1,000. A high resolution scan is available on request.
*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 for the first time 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. Uncommon in any grade, this latest copy of Surfer #1 is a GD+ pence copy, with a small lower corner off the cover, and noticeable cover wear at the top edge, but a clear unimpeded cover scene, sound spine, and decent interiors. On sale at £55. SORRY, THIS HAS NOW SOLD
*Marvel: A plethora of pulse-pounding premiere issues, from 1968 to 1985! Star of the selection is Ms. Marvel #1, in which Carol Danvers, long a supporting character in Captain Marvel’s series, broke out into her own superheroic identity. Now the current holder of the Captain Marvel title, and soon to be the star of a big-screen movie, Carol’s earlier appearances are spiralling upwards. This copy of Ms. Marvel 1 is FN+ p £50. Joining Ms. Marvel are a couple of other fabulous femmes: Shanna the She-Devil, from the early-1970s stab at a Women’s Comics line, made her debut in 1972 behind a rather spiffy Steranko cover, pictured here in VF at £27, and Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman, originally a copyright-saving action in Marvel Spotlight, proved an unexpected hit and got her own series. Her premier issue, cents copy (ND in UK) is VF £25. Other key first issues are Eternals #1, with the first appearance of Ikaris and the other elements of Kirby’s cosmic odyssey, rumoured to be in pre-production for the silver screen, VG p £17.50 and Howard the Duck #1, by Gerber and Brunner, launching the feathered iconoclast into his own ongoing title, FN+ p £20. But that’s not all! First issues also abound for the Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Nightcrawler, Not Brand Ecch, Nova, Rom, Sub-Mariner, Thing, and Wolverine’s first ongoing series, in varying grades.
*Marvel: Okay, this is an oddity; the 1970s revival of Strange Tales restarted with the ‘classic’ numbering of #169, and featured Brother Voodoo, a peculiar attempt at a heroic practitioner of, duh, voodoo, intended to broaden the heroic market, and tap into both the ‘blaxploitation’ and horror crazes around at the time. Len Wein and Gene Colan were the creative team, so it was competently done, but a fundamental misunderstanding of voodoo, plus objections to the depiction of non-Christian religion and severe criticism about the portrayal of non-white characters, meant that the heroic sojourn of Jericho Drumm, intermittently possessed by the ghost of his identical twin Daniel, stuttered to a halt within five issues, to be replaced by the hastily thrown-together Golem. That might have been it for this Bronze Age update of Quality’s old Captain triumph (look it up if you want the reference), but for the excessive zeal of fan-turned pro writers, who brought the character back from oblivion. He’s been a Skrull: he’s been the Scarlet Witch (kind of) and now he’s Doctor Voodoo, Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe! Get the early appearances of this bizarre and unique series here; his debut, pictured, is VG £25, would grade higher for a small lower cover tear and accompanying diagonal crease, but still a bright and glossy copy. The entire first run of Brother Voodoo, none of which were ever distributed in the UK, is now in stock. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
*Horror 1940-1959: If our celebration of the traditional British Holiday Specials is the ‘Long Hot Summer’, then this update is a curtain-raiser to a ‘Cold Dead Winter’ of Pre-and Post-Code Horror/Mystery Mega-Fest from a variety of publishers, but primarily focusing on Atlas, the company that would eventually become Marvel. After a long drought of such material, a substantial influx of vintage horror/mystery is on the horizon, and will be listed here most weeks as fast as we can process it. We open with nine classic 1950s Atlas shockers, both before and after the advent of the Comics Code Authority, but each loaded with the beloved artists you expect – Everett, Severin, Heath, Sinnott, Maneely, Benulis and scores more. Pictured are Mystery Tales #24 VG+ £110, Mystery Tales #49 VG £78 and Mystic #56 VG+ £67. Check our catalogue listings for Adventures Into Weird Worlds, Astonishing, Journey Into Unknown Worlds, Mystery Tales, Mystic and Strange Tales for the rest of this week’s new additions, and watch out for future updates in this hugely popular category!
*Collected Editions: A bane of classic UK comic strip aficionados is that the series were usually, well, serialised in one or two pages per week (or a strip a day in newspapers), so for a good solid chunk of reading, collected editions are the answer. New to our lists this week are a variety of such, some in magazine form (Archive Adventures, featuring Ron Turner’s ‘Space Ace’ and Daily Strips, featuring O’Donnell & Holdaway’s ‘Romeo Brown’), but most in book format. In softcover, we have the 1981 Dan Dare collection from Hamlyn and the 1979 Dragon’s Dream ‘Man From Nowhere’, with a detached cover, but with a Frank Hampson signature! Other paperbacks include a brace of Frank Bellamy; Eagle Classics’ ‘Fraser of Africa’, and High Command, which collects Bellamy’s bio-comics of both Montgomery and Churchill in one volume. In hardcover, we have more Dragon’s Dream Dan Dare volumes – ‘Reign of the Robots’ and ‘Rogue Planet’, but the star of this update is the 1973 Look & Learn Book of the Trigan Empire, collecting the epic space saga by Don Lawrence. The first such collection of the classic series, this is highly sought-after and extremely scarce. This copy (pictured) is a lovely VF condition at £60.