*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. PICTURED: 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: PICTURED: 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. PICTURED: BUNTY #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. PICTURED: 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
*DC: Well, technically they returned, along with other Justice Society members, in Justice League of America #21, but this was the first time since the Golden Age that readers had had a chance to see these heroes as more than faces in a super-crowd, and with the talents of scripter Gardner Fox, illustrator Murphy Anderson, the villainous Solomon Grundy and guest-hero Green Lantern (Alan Scott), this was a truly epic battle, as the supernatural Doctor Fate and the super-scientist Hourman joined forces against an eldritch menace which threatened to overwhelm them both! Comics as they should be! This is a lustrous above average copy with deep purple background, minor edge and spine wear, slightly blunt corners, good staples and page quality and an unusual placement of the pence stamp near the spine, where it detracts less from the cover image. PICTURED: SHOWCASE 55 FN+ p £160
*DC: From Jack Kirby this week, that marmite of opuses, part of his Fourth World saga from DC in the early 1970s. Like it or loathe it, there’s no denying the power, majesty and ambition of vision by one of comics’ greats in his series of linked titles from this time. The Forever People from Super Town star in their own 11 issue series and are introduced in #1 along with the first full appearance of Big Bad Darkseid, following cameos elsewhere. All that plus Superman too! All 11 issues are present in this update; the #1 is a decent pence stamped copy with minor edge wear and corner blunting, good page quality and tight staples. For details on the rest, consult our catalogue as always. PICTURED: FOREVER PEOPLE #1 FN- p £90 SOLD
*DC: We reach the end (for now) of our run through Detective Comics, with dozens of new issues listed between #426 into the early 500’s. Notable for the much-loved 100 Pagers between #438-445, the Marshall Rogers issues in the 470’s and the Batman Family issues in the late 400’s there is much to savour in this period, and we have many issues new to our listings, mostly in very high grade. Batman never goes out of style! PICTURED: DETECTIVE COMICS #440 VF/NM £47 SOLD
*Marvel: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. This week, a jewel in the crown of the Square Mile Collection! In 1962, following the success of the Fantastic Four, Marvel were casting around for their next hit. Combining elements from popular TV shows of the time, Lee & Kirby brainstormed a ‘mash-up’ of Frankenstein and Jekyll & Hyde – the old horror movies then going great guns on late-nite TV – and threw in a jive-talking teenager a la ’77 Sunset Strip’s ‘Kookie’, leavening the mix with a hearty dose of Cold War paranoia. The result was the Incredible Hulk; mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner runs out into a gamma-bomb test to save the life of a feckless teen, and in consequence Banner becomes the Hulk, a creature of incalculable strength and uncontrollable rage! Most key components of the Hulk mythos were introduced here: Banner and the Hulk himself, perpetual hero-groupie Rick Jones, love interest Betty Ross and antagonist General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross – but several elements needed to be refined, including our hero’s skin colour. In this first issue only, he was grey, like the monsters in the black & white TV horror shows; from #2 onwards, without explanation, he became the emerald-hued behemoth we love today. But the main theme of the character – intelligence and compassion warring with brute strength – was evident from the beginning, as Bruce, not the Hulk, turns an enemy into an ally and saves the day. Curiously, the Hulk was an initial flop, cancelled after six issues, and condemned to a few years as a guest villain or back-up strip until the revival of his solo title in 1968, but this is where his long career began. This is a CGC Blue Label (no restoration) 3.5, a VG- equivalent, a pence copy (or ‘UK Price variant’, as our American cousins would have it). Several fine lines at the spine and corners do not detract from the central cover image, with beautiful unfaded midnight-blue cover background colour. Hulk #1 is regarded by many authorities as the second rarest Marvel key issue (behind Amazing Fantasy #15, with Fantastic Four #1 in third place); we have only been lucky enough to have three or four copies through our hands in our near 30 years of trading. PICTURED: HULK #1 CGC 3.5 VG- p £10,000 SOLD
*Marvel: Our series of updates inspired by the smash-hit Disney+ ‘WandaVision’ TV show continues this week with X-Men #5, the second-ever appearance of our scintillating sorceress (and her fleet-footed sibling Quicksilver!). Although, given Wanda’s cognomen as the Scarlet Witch, it’s a pity that they followed up on the previous issue’s colouring error and depicted her as an Emerald Empress (oops, wrong company) on the cover. Nevertheless, this marks a pivotal point in Wanda’s character development, as, when the X-Men attempt to rescue the kidnapped Angel in this Lee/Kirby classic, it is Wanda’s actions which stop Magneto from killing the entire crew of merry mutants, paving the way for her and Pietro’s eventual reformation and shift from the brotherhood of Evil Mutants to being full-fledged Avengers! This is a very respectable pence printed copy, with corner blunting and relatively minor edge wear (a few fine colour-breaking creases at the extreme right bottom corner), good colour, good pages, tight staples and a small bit of chipping at the right edge, conservatively graded. PICTURED: X-MEN #5 VG+ p £300 SOLD
*Marvel: This week, a two part encounter with Mysterio, that most tricky of villains who benefits from a timeless and stylish design by Steve Ditko back in the day. Here again he’s trying to make our friendly neighbourhood web-slinger crack up in this harrowing story. Mysterio stories have become increasingly popular since his appearance in the MCU, so we expect demand for these two lovely condition issues to be high. Both nice flat glossy copies, #142 is just marred by ballast ink marks at the top and bottom edges which do not intrude on to the cover. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #141 VF £47 SOLD #142 FN+ £37
*Marvel: Stan & Jack teamed up one last time in 1978 to bring the world a prototype graphic novel starring one of their most famous creations – the Silver Surfer, and his erstwhile master Galactus. Published by Simon & Schuster, with normal comic size height and width, its 120-ish pages contained the last adventure of the cosmic hero by his creators. A unique item which belongs in any Surfer fan’s collection. This copy has a couple of cover markings and some edge wear, but is sound and robust. Not something we see very often, so best grab it while you can. PICTURED: SILVER SURFER: THE ULTIMATE COSMIC EXPERIENCE FN- £35 SOLD
*Marvel: Hey, it’s the early 1990s (gosh, 30 years ago) and the age of the polybag and trading card, as exemplified by the mega 12 part X-Men crossover ‘X-Cutioner’s Song’ which ran in Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Vol 2, X-Factor & X-Force and featured Stryfe as the central villain. The main issues of the crossover were sold polybagged with a special trading card that featured Stryfe’s personal views of key characters from the crossover. This week we have the first four parts of the crossover new in, all still sealed in their polybags and untouched by human (or mutant) hand, complete with trading cards. I’m sure if you were there at the time, these will have some nostalgic appeal for you. PICTURED: ALL SOLD PART 1 UNCANNY X-MEN #294 NM £23 PART 2 X-FACTOR #84 NM £10 PART 3 X-MEN #14 NM £13 PART 4 X-FORCE #16 NM £10
*Marvel: A brief hike through the Silver Age of Marvel, with issues added from the following titles: Avengers (#30, #37, #100), Daredevil (between #17 and #28), Fantastic Four Annual #5 (with the 1st Psycho-Man, plus the Black Panther, the Inhumans and the Silver Surfer), Journey Into Mystery with Thor (#123), and Tales To Astonish (pre-hero #32, with Sandman prototype, #70 with the start of Sub-Mariner series, lots of the early parts of Namor’s Quest and #92, with the beginning of the Silver Surfer crossover in the Hulk story). As always, please consult our catalogue for full details.
*Marvel: Several issues of Astonishing Tales new in this week from the early 1970s. Prominent are #1 with the debut of the Ka-Zar and Dr. Doom strips, plus #6, with the first appearance of Bobbi Morse, who would later become Mockingbird. We also have a couple of solo Ka-Zar issues, a couple of Deathlok issues and a nice #29, featuring a reprint of the first Guardians Of The Galaxy story. See our catalogue for full details. PICTURED: ASTONISHING TALES #1 VF- £35 SOLD #6 FN p £40 SOLD
*EC: We don’t see enough EC originals through our hands, so it’s a joy to have a few of their later issues new in this week. Extra #1: Extra is a series based on newspaper journalism, with art by Craig, Severin and Crandall; old and worn but structurally sound. Mad #12: from the days when it was still a comic, this iconic series needs no introduction; Elder, Krigstein and Wood; a little beat-up with small cover nicks, but not too bad. Piracy #1: Sagas of the Sea, Ships, Plunder and Piracy with art by Crandall, Wood, Williamson/Torres and Davis; a nice mid-grade copy with no particular defects. Two-Fisted Tales #32; war and fighting men with art by Davis, Craig, Wood and Kubert; lower graded, off staples with small chips out edges of cover. It’s quality all the way with EC! PICTURED: EXTRA! #1 GD/VG £29 SOLD MAD #12 GD £38 SOLD PIRACY #1 VG+ £70 SOLD TWO-FISTED TALES #32 FA/GD £40
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: Greer Nelson started her super-heroine life as The Cat, in her own short-lived series in 1972 and resurfaced here, in the one-off Giant-Size Creatures in 1974, as we learn how she was transformed into Tigra, the Were-Woman, who has since gone on to be a fan favourite in the MU. The double-length origin story also featured Werewolf By Night. We have a nice, above average copy, with minor edge and handling wear, a tight squarebound, very presentable issue. PICTURED: GIANT-SIZE CREATURES #1 FN+ £60 SOLD
*Vintage Magazine-Sized Comics: One long-overlooked character in the Marvel pantheon was Star-Lord, the cosmic adventurer who was introduced in a few issues of Marvel Preview and Marvel Comics Super Special in the 1970s, never really went anywhere, and simmered into obscurity – until his revival as a central character in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, accompanied by the sensationally successful films, made him one of the belated breakout characters of the 21st Century! This update, we present a nice copy of his very first appearance, in 1976’s Marvel Preview issue #4. Steve Englehart and Steve Gan’s presentation of Peter Quill, the not-yet-legendary Starlord, has fewer laughs than the movie version (and definitely a much quieter soundtrack!), but this is where the character got his start. A flat copy with a tiny bit of wear at bottom spine and a very small crease across the bottom right corner; nice page quality, tight staples, great cover colour and just an almost invisible cover mark where a price label has been removed (but no sticky residue is left). PICTURED: MARVEL PREVIEW #4 FN £100 SOLD
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints of US Material: A large intake of Westerns in this category this week, with several titles from several publishers. From Miller: Black Fury, Fawcett Movie Comic, Hopalong Cassidy, Kit Cowboy, Lash Larue, Rocky Lane, Tom Mix, Western Hero. From Gordon & Gotch Distributors (Aus): Black Rider, Hi-Yo Silver. From Streamline: Boys’ Ranch. From World Distributors: Hi-Yo Silver, Indian Chief, Roy Rogers, Wild Bill Pecos. From T&P/Jenson/Strato: Jesse James, Kid Colt, Tomahawk, Wild Bill Hickok. All now listed in our catalogue.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: They sure liked their gliders in Hotspur! This week, two very different models from consecutive years. #311 from 1965 features what we assume to be a plastic model, still sealed in ts oroginal envelope: the Lightning Glider. #362 from 1966 has the Red Flash Glider, a cardboard model still firmly attached to its backing sheet. PICTURED: HOTSPUR BOTH SOLD #311 VG WITH FREE GIFT VF £35 #362 FN WITH FREE GIFT VF £40
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Battle Picture Library this week, one of Fleetway’s Big Three. From 1970 to 1972, straddling the chasm between pre- and post-decimal, 23 issues ranging from #417 to #657. Nearly all these new additions are a sparkling VF grade, with just a handful of FN. As always, please consult our catalogue for details.
*TV & Film Related Comics: TV Action, the successor to and continuation of Countdown is recharged in our stock this week with many issues from 1972/73. Dr Who, UFO, the Persuaders, the Protectors and many other TV favourites appeared in its pages. Issues from #101 onwards are considerably scarcer in supply and featured one big story on a rotating basis as well as several shorter ones. All issues new in were previously missing from our listings, so check out our catalogue. PICTURED: TV ACTION #104 FN £9 SOLD
*Humour Comics: A very large chunk of the 1956 issues of Dandy freshly listed this week. It was a year with a lot of strip debuts, and has prompted us to start annotating these, so look out for the first appearances of My Pal Baggy Pants, Willie’s Whizzer Broom, Just Jimmy, Big Bang Benny, Roly-Poly Joe, Turtle Boy, Kipper the Copper, Corporal Kim, Buster’s Battling Beetle & Rip Snorter (whew!). As well as all that, we also have the Fireworks issue, the Christmas issue and an issue with a Beezer promotional flyer. We’ll be adding first appearance data to all new Dandy 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. PICTURED: DANDY #788 GD/VG £14 CHRISTMAS ISSUE
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: Two of the earliest issues of Judy Picture Story Library new in this week in nice shape, so if you want to thrill to ‘Sandra and the Phantom Ballerina’ or ‘Debbie at Drama School’, you’ve come to the right place! PICTURED: JUDY PICTURE STORY LIBRARY BOTH SOLD #2 VG/FN £22.50 #3 VG/FN £22.50
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: Two iconic and very different cultural classics from the 1960s in this week’s books update. First up, the novelisation of ‘The Beatles in their first fab film’: ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, with eight pages of photographs from the film (some beginning to come loose), written by John Burke from the screenplay by Alun Owen. Secondly, two novels of that most stylish series the Prisoner in relatively modern editions in great shape; the Prisoner was a surreal, unique and enigmatic series that has never been matched. Now’s your chance to relive those heady years when we were fab and not numbers. PICTURED: ALL SOLD THE BEATLES: A HARD DAY’S NIGHT 1st UK PB 1964 GD £6 THE PRISONER: A DAY IN THE LIFE 1st UK PB 1981 VF £8 WHO IS NUMBER TWO? 2nd UK PB 1982 VF £8
*DC: In this week’s Batmania slot, a classic from 1970 by Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams, in which Batman becomes involved in a plot in Mexico by a couple who have gained immortality but lost their sanity at exposure to hallucinatory flowers, which they plan to spread throughout the world, causing chaos and madness. A nice clean glossy copy in a good state of preservation, good staples, off-white pages. Some minor wear at the spine and small chipping towards the bottom right edge, with a cover dink at the bottom of the spine, but an unmarred black background cover. PICTURED: DETECTIVE COMICS #395 FN £90 SOLD
*DC: Our alphabetical romp through the DCU has reached the letter ‘H’, with lots of additions to the following titles: Hawk & Dove, Hawkman, Hercules Unbound (a title new to our listings), Hot Wheels (a nice copy of #1 with art by Alex Toth), House Of Mystery & House Of Secrets. A word about a couple of these: Hawkman is a personal favourite, with wonderful scripts by Gardner Fox (who excelled in the sort of science-fiction and fantasy setting so often used in this series, plus superlative art by Murphy Anderson — a woefully underrated series which deserves much more popularity; the later issues of House of Mystery (#156-173) are the origin of the Dial H For Hero feature which has returned many times in different guises to the DCU over the years, and here is quite frankly often quite potty, but original and endearing with very effective art mostly by moody Jim Mooney. Sockamagee! PICTURED: HAWKMAN #2 FN p £44
*Marvel: A quite wacky example of our collecting hobby this week. This is a copy of Journey Into Mystery #83, the first appearance of Thor, graded by CGC at 0.5 (Poor), and designated a Universal, unrestored blue label. The person who sold this to us described it as a ‘washing machine variant’ in that it looked as if it had been through one, presumably in a pocket. Take a good look at the images here; at least the image of Thor on the front cover is recognisable, even if some other bits are (how shall I put it?) less than fresh. But if you think the front cover is bad, take a look at the back! I’d like to have seen the CGC grading notes for this one! Nevertheless, there are some plus points — the issue is complete, a cents copy, and has, according to CGC, off-white pages (yeah, I know) — and it’s a copy of the first Thor at a price you won’t have to take out a mortgage for. (You’ll note that I’m not dwelling here on the virtues or importance of this issue in Marvel’s history — if you’re reading this, I’m sure you already know all that!). Dr. Evilla, who has been watching too many UK soap powder commercials, wants to extend the washing machine analogy by saying that if it’s ‘Perf with Surf’ and ‘Gold with Bold’, this is very definitely ‘Grim with JIM!’ PICTURED: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83 CGC 0.5 PR £1200 SOLD
*Marvel: Not a dream! Not an imaginary tale! (How very DC-like of Marvel to use those blurbs!) How does Spidey get out of this one? Well, we’re not saying… In the 12th issue of Amazing, Spidey comes up again against the dastardly Doc Ock, with the results shown on the cover. Not at all a bad copy this, with some gloss and a rich yellow background, good firmly attached staples and nice page quality. There is a small amount of Marvel chipping along the right edge, a mostly-erased pencil or pen mark centrally above the logo with a small spot of discolouration and a 5 cm upper spine split. We’ve awarded a grade of Apparent VG+, due to there being a missing advert page; the story is complete. This makes this pence printed copy relatively bargainaceous. Like most issues of Amazing Spider-Man below #20, it won’t be with us for long. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #12 APP VG+ p £100 SOLD
*Marvel: 1968 was the year of Marvel’s big expansion, when the deal with DC for distribution came to an end and they were thus allowed to publish as many titles as they could manage. They started off by launching all the characters from their ‘split’ titles into their own series, such as Doctor Strange and Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, and brand new titles such as Captain Marvel. Along the way, the one-shot Iron Man & Sub-Mariner was a by-product of this process. All four of these debut issues feature in this update in low to mid grades. PICTURED: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 GD+ p £30 Edge wear, small colour-breaking creases, back cover tear. SOLD DR STRANGE #169 GD/VG p £45 Edge wear, small colour-breaking creases. SOLD IRON MAN & SUB-MARINER #1 GD+ p £40 Edge wear, colour-breaking creases, long cover crease. SOLD NICK FURY, AGENT OF SHIELD #1 VG+ p £35 Decent; edge wear, small colour-breaking creases.
*Marvel: In our ongoing series focusing on key events in the ‘Wandavision’ TV hit, we turn this week to the underestimated run by John Byrne as writer/artist on West Coast Avengers, and in particular issues #42-45, ‘VisionQuest’. In an earlier story arc in the main Avengers series, Vision had infiltrated computer networks and tried to take over the world, albeit under external influences, and when he gained access to the WCA’s databases, various governmental agencies feared this might recur. They kidnapped Vision, rebuilt and reprogrammed him into an emotionless, pallid simulacrum of his original self – and in the final episodes of ‘Wandavision’, which shoplifted large chunks of Byrne’s original plot, government ‘spooks’ came up with a similarly pallid ‘Vision 2.0’! This four issue sequence concludes with the first ‘White Vision’ in #45 in VF; issues #42-44 average VF/NM. Available as a set. PICTURED: WEST COAST AVENGERS #45 VF; SET #42-45 £75 SOLD
*Marvel: Our alphabetical journey through the Marvel Universe continues this week as we reach the latters ‘N’ to ‘P’, so new listings for Not Brand Echh, Nova, Power Man and Punisher, with many issues previously missing from our catalogue, so check it out.
*Horror 1940-1959: The spotlight shines on Atlas Horror this week with four pre-code issues of Uncanny Tales new in: #3, #4, #24 & #25. #3 has some edge wear, small colour-breaking creases, one long crease across the bottom right corner and some rodent chew along the back cover edge. #4 is heavily spine-rolled and also has a long colour-breaking crease across the bottom right corner. See our catalogue for details on the others. The usual Atlas standard is evident throughout. PICTURED: UNCANNY TALES #3 GD- £50 SOLD #4 GD- £50
*Teen Humour/Funny Girls: Having devoted most of our updates in this category to Patsy Walker over the last year or so, we’re now turning our attention to Marvel’s other (and some would say even more famous) funny girl star Millie the Model, with a large number of issues fresh in across Millie’s range of titles: Mad About Millie (from #1), Millie the Model (with an early #7 issue) and Modeling with Millie. These cover the decades from the 1940s to the 1970s, the span of Millie’s comic book career, and display the changing times, with comics as social history. We particularly enjoyed the 1960s Carnaby Street shopping spree and the Groovy Gears pop combo. Lots of other titles in this update as well, from DC’s A Date with Judy, (Leave It To) Binky, A Date with Debbi and (Swing With) Scooter, to Marvel’s Chili, Atlas’s Kathy (the Teen-Age Tornado), Patsy & Hedy (they just had to get a word in!), and Tower’s Tippy Teen. We’re showing a sample of Millie’s titles below – enjoy! PICTURED: MAD ABOUT MILLIE #1 GD+ £10.50 SOLD MILLIE THE MODEL #7 FA/GD £34 SOLD MILLIE THE MODEL ANNUAL (QUEEN SIZE SPECIAL) #5 GD £6.75 SOLD MODELING WITH MILLIE #50 VG £8.25
*Alan Class Reprints: The Sinister Tales title is updated this week with several new additions, mostly pre-decimal issues, including #39 with a Kirby Captain America story and #119 with a Ditko Dr Strange. Mandrake, the Phantom, the Fly and THUNDER Agents also put in appearances. You can check our catalogue for details and our Alan Class Rough Guide for content detail. This update is for our regular, non-certificated stock.
*Boys’ Adventure & War Comics: What’s Old is our feature where we highlight stuff from our catalogue that you may have missed. This week, from 1954, the first and third issues of Swift, the often-overlooked junior sibling of the acclaimed Eagle weekly. You can read all about Swift in our guest writer article here. Swift Vol 1 #1 from 1954 has minor spine wear but generally is an extremely attractive copy; #3 is even nicer. PICTURED: SWIFT VOL 1 #1 GD/VG £75 VOL 1 #3 FN £25
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: Following on from previous releases of earlier numbers, we now have most issues between #43 & #50 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. PICTURED: COMMANDO #43 VG £30 SOLD #45 FN £40 #47 VG+ £32.50 #48 VG £30 #50 VG £30
*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 update features four of them by two different authors, and the titles and covers really do say it all. (Note that one author is Bart Banarto on one volume, Bart Barnato on another — they couldn’t keep the house names straight!). PICTURED: BIGTIME PAYOFF by BART BANARTO 1st UK PB 1950s Edwin Self GD/VG £40 (spine worn) DAMES PLAY DUMB by BART BARNATO 1st UK PB 1950s Edwin Self GD/VG £40 (staple rust) SOLD KILLER BAIT by DUKE LINTON 1st UK PB 1953 Scion VG £50 (Roger Davis cover art) SINNER by DUKE LINTON 1st UK PB 1953 Scion FA £25 (cover creased and worn) SOLD