*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: We’re re-visiting a gem from the Bute Collection this week. From 1948, a Timely/Marvel issue of the Blonde Phantom, #17. If there’s another costumed heroine who fights crime in floor-length evening gown and high heels, I can’t think of her. Beneath a dynamic cover (possibly by Mike Sekowsky), you get three clever mystery stories with stylish and accomplished art by Syd Shores and Vince Alascia, chronicling the adventures of prim secretary Louise Grant who transforms into the glamorous Blonde Phantom to fight crime and solve mysteries. The ‘filler’ story this issue is nothing less than a tale of Namor and Namora by Bill Everett (what a filler!). What a great package! This is a very respectable copy with unmarked cover, apart from quite minor edge and spine wear and a tiny nick central cover top. The staples are firm at spine and centrefold and the supple pages are a nice off-white to cream. There is a 4.5 cm lower spine split and slight tanning to inner cover edges. Heck, I’m not 75 and I don’t look this good! High resolution images are available on request. PICTURED: BLONDE PHANTOM #17 VG- £550SOLD
*Horror 1940-1959: Two Pre-code horrors from Fawcett in the Bute Collection this week, with similar titles. To add to the confusion, they’re both #3. Also, they have in common that they’re both misprinted/mis-cut to some degree. PICTURED: STRANGE STORIES FROM ANOTHER WORLD #3 GD £145 Pre-code from 1952. Stunning skeleton painted cover by Norman Saunders. Accomplished gruesome fare on the interior. The cover is mis-cut and fitted on to the interiors at an angle (we’re pretty sure this is an original printing defect). See scan. Cover image unaffected. Apart from a few chips out of the splash margin and one interior page margin, plus a small bottom spine split, everything else is pretty good, with firm staples, great colour, decent off-white pages just tanning at the edges. STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #3 VG £150 Pre-code from 1952. Great headless figure cover from George Evans. Accomplished interiors by Evans, Bernard Baily and others, a gruesome fest. Cover may be mis-cut at a slight angle; certainly the interiors are misprinted at that angle, but are unspolit with all margins in place. Unmarked cover, firm staples, nice supple off-white pages.
*Humour Comics: Continuing our policy of providing more information for Beano and Dandy, we have a new batch of Beano in this week from 1964. You may remember that we now annotate with strip debuts – just one in our new stock for this year, but it’s a good ‘un. The long-running Billy Whizz debuted in #1139. Around 20 other issues new in from this less common year. Full details in our catalogue. PICTURED: BEANO #1139 GD/VG £251st Billy Whizz
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: This week’s release of Love Story Picture Library, the longest running romance picture library from Fleetway, comprises 27 issues from 196970, between #771 & #800. The series always maintained a high standard and the very accomplished art reflected the fashions and mood of the times. These new additions are mostly in excellent condition, with little wear or creasing, all FN to VF. Full details as always in our catalogue. PICTURED: LOVE STORY PICTURE LIBRARY
#788 VF £7
#792 FN/VF £6
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: We’re continuing to introduce the new layout for our books categories, with an image for each book. This week, we return to our Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror category and the second part of our listing for the works of Arthur C Clarke. Clarke was a scientist as well as a writer and is known as a prophet of science fact, in particular due to his predictions of communication satellites. Most famous of course for 2001: A Space Odyssey (included here), you would expect to find a fair amount of hard science in his works – what you might not expect is the engaging and entertaining style in which he wrote. His novels are real page turners that you don’t want to put down. PICTURED: ALL BY ARTHUR C CLARKE ISLANDS IN THE SKY Penguin 1982 UK PB VG/FN £4 THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SKY Corgi 1963 1st UK PB GD £6 PRELUDE TO SPACE Four Square 1962 UK PB GD £4 THE SANDS OF MARS Pan 1964 UK PB VG £5 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY Arrow 1970 3rd UK PB GD £8 2010: ODYSSEY TWO Granada 1983 1st UK PB GD/VG £4
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: We’re continuing to introduce the new layout for our books categories, with an image for each book. This week, we return to our Crime, Spies and Sleaze category for five more thrillers. Two from the American publisher, Graphic Mystery 1956, This Kill Is Mine by Dean Evans and The Corpse Next Door by John Farris, both cop/gangster/chick tough thrillers with attractive and stylish cover art by the British artist Oliver Brabbins. Then two by the celebrated American novelist William Faulkner, Sanctuary and Wild Palms, both cited as great entry points for his body of work. Finally, a tense crime drama set in France, The Killers by William H Fear, a rare UK 1st PB. PICTURED: ALL SOLD DEAN EVANS: THIS KILL IS MINE Graphic Mystery 1956 1st US PB VG £4 JOHN FARRIS: THE CORPSE NEXT DOOR Graphic Mystery1956 1st US PB VG £7 WILLIAM FAULKNER: SANCTUARY Signet 1950 12th US PB FA £4 WILLIAM FAULKNER: THE WILD PALMS Signet 1950 5th US PB GD £5 WILLIAM H FEAR: THE KILLERS Digit 1964 1st UK PB VG £7
*DC: As rare as hen’s teeth! In 30+ years of flogging comics, we’ve never had a copy of #1 of the first series of Phantom Stranger through our hands before. In 1952, he appeared from nowhere, without explanation or origin to be DC’s mysterious omniscient and omnipotent being of mystery. Despite numerous theories in the DCU, no concrete information has ever been revealed about his true nature. Edited by Whitney Ellsworth, and created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, the debut issue had the finest creators of the time working on it in a number of horror/supernatural stories. Whilst perhaps not as Pre-Code horrifically as the fare of other less polished publishers, the Phantom Stranger made up for that in the quality of substance and style of his stories. Make no mistake, this is a low grade copy that has suffered much restoration. There are amateurish colour touches along most of the spine and along all the front cover edges. A 3 cm x 2 cm chip is missing from the central right cover edge, which has been patched, colour touched and secured by tape; a corresponding but smaller chip is out of the splash page (virtually margin only) with smaller tears to later page edges in the same place. There are two further pieces of tape along the inside front cover bottom edge. The cover right edge had spidery colour-breaking creases and there is a small faint mark, possibly a ‘6’, over the logo. Tiny spnie split at top, very small chip out of spine at central back cover. Staples are tight at centrefold and secure at spine, with top staple a little loose. Page quality, except as noted, is a pleasing off-white. So, a rough-ish copy, to which we have awarded an Apparent grade, but when will you see another? High resolution images are available on request. PICTURED: PHANTOM STRANGER #1 App FA £540 SOLD
*DC: Daringly, in 1975, DC awarded the Joker his own title, (in defiance of the Comics Code, which said that villains couldn’t be shown to triumph) and even now, decades later, it remains the Clown Prince Of Crime’s only on-going series. Not that it ‘on-went’ for long, stopping at #9. But what was a Bronze Age curio has now become a much sought-after short series with one of the hottest characters in comics. We have the first issue newly in stock: #1, pitting ‘Mr. J.’ against fellow villain Two-Face. It’s a slightly above mid-grade copy, pence stamped, nice colour and reasonable gloss, tight, firm staples and decent off-white to cream pages. There is very minor edge wear, notably a tiny nick out of right edge near the top and a faint colour-breaking crease up from the bottom edge across the Penguin, but very presentable. PICTURED: JOKER #1 VG/FN p £50 SOLD
*DC: One of the most well-received articles posted here during lockdown was the one I wrote on Adam Strange, the interplanetary adventurer, my favourite DC science-fiction hero. So, we’re delighted to present half a dozen of his earliest adventures in Mystery In Space, starting with #62 and running patchily up to #70. The finest examples of this sort of thing ever produced, IMHO, and with the best creators. These are mostly lower graded reading copies, providing excellent budget entertainment. IN THIS UPDATE: MYSTERY IN SPACE ALL SOLD
#62 FA p £7.75 Large corner off back cover
#64 FA p £7.75
#67 FA p £7.75 Off top staple; bookshop stamp
#68 PR p £4.25 Bookshop stamps, taped spine. Corner off bottom left front cover.
#69 PR p £4.25 Cover detached and separated
#70 PR/FA p £6 Restapled
*Marvel: From the Good Doctor Collection this week, a very nice copy of Amazing Spider-Man #301, popularly known as the ‘negative’ version of #300 due to Spidey being back to his original costume plus the white background. This high grade copy is near pristine, with glossy pure white cover, vibrant colour, near white pages, tight and flat; only the very most minor signs of having been handled, but really, virtually as good as new. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #301 VF+ £60 SOLD
*Marvel: in the 1970s and 80s, Marvel did a lot of adaptations of science fiction TV and film. Three such this week, all spawning series of different lengths. PICTURED: BATTLESTAR GALACTIICA #1 VF £22 LOGAN’S RUN VF+ p £25 SOLD STAR TREK #1 VF+ £15
*Marvel: This week’s featured items in our Tabloid Headlines extravaganza have more Marvel characters than you can shake a stick at! They did two Giant Super-Hero Holiday Grab-Bags to celebrate Christmas: the first, Marvel Treasury Edition #8 from 1975 has seasonal (and not so seasonal) stories for Spider-Man, the Hulk, Dr Strange, Nick Fury and Luke Cage; the second, #13 from 1976, has stories of Spider-Man, the Avengers, the Thing, the Hulk, Silver Surfer and Daredevil with original framing sequences starring just about the whole Marvel Universe. In between there was #9, Giant Super-Hero Team-Up, reprinting (more clashes than team-ups) classics of Sub-Mariner and the Thing, Thor and the Hulk, Daredevil and Captain America, Spider-Man and the Silver Surfer. Great super-size holiday reading for the upcoming festive season, and all in tip-top shape! PICTURED: MARVEL TREASURY EDITION ALL SOLD #8 VF £20 Giant Super-Hero Holiday Grab-Bag #9 VF/NM £20 Giant Super-Hero Team-Up #13 VF+ £20 Giant Super-Hero Holiday Grab-Bag
*Marvel: In Marvel Comics Presents #72-84 (1991), the story is told of Wolverine before the X-Men. Writer and artist Barry Windsor-Smith mesmerizes with Wolverine’s defining origin. Once, a man named Logan was codename Weapon X. A shadowy enclave controlled his animalistic rage, transforming the mutant into an adamantium-laced berserker and a ghost of a man. Lots of other Marvel super-stars in each issue of this anthology title as well, of course. This complete set averages FN/VF, shows signs of having been read, but retains gloss and lustre. PICTURED: MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #72; COMPLETE SET #72-84 AV. FN/VF £60 SOLD
*Marvel: A long run of Fantastic Four from the Bute Collection this week, with every issue from #95 to #111 (excluding #110). A transitional period, with the final issues drawn by Jack Kirby before the artistic torch was passed, first to John Romita and then John Buscema. Stan the Man stayed at the typewriter. Full details as always in our catalogue.
*Archie: We’ve recently come across a huge stash of vintage Archie comics, which we shall be working our way through over the coming months, providing the first updates to this category for quite some time. We commence this week, with issues of Archie himself, Archie As Pureheart The Powerful (a wacky super-hero version of the eternal American teenager), Archie Giant Series and Archie’s Joke Book. Over 20 issues added to our catalogue, with more to follow as time allows. PICTURED: ARCHIE AS PUREHEART THE POWERFUL #2 GD £6 SOLD
*Spirit: All our ‘Characters’ categories are listed in our American/British section, since nearly all of them are published in US & UK editions. The Spirit, being all US, is an exception. Three new entries this week. From Fiction House, #5 (and final) of their series from 1954, an all-Eisner issue including cover; and from 1966/67, both of the Harvey giant issues, where a small amount of new material augmented re-coloured reprints of classic strips from the Spirit sections of yesteryear – and given that the original Spirit stories ran an average of 6-8 pages, that’s a lot of reading! IN THIS UPDATE: SPIRIT (Fiction House) #5 FA/GD £40 (PICTURED)Covers detached, but otherwise decent copy. SPIRIT (Harvey) #1 GD/VG £10 SOLD #2 VG £11.50 SOLD
*Vintage UK/Australian Reprints Of US Material: Perhaps often overlooked in the annals of UK horror reprints (probably because these weren’t published until the 1960s), it should not be forgotten that Len Miller’s Mystic, Spellbound and Voodoo reprinted quite a bit of Atlas Pre-Code horror stories (as well as Post Code and pre-hero Marvel Big Panty Monsters, and work from many other publishers as well). A treasure trove of delights await within these volumes, including plenty of work by Kirby and Ditko. Star of the show is the one-off Mystic Bumper Book, an oversized (21cm x 27cm) tome, with stiff covers and an annual’s worth of pages. IN THIS UPDATE: MYSTIC #25 VG/FN £18.50 MYSTIC BUMPER BOOK VG £30 (PICTURED) Stiff covers, T&P stamp, minor cover creasing. SOLD SPELLBOUND #61 VG/FN £16 VOODOO #1 GD/VG £30Printing defect affects one panel on either side of one page. VOODOO #7 FN £20
*Girls’ Comics: in 1978, when the spooky title Spellbound folded after 69 issues, it was merged into the long-running Debbie with issue #258, and the title for a while was known as Debbie and Spellbound. Something of the atmosphere and features of Spellbound were carried across with supernatural stories, but most notably the stars of Spellbound, the Supercats, moved across for more space-faring super-heroine adventures (and chances to join the Supercats club!). Our heroines stayed put until issue #272, where they finally bowed out. We have the complete Supercats in Debbie & Spellbound new in this week; please see our catalogue for details. PICTURED: DEBBIE (& SPELLBOUND) #258 GD £2.50 1st Debbie and Spellbound; 1st Supercats in title. Small central spine split.
*Pulp Fiction: Most of our entries in this category are science-fiction related, but of course pulps covered a wide range of genres, and this week we have two war/adventure examples. Both these issues are UK versions of American editions, and as such it’s a little difficult to get precise information on them, although we believe them to be from the 1940s. Certainly the American originals are from that decade, and were famous titles with long runs. Both feature evocative painted covers and stunning interior artwork in classic pulp black and white. PICTURED: BOTH SOLD G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES UK FEBRUARY 1944 VG £25
War-time aviation adventure OPERATOR #5 UK1940S? GD £25
Secret Service Pulp Adventure with great art
*Children’s Books: We’re continuing to introduce the new layout for our books categories, with an image for each book. This week, we return to our Children’s Books category and the adventures of Billy Bunter. First appearing in the Magnet #1 (1908), Billy Bunter was originally a minor character in the stories of Greyfriars School, but as time went on and the stories grew in popularity, author Frank Richards (Charles Hamilton) realised the comic potential of his most famous creation, so much so that after the Magnet ceased publication in 1940, Bunter was the starring figure in his own series of novels from 1947 to 1967. Our stock comprises mainly Hardback novels, a mix of originals, all with dust jackets, including some first editions, and the 1990s faithful facsimiles produced by Hawk Books. A second relisting update will follow soon. The ‘Fat Owl Of The Remove’ has now passed into legendary status as an icon of English literature, so here’s your chance to get acquainted with his antics. Yarooh! PICTURED: ALL BY FRANK RICHARDS (More complete information in our catalogue) BILLY BUNTER #1: BILLY BUNTER OF GREYFRIARS SCHOOL Hawk 1991 UK HC VF £12 BILLY BUNTER #4: BILLY BUNTER IN BRAZIL Hawk 1992 UK HC FN £8 BILLY BUNTER #6: BILLY BUNTER’S BENEFIT Cassell 1960 3rd UK HC GD/VG £20 BILLY BUNTER #13: BILLY BUNTER’S FIRST CASE Cassell 1957 2nd UK HC FN £20 BILLY BUNTER #15: BUNTER DOES HIS BEST Hawk 1991 UK HC NM £10 BILLY BUNTER #16: BILLY BUNTER’S DOUBLE Cassell 1956 3rd UK HC FN £25
*Mad Books: This week, reinforcements for our Mad Books category, celebrating those fondly remembered paperback books featuring the best of Mad. Wit, sarcasm, parody and irony never go out of style. Six volumes new in as follows: PICTURED: GOOD ‘N’ MAD Signet 3rd US PB GD/VG £4 SOLD MAD AT YOU Warner 1975 1st US PB GD £3 SOLD A MAD LOOK AT OLD MOVIES Signet 7th US PB VG/FN £4 SOLD MAD POWER Signet 1970 1st US PB GD £4SOLD THE RETURN OF A MAD LOOK AT OLD MOVIES Sognet 1970 1st US PB VG/FN £4 SOLD THE VINTAGE MAD Warner 1976 1st US PB VG/FN £4
*DC: A real gem from the Bute Collection this week. Dick Sprang is my favourite Batman artiist; his angular style epitomises the Batman of the 40s and 50s, and he is omnipresent in Batman #23 from 1944, where he contributes the cover and all Batman stories (the Alfred story is by Jerry Robinson). The classic chess cover shows the Caped Crusaders cornering the Joker’s chess piece in an icomic scene. In the lead story, Batman and Robim encounter the Joker in The Upside Down Crimes; the middle story is Damsel In Distress and the end story is Pelt Plunderers (a Police Division story where Batman & Robin team up with the Mounties). This is a copy with amateur restoration and is priced as such, with an Apparent grade assigned. The spine is securely taped with clear magic tape, which is partially off at the centre with a small scuff mark. Small pieces of tape internally reiniforce the staples and seal a small tear at the right edge. Beneath the spine tape, there are tears which look as if they may have been colour touched (minor). There is a central vertical subscription crease which only breaks colour above the logo and a very thin white line (which looks more like a printing defect than a crease) extending from Robin’s head to the right edge. Corners are blunted and the back cover has small grubby patches. Tape repairs make it difficult to ascertain the status of the staples at spine, but they are firm at centrefold and the pages are a flexible cream with minor edge tanning. For all that, the copy presents well and represents an opportunity to acquire an iconic Joker cover Batman at a very reasonable price. High resolution images are available on request. PICTURED: BATMAN #23 App GD £500 SOLD
*DC: Having quite startlingly revitalised the moribund Jimmy Olsen title with #133, writer/artist Jack Kirby took it up a notch by introducing Darkseid, the fiendish ruler of the hell-world Apokolips, in the very next issue #134. It was only a fleeting cameo – Darkseid’s image flashes up on a monitor screen while Facetiming with Morgan Edge – but it’s nevertheless the first appearance of the villainous fulcrum of the entire Fourth World Saga, and as such is in high demand. 1st Darkseid cameo; tight, flat high grade copy, pence stamped with great cover colour and gloss (Neal Adams cover), very minor edge and corner wear and lovely off white pages. It’s one of those issues where the cover is printed slightly off centre, so the edge of the image goes over the spine, but this doesn’t spoil it one bit. PICTURED: JIMMY OLSEN #134 VF p £180 SOLD
*DC: Tommy Tomorrow was a colonel in the 21st Century Interplanetary police force the Planeteers. He first appeared in Real Fact Comics #6 (1647) and after several appearances there, became a regular back-up feature in first Action Comics and then World’s Finest comics from the late 1940s until the early 1960s. He then graduated to his own try-out series in Showcase 1962-63, the series that DC used to audition characters for their own titles. Despite a respectable five issue (non-consecutive) sojourn there, he didn’t catch on enough to get his own title. He continues to pop up in the DCU, but those Showcase issues probably represent the best of Tommy, scripted by Arnold Drake and drawn by Lee Elias, with an inventive array of aliens and outer space adventure. All here in very decent mid-grades. IN THIS UPDATE: SHOWCASE #41 FN £30 (PICTURED) Origin story. #42 VG/FN £25 #44 FN- £25 #46 VG/FN £18.25 SOLD #47 FN- £20
*DC: I suspect that when DC announced a new series called ‘The New Teen Titans’, comicdom assembled was underwhelmed. Little did we realise that, in revamping this formerly moribund franchise, Marv Wolfman and George Perez would produce one of the finest comics of the 1980s, with intelligent story-telling and supreme art. Respectful of what had gone before, and building on it into a new mythos for these characters, old and new. We have a nice run of cents copies new in from #3 to #32 plus the first Annual. Highly recommended.
*Marvel: A Special Once-In-A-Lifetime Issue’, the cover of this one-shot boasted, and its unique position is simply a result of a scheduling tangle which arose when Marvel was finally allowed by its distributors to increase its range of titles. The Hulk took over the numbering of Tales to Astonish and Captain America the numbering of Tales of Suspense, but that left ‘orphaned’ chapters of the Iron Man and Sub-Mariner serials languishing, so they were used in this oddball one-off so that both Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner could start off their #1 issues with clear storylines. Nevertheless is has found ‘fame’ in recent years as a Marvel #1! Joyfully, both strips were pencilled by the superb Gene Colan. This is an above average cents copy, clean & bright, sound firmly-attached staples, good cover colour and minimal edge & corner wear, apart from some creasing across a small bottom right corner of the cover. One of the easiest Silver Age Marvel titles to complete – buy one and you’ve got the set! PICTURED: IRON MAN & THE SUB-MARINER #1 VG/FN £90 SOLD
*Marvel: If you’re looking for really nice copies of Amazing Spider-Man for your collection, then look no further than the Totally Amazing Spider-Man Collection. All high grade; even the few that fall below VF (and most are above) are really good-looking copies – no duds here, and nearly all cents copies. Amazing Spider-Man #88-90 featured a trilogy of peril for the webslinger as he came up against Doctor Octopus for the umpteenth time, plus the final fate of a beloved member of Spidey’s supporting cast. PICTURED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #88 VF £80 Glossy, flat, lustrous, white to off-white pages, firm staples, sharp corners; just very minor reading and handling wear. #89 VF £100 Glossy, flat, lustrous, white to off-white pages, firm staples, sharp corners; just very slight crease towards base of spine (not breaking colour) #90 VF £100 Glossy, flat, lustrous, white to off-white pages, firm staples, sharp corners; just tiny amounts of reading wear at staple areas.
*Marvel: From the Good Doctor Collection this week: following the debut of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD in #135, Strange Tales was a brilliant title, with the super-spy scientific secret agent trope of SHIELD contrasting with the mystic arts of Dr Strange for a real go-go psychedelic extravaganza. Issues #136-140 concluded the first encounter with Hydra begun in #135, while Dr Strange faced the threat of Dormammu in Ditko’s last great epic for his co-creation. And in #138, Marvel’s own Good Doctor encountered Eternity for the first time, possibly Ditko’s most visually wondrous character. IN THIS UPDATE: STRANGE TALES #136 VG+ £25 #137 VG- £11.50 SOLD #138 FN £70 (PICTURED) 1st Eternity #139 FN- £20.25 #140 FN+ £28
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: Lorna started life as the Jungle Queen, before she was later demoted to the Jungle Girl. You can read my thoughts on my favourite jungle girl in my lockdown article here. The Bute Collection offers us issues #2 and #3 this week, in fairly low grade. PICTURED: LORNA THE JUNGLE QUEEN #2 FA+ £20 Off both staples. Cover art by Carl Burgos. #3 GD+ £32Sturdy enough, buit edge wear and corner blunting. Cover art by Carl Burgos or Sol Brodsky.
*Horror/Mystery 1960-1980s: Adventures Into The Unknown from ACG was the earliest ongoing horror title, starting in 1947. It’s the Silver Age incarnation that concerns us here, when the horror of pre-code had given way to the more whimsical fantasy/mysteries for which ACG became known in the 1960s. As the run drew to a close, recurring super-hero characters started to appear, such as Nemesis in the last two examples featured here. IN THIS UPDATE: ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN ALL SOLD 131 VG+ p £6.75 139 VG/FN p £7.50 140 VG p £6 141 VG p £6 155 VG/FN p £7.50 (PICTURED) 166 FN/VF p £12.50
*Modern Reprints: We draw your attention to a few Marvel high quality facsimiles published by them a few years ago and very faithful to the originals. These have now become collectable in their own right and all our copies are in unread, virtually Mint condition, as from the distributor. As well as those shown below, others (including DC titles) may be found in this category in our catalogue. PICTURED: HULK #1 NM £9 HULK #180 NM £8 HULK #182 NM NM £4 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #252 NM £4 STAR WARS #1 NM £10
*Mad: The original American Mad magazines turn up far less frequently over here than the British versions which followed, so we’re particularly pleased this week to have 20 of them new in from 1957-1962, between #36 and #70. Groove along with Alfred E Neuman for this brand of humour, sarcasm, parody and irony in the premier publication for this sort of lunacy. Full details as always in our catalogue. PICTURED: MAD #36 GD/VG £22 #37 VG £29
*Alan Class Reprints: A chunky update to our regular stock of Alan Class this week with 16 pre and post decimal issues of his joint earliest title, Secrets Of The Unknown, between #32 and #156. Please note these are not file copies and are uncertificated, and can be found in the regular stock part of our catalogue listing. Plenty of Marvel content within, including the Fantastic Four and Captain America. PICTURED: SECRETS OF THE UNKNOWN #40 GD £5.50 #63 VG+ £14.50 (includes Impossible Man debut from Fantastic Four #11)
*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 for one price. The #5 is a solid mid-grade VG; the #6 is similar, but with a small upper spine split. PICTURED: FANTASTIC #5 VG and #6 GD/VG £30 SOLD
*Girls’ Picture Libraries: A nice addition to our stocks of Bunty Picture Library, the done-in-one series at great value. Our 24 new additions, all Good to Fine grades, run between #146 and #306 and are sure to find eager recipients. Full details as always in our catalogue. PICTURED: BUNTY PICTURE LIBRARY #297 FN £3
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: We’re continuing to introduce the new layout for our books categories, with an image for each book. This week, we return to our Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror category and the first part of our listing for the works of Arthur C Clarke. Clarke was a scientist as well as a writer and is known as a prophet of science fact, in particular due to his predictions of communication satellites. Most famous of course for 2001: A Space Odyssey, you would expect to find a fair amount of hard science in his works – what you might not expect is the engaging and entertaining style in which he wrote. His novels are real page turners that you don’t want to put down. PICTURED: CHILDHOOD’S END Pan 1961 2nd UK PB VG £10
(2 later editions also available – see our catalogue) THE CITY AND THE STARS Corgi 1970 4th UK PB VG £3
EARTHLIGHT Pan 1963 2nd UK PB VG/FN £4 (later edition also available – see our catalogue) A FALL OF MOONDUST Pan 1964 1st UK PB VG £4 IMPERIAL EARTH Pan 1977 7th UK PB VG £4
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Penguin Green Crime, with its distinctive green and creamy/white striped livery, is probably the most famous crime series ever published. We have five editions new in this week, four originals and one from the 1980s classic re-run series (The Hollow Man). Two from John Dickson Carr (the master of the locked room mystery with his most celebrated work, The Hollow Man plus Patrick Butler for the Defence, a tense, legal mystery. Agatha Christie contributes Murder In The News, featuring four clever Poirot mysteries, plus her most quirky and unorthodox operator in Parker Pyne Investigates. Finally, there’s a collection of the most famous detective of them all, with eleven mysteries in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes, including The Final Problem with the showdown between Holmes and Moriarty. PICTURED: ALL SOLD JOHN DICKSON CARR: THE HOLLOW MAN Penguin 1986 UK PB GD/VG £6 JOHN DICKSON CARR: PATRICK BUTLER FOR THE DEFENCE Penguin 1959 1st UK PB VG/FN £5 AGATHA CHRISTIE: MURDER IN THE MEWS AND OTHER STORIES Penguin 1961 1st UK PB VG £8 AGATHA CHRISTIE: PARKER PYNE INVESTIGATES Penguin 1953 1st UK PB GD/VG £5 ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE: MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES Penguin 1950 1st UK PB VG £5
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: We’re continuing to introduce the new layout for our books categories, with an image for each book. This week, we return to our TV/Film Tie-Ins Category. There was only one novelisation of the cult Sapphire & Steel TV series, but it was written by the show’s creator (who also wrote all the stories bar one) P J Hammond. S&S is a bit Marmitey — you either love it or hate it. Some call it slow, ploddy and repetitive. I think of it as eerie, moody and atmospheric, totally unique and wonderful and it left me wanting more. The novel is uncommon.
In Memoriam: David McCullum 1933-2023. PICTURED: SAPPHIRE AND STEEL by PETER J HAMMOND Star 1979 1st UK PB VG £25
Lovely condition copy with small dink at base of spine.
*DC: In the wake of the Justice League/Justice Society crossovers, interest was revived in the 1940s heroes of the JSA, and one of several try-outs was the Spectre, a literal ghost who wandered the Earth, battling evil with mighty supernatural abilities. Brought back for a solo try-out in Showcase #60, by the superb team of Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson, the Ghostly Guardian’s powers were elevated to almost godlike levels, to the point where the writer must have strained to come up with credible opposition for him – but the epic clashes between mystical and demonic forces pioneered ‘cosmic’ themes in comics. Two more Showcase issues followed (#61 and #64) before the Spectre launched his own series shortly afterwards. PICTURED: SHOWCASE #60 VG+ £75 Nice copy with minor spine and handling wear; small creases near spine just break colour. Good staples and off-white pages. Vivid colour. #61 FN+ £45 Just minor handling wear and spine ticks; short crease towards base of spine does not break colour. Good staples and off-white pages. Vivid colour. SOLD #64 VG p £35 Decent copy with spine and edge wear, short colour-breaking vertical crease bottom third cover centre. Good staples and off-white pages. Vivid colour.
*DC: It will come as no surprise to regular followers that I really rate the 1960s Hawkman comics as among the best ever. Science fiction super-hero adventures with the loving relationship of Katar (Hawkman) and Shayera (Hawkgirl) at its heart. Clever stories by the superb Gardner Fox and beautiful art by the unexcelled Murphy Anderson, both masters of their craft. Issues #15-18 and #20-21 (the last issue by this creative team) new in this week as follows: IN THIS UPDATE: HAWKMAN ALL SOLD #15 GD+ p £5.75 #16 VG/FN p £9.25 #17 VG/FN p £9.25 #18 VG p £7.50 (PICTURED) #20 FA p £2.25 Book shop stamps #21 VG+ p £8.50
*Marvel: A landmark from the Good Doctor Collection. Strange Tales #110, already the showcase title for the Fantastic Four’s junior member, the Human Torch, presented a mystery back-up strip starring a supernatural champion named Doctor Strange. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, already the creators of hugely popular twist-ending tales in a plethora of Big Panty Monster comics, turned their talents to an eldritch hero, and Doctor Strange was born! Essentially a retread of Marvel’s previous Dr. Droom character, where this Doctor had the advantage was in Steve Ditko’s powerful and gripping artwork, quite unlike anything else in the field, which catapulted the good Doctor from an interesting novelty into the Marvel Universe’s Master of the Mystic Arts. Unheralded on the cover – honestly, is anyone really bothered if Paste-Pot Pete’s Invincible Paste-Gun does finish the Torch off? – the stylish back-up story introduced the Sorceror Supreme to the Marvel Universe, commencing a lengthy career which has crossed over very successfully into the MCU. Here he faces the recurring threat of Nightmare for obviously the first time. Although possessing decent off-white to cream page quality, this is a low grade cents copy, with the front and back covers, mostly held together by tape on the inside, separated from the contents. The inside tape also extends slightly to seal some small tears near the spine. There’s heavy wear with colour breaking creases round all the edges, although the central image remains unmarked. The copy is a bit limp and tired, although the staples, which hold the contents well (if not the covers) are strong. First appearances of Marvel’s main characters are now usually out of reach for many collectors, but here’s a copy at a relatively budget price. High resolution images are available on request. PICTURED: STRANGE TALES #110 PR/FA £600SOLD
*Marvel: From the Bute Collection, Fantastic Four #16 features the villainy of Doctor Doom and guest-stars Ant-Man in one of the earliest Marvel crossovers, back when such things were still a special event. Ant-Man aids Marvel’s First Family in their adventures in the mysterious micro-world of Doctor Doom. Lee & Kirby are at the height of their powers on this early issue. This is a presentable lower-graded pence printed copy with a good cover image. Edge wear, small tears and a small 2 cm spine split at base. Tiny chips out at some edges, with a few spidery colour-breaking creases at right edge and bottom right corner. Staples are a little loose at spine, but are firmly attached there and at centre. Page quality is a pretty decent off-white to cream. PICTURED: FANTASTIC FOUR #16 GD p £130
*Marvel: Three #1 issues (and two #2s) for some of Marvel’s mystic stars from the 1970s this week. Marvel Chillers #1 features the debut of Modred the Mystic, sorceror from the past; Marvel Presents #1 features the first appearance of Bloodstone, the eternal (small ‘e’) monster hunter; and the Son Of Satan got his own series following successful try-outs elsewhere. All three went on to play significant roles in the MU. IN THIS UPDATE: MARVEL CHILLERS #1 VF- p £30 (PICTURED) #2 VG+ p £3.25 MARVEL PRESENTS #1 VF/NM p £48 (PICTURED) #2 FN/VF p £6 SON OF SATAN #1 VF p £40 (PICTURED) SOLD
*Marvel: Lots of Avengers from the Good Doctor Collection this week, 17 issues between #58 and #88. Includes the origin of the Vision in #58, the first Lethal Legion in #78 and the first Red Wolf in #80. Please see our catalogue for full details. PICTURED: AVENGERS #58 GD/VG £40 5 cm upper spine split, otherwise nice copy. SOLD
*Marvel: The latest update in our Tabloid Headlines feature has two more Marvel Treasury Editions, #6 and #7, starring Dr Strange and the Avengers respectively. Dr Strange features many classic stories by all the famous Dr Strange artists from the Silver Age. The Avengers features four fabulous issues drawn by John Buscema at the height of his powers: the origin of the Vision, the Wedding of Hank and Jan, the Lady Liberators and more. PICTURED: MARVEL TREASURY EDITION BOTH SOLD #6 VG+ p £10 #7 VF- p £20
*Miscellaneous 1940-1959: From 1951, Lars of Mars’ unique selling point was positively postmodern: the greatest hero of Mars, he came to Earth to prevent nuclear war, and while fighting crime as ‘Lars of Mars’, he operated under the secret identity of… an Earth actor who played ‘Lars of Mars’ on a popular TV series! My, how very metatextual! With art by the superlative Murphy Anderson, these stories are huge fun, as Lars tries to disabuse his co-worker at the TV station, Lois – er, June – from her conviction that the TV Lars and the heroic Lars are one and the same. Similarities between this and the Silver Age Superman are doubtless not coincidental, as Supes’ co-creator Jerry Siegel is believed to have scripted the series. Backed up by tales of ‘Ken Brady, Rocket Pilot’ drawn by a fledgling Gene Colan, and featuring gorgeous painted covers by Allen Anderson, these are a delight. For all their charm, however, Lars’ adventures didn’t catch a wider audience, and these two issues (inexplicably numbered #10 and #11) are all that there was. Issue #10, first in the series, is structurally sound, with great colour, good staples and nice pages; there is some light vertical cover creasing, breaking colour. #11, has great colour, good staples and nice pages, with some possible spine repair in the staple area, but still very nice. Very much in the vein of Captain Comet and Adam Strange from DC. PICTURED: LARS OF MARS BOTH SOLD #10 GD+ £100 #11 GD+ £100
*Horror 1940-1959: Also from the Bute Collection and from 1953 and Story publishers, issue #14 of Mysterious Adventures, presenting a good standard of chills and thrills in the Pre-Code vein. No particularly distinguished artists, but a nicely competent batch of gruesome story-telling. This is quite a reasonable lower-graded copy; the cover is a little worn and creased around the edges, with a minor tear at top edge, a small residual piece of tape at top spine, more on back cover and a small piece of tape on inside back cover. Staples are firm if a tiny bit rusty and pages are a good quality off-white to cream. Prospective buyers should note that a small corner is torn off one story page; although it affects panels on pages 6 & 7 of the lead story, it doesn’t intrude on the story in any meaningful way. PICTURED: MYSTERIOUS ADVENTURES #14 GD- £130
*Boys’ Adventure & War Picture Libraries: By the time we get to the number range covered in this update (#21-49), Super- Detective Library had begun to feature science fiction mysteries alongside more conventional detectives. Most famous sci-fi recurring character was Rick Random, who debuted in #37 and went on to appear in dozens more issues, most famously portrayed by writer Harry Harrison and artist Ron Turner. But there was still room for the more traditional fare in this title for such as the Saint, Lesley Shane and many others. 14 new issues added this update; please refer to our catalogue for full details. PICTURED: SUPER-DETECTIVE LIBRARY 23 FA £10 Kidnapped by Martians. 29 GD £10 The Planet Of Peril 44 GD/VG £15 Rick Random: Kidnappers From Space
*Humour Comics: A small update to our stocks of Beezer & Topper, the over-sized favourites from D C Thomson, with over a dozen issues each newly listed from 1961, and 1968-1970. PICTURED: BEEZER #724 VG £4 TOPPER #826 VG £4
*Girls’ Comics: Once more, the twilight curtain parts… to reveal the first three issues of the cult girls’ weekly Misty, the horror/mystery anthology which redefined the expectations of girls’ comics during its brief span. Our sloe-eyed hostess was created by artist Shirley Bellwood, who illustrated many ethereal covers and frontispieces and based Misty’s appearance on herself. Sadly, no free gifts present with these copies. PICTURED: MISTY #1 GD £40 Structurally decent but with scribble in top cover margin and a blob of ink above the logo. Usual scuff marks where Free Gift removed. #2 FN £40 Really nice clean copy with just the usual scuff marks where Free Gift removed. #3 FN £40 Really nice clean copy with no scuff marks.