We’re used to seeing British comic rarities crop up on sites like ComPal and Heritage Auctions, but it’s rare one as valuable as The Dandy Comic Number Two, complete with a slightly damaged but working jumping frog gift, crop up on eBay, nestling among lots from a buyer that include wallets and games.
As you can imagine, it’s attracting plenty of interest, with bids on the lot lot at over £6400 this morning.
It’s hardly surprising it’s attracting such interest, despite the condition of both comic and gift, because only four copies are known to exist. (Although collectors can be fussy – back in 2006, a copy in worn, grubby condition was heavily bid to just £313 on the the ComPal web site).
Just as a guide to how far the bidding might go back in 2004, the ComPal web site sold a copy of The Dandy Comic No 1 with its original free gift and promotional flyer for £20,350 (constituting a winning bid of £18,500 plus 10% buyer’s premium). Earlier this year, a Dandy Monster Comic book, published during World War Two, fetched a whopping £2850.
The first issue of the weekly The Dandy was printed in 1937, making it the world’s third-longest running comic, after America’s Detective Comics (cover dated March 1937) and Italy’s Il Giornalino (cover dated 1st October 1924). The first issue, under the name The Dandy Comic, was cover dated 4th December 1937 and was notable as being one the first British comics to use speech balloons instead of captions under the frame.
It was published weekly until August 1941, when wartime paper shortages forced the comic to change to fortnightly with the issue cover dated 6th September, alternating with The Beano. – paper rationing being one reason these comics are so rare, as people donated paper, including comics, to the war effort. Paper rationing continued well after the war, and the comic didn’t return to weekly publication until July 1949. From the issue cover dated 17th July 1950, the title changed its name to The Dandy.
This British comics rarity be found here on eBay, so if you have a five figure sum burning a hole in your pocket, you’ve got until 8.00pm on Sunday evening to think of something better to do with it…
UPDATE: Final bid was for £7900.
With thanks to Richard Sheaf for the spot