2000AD Prog 204 (1981) Cover SNIP

Mike McMahon Judge Dredd art breaks ComPal’s sales record for 2000AD art

2000AD Prog 204 (1981) Judge Dredd 'King of the Streets' cover original artwork drawn and signed by Mike McMahon
2000AD Prog 204 (1981) Judge Dredd ‘King of the Streets’ cover original artwork drawn and signed by Mike McMahon

A seminal piece of 2000AD cover art by Mick McMahon featuring Judge Dredd sold for staggering £9600 in the latest ComPal auction.

As we noted in our preview of the auction, the art first appeared as the cover of 2000AD Prog 204 back in 1981, the sale set a new record for the London-based auction house.

But it wasn’t the only art to attract a large sale price. Compal has never sold a board of Frank Bellamy’s “Fraser of Africa” artwork before, a strip that featured in Eagle, and a gem from the Bob Monkhouse archive, estimated at £800-1000, rose above all expectations to a sell for £5800.

Fraser of Africa/Eagle original artwork (1960) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy from The Eagle Vol. 11: No 36. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. As part of his research, Bellamy had corresponded with a farmer in Kenya who had advised him on the wildlife he depicted and, ever the perfectionist, he used a limited palette of yellows and browns to capture the parched East African landscape. This page is Episode 5 of Bellamy's first Fraser of Africa story
Fraser of Africa/Eagle original artwork (1960) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy from The Eagle Vol. 11: No 36. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. As part of his research, Bellamy had corresponded with a farmer in Kenya who had advised him on the wildlife he depicted and, ever the perfectionist, he used a limited palette of yellows and browns to capture the parched East African landscape. This page is Episode 5 of Bellamy’s first Fraser of Africa story

Another star in Uncle Bob’s collection was a “Heros the Spartan” double page piece from the Eagle comic, also by Bellamy which went even further to £7,300.

Heros The Spartan double-page original artwork (1965) painted and signed by Frank Bellamy from The Eagle Vol. 16 No 29, 1965. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Heros and his renegade slave army counter a ferocious attack from the Berbers and Abdullah the Cruel until the Berber Chieftain, El Raschid, challenges Heros to a deadly duel...
Heros The Spartan double-page original artwork (1965) painted and signed by Frank Bellamy from The Eagle Vol. 16 No 29, 1965. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Heros and his renegade slave army counter a ferocious attack from the Berbers and Abdullah the Cruel until the Berber Chieftain, El Raschid, challenges Heros to a deadly duel…

“The provenance of a highly perceptive collector coupled with an artist’s work of the highest quality is truly unbeatable,” says Compal’s director, Malcolm Phillips.

Three Daily MirrorGarth” boards by Bellamy, also from the Bob Monkhouse Archive, sold for £1140, and a four pages of art by Joe Colquhoun from “Charley’s War” introducing readers to Blue, a French Foreign Legionnaire who recounts the horrors of the front line at Verdun, sold for £1520.

John Bolton’s original artwork for the back cover of Classic X-Men #14 drew strong interest and was finally knocked down for £1420.

Classic X-Men 14 (1987) Original back cover artwork of Princess Lilandra drawn and signed by John Bolton. With John Bolton headed and signed letter of provenance dated 1 December 1967 and Classic X-Men # 14.
Classic X-Men 14 (1987) Original back cover artwork of Princess Lilandra drawn and signed by John Bolton. With John Bolton headed and signed letter of provenance dated 1 December 1967 and Classic X-Men # 14.

Top sales prices for British comics in the latest auction included a Very Fine graded copy of Beano No 4, one of only a handful known to exist, which tipped the scales at £3300, and a Beano No 9 in the same high grade and a winning bid of £2800, sold to the same determined bidder.

Sexton Blake Libraries are almost impossible to find without those tell-tale rust spots on their covers but a complete year for 1939 showed none of these aberrations and the 48 booklets made a strong £620. Equally scarce, a group of booklets that included some TV Boardman Pocket Readers illustrated by Denis McLoughlin, and were snaffled away for £105

Someone definitely got a bargain, though, buying all 303 issues of Express Weekly/TV Express, offered in seven bound volumes, which sold £1280. A bargain, we think, considering they feature strips such as tarring “Wulf The Briton”, “Battleground”, “Biggles” and “Col. Pinto” by Ron Embleton, “SAS” by Graham Coton, “Jet Morgan” by Charles Chilton, “The Lone Ranger” by Mike Noble and “Gun Law” by Harry Bishop.

Express Weekly/T.V. Express (1956-1961) 74 (No 1) – 376. Compal offered the complete 303 issue run in seven bound volumes
Express Weekly/T.V. Express (1956-1961) 74 (No 1) – 376. Compal offered the complete 303 issue run in seven bound volumes

A good run of 1970s-80s first issue girls’ comics had all of their free gifts and the 24 examples took just over £10 each. As well as a jolly good read, a first-class investment as well.

The auction’s US section started with some pulps from the 1940s and 16 Astonishing Stories went for over £10 apiece. The sales included a complete 65 issue run of Startling Stories featured the brilliant cover art of Earle Bergey, along with Alex Schomburg’s first Science Fiction cover, so it was no surprise that a full bid of £740 won the day.

A copy of Amazing Spider-Man #3 had some Marvel edge chipping with corner creases, graded at [vg+], but garnered a healthy £940.

Regular downthetubes readers will recall we highlighted a lot featuring issues of Batmania, an unofficial fanzine for Batman fans, published in 1964 by Bill (Billjo) White in Columbia, Missouri. Bill sent his first issue to DC editor, Julius Schwartz, who adopted it and publicised the fanzine in Batman Comics #169.

Batmania US fanzine (1964-67) 1-16, 19, 23. Published in 1964 by Bill (Billjo) White in Columbia, Missouri, Batmania was produced for 'Batmanions' as the unofficial fanzine for Batman fans. He sent the first issue to DC editor, Julius Schwartz who adopted it and publicised the fanzine in Batman # 16
Batmania US fanzine (1964-67) 1-16, 19, 23. Published in 1964 by Bill (Billjo) White in Columbia, Missouri, Batmania was produced for ‘Batmanions’ as the unofficial fanzine for Batman fans. He sent the first issue to DC editor, Julius Schwartz who adopted it and publicised the fanzine in Batman # 16

White’s detailed knowledge of the Caped Crusader included articles entitled “Batman before Robin” and “The Evolution of the Batmobile” and his print run soon swelled to over a thousand issues. No mean artist himself, Billy J White became an important part of the ongoing Batman legend, and one of Compal’s regular Batman collectors was absolutely delighted to buy the eighteen issue run for £520. No mean price for a comics zine!

For more Market Reports and to sign up for the next auction announcement visit www.compalcomics.com Comic Book Auctions site

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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