Britain’s Compal November Comic Book Auctions comics and comic art catalogue has just gone live, showcasing the first part of the Eric Parker archive, an artist who drew Sexton Blake Library covers for over 30 years through to the 1950s. The auction also includes art by Frank Bellamy, Joe Colquhoun, George and Terry Wakefield – and more.
Eric Parker, who also illustrated The Thriller, Cowboy Picture Library, Comet, Sun, Knockout, Ranger and The Soldier, worked for Military Intelligence during World War One – and a taste of his artwork, including a wonderful Sexton Blake cover where he disguised his signature in the shape of a car’s number plate, is at lots 64-68.
Sexton Blake: The Crimes at Fenton Towers original cover artwork by Eric Parker for Sexton Blake Library No 243 (1951). Parker clandestinely initialled his work via the car’s number plate ‘ERP 51’ adding the year. Bright poster colour on board. 14 x 19 ins
Original artwork drawn and signed by Eric Parker showing a commando blowing up a German machine-gun nest. Used as a chapter illustration for The Ranger (1960s). From the Eric Parker Archive of original art. Black and white wash on board. 17 x 15 ins
The Soldier official magazine of the British Army original preparatory cover artwork by Eric Parker (1950s) with three WWI mounted regiment original illustrations signed and dated 1918 (dog-eared at the edges). Some of Parker’s earliest work for British Military Intelligence. From the Eric Parker Archive of original art. Watercolour on board, ink and wash on paper. 11 x 9 ins (Four artworks)
Further artworks on offer include a 1937 Coronation story of the newspaper strip Jane signed by Norman Pett, “Heros the Spartan” and Garth by Frank Bellamy, a 1953 Beano cover by Dudley Watkins, “Charley’s War” by Joe Colquhoun, the outlaw Reno Brothers by Denis McLoughlin and, over in the US section, a Sea Devils first appearance page from Showcase #27 by Russ Heath.
Jane original colour artwork, painted and signed by Norman Pett (1937) for the Coronation Day issue of the Daily Mirror 13 May 1937 This piece was later exhibited at the 1939 Birmingham Exhibition From the Bob Monkhouse archive
Heros The Spartan double-page original artwork (1962) painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for The Eagle Vol. 14, No 34, 1962. The Men of the Jackal’s screaming warriors attack Heros, Berbrix and their small band as the traitor, Guthrac, strikes… Bright Pelikan inks on board. 27 x 18 ins
Frank Bellamy art from the 1940s: two original charcoal pencil sketches, both signed in capitals ‘Frank A. Bellamy’, probably of his parents. 9 x 13 ins, 10 x 14 ins (Two artworks)
Garth: 3 original artworks (1971) by Frank Bellamy from the Daily Mirror 2nd/4th/14th August 1971. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. General George Armstrong Custer leads the US Seventh Cavalry with Garth as his Chief Scout in search of Sitting Bull. Indian ink on board. 20 x 18 ins (x3)
Terry-Thomas/Film Fun 7 original story strips for Film Fun (20 Nov and Dec 13 1960) by Terry Wakefield. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Terry’s in the reasonably Wild West before he saves the day on the Brisbane Belle. Indian ink on cartridge paper. 1 strip: 13 x 7 ins, 6 strips: 21 x 7 ins (7 artworks)
Charley’s War: Four original artworks by Joe Colquhoun from Battle-Action 269 (1979), forming a complete episode. The German ‘Judgement Troopers’ seize the British front line in October 1916 tying wounded British soldiers to the stake, exposing them to a counter attack which Charley Bourne and the Westshires ignore, charging headlong into the Boche flamethrowers… Indian ink on cartridge paper. 17 x 15 ins each (4)
George Formby original artwork in seven consecutive story panels by George Wakefield from Film Fun No 17, May 23 1942 From the Bob Monkhouse archive. George gets his future superstitions told by Little Gipsy Bella bringing mayhem to all who cross his path…
Comic Book Auctions are also offering a superb “Dan Dare” Eagle cover by Frank Hampson in aid of Home from Home, a charity who care for over 200 vulnerable children through a network of 36 small family homes across South Africa. The hope is that one day the orphans will either be re-united with their biological families, or failing that, Home from Home will continue to provide them with the best possible foundation to lead happy, successful lives. There will be no 19% buyer’s premium on this charity lot.
Dan Dare original front cover artwork (1959) drawn and painted by Frank Hampson for The Eagle Volume 10 No 24, 1959. Dan’s father had gone missing 30 years before and boarding his derelict ship, Galactic Pioneer, Dan enters the wreckage to find a body in a spacesuit… Bright watercolour on board. Eagle logo, story title and ‘Story so far’ word panels are laser colour copies. 20 x 16 ins.
Key comics include a rare complete year of Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday from 1899, The Dandy No 4, 6 and 8, The Beano No 6, 7, 11-14 and 21 (the first Christmas Number) and the very first Dandy-Beano Summer Special from 1963.
Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday (1899) 767-818
Dandy No 4 (Dec 25 1937) First Christmas issue
A rare Beano No 6 (1938)
Beano 300 (1946) Christmas Comic
Topper No 1 (1953) with 4-page No 1 Flyer; featuring Mickey The Monkey and Treasure Island by Dudley Watkins, Beryl The Peril by Davy Law
Dandy-Beano Summer Special (1963). The first DC Thomson publication to combine Beano and Dandy characters. Dennis the Menace, Desperate Dan, Biffo, Korky, General Jumbo, Minnie the Minx, Corporal Clott and Roger the Dodger – all present and incorrect!
One of the rarest Classics Illustrated is also on offer – The Argonauts No 163 – there was no US edition.
Classics Illustrated 163: The Argonauts (1950s) HRN 157 Only this scarce UK originated art edition was printed. There was no US edition
First issues of Topper, Gene Autry, Hornet, JAG, June, Mandy, Spellbound, POW!, SMASH! and WHAM! are also available to tempt you.
This auction’s US section offers early pulps Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, Dare-Devil Aces, Planet Stories and Science Fiction Quarterly.
The Golden Age includes early Batman, All-Flash, Flash and Sensation Comics, with a good collection of EC Horrors.
The Silver Age boasts a long run of Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers #1, Fantastic Four #1, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Journey Into Mystery, Silver Surfer and X-Men plus Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
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.