Latest Phil-Comics auction offers 2000AD Prog One with Space Spinner, rare custom comics from the 1950s and more

Packed as usual with some great vintage British comics, the latest auction from eBay auctioneer Phil-Comics, which closes on Sunday (18th April 2021) includes the offer of some the Dolphin Monthly Comic Magazine for Young People, published between 1958 1960 – that just might include a strip by a young Ron Embleton, best known, perhaps, for his work on TV Century 21 and Look and Learn.

Dolphin Monthly Comic Magazine for Young People

The auction also features issues of Action, Eagle, Dan Dare annuals and other books, plenty of Beano comics, some tittles offered with free gifts, including a copy of 2000AD Prog One, complete with Space Spinner. (Bidding on that currently stands at £311).

The issues of Dolphin Monthly Comic Magazine for Young People on offer contain comic strips, stories, puzzles and more, “specially produced for the young friends of Foster and Scott, Letchworth”, but the title was actually a custom magazine produced by London-based Nine-Star Press Ltd., created for a range of retailers across the UK, which were then localised by the participating store. It was printed by A.M. Archer & Co. Ltd, Slough.

(Two copies currently on offer on the AbeBooks web site for £40 are stamped with the branding of Macclesfield-based retailer H.S. Hodgson).

Dolphin also had a club you could join.

Dolphin is another of many “custom comics” regularly highlighted by downthetubes contributor Richard Sheaf on his excellent, marvellously eclectic Boys Adventure Comics Blog, and the dedicated writer suggests one of the title’s strips, “Roman Britain”, may be by Ron.

Dolphin Monthly Comic Magazine for Young People - Roman Britain Strip

Foster and Scott were a menswear and boys school uniform shop in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, which closed in 1993, located where the town’s community museum now stands in The Arcade. The magazines came from a house clearance in St Albans and the volume numbers of issues in the Phil-Comics lot suggest Dolphin Monthly Comic Magazine for Young People the title launched in the mid-1950s, the earliest edition on offer, from Volume Four, published in 1958.

Ron Embleton began working in comics professionally at an early age, his known credits in the 1959s including work on titles such as Mickey Mouse Weekly drawing “Rogers’ Rangers” (1953), “Strongbow the Mighty” (1954–57) and “Don o’ the Drums” (1957). and “Wulf the Briton” for Express Weekly.

Whoever drew the strip, the lot has attracted numerous bids, currently standing at £99, reflecting the scarce nature of the magazines on offer.

Does anyone have further information, or know who “Victor” who drew the back page “Sidney” strip, was? Please do comment or get in touch.

Dolphin Monthly Comic Magazine for Young People - Sidney

Like other lots in this Phil-Comics auction, bidding closes on Synday (18th April 2021). Here’s a selection of other items on offer…

  • 2000AD Prog One, complete with Space Spinner
  • Action 1 Flyer (1976)
  • Battle Picture Weekly No. 3, cover dated 22nd March 1975 - with free gift
  • Beezer Book 1964
  • Bullet No. 3, cover dated 28th February 1976, with free gift, unmade model planes
  • Bullet No.32, cover dated 18th September 1976, with free "Pocket Printer" gift
  • Buzz No. 1 Retailer promotional flyer (1973)
  • Cherry Ames Girls Annual 1964. Cherry Ames is the central character in a series of 27 mystery novels with hospital settings published by Grosset & Dunlap between 1943 and 1968
  • Cracker issue 2 with Free Gift, cover dated 25th January 1975
  • Dial 999 PC Thirteen Investigates Book
  • Fireball XL5 Picture Puzzle Book 1963
  • Hotspur, Skipper, Rover, Wizard Free Gift from the 1930s - the "Punishment Book"
  • Christmas Shiver and Shake, cover dated 29th December 1973
  • Skipper storypaper No. 27, cover dated 7th March 1931
  • Spaceship Away Fanzine Issues 1 - 31 (2003 - 2013)
  • Super Detective Library No. 11 featuring The Saint (1950s)
  • Transformers comic Free Gift Poster 1985

There’s also a fun “Clumsy Colin” page by Robert Nixon on offer, that might appeal to crossword lovers, as well as Buster readers, where the strip first appeared in the 1980s.

Measuring 45 x 36cm, the title logo of the strip “Clumsy Colin” is missing and has caused some wear to the paper where it was once glued down.

Run by Phil Shrimpton, Phil Comics specialises in vintage comics and related items such as annuals, holiday specials, free gifts and original artwork.

Holding monthly eBay auctions, often with 500+ listings, they aim to bring a diverse array of items – and are always on the lookout for vintage comic collections, either to buy or auction on commission.

• Bidding on this auction closes on Sunday 18th April 2021

• Check out the latest auction items at ebay.co.uk/str/philcomics

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UPDATE – 19th April 2021

• The Dolphin magazines sold for £99
• The 2000AD Prog One with Space spinner sold for £359 – a record price for Phil-Comics for a first issue of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic with free gift
The “Clumsy Colin” page by Robert Nixon is still on auction

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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.



Categories: Auction News, British Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Other Worlds

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2 replies

  1. I didn’t know there was a Foster and Scott in Letchworth, but we had one in my hometown, Hitchin. I learnt this when David Orton’s vacated that premises and their sign was removed, revealing a shadow of the old F&S logo on the wood panelling underneath – immediately photographed, as I’ve been taking images of changes in the town and surroundings since the early 1980s. You learn something new… 😉

    • The title is interesting, clearly one created for repurposing by various retailers. Was this the only such title of its kind, or were there others like it, I wonder, in addition to other branded custom comics Richard Sheaf has featured on his Boys Adventure Comics blog?

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