If you’re a fan of the comics inspired by the creations of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, then the latest Phil-Comics auction on eBay should be your next port of call, with a rare TV Century 21 Stingray Special, published in 1965, complete with free gift, on offer this week – and already attracting much interest.
Also on offer are both single issues of Lady Penelope and TV Century 21, and groups and single issues of the 1970s Countdown comic. Short-lived as a largely SF-driven title, in its first year the comic featured amazing “Doctor Who” strips drawn by Harry Linfield and others, along with a range of strips featuring “Thunderbirds”, “Stingray”, “UFO” and more.
While some continued after 58 weeks, publisher Polystyle decided to relaunch the comic under the title TV Action. The relaunch saw a shift in emphasis away from Gerry Anderson content, focusing on comic strip stories based on the then popular adventure TV series of the era, such as “The Persuaders”. While many of the new strips were beautifully drawn, it was a disappointment to fans of the title’s original format of the time.
Offering over 500 separate lots, including more copies of British comics complete with free gifts, and the final issue of Champion, too, dropped from the news stands back in March 1955 to make way for Tiger, that title’s impending arrival trumpeted inside the doomed comic, a two-page house advertisement noting the impending arrival of, among other things, “Roy of the Rovers”…
This auction also a features another page of “Clumsy Colin” with art by Robert Nixon from Buster, a character designed for KP Skips, initially drawn by David Mostyn, perhaps better known for his work on The Dandy. Hapless Colin first appeared in the issue of Buster cover dated 23rd June 1984, making a final appearance in the 1984 Christmas special, cover dated 29th December.
Fans of girls comics should also be interested in two pages of the Valentine strip “Ann and Pam” on offer, part of a longer story published in the Issue over dated 14th March 1964, which although offered as part of the Jim Baikie Collection, are not by Jim himself but almost certainly the work of Rab Hamilton, who drew various stories for Valentine, Marilyn, Roxy and Serenade. He became a regular in TV Century 21 with the serial “Secret Agent 21” (1965-69), that later became “Mr. Magnet”, and also drew strips for Lady Penelope.
Phil tells us Jim either collected, or was given, artwork from lots of different artists over the years and this is just one such gem.
There are more copies of a number of girls comics and magazines complete with original story scripts written by Valerie Harman, too, who passed away in August 2018. Harman had saved the original scripts she had sold to her publishers. Reportedly single her entire life, this did not diminish her vivid imagination for romance-inspired storytelling!
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 items in this auction begins to close on Sunday 9th May 2021
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My thanks to David Slinn for the updated credit for the “Pam and Ann” strip art, initially credited to Jim Baikie