First issue feast, Odhams titles and girls comics among ComPal auction’s latest offerings

1970s  British Comics - Number Ones
A wide selection of British comic Number Ones is on offer in the latest ComPal comic auction.

 

 

ComPal has just announced the lots for its May/June comics auction, which features what are likely to be some sought after lots of British comic first editions, artwork from The Eagle, 2000AD and TV Century 21 – and plenty of girls comics bundles, including a large number of DC Thomson’s Bunty comic.

 

Bunty Comics from 1968
Bunty comics from 1968.

 

The auction’s British section runs the whole gamut of Britain’s comics past, including a rare run of 1800s and turn-of-the century flyers including those for first issues of To-day, Butterfly, Jack and Jill, Lot-O-Fun, Boy’s Own, Gem and Magnet. The rarest of the bunch has to be a flyer for Punch magazine which was printed to stimulate sales around issue 16 in 1841 and this item in not known in the British Library archives. There’s also the scarce flyer for Beano comics 1 and 2, a mini comic in its own right (at lot 21) and early front cover printer’s proofs for Dandy and Beano, signed off by their respective editors prior to the main print run.

 

Issues of Mickey Mouse Weekly from 1945
Issues of Mickey Mouse Weekly from 1945.

 

Lady Penelope Number 1 - with rare free gift
Lady Penelope Number 1 – with rare free gift


There are also a number of lots of Mickey Mouse Weekly from 1942-1945, loose copies mostly in complete years. Girls’ comics are also well represented with a near complete run of Bunty, Mandy 1-103 and a rare Lady Penelope Number 1 intact with its free gift Signet Ring in original envelope which expected to sell for around £250, as well as Boy’s World Number 1 with free gift Wristlet Compass.

 

An entire run of Odhams Fantastic comic is among the lots
An entire run of Odhams Fantastic comic is among the lots

 

Also among the lots are runs of the Odhams title FANTASTIC, It’s Terrific, Wham and POW that first popularised American superheroes on the British news stand, with Marvel and DC heroes rubbing shoulder with home grown heroes and comedy characters, many of the latter created by Leo Baxendale.

Lew Stringer reminds me that FANTASTIC also featured an excellent all-new Luis Bermejo strip “Johnny Future”, many episodes written by the late, great Steve Moore, and some issues feature back covers (alternating between US reprints) by Barry Windsor-Smith and Steve Parkhouse. “They were both students trying to make a few bob. before they went to Marvel US,” Annie Parkhouse tells us.

 

Its Terrific
Its Terrific
SMASH! Number One with Gift
SMASH! Number One with Gift. Front cover by Leo Baxendale

 

The lots include a rare SMASH! Number 1 with Big-Bang Gun.

 

Cover art for Cowboy Picture Library 298 by Giorgio De Gaspari
Cover art for Cowboy Picture Library 298 by Giorgio De Gaspari
Dan Dare art by Keith Watson from "Menace from Jupiter", published in 1967
Dan Dare art for The Eagle by Keith Watson from “Menace from Jupiter”, published in 1967
A Marveleman sketch by Mick Anglo, also signed by Don Lawrence
A 1976 Marveleman sketch by Don Lawrence
A page of Thunderbirds art from TV Century 21, by Frank Bellamy
A page of Thunderbirds art from TV Century 21, by Frank Bellamy
1969 Trigan Empire art by Don Lawrence
1969 Trigan Empire art by Don Lawrence

 

Western artwork comes to the fore with Comet and Cowboy Picture Library covers featuring Buffalo Bill, Davy Crockett and Buck Jones and there’s a Keith Watson page of Dan Dare from the 1967 story “Menace from Jupiter”, estimated competitively as the red wash colours are slightly faded.

There are further pieces on offer with Oor Wullie by Dudley Watkins, Grendel by Ron Embleton, The Trigan Empire and Marvelman by Don Lawrence and a magnificent page of Thunderbirds art by Frank Bellamy from TV Century 21, from a memorable story that featured hero Scott Tracy running faster than an Olympic athlete! 

Finally there’s a menacing Slaine cover for 2000AD by Dermot Power, an artist whose work very rarely comes to auction.

2000AD 1037 Cover by Dermot Power
2000AD 1037 Cover by Dermot Power


The US section highlights Golden Age Batman and Detective with Batwoman and Joker covers and stories. All-Star #23 and Wonder Woman #10 in higher grades also compete for your attention. There’s a slew of first issues and Avon one-shots including An Earth Man on Venus, Attack on Planet Mars, Diary of Horror, Rocket to the Moon and Strange Worlds.

The Silver Age section is led by a Fine Minus cents copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1, Avengers #1, Silver Surfer #1 and many early issues of Marvel keys as well as two more ‘Uncle Stan’ lots.

• Bidding in the June 2014 ComPal auction closes on Tuesday 10th June at 8 PM UK time. For all lots, including US titles and more visit: www.compalcomics.com/catalogue/index.htm

• If you have a question about any of the items in the catalogue, please send an email to Compalcomics director Malcolm Phillips: comicbook@compalcomics.com

Special thanks to Lew Stringer, Annie Parkhouse, Paul Birch and Jonathan Cresswell for additional information about the Odhams titles offered in this auction

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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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