Charity shop’s first-edition Beano find

beano_book_1939.jpgThe Scotsman reports today that a rare first-edition Beano annual from the 1930s is set to make a small fortune for Cancer Research UK after it turned up in a pile of donations at their St. Andrews shop.

The annual, which will be auctioned off by London-based Comic Book Auctions Ltd. next month, could raise as much as £2000 or more when it goes on sale.

“It’s a very exciting find,” Malcolm Phillips told the paper. “Our estimate is between £1,500 and £2,000, but we are hoping it will do a bit more than that – particularly because all the money raised is going to charity.”

The highest price ever paid for a British comic was £20,350, which was paid for a mint copy of the first copy of The Dandy comic, published in 1937 and complete with a free whistle on the cover.

Before that, the record was £12,100, for the first copy of The Beano, published in 1938. Only 12 copies are believed to still exist.

The annual – known to collectors as Beano book number one – turned up in a pile of donations given to the Cancer UK’s St Andrews shop in Scotland, to the delight of 24-year-old volunteer Matthew Harris.

“I knew it might be worth more than the average comic book, but when I checked it out online, and learned it could be worth more than £2,000, I could hardly believe it,” he said.

Read the full story on the Scotsman web site

• The annual will be on offer at on 16 May. Bids closing at 8.00pm on 1 June.

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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