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