An auction of the lifetime collection of artist Alan Hunter, featuring science fiction and comic ephemera owned by the late and great fanzine artist goes under the hammer on Saturday – and includes a number of lots of British comics, including first issues and free gifts.
There are just over two hundred lots in the auction which is being hosted in Cardiff by Langley & Jones Specialist Auctions, which includes extremely rare fanzines, letters and magazines from 1950 through to the late 1990s, and although descriptions on some lots are a little misleading in terms of some dates, there are some great items offered.
Alan Hunter, who died in August 2012 aged 89 was a stalwart of the small presses, a contributor of beautiful and detailed cover drawings in a distinctively inked style. Paying tribute in Ansible, David Langford notes his work included covers for Nebula SF in 1952-53 and much interior art for Nebula and New Worlds through the 1950s and that “he was unfailingly generous to semiprozines and fanzines”.
“Alan was a wonderful artist and a generous man,” recalls author Andrew Darlington, who corresponded with him for several years. “He illustrated for a vast range of small-press magazines and genre-fanzines with his highly distinctive and always meticulously executed work. I never met him, but we corresponded across a spread of years and he was an unfailing delight… it was a privilege to be considered a friend.”
Alan regularly produced unpaid art for small-press publications, including ncluding Algol/Starship, Ansible, Banana Wings, Ghosts, SF Chronicleand many more, well into his eighties for the pure pleasure of seeing his work in print. He was also a contributor to Graveside Grope, an adult-themed Star Trek zine. He also contributed the first cover to Dez Skinn’s Fantasy Advertiser in 1970.
These include all 22 issues of 2000AD stablemate Starlord, including free gifts; a number of Valiant and Valiant and TV21 comics; smaller lots such as a Girl Number 1, published in 1951 along with an issue of Diana and Tornado Number Two; a collection of Swift and Eagle; TV Comic; several lots of Marvel UK comics; a collection of UK Number One Comics including Target, Battle and the first three issues of The Crunch; a large collection of Bullet, including the first three issues; and assorted copies of Misty, including the first three issues, which was created as a rival to the now much-sought after DC Thomson comic, Spellbound (which, ironically had been merged into Debbie, lasting 69 issues, before Misty launched).
Along with some great oddities such as a History of Sindy gift book, there is, of course, a lot of Alan’s art on offer including portfolios, rare fanzines, letters, film stills and even a War of the Daleks game, a 1960s Thunderbird 5 toy and an Eagle comic-inspired projector, still in its original box.
To be honest, I’ve barely scatched to surface of this eclectic collection, but if you’re a British comics fan or fan of British SF fandom, you should really check out what’s on offer
• Vintage Toys, Science Fiction Fanzines, Comics & Collectables Auction 11.30am Saturday 7th May 2016 Langley & Jones Specialist Auctions, Collivaud Place, Cardiff, CF24 5PD | Bid online via Invaluable | Tel: 0845 094 9790 | Email: email@example.com