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.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.