There are some absolutely cracking lots in the latest Compalcomics auction catalogue this month, including British comics with their free gifts, complete runs of short-run titles such as Starlord and Target – and some amazing comic art, including plenty of “Garth” Daily Mirror newspaper strip boards by Frank Bellamy and two consecutive episodes of “Charley’s War“, from Battle, drawn by Joe Colquhoun. Plus, there are some great US comics, including a “Pence” copy of The Incredible Hulk #1, and the chance to own a copy of John Byrne’s first ever comics work, ACA Comix #1, published in 1971.
The auction includes scarce Dandy and Beano early issues from 1938 to the War Years, lotted into neat, small groups to help long-time collectors who are always searching for key missing numbers to fill in those ‘orrible gaps.
Four issues of Adventure from 1949 featured new comic strip “Black Slink the Shadow Spy” but he looked a bit like a certain bloke who was “faster than a speeding bullet” and DC Comics regarded this as breaching their Superman copyright so he was banned and, unhappily, the Black Slinked away.
Into the 1950s and there are complete/near complete years of Beezer 1956-58, The Topper 1957-58 – mostly flat, fresh copies. The Dandy complete years for 1952 and 1954 include fine, very fine and Near Mint examples with further full years of 1952, 1956, 1958 and 1959.
ComPal also offer the wonderful Picturegoer Postcard Album, “My Film Favourites” – 241 studio postcards from the 1930s-40s including Greta Garbo, Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, Rudolph Valentino, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Al Jolson, Fred and Ginger, Humphrey Bogart, Buster Keaton and many, many more, all in pristine condition at lot 7. Following that theme, Fans’ Star Library (1958-60) is offered from numbers 1-54 where Marilyn, Brigitte, Elvis, Frank, The Everleys and Jimmy Dean are not to be outdone.
After the huge £780 paid for Buster’s 1962 complete year with free gifts in Compal’s February auction, they follow with 1963, ’64 and ’65 to tempt you further. – plus there’s a copy of Buster No. 1, too, alongside the very last issue of Film Fun, which merged with the new humour-led title in 1960.
The Alan Class black and white square-bound reprints are amassing greater value and collectability as the American originals head forever skywards. Creepy Worlds 32 with Fantastic Four #1 US cover and story is at lot 32, followed by Sinister Tales 23 with its first Iron Man cover and story and Out of This World 17, reprinting Amazing Fantasy 15 (which has two panel cut-outs, unfortunately).
This auction’s original artwork selection includes more brilliant Frank Bellamy “Heros the Spartan“, for Eagle, and “Garth” boards, “Doctor Who” for Mighty TV Comic, drawn by John Canning, “Daughter of Lorna Doone“, for Princess, by Ron Embleton, “Defeating the Dutch” – full page man ‘o’ war action by Eric Parker, “Cortez, Conqueror of Mexico” by William Stobbs, “Charley’s War” World War One art by Joe Colquhoun, and a happy hallowe’en story starring Oor Wullie by Dudley Watkins.
The US section starts with a good run of Startling Stories pulps. The Golden Age includes Adventures Into Weird Worlds #30, Beware #1, Beware Terror Tales #1 and 2, Gene Autry scarce deprtment store giveaways, Seven Seas #1 and Weird Fantasy #17 CGC 6.0.
There’s a “Pence” copy of Silver Age Incredible Hulk #1, plus Amazing Spider-Man #4, 5, 7 and most issues between #22 and 50, Avengers #2, 5 and most issues up to #48, Conan #1, Fantastic Four #37-55 and X-Men, most copies between numbers #5-37. DC’s Atom, Batman, Detective, Green Lantern, Hawkman, JLA, Action, Showcase and Superman also prevail.
X-Men, Fantastic Four and also on offer is a very rare copy of Superman writer and artist John Byrne’s first ever comic work was as a student at the Alberta College of Art. In 1971 He produced ACA Comix #1 for the college’s comic art exhibition to be given away at the door and on offer is a signed copy.
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.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.