ComPal has just announced the lots for its May/June comics auction, which features what are likely to be some sought after lots of British comic first editions, artwork from The Eagle, 2000AD and TV Century 21 – and plenty of girls comics bundles, including a large number of DC Thomson’s Bunty comic.
The auction’s British section runs the whole gamut of Britain’s comics past, including a rare run of 1800s and turn-of-the century flyers including those for first issues of To-day, Butterfly, Jack and Jill, Lot-O-Fun, Boy’s Own, Gem and Magnet. The rarest of the bunch has to be a flyer for Punch magazine which was printed to stimulate sales around issue 16 in 1841 and this item in not known in the British Library archives. There’s also the scarce flyer for Beano comics 1 and 2, a mini comic in its own right (at lot 21) and early front cover printer’s proofs for Dandy and Beano, signed off by their respective editors prior to the main print run.
There are also a number of lots of Mickey Mouse Weekly from 1942-1945, loose copies mostly in complete years. Girls’ comics are also well represented with a near complete run of Bunty, Mandy 1-103 and a rare Lady Penelope Number 1 intact with its free gift Signet Ring in original envelope which expected to sell for around £250, as well as Boy’s World Number 1 with free gift Wristlet Compass.
Also among the lots are runs of the Odhams title FANTASTIC, It’s Terrific, Wham and POW that first popularised American superheroes on the British news stand, with Marvel and DC heroes rubbing shoulder with home grown heroes and comedy characters, many of the latter created by Leo Baxendale.
Lew Stringer reminds me that FANTASTIC also featured an excellent all-new Luis Bermejo strip “Johnny Future”, many episodes written by the late, great Steve Moore, and some issues feature back covers (alternating between US reprints) by Barry Windsor-Smith and Steve Parkhouse. “They were both students trying to make a few bob. before they went to Marvel US,” Annie Parkhouse tells us.
The lots include a rare SMASH! Number 1 with Big-Bang Gun.
Western artwork comes to the fore with Comet and Cowboy Picture Library covers featuring Buffalo Bill, Davy Crockett and Buck Jones and there’s a Keith Watson page of Dan Dare from the 1967 story “Menace from Jupiter”, estimated competitively as the red wash colours are slightly faded.
There are further pieces on offer with Oor Wullie by Dudley Watkins, Grendel by Ron Embleton, The Trigan Empire and Marvelman by Don Lawrence and a magnificent page of Thunderbirds art by Frank Bellamy from TV Century 21, from a memorable story that featured hero Scott Tracy running faster than an Olympic athlete!
Finally there’s a menacing Slaine cover for 2000AD by Dermot Power, an artist whose work very rarely comes to auction.
The US section highlights Golden Age Batman and Detective with Batwoman and Joker covers and stories. All-Star #23 and Wonder Woman #10 in higher grades also compete for your attention. There’s a slew of first issues and Avon one-shots including An Earth Man on Venus, Attack on Planet Mars, Diary of Horror, Rocket to the Moon and Strange Worlds.
The Silver Age section is led by a Fine Minus cents copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1, Avengers #1, Silver Surfer #1 and many early issues of Marvel keys as well as two more ‘Uncle Stan’ lots.
• Bidding in the June 2014 ComPal auction closes on Tuesday 10th June at 8 PM UK time. For all lots, including US titles and more visit: www.compalcomics.com/catalogue/index.htm
• If you have a question about any of the items in the catalogue, please send an email to Compalcomics director Malcolm Phillips: email@example.com
Special thanks to Lew Stringer, Annie Parkhouse, Paul Birch and Jonathan Cresswell for additional information about the Odhams titles offered in this auction
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.