Packed as usual with some great vintage British comics, the latest auction from eBay auctioneer Phil-Comics, which closes on Sunday (18th April 2021) includes the offer of some the Dolphin Monthly Comic Magazine for Young People, published between 1958 1960 – that just might include a strip by a young Ron Embleton, best known, perhaps, for his work on TV Century 21 and Look and Learn.
The auction also features issues of Action, Eagle, Dan Dare annuals and other books, plenty of Beano comics, some tittles offered with free gifts, including a copy of 2000AD Prog One, complete with Space Spinner. (Bidding on that currently stands at £311).
The issues of Dolphin Monthly Comic Magazine for Young People on offer contain comic strips, stories, puzzles and more, “specially produced for the young friends of Foster and Scott, Letchworth”, but the title was actually a custom magazine produced by London-based Nine-Star Press Ltd., created for a range of retailers across the UK, which were then localised by the participating store. It was printed by A.M. Archer & Co. Ltd, Slough.
Dolphin also had a club you could join.
Dolphin is another of many “custom comics” regularly highlighted by downthetubes contributor Richard Sheaf on his excellent, marvellously eclectic Boys Adventure Comics Blog, and the dedicated writer suggests one of the title’s strips, “Roman Britain”, may be by Ron.
Foster and Scott were a menswear and boys school uniform shop in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, which closed in 1993, located where the town’s community museum now stands in The Arcade. The magazines came from a house clearance in St Albans and the volume numbers of issues in the Phil-Comics lot suggest Dolphin Monthly Comic Magazine for Young People the title launched in the mid-1950s, the earliest edition on offer, from Volume Four, published in 1958.
Ron Embleton began working in comics professionally at an early age, his known credits in the 1959s including work on titles such as Mickey Mouse Weekly drawing “Rogers’ Rangers” (1953), “Strongbow the Mighty” (1954–57) and “Don o’ the Drums” (1957). and “Wulf the Briton” for Express Weekly.
Whoever drew the strip, the lot has attracted numerous bids, currently standing at £99, reflecting the scarce nature of the magazines on offer.
Does anyone have further information, or know who “Victor” who drew the back page “Sidney” strip, was? Please do comment or get in touch.
Like other lots in this Phil-Comics auction, bidding closes on Synday (18th April 2021). Here’s a selection of other items on offer…
There’s also a fun “Clumsy Colin” page by Robert Nixon on offer, that might appeal to crossword lovers, as well as Buster readers, where the strip first appeared in the 1980s.
Measuring 45 x 36cm, the title logo of the strip “Clumsy Colin” is missing and has caused some wear to the paper where it was once glued down.
Run by Phil Shrimpton, Phil Comics specialises in vintage comics and related items such as annuals, holiday specials, free gifts and original artwork.
Holding monthly eBay auctions, often with 500+ listings, they aim to bring a diverse array of items – and are always on the lookout for vintage comic collections, either to buy or auction on commission.
• Bidding on this auction closes on Sunday 18th April 2021
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UPDATE – 19th April 2021
• The Dolphin magazines sold for £99
• The 2000AD Prog One with Space spinner sold for £359 – a record price for Phil-Comics for a first issue of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic with free gift
• The “Clumsy Colin” page by Robert Nixon is still on 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.