A seminal piece of 2000AD cover art by Mick McMahon featuring Judge Dredd sold for staggering £9600 in the latest ComPal auction.
As we noted in our preview of the auction, the art first appeared as the cover of 2000AD Prog 204 back in 1981, the sale set a new record for the London-based auction house.
But it wasn’t the only art to attract a large sale price. Compal has never sold a board of Frank Bellamy’s “Fraser of Africa” artwork before, a strip that featured in Eagle, and a gem from the Bob Monkhouse archive, estimated at £800-1000, rose above all expectations to a sell for £5800.
Another star in Uncle Bob’s collection was a “Heros the Spartan” double page piece from the Eagle comic, also by Bellamy which went even further to £7,300.
“The provenance of a highly perceptive collector coupled with an artist’s work of the highest quality is truly unbeatable,” says Compal’s director, Malcolm Phillips.
Three Daily Mirror “Garth” boards by Bellamy, also from the Bob Monkhouse Archive, sold for £1140, and a four pages of art by Joe Colquhoun from “Charley’s War” introducing readers to Blue, a French Foreign Legionnaire who recounts the horrors of the front line at Verdun, sold for £1520.
John Bolton’s original artwork for the back cover of Classic X-Men #14 drew strong interest and was finally knocked down for £1420.
Top sales prices for British comics in the latest auction included a Very Fine graded copy of Beano No 4, one of only a handful known to exist, which tipped the scales at £3300, and a Beano No 9 in the same high grade and a winning bid of £2800, sold to the same determined bidder.
Sexton Blake Libraries are almost impossible to find without those tell-tale rust spots on their covers but a complete year for 1939 showed none of these aberrations and the 48 booklets made a strong £620. Equally scarce, a group of booklets that included some TV Boardman Pocket Readers illustrated by Denis McLoughlin, and were snaffled away for £105
Someone definitely got a bargain, though, buying all 303 issues of Express Weekly/TV Express, offered in seven bound volumes, which sold £1280. A bargain, we think, considering they feature strips such as tarring “Wulf The Briton”, “Battleground”, “Biggles” and “Col. Pinto” by Ron Embleton, “SAS” by Graham Coton, “Jet Morgan” by Charles Chilton, “The Lone Ranger” by Mike Noble and “Gun Law” by Harry Bishop.
A good run of 1970s-80s first issue girls’ comics had all of their free gifts and the 24 examples took just over £10 each. As well as a jolly good read, a first-class investment as well.
The auction’s US section started with some pulps from the 1940s and 16 Astonishing Stories went for over £10 apiece. The sales included a complete 65 issue run of Startling Stories featured the brilliant cover art of Earle Bergey, along with Alex Schomburg’s first Science Fiction cover, so it was no surprise that a full bid of £740 won the day.
A copy of Amazing Spider-Man #3 had some Marvel edge chipping with corner creases, graded at [vg+], but garnered a healthy £940.
Regular downthetubes readers will recall we highlighted a lot featuring issues of Batmania, an unofficial fanzine for Batman fans, published in 1964 by Bill (Billjo) White in Columbia, Missouri. Bill sent his first issue to DC editor, Julius Schwartz, who adopted it and publicised the fanzine in Batman Comics #169.
White’s detailed knowledge of the Caped Crusader included articles entitled “Batman before Robin” and “The Evolution of the Batmobile” and his print run soon swelled to over a thousand issues. No mean artist himself, Billy J White became an important part of the ongoing Batman legend, and one of Compal’s regular Batman collectors was absolutely delighted to buy the eighteen issue run for £520. No mean price for a comics zine!