The catalogue for the latest ComPal Comics auction is online, which ends on 14th June 2015. The company now works with the-saleroom.com to provide real time bidding, viewable online, as bids are placed by the company’s customers who have registered their details.
The last auction was a real Beano Bonanza – nine early Beano comics numbered between 4 – 14 were offered, and they sold in the range of £1200 to £2300 each. We’re told this is normally the four-figure territory of trophy Number One issues but only a handful of these early comics survive and their fresh grades were unrivalled in the 23 years of ComPal’s auctions. Even post-war Beanos broke records and a complete year of 1948 came in at a staggering £1640. Paper shortages dictated that issues were printed fortnightly so the 26 fresh copies ended up at £63 each.
“With bidders from as far afield as Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, India and the United States, records were expected to be challenged, but not like this,” says Malcolm Phillips, the director of Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
“A new bench-mark for British comic values has now been established.”
This catalogue offer more of the same; Beano Numbers 2, 3, 5 and 6 are followed by issues 15-28 in the same high grades as before and they include the first Fireworks and Christmas numbers. Complete years of 1944, 1946-1949 are also on offer, some in more affordable lower grades. There’s also a magnificent high grade run of Detective Weekly 1934-36 in three bound volumes located at lot 6 and a run of ‘Blitz’ books (lot 13), so-called because they were printed during World War Two to amuse and distract children in the air raid shelters and Underground stations of London during the bombing.
The Broons and Oor Wullie books from the 1950s vie for bidders’ attention along with Comet, Sun, Super-Detective Library, Girl’s Crystal, TV Century 21 and Eagle.
Also in the auction is original “Dan Dare” artwork from an early Eagle annual, plus “Robot Archie”, “Adam Eterno” and “Kelly’s Eye” – and let’s not forget some more Dalek Swapits and a TV Century 21 Special Agent’s Badge! (Although the latter was given away with Issue Two of the comic, I recall sending off a postal order for 2/6d to buy one – long gone now, and it would cost some £40 to replace!)
There’s also a great bulk lot of Thunderbirds-related items that is sure to attract attention in the show’s 50th anniversary year, as might some Man from U.N.C.L.E. collectible cards.
The auction’s US section starts with strong Golden Age runs of Captains Marvel and Marvel Jr. and EC’s Shock Suspense Stories #1 and #4 along with Ditko’s last cover for The Thing. There’s a good Silver Age selection of early Spider-Man and Avengers with Tales Of Suspense #39-48.
• You can still view the catalogue itself (but not bid) on the ComPal site: www.compalcomics.com
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.