Strontium Dog art, Beano Number One in latest Compal auction

Strontium Dog original artwork (1978) drawn and signed by Carlos

Strontium Dog original artwork drawn and signed by Carlos Ezquerra, which fatured in the first issue of Starlord.

The September 2013 auction at Compalcomics has just opened, offering almost 300 lots of both British and US comics, including Carlos Ezquerra Strontium Dog from his very first appearance in Starlord Issue 1 and a 1930s TV Boardman comic faturing a British cover by the legendary US artist Will Eisner.

Early rarities include 50 issues of Ally Sloper’s Half-Holiday starring Gilbert Dalziel’s eponymous bumbling schemer illustrated by William F Thomas, and a Rosebud Annual with beautifully tooled cover illustrated by Louis Wain in 1899, the first Champion annual – and four tinplate locomotive giveaways presented with Modern Boy during 1928.


Okay Comics Weekly 1 (1937), published by T V Boardman features a Will Eisner cover showing US comic heroes in Trafalgar Square – Terry And The Pirates, Mutt & Jeff, Don Winslow, Joe Palooka and Tailspin Tommy. The title was printed in the US.

Also on offer is the second Rupert annual, published in 1937, the first issue of Knockout from 1939, Okay Comics Weekly Issue 1 from 1937 with a cover by Will Eisner, and another rare Beano Number One  from 1938. This was the copy originally owned by comics historian, Denis Gifford, who slightly trimmed the page edges to fit into a plastic folder in the 1970s!

Beano Printers Proof Issue 27

Untrimmed and fresh are six Dandy issues from 1939 and a further run of Beano front cover printer’s proofs where some of the examples are uniquely different from the approved print run. These are followed by complete Beano years in bound volumes from 1946, 1954 and 1955.

Dan Dare Picture Cards

Lurking in collections of items are some Eagle items – the Eagle Book of Cutaways, offered with a loy that includes Farewell to Jane,  the Eagle Book of Hobbies, offered with issues of Boys World, Dan Dare picture cards produced for Calverts Toothpaste, an Anastasia ‘Presso Book’, Dan Dare storyboards for the Martin Lucas Ltd Mini Cine film strip and a copy of Eagle Issue One.

Another rarity on offer is Issue 163 of Classics Illustrated, which was only published in the UK and a number of Alan Class comics.

Beezer Issue 577Following the extraordinary prices achieved in June for bound volumes of Topper from 1956 and 1957 (£770 each) their vendor has consigned two bound volumes of Beezer from 1960 and 1961 in the same high grades.

It’s Terrific 2 and 3 are accompanied by their scarce free gifts and Jag stars with its complete 48 issue run, No 1 free gift and all Specials and annuals. TV Century 21 No 1, Joe 90 Issue 1, a Trigan Empire robot artwork and WHAM! also star in the 1960s line-up. And take a look at the sweet cigarette cards featuring Captain Scarlet and Doctor Who, which are highly collectable as are a number of Project SWORD toys.

The 1970s onward showcase artwork from Rupert attributed to Alfeed Bestall, Frankie Stein, Kid Kong, Strontium Dog from Starlord Issue 1 by Carlos Ezquerra, and Roy Of The Rovers by Barrie Mitchell, plus a first issue of 2000AD and the infamous Oz No 28 Schoolkids Issue from 1970  with Rupert Bear in flagrante delicto. This issue was the centrepiece of the Oz obscenity trials in 1971 where the defendants were found guilty and then innocent on appeal. They dressed as schoolgirls for the hearing. The description notes “some unsurprising spine wear…”

Also offered are two superb Dan Dare boards in 1950s style by Don Harley for Spaceship Away.

The US section highlights the third comic ever issued in the America entitled Century of Comics, a promotional gem from 1933 in magnificent. Also offered are Special Edition Comics #1 with first Captain Marvel appearance and Roy Rogers 1 from 1948. Wow. The fourth part of ComPal’s 1950s pre-code horror, sci-fi and EC collection includes  first issues of Adventure Into Terror, Adventure Into Weird Worlds, Hand Of Fate, Panic, Phantom Lady and Valor alongside runs of Mystic, Weird Fantasy and Weird Science.

The Silver age boasts Amazing Spider-Man #1 and Tales To Astonish #27 cents copies as well as Avengers #1, Daredevil #1, X-Men #1, Journey Into Mystery #83, Showcase #17 and a Hulk #1.

• Bidding closes on Tuesday 10th September at 8 PM UK time:

• If you have a question about any of the items in the catalogue, please send an email to Compalcomics director Malcolm Phillips at

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.

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