What comics does your blog mainly cover?
I’m mainly interested in boy’s story papers from between roughly 1892 to 1940. But I’ve swept up assorted bits and pieces of everything else along the way. I also buy a lot of small press comics and I actually aim to visit the tables of comics I have never heard of at cons. There’s some brilliant talent out there that is forced to ‘languish’ in the small press because there’s so few British-based outlets for their work to be published in.
I aim to write about comics that are not well known, and which do not already have a large presence on the internet. The only online presence of many old story papers is in the form of dry lists of titles with a few postage-stamp sized cover scans. I aim to put up large, high-quality pictures of both the covers and interiors, and write about the content of the stories rather just list titles. I almost always refer directly to original copies of the comics rather than to reference books or articles.
As you can probably tell I much prefer adventure comics to “funnies”! I never really had adventure comics when I was growing up in the 90′s, there was no adventure in The Beano and Commando only seemed to be sold at the seaside. The Victor and New Eagle both died out while I was still very young, and 2000AD was already too ‘adult’ (though I started getting odd ones from about 1997 onwards). Since discovering the history of Britsh adventure comics indirectly, through an article about Sexton Blake in the Judge Dredd Megazine in 2005, I’ve spent I-dread-to-think-how-much amassing a collection of all sorts.
What current comics do you get?
This list will probably change a lot, but at the moment:
- The Pheonix – subscribed.
- Commando – Every issue from shops.
- Strip Magazine – Every issue from shops
- Pulp Detective – Every issues from shops.
- Classics Illustrated – Every issue from shops.
- Spaceship Away – ‘bursts’ of issues from the website, when I have the money.
- Vworp Vworp – Every issue that comes out, but it’s very irregular.
- Viz – Most issues from shops.
- The Beano – Very Occasionally.
- The Dandy – Very occasionally.
- Bakuman – Every issue from shops.
- Genshiken – Collecting the 3-in-1 books.
Aiming for eventual complete collections of the reprints of:
- Dan Dare
- Doctor Who
- Modesty Blaise
- Viz (their annuals are reprint books)
But it’s very expensive!
What comics from the past are you interested in?
- Virtually everything with adventure stories in from before 1930. And especially from before 1918.
- The Boys’ Friend
- The Boys’ Friend Library (pre-1925 ideally)
- Union Jack (1894 – 1933 version)
- Boys of Our Empire
- The Magnet
- The Gem
- The Victor
- War Picture Library
- Roy of the Rovers
- The Wizard (both versions)
- The Captain
- Chatterbox (post 1905 ideally)
- The Schoolgirls’ Own
- Anything Japanese from before 1945. I’ll worry about being able to read it later.
- Anything current from Japan if it’s cheap enough!
- Anything German from before 1918, it must be fascinating to see what they were saying about Britain and France. I’ll worry about being able to read it even later!
- Odd issues of other foreign things old and new, I have single issues of Spirou and Je Bouquine I bought while passing through France, for instance
How much are these comics I just found worth?
If they’re Number 1 of The Beano or The Dandy (and not modern reprints (hint: they are modern reprints)): £5,000.
If they’re early Beano or Dandy annuals: £1000 – 2000.
If they’re early issues of The Beano or The Dandy: £100-500.
If they’re early issues of Eagle: £10-50.
If they’re early Eagle annuals / The rarer Radio Fun annual 1950 / Pre or during WW2 annuals in very good condition: £50-75.
If they’re single issues from before WW2: £1-20 depending on condition and where they are being sold.
If they’re single issues from the time of paper rationing: £5-20 depending on condition.
If they’re single issues from the late 1940′s from a small publisher: £10-50.
If they’re single issues of anything from 1950 onwards: 1p - £3
If they’re annuals from 1950 onwards: 99p - £10. Unless they’re early Doctor Who annuals in which case £silly money
If they’re bound volumes of papers that were not officially sold as bound volumes: £10 – 200, depending on condition and rarity.
If they’re bound volumes of papers that were officially sold as bound volumes (Chums, Chatterbox etc): £5-50. Higher prices for first volumes only.
…because hardly anybody cares about British adventure comics. And that includes most British people!
Blah blah more to come…