Friday - 31 October 2014

Commandos trade in guns for schoolbooks

07 February 2002Written by ATG Reporter

ONE of the more successful entries in this end of year sale at Comic Book Postal Auctions brought Christmas cheer to the Friends of St. Matthews School in Yiewsley, whose fund raising activities had brought in a large quantity of books, comics and annuals.

A call to Malcolm Phillips brought advice that much of what they had would be best disposed of at a boot fair, but he took in a collection of Commando War Stories in Pictures comics and a Dan Dare pop-up book.

These pictorial story books were described as having “rolled spines [gd/vg]”, which in effect means that they were not in very good condition, and estimates for the three job lots were set accordingly.

On the day, the pop-up book sold for £20, but the first lot of eight issues of Commando War Stories..., comprising nos. 2 and 5-11, was sold for £900, not the £40-60 suggested, and the second, comprising 15 early issues, reached £450, while the third, made up of 41 later issues reached £550.

In due course the incredulous Friends of St. Matthews School received a substantial cheque, but decided that the windfall should be shared and decided to give half of the proceeds to the mother of the child who had brought the Commando War Stories... in for sale.

Publicity of course pays, and news of this auction brought an offer of a collection of the first 100 storybooks for the firm’s next postal auction, which closes on March 5. These copies are categorised as mid-to-high grade examples, and this time the first 40 issues will be offered separately.

In addition to the Dan Dare strip noted in one of the accompanying caption stories, the original artworks in the sale also included a black and white Desperate Dan strip by Dudley Watkins, a non-section story made for an early, 1938 issue of Dandy, that sold for £550.

Pictured above right: sold for £810 was this 1950 (fourth) edition of an annual, or rather biennial publication that features another of Dudley Watkins’ more famous comic creations – The Broons. The annual antics of the occupants of 10 Glebe Street alternate with those of another Scottish institution, Oor Wullie.

Centre right: in April 1950, some 13,000 copies of this 8pp, full colour promotional issue of Eagle were printed and posted to churches and schools up and down the country to publicise the imminent appearance of the first issue proper. Something of a rarity nowadays, it sold at £330. A bound volume of the first 38 issues of Eagle made £440 and a coloured Dan Dare artwork of 1961 by Don Harley and Bruce Cornwall reached £530.

Comic Book Postal Auctions, December 6
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent


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