The most expensive lot in a timed online sale at Comic Book Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) that ended on November 20 was a copy of the 1938 first issue of Beano, which went on to become the world’s longest running comic weekly.
It sold well enough at £5100, but it was a soiled and torn example.
In their August sale CBA had sold at £15,000 a copy that was in much better condition, with bright cover colours, and just some minor tears to right-hand page edges and one tear to the spine.
That result was an excellent one, but by the narrowest of margins the record remains with a copy that CBA had sold for £15,200 in 2015. That copy was accompanied by a four-page promotional flyer that had been advertised with the first two issues, as well as being slipped inside copies of other DC Thomson comics: Hotspur, Adventure, Rover, Skipper and Wizard.
Only around 30 copies of the first Beano are thought to have survived.
The latest CBA catalogue also offered less familiar items. A DC comic of the 1950s called Secrets was a romantically inspired publication aimed at a female audience and as such would have been printed in much smaller numbers.
There were three lots offering issues from the years 1954-59 and sold at £450 rather than the suggested £60-80 was one presenting 25 issues from the year 1957.
Sold at £400 was a lot that offered the first 10 issues of Champion, complete with all 10 free gift photographs of well-known boxers, Georges Carpentier and Jack Dempsey among them. The lot also included eight further gift photos from later issues.
Also shown here is a full-page artwork produced by Dave Gibbons for a copy of Doctor Who Monthly No 48 from 1980, a lot which auctioneer Malcolm Phillips just could not resist calling “dalektable”. It sold at £760.
More than 20 lots in a comics and comic artwork auction held by Dallas saleroom Heritage on November 17-20 needed six-figure sums to secure them. Right at the top of the list, at a premium-inclusive $552,000 (£464,645), was a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15.
Published by Marvel in 1962, this was the issue in which Spider-Man, the creation of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, made his debut.
Very few high-grade, unrestored copies exist and this example, one whose provenance included a number of distinguished names in this collecting field, among them Biljo White and Malcolm Willits, was offered here as part of the Jeffrey S Edell Malibu Collection. It was rated VF+ 8.5 on the essential CGC listing.
Rated NM, or Near Mint+ 9.6, a copy of Marvel’s very first issue of The Amazing Spider Man comic was sold at $336,000 (£282,830) Illustrated above is an original ink and watercolour artwork. “Any Bill Watterson original Calvin and Hobbes art is rarer than even a talking tiger! And Sundays even more so. And hand-colored examples even more so than that!” said the cataloguer of the 13 x 9in (33 x 23cm) strip reproduced here.
Heritage added: “We have only ever offered a single Calvin and Hobbes Sunday strip previously – a full 10 years ago – and we’ve honestly never heard of one coming to market that’s even close in quality to this example, which features both main characters in every single panel.”
This rarity sold in Texas at $480,000 (£404,040).