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Friday, August 03, 2012

Comic Cuts - 3 August 2012

I'm making slow progress on the Mike Western book. There have been a few things recently discovered that I need to sort out – like a definitive list of Football Story Picture Monthly contributions, finding a scan of Mike's one and only contribution to Look-In and seeing if I can resolve a few other niggles.

So I took a break from that book and did some writing for one of the indexes I have planned for later in the year. It was a choice between Valiant and Lion and the former won because I have them scattered all over the living room and my office. Better to make use of them now rather than put them away only to have to drag them out again at a later date.

I had already written up the early issues during a previous break in work, so I have been working on the period around the 1963 merger with Knockout. Long before I started buying the paper myself (in 1969) and these copies come from a stroke of good fortune that happened many, many years ago. As I don't think I've ever told this story (and, frankly, I've nothing else to write about)...

I had just been made redundant – which isn't the best start to a story of good fortune, but give me a minute to get the story going.

So, I had just been made redundant and had some redundancy money in the bank when I received a phone call from a mate of mine to say that he had heard from someone wanting to sell off a load of old British comics. So we went off to have a look at them, expecting nothing because we'd had these kind of calls before – it was usually someone trying to flog off comics that were a couple of years old because they had heard that comics were worth money and they needed to finance their upcoming years at university.

But this time it wasn't a disappointment. The guy had piles of comics from the early to mid 1960s. Not necessarily complete runs but a very good selection of Valiant, Tiger, Lion, Victor, Hotspur and many others.

Now, John, who was – and still is – a very good friend, was going through a bit of a financial crisis. So I offered to buy the lot and give him half of them and he could pay me back later (you see now where the redundancy money comes in!). This was agreed and we split the comics down the middle – and this is where the bulk of early to mid-sixties Valiants come from.

Even better, in a way, was the aftermath. I was soon back in work and decided to use the redundancy money that John owed me to buy a load of comics from him – and he gave me a very good deal, for which I'll always be grateful as it meant that I picked up the first few years' worth of Eagle. The original Eagle, not the relaunch. He had bought bound copies of the early years, meaning that his complete but unbound runs were for sale. I got them for a song!

So that redundancy money was put to good use and kick-started my interest in a lot of comics that had appeared before I started buying them myself. Ah, happy days. Probably never to be repeated, thanks to eBay and online selling.

As I have all these copies of Valiant out, I've taken the opportunity to scan a few covers, so today's random scans are some episodes of the "It's the Greatest..." cover strip from my favourite comic. Hope you enjoy them.

Next week... not sure. Possibly some World of Wonder galleries as I have some scans already.


Kid said...

Talking of ebay and Amazon, I see someone is selling copies of 'Lion & Thunder' in not that good a condition. Guess what he's asking per issue? Almost £15 a pop. Even pristine copies don't usually go for more than four or five quid each.

Phil Rushton said...

Mike Western's contribution to Look-In is news to me. If you can narrow it down a bit I'd be happy to see if I can find the issue in which it appeared.

Dr Andy Oliver said...

Yes the same ebayer is selling copies of Smash at £15 per issue. Not good for me as I'd like to get hold of those cursitor doom strips.

Kid said...

There's someone on ebay who is selling CDs containing runs of comics for around £2. He may well do a Smash one with Cursitor Doom. If so, you could buy one and print them out if you prefer reading paper versions.

Dr Andy Oliver said...

Ive seen a few of those on ebay but they always tend to be incomplete runs and almost certainly never sign any copies of Smash - so not really tempted.