Friday, August 03, 2012
Comic Cuts - 3 August 2012
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.
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.