Thursday, 22 August 2013

Never Ever Let People Near Your Comicx Collection

I have to admit that until I started trying to catalogue (again) the old 1960s comics I had such as Odhams Fantastic and Terrific and, of course, my Alan Class collection I had no idea just how many comics had been...well, stolen by visitors I used to have when my apartment was an open door to comic people.

How bad are the losses?

Well, I now have only issues 11, 12, 13, 45, 60, 67, 76 and 77 from my Fantastics and I was given a large stack at the old Bath mart in the 1980s by David Johnson.

The Terrific comics I just stared at in shock. Only two left -issues 6 and 7.

That is pretty gutting but my own fault since I was so open to visitors.

It was when I came to my Alan Class box that I discovered there were only just over 50 books -and a big space in the box.

I only have

Amazing Stories of Suspense 98, 102, 117, 127, 153, 174, 186, 219, 221 and 233.

Out Of This World 4, 7 and 18!!!

Sinister Tales  54, 75, 100, 106, 108, 117, 144, 184, 208, 214 and 227.

Secrets Of The Unknown  104, 139, 194, 206, 229, 230 and 241

Uncanny Tales  30, 64, 66, 73, 116, 141, 152, 153, 169, 173, 179 and 183

Astounding Stories  8, 76, 81, 93, 94, 122, 130, 141, 144, 171 and 188

Creepy Worlds  133, 138, 141, 159, 165, 204, 205 and 239


If you are a member of my Yahoo Alan Class group and have seen the cover scans I uploaded there years ago when I started the group you will see that I am missing...a lot.

By the gaps between numbers it looks as though people just put their hands in, grabbed a bunch and that was it.

I can actually see now WHY collectors tend not to let others near their books -especially unattended. I'm not the first to have had a collection looted but let it serve as an example to you. 

Can I rebuild the collection?  Not likely since ebay sellers are pushing prices sky-high and well out of my range.

Just utterly winded.


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Did You Buy A Copy Of The Amazing World Of Alan Class ?

Now those of you who have visited this site will know about the following paperback -a 24pp magazine looking at the work of Alan Class and my interview with him. Hey -I set up the first Alan Class tribute website and yahoo group on the net (and people are still stealing info from it).

Sadly, despite all the "likes" and responses this has sold lousily. I think 3 copies since it was published. The interview is available in The Hooper Interviews book but that's sold like...well, let's just say not many people seem interested in interviews with comic creators! 

I had wondered whether there was some way to expand the book -more illoes - a colour section was out as this would make the book about three times the cover price!  As it is, lulu.com, the print on demand company I use has become very snooty toward comics over the last few years. It wants to be seen as a wheeler dealer in first time authors. No, they DO NOT pay. Yes, you do all the work and they take a percentage as "middle men".

So, after a price hike a while back which hit the comic publishers, they have now decided "saddle stitching" (ie. -the staples used for smaller page count books) are obsolete to them.

No, seriously.

So, any book under 32 pages is "retired" by them. So you have to add pages to get "perfect bound" books. Over 30 of my books are affected so its a LOT of work on top of everything else.

Looks like the Class book will be retired until I can somehow up-date it.  So, if you have not bought a copy but want to you have a couple weeks. I cannot guarantee any updated version this year or even in 2014.

Well done lulu.com. Still killing the small publisher.

A4
Paperback
B&W
24 pages

Price: £5.00
Ships in 3–5 business days
Marvel, Timely, Atlas, Charlton, ACG, MLJ/Archie Dennis the Menace (US) -one man published them all. Alan Class. Who? Class is legendary for bringing black and white reprints of US comics to a country starved of the medium thanks to a certain war! From 1959-1989 Suspence, Sinister, Astounding and Uncanny gave us a comic fix for a few pennies. Learn more about the man and how Class Comics came about in the long awaited print version of Terry Hooper's exclusive interview!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Monday, 28 May 2012

Is There Anyone Insane With A Lot Of Money To Waste?

Barry on the Alan Class yahoo group posted this:

"Hi,

Having read about the high prices that dealers are trying to sell the Alan Class books for, this has got to be the ultimate in rip-off price for an Alan Class B/W comic at nearly £32,000 !!!!"

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FANTASTIC-FOUR-1-1960S-MARVEL-COMICS-UK-KIRBY-RARE-CREEPY-WORLDS-32-/230775470491?pt=US_Comic_Books&hash=item35bb4a399b

Regards
Barry


I asked the fellow who introduced me to that dealer I mentioned if he could ask him the value.  Reply within 40 minutes "£2 to £3 at the very most if you are desperate."  I will not print his response to the price being asked though he had, it seems, checked it: "Tell him (me) to note what the seller has written:'No returns accepted'!"

 Look at the image posted there -tatty edges to cover, browning pages and looks like the spine of the book is going. My top spend for it? £1.50

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A Guide To Contents Of SOME Class Comics!



Welcome to the wonderful world of Alan Class's "Class Classics"!
BUNDLES OF WONDER!




In the 1960s,when it was "hit or miss" as to what title your local newsagents [in my case,Mina Road had Jarman's -a shop with a glass fronted cabinet displaying toy soldiers and a rotating rack with comics!] might carry,there was was one publisher who offered us a mix of Atlas,Charlton,Marvel and other publishers' strips....

....ALAN CLASS!

Yes,you could find the Silver Surfer,Avengers or even Daredevil intermixed with Captain Atom,Mercury Man,the Mysterious Traveller,Charlton war and horror as well as science fiction.  I don't think it occurred to us at the time that these characters came from different companies!

For a 1/- [5p] I had a good read on the long bus trip to Weston-Super-Mare in Summer-time.  My gran and grand-dad weren't stupid -they knew comics would keep a restless kid in check!  One that always stuck in my mind was Paul Reinman drawn "THE LAST PATROL!" [Sinister Tales no.208];as I studied history and,for my own comics work,uniforms,I was amazed at Reinman's uniform accuracy!

Bristol Bus Station was the best place to pick up  copies,but that was on day trips.  Normally,Jarman's or a dark little newsagents in Sussex Place,where I got my Plastacine,would have copies.

Americans say to me:"But it's all in black and white!!"  I say "so what?" Most weekly comics,or titles such as The Purple Hood,Miracleman,etc.,     were in black and white in the UK!   My brother,Peter,may have argued with me as to which was best -Marvel [my choice] or DC [his]- but we both read Class!

From the 1960s to the 1980s,Class published his titles,some strips reprinted in other titles later on,but it wasn't until the late 1970s when Marvel realised it's weekly comics were being out-done that they stopped Class from reprinting their strips!  After all:weekly comic =a US comic broken into one part each week over,say,two months,but Class =full story in one issue....for less money!!

When I corresponded with Alan in the 1980s,after Denis Gifford put me in touch with him,he noted the distribution problem.  He was delivering 1000 or so copies to W.H.Smith to distribute but after complaints that the titles were not appearing in shops,he discovered the copies had been sent away for shredding/pulping!   Even placing an order with W.H.Smith was no guarantee that you'd get a copy -just your deposit back!

Of course,in the 1970s,Alan co-published the ALLY SLOPER "Nostalgicomic" and even a "Penny Comics of the Thirties" collector's set with comic historian Denis Gifford.

I think that it was a sad day when Alan Class stopped publishing his titles. But the question remains -does his re-printing agreements with companies still hold?
Unless you were a kid in the 1960s/1970s,you'll never understand the nostalgia of seeing these titles.

Hopefully, I'll be able to add the contents of other issues to this site once acquired.           

IMPORTANT NOTE ON PRICING!

Class Comics have suddenly become "collectible" according to certain sources, however, they were printed in their thousands.

I have seen issues offered for sale at £10,£15 and even £30 -do not buy them at this price!  It is also claimed that "pre-decimal currency" issues will set you back more and, although no. 1s should set you back about £5 if you really want them, the average price of purchasing these comics should be between £1.50 to £2.00 for the rarer ones.

As an example: Astounding Stories no.8, from a dealer who knows his stuff   -and this is a pre-decimal 1/- issue- for £1.50. Sinister Tales no. 54 [1/-],again, set me back....£1.50.  Sinister Tales no. 75 [1/-] cost me £1.50.  These are all pristine, good as new copies.

There is absolutely no reason to pay above these prices -many 1940s/1950s comics from the UK do not go above the £3.00 value mark. Of course, if you do pay large sums it simply encourages dealers to keep pushing up prices on comics which, for years, they would not even consider stocking because they were, to quote a shop owner, "cheap tat".

Pay proper prices and refuse to artificially boost prices.


YES! I WILL BE CLASS COMICS!!

I am, obviously, open to buying Class Comics.  I'll buy slightly damaged copies at 50p each. Other ranges of quality I'll pay the accepted dealer price of £1.50 or £2.00 for the rarer issues.

Of course, if comics are to be sent via the postal system I will pay the postage.
Let me know what you have and if interested I will send, by mail, a letter quoting price agreed, etc.. A cheque covering postage and the agreed amount will be sent immediately upon receipt -having been ripped off by sending money in advance and getting nothing I have had to adopt this procedure.

You can contact me at the usual e-mail address.

hoopercomicsuk@yahoo.com

You might get a bit bored with this but...as usual, I have tried to identify the artist[s]  and company.  I may get things wrong so if you have any of the issues mentioned and care to correct me please do!

If you have issues not mentioned here and can provide details -get in touch!




ASTOUNDING STORIES

NO.8
VISITORS FROM AFAR ["FANFARE SERIES"]
BURIED BY THE CENTURIES [  DITTO   ]
DESTINY KNOWS MANY ROADS  [MYSTERIES OF THE UNKNOWN]   HARRY LAZARUS       ABOVE ALL ACG?
VERDICT:NOT GUILTY        JOHN FORTE
MYSTERIOUS LEADER         JOHN FORTE
THEY WONT LISTEN  [TEXT]
NEW STATUE                PETE CONSTANZA     ACG
YOU'LL MAKE A MILLION BUCKS UP THERE!  CHIC STONE  ACG?
THE MIRROR THAT STOLE FACES!  PAUL REINMAN
ALTER EGO[MYSTERIES OF THE UNKNOWN]
JEWELLED SCEPTRE

NO.76
MIGHTY AVENGERS:BETRAYAL   BARRY SMITH & SYD SHORES                                MARVEL
MORTON THE MAGNIFICENT MAGICIAN
MIGHTY AVENGERS:WE STAND AT ARMAGEDDON  BARRY SMITH & GEORGE KLEIN                   MARVEL
MIGHTY AVENGERS:AND WE BATTLE FOR THE EARTH!  SAL BUSCEMA &  SAM GRAINGER                MARVEL
PAST HAUNTING           A-2228         CHARLTON

NO.76 IS BADLY DAMAGED AND SO IT MAY BE SOME PAGES ARE MISSING.

NO.81
DAREDEVIL;THE TORPEDO  GENE COLAN & SYD SHORE MARVEL
THE TRAIN THAT VANISHED!  JOHN BUSCEMA
THE LITTLE MAN WHO WASNT THERE!
THE PHANTOM CITY!    OGDEN WHITNEY
GHOST OF A GIRL      PAUL REINMAN

N0.93
GIANT-MAN:THE HUMAN TOP  KIRBY & DITKO   MARVEL
JINGLES AND WILD BILL HICKOK;THE RIGHT MEDICINE  S1129
STONE AGE MAN     PAUL REINMAN
TARGET AND THE TARGETEERS
LITTLE GREEN MAN      KEN LANDAU
OVER THE LINE [WAR STRIP]

NO.94
THE SHIELD VS THE BLACK HOOD               ARCHIE
THE SHIELD;BEWARE THE KNAVE! PAUL REINMAN  ARCHIE
CHEYENNE KID;THE AVENGER DION[?]DIMINGUEZ
SPIRIT OF FRANKENSTEIN
THE MAN WHO STOLE THE SUN!  L718              ACG?
THE MAN WITH YELLOW EYES   DICK AYERS      MARVEL?
THE FLY;THE JUSTICE OF CHEN FANG!           ARCHIE

NO.122
THE BLACK HOOD:THE NIGHTMARE WORLD OF THE SKULL  REINMAN?                                    ARCHIE
A LIVING DOLL       DITKO
MR JUSTICE AND THE COSMIC TERROR  REINMAN   ARCHIE
DROP 43298A  [TEXT]
THE PERFECT SERVANT      4743
THE FLY;SIR FLY!                            ARCHIE
COLD STORAGE
MESSAGE FROM THE BEYOND     PAUL REINMAN

NO.141
NOMAN:THE SYNTHETIC STAND-INS! SEKOWSKY     TOWER
THUNDER AGENTS;DOUBLE FOR DYNAMO  WOOD      TOWER
DYNAMO AND THE GOLEM       WOOD             TOWER
NOMAN IN THE CAVERNS OF DEMO   WOOD & CO    TOWER
WHAT THE MIRROR REVEALED    K511

NO.144
THE JAGUAR IS MISSING!                      ARCHIE
THE JAGUAR;THE DAY THE JAGUAR STOPPED FIGHTING           ARCHIE
THE JAGUAR;GREAT OUTER SPACE HUNT!          ARCHIE
THE FLY;THE MONSTER FLY!                    ARCHIE
MY STRANGE GODFATHER    OGDEN WHITNEY       ACG?
THE PHANTOM CITY!       OGDEN WHITNEY       ACG?

NO.171
MAGIC-MAN;THE CASE OF THE YOUNG OLD MEN! PETE CONSTANZA                                    ACG
THE MAN IN THE BEEHIVE!   KIRBY & AYERS    MARVEL
THE HIDDEN VALLEY!     LOU MORALES         MARVEL?
THE JOURNEY [TEXT]
SAZZIK THE SORCERER     KIRBY & AYERS       MARVEL
FING FANG FOOM![YAY!]   KIRBY              MARVEL

Where-ever possible I have tried to identify artist and company or included the artwork reference such as "g123".  If you can identify strips, etc., or help out with issues I haven't listed please get in touch!

SUSPENSE

NO.98
INSPECTION TOUR     A-1083              CHARLTON
NICK FURY AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.;THE NAME OF THE GAME IS HATE!   FRANK SPRINGER           MARVEL
MADE OF WAX           S421
SAGA OF THE LUCKY 7;MICHEL'S REVENGE  MIKE SEKOWSKY
THE JAGUAR;A DATE WITH THE JAGUAR!           ARCHIE
YOU COULD BE ONE      A-2351             CHARLTON

NO.102
FLY-MAN;PAWN OF THE ULTRA-FOES  PAUL ARE  ARCHIE
THE THREAT FROM BEYOND       5379         CHARLTON
CAUGHT![TEXT]
THEY CALLED HER WITCH   5712               CHARLTON
CAPTAIN ATOM;ONE SECOND OF WAR   DITKO    CHARLTON
TWO HOURS     5611                        CHARLTON
STRANGER IN THE STORM   A-2133            CHARLTON
THE SHIELD;THE GLADIATOR FROM TOMORROW PAUL ARE  ARCHIE

NO.117  100 PAGES
MIGHTY AVENGERS;THE WARLORD & THE WITCH! JOHN BUSCEMA & TOM PALMER                     MARVEL
MIGHTY AVENGERS;THE BLAZE OF BATTLE..THE FLAMES OF LOVE!   JOHN BUSCEMA & TOM PALMER         MARVEL
BEWARE OF THE STEEL BIRD     A-2903       CHARLTON
THE AMBASSADORS!     CONSTANZA             ACG?
MY FIANCE ABIGAIL!  KURT SCHAFFENBERGER    ACG
THE NIGHT NOTHING HAPPENED  HARRY LAZARUS
HAND OF PROVIDENCE!   LEO MOREY             ACG?
VICTORY OF THE DITROS   A-3457          CHARLTON
DETOUR TO MARS  [TEXT]                  CHARLTON?
THE STONE AGE MAN    JOHN FORTE?         ACG?
THE HYPNOTIC TRANCE!                       ACG?
MYSTERIES OF NATURE!                         ACG?

NO.127
JUDOMASTER...TRAITOR!  FRANK MCLAUGHLIN   CHARLTON
SOMEONE IS FOLLOWING  illegible;"D_GEG"?    ACG?
IT HAPPENS AT NIGHT!    L577                 ACG?
RIDE TO THE FUTURE [TEXT]               CHARLTON
THE DREADFUL DREAM          K826
MENTHOR VS THE ENTRANCER    CHIC STONE?   TOWER
THE MAN IN BLACK    JOE ORLANDO          ATLAS?
HE HIDES BY NIGHT!   "SOLLY"              ATLAS?

NO.186
REEDY AND THE FIRE APES   A-2256         CHARLTON
WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO BE ALIVE?  CHIC STONE  ACG
WILD,PRINCE OF THIEVES
S.S.S.  [TEXT]                          CHARLTON
MYSTERIOUS BIRD     DICK BECK             ACG
NEMESIS;ASSIGNMENT PERILOUS! CHIC STONE    ACG

NO.219
JUDOMASTER;MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY! FRANK MCLAUGHLIN  CHARLTON
THUNDER AGENTS;THE BLACK BOX OF DOOM!  WOOD & CO.  TOWER
LIGHTNING ;THE BLUE ALIEN    SEKOWSKY       TOWER
THUNDER;ENTER THE RAVEN    CHIC STONE?       TOWER

NO.221
FLASH GORDON MEETS THE CRAGMEN OF THE LOST CONTINENT                                     KING
SIMBA [TEXT]                             CHARLTON
TOKYO ROSE    "S.J.G."                   CHARLTON
THE WATCHERS       S3015                 CHARLTON
AT THE END OF THE ROAD      S1215         CHARLTON
BRICK BRADFORD   PAUL NORRIS

NO.233  100 PAGES
UNDERSEA AGENT MEETS DR FANG                 TOWER
THE DANGEROUS DOLL    KIRBY                 MARVEL
CHILD'S PLAY!  L346
JOURNEY THROUGH TIME       A-3268         CHARLTON
A SLIGHT CHANGE OF LUCK!   PAUL REINMAN     ACG?
THE EIFFEL TOWER PHANTOM!   CITRON-HICKEY   ACG
MISSING;FREDERICK FORBES!  KURT SCHAFFENBERG  ACG
WHILE SIMON SLEPT
THE GHOSTLY PATROL!  HY EISMAN               ACG
LOUIE'S LEPRECHAUN!       H579            MARVEL
THE TROUBLE WITH MARCUS   "FWB"            MARVEL
DAMAGED;POSSIBLY SUSPENSE;
THE MAN WHO CAME BACK    S1395           CHARLTON
THE IMPOSSIBLE SPACESHIP!  DON HECK     MARVEL
THE END OF THE MEDIUM    S371             CHARLTON
THE LAST ROCKET!     X-52 [EARLY GENE COLAN?]
MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER;SECRET MISSION  DITKO  CHARLTON
WHAT IS X-35?      DITKO               MARVEL
THE MAN IN THE MIRROR!  DITKO          MARVEL
GUNDAR!             DITKO              MARVEL
THE CAVE OF SHAGGDORR!    DON HECK      MARVEL
MIDNIGHT IN THE WAX MUSEUM   KIRBY & AYERS   MARVEL
WORK OF ART!   LARRY LIEBER & SOL BRODSKY  MARVEL
MY PAL JEREMY!    OGDEN WHITNEY              ACG
LAND OF MY DREAMS!    PAUL REINMAN            ACG?
SPOOK DETECTIVE!    TOM HICKEY                ACG
RACE INTO THE UNKNOWN!["FANFARE SERIES"]
BACK THROUGH TIME!

And you  wonder why I grabbed this damaged freebie -the Ditko and Heck strips are classics!


SINISTER TALES
Well, as always, if you can identify where a strip came from or who drew it because you have these issues let me know! Let's get straight to the fun, shall we?

NO.54
NEMESIS;MENACE OF MAGIC    CHIC STONE                   ACG
THE REVENGE OF THE WOODEN WOMAN  DITKO   MARVEL
TARGET AND THE TARGETEERS      JOE CERTA
I WAS A PRISONER OF THE LIVING STATUES!  JOHN FORTE
I DARED TO DEFY MERLIN'S BLACK MAGIC   DITKO   MARVEL
T.V. INVASION  [TEXT]
AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT                                          MARVEL
LOOK OUT! IT'S...WILDFIRE!    EDD ASHE
GOOM!THE THING FROM PLANET X!  KIRBY& AYERS  MARVEL
PREVIOUS EXISTENCE

NO.75
THE SHADOW;SHIWAN KHAN'S MURDEROUS MASTER PLAN! ARCHIE
THE LONG SLEEP!       GRAY MORROW                      MARVEL
I CAME FROM THE BLACK VOID     DITKO                MARVEL
MAN ON THE SCAFFOLD!       DITKO                          MARVEL
THE FROZEN FRIGIDGARTUS [TEXT]
TANK TERROR         NICHOLAS ALASCIA                 CHARLTON
THE INVADERS                 DITKO                                   MARVEL
WAS HE JUST SEEING THINGS?       H459                    MARVEL
NOT NORMAL    EARLY[?] DITKO                                MARVEL
OPERATION BLACKSNAKE      DITKO                   CHARLTON
THE SHADOW;MARGO LANE'S HONEYMOON  REINMAN   ARCHIE

NO.100
FLY-MAN'S TREACHEROUS TEAM-MATES  REINMAN   ARCHIE
WHAT LURKS WITHIN?      KIRBY & AYERS["K+A"]   MARVEL
TROUBLE BUBBLE   [TEXT]
MR MIGGS FROM MERCURY!                                          ACG?
A FORTUNE IN BEANS!           DITKO                        MARVEL

NO.108
CURSE OF THE SEAL MEN [TEXT]  RICHARD KRAUS
X-MEN;WHAT IS..THE POWER?  NEAL ADAMS & TOM PALMER  MARVEL
X-MEN;THE MILLION DOLLAR ANGEL   WERNER ROTH & VINCE COLLETTA                                                MARVEL
X-MEN;WHERE ANGELS DARE TO TREAD   ROTH & GRAINGER  MARVEL
X-MEN;THE FLYING A-BOMB!    ROTH & GRANGER    MARVEL
THE TREASURE OF PLANETOID 12!    DITKO                  MARVEL
THE MANIKINS!               DITKO                                         MARVEL
THE MAN WHO HATED MONSTRO!   PAUL REINMAN  MARVEL
THE DREAM CREATURES    CONSTANZA?                      ACG?

NO.117
DAREDEVIL;THE MYSTERIOUS MATADOR!   WOOD   MARVEL
JINGLES & WILD BILL HICKOK;CARNIVAL OF FEAR   S1130
MY SON THE CREATURE    PAUL REINMAN
CLEVER CARAVAN  [TEXT]
OLD CAP HAWKINS' TRUE TALES  R.S.RIOUS[?]
TEXAS RANGERS IN ACTION;THE OWLHOOT RANGER      PAM [PETER A MORISI]                                                        CHARLTON
BARTON STREET                  A-4129                            CHARLTON
MESSAGE FROM  THE BEYOND  REINMAN

NO.144
THUNDERBOLT;THE EVIL THAT IS EVILA!  PAM    CHARLTON
THE ATMOSPHERE                           A-5262                 CHARLTON
THE THREAT!        L886
JU-JU!          L-406
THE NIGHT OF MARCH 5TH       ROBERT Q  SALE     MARVEL?
IT GROWS ON TREES!           G-87
THOSE WHO DISAPPEAR!      JOHN FORTE
MISTER  MASON'S STRANGE PROBLEM     M112    MARVEL?
INSIDE THE IRON MAN        PAM                           CHARLTON
DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE!   GRAY MORROW?
I SAVED MANKIND!         JOHN FORTE                   MARVEL
PICTURES ON THE WALL   CONSTANZA                    ACG?
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!     DICK AYERS             MARVEL
2PP AD FOR DENIS GIFFORD ALLY SLOPER T-SHIRT AND THE ALLY SLOPER NOSTALGIA COMIC [co-published by Alan Class & Gifford]

NO.208
THE GHOST CAME C.O.D.    M283
THE EERIE EXPERIMENT!     JOHN Q  SALE          MARVEL?
THE LAST PATROL!     PAUL REINMAN
TURN BACK THE CLOCK!   JAY SCOTT PIKE        MARVEL
THE GUERILLA!         T-234
I UNLEASHED SHAGG UPON THE WORLD!  KIRBY & AYERS   MARVEL
THE SECRET OF THE MYSTIC RING   ROBERT Q SALE  MARVEL?
WITHDRAWL!      DICK AYERS
THE ENEMY!        JOE ORLANDO        
I LEARNED THE MONSTROUS SECRET OF BOMBU!  KIRBY& AYERS    MARVEL

NO.214
DYNAMO;THE SECRET IS....       WOOD                        TOWER
THE MAN IN THE IRON BOX!       T-230
DYNAMO;DYNAMO'S DAY OFF!    CHIC STONE          TOWER
ESCAPE TO TOMORROW     PAUL REINMAN
THE CREATURES FROM THE BOTTOMLESS PIT!   DITKO
THE WORLD THAT WAS LOST!    KIRBY & AYERS      MARVEL
DYNAMO;THE WEAKEST MAN IN THE WORLD!   CHIC STONE  TOWER

NOTE; It is quite likely that the text stories are from Charlton as in at least two the Phantom Traveller is illustrated -ditto text stories from other Class Comics!

 


SECRETS OF THE UNKNOWN

Where-ever possible I have noted the comic company where the strip originated.  If I cannot then I'll identify, if possible, the artist.

If anyone can add to this list and provide cover scans please get in touch!

No.104
THE JAGUAR'S LAST STAND     artist:Constanza      ARCHIE
THE LIVING PROOF                     "      :Pete Tomlinson     ATLAS
THE MERRY-GO-ROUND            strip code G216
FROM OUT OF THE SMOG              "           G733
JAGUAR;THE LADY GODIVA                                        ARCHIE
OF ELEPHANTS
THE RAG DOLL!                              TARTAGLIONE       ATLAS
THE MOVING WALLS                                      L-778
THEY VANISH AT NIGHT              TARTAGLIONE
JAGUAR;TIME OUT FOR TERROR                                        ARCHIE
THE DEEP FREEZE                                                 G83           ATLAS
THE INVENTORS                              BILL BEMIKS
FAIR EXCHANGE                                                    G181          ATLAS

NO.139
THE MAN IN THE SKY                                            J581          ATLAS
NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK                                      J797          ATLAS
THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF                  BILL WALTON            ATLAS
THE PEACE-MONGER                        PAUL REINMAN         ATLAS
THEY PASS BY NIGHT                                             G778
THE BLACK BEARD                            GRAY MORROW
THOSE WHO VANISH                         GRAY MORROW        ATLAS
THE TOTEM                                           BILL EVERETT
POWER! 
THE ONE WHO WATCHES                   GENE COLAN
WHEN THE YOGI SPEAKS!                                   L78
THE STRANGE SEED!                                             L56             ATLAS

NO.194
DYNAMO OPERATION ARMAGEDDON     WOOD           TOWER
LIGHTNING:THE AIR LASER              SEKOWSY             TOWER
NoMAN MEETS ANDOR                                                       TOWER
THE PHANTOM OF THE FARM!        B.KRIGSTEIN           ATLAS
THE MAN WHO DARED!                     DITKO                   MARVEL
I WALK THROUGH WALLS!              P. REINMAN
I LIVED A MILLION YEARS!              P. REINMAN

NO.206
VULCAN;FURY OF THE WAR GOD   FRACCIO & TALLARICO
                                                                                             CHARLTON
MAGIC IN THE CIRCUS [TEXT]
THE TWO-HEADED GLIP                                                 CHARLTON
MOON TRAP                                                                     CHARLTON
THE INCREDIBLE RULERS OF A.OG!                            CHARLTON
ACTION AT STATION 4!

NO.229
THUNDERBOLT:GORE THE MAN-APE   P.A.M.         CHARLTON
MURDOCK'S BRAIN!               JEF? EDWARDS             MARVEL
THE THOUGHT STEALER                                                  MARVEL
BEHIND THE MASK                  JERRY ROBINSON
WHO WAITS IN THE FOG!                                               MARVEL?
SECRET OF THE GLITTERING GLOB              
THE WAX MAN!                            RICHARD DOXSEE

NO.230
THE SHADOW:THE GAME OF DEATH      REINMAN        ARCHIE
NOT ALL GOLD GLITTERS
THE RETURN OF THE GORILLA-MAN    KIRBY                MARVEL
THE FLY;THE INVASION OF THE ROCKET MEN              ARCHIE
CREEPY WORLDS

Where-ever possible I have tried to identify the artist and originating company or strip reference number marked  on artwork by the company. If you can identify or have issues not on this site please get in touch.

NO.133
THE AVENGERS:MASTERS OF EVIL   KIRBY/STONE MARVEL
CONQUEST               LIEBER & BRODSKY     MARVEL
THE WISH [TEXT]
MEET MR MEEK         DON HECK                   MARVEL
NO HUMAN CAN BEAT ME     KIRBY              MARVEL

NO.138
CAPT ATOM:THE 5 FACES OF DR SPECTRO  DITKO  
                                                             CHARLTON
THE VOICE FROM NOWHERE  G.WOODBRIDGE
THE EDGE OF MADNESS   TARTAGLIONE
THE RECIPE [TEXT]   
MOON AHEAD                                 
THE NIGHTMARE MEN    MAC PAKULA
THE MAN WHO SAID "NO"    D. HECK         MARVEL?
DIVING DISASTER [TEXT]
PAID IN FULL!                     F689
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE U.F.O.?    A-4084 CHARLTON

NO.141
INSIDE THE HOUSE!               G968             MARVEL
ABRA CADABRA                      G920             MARVEL
THROUGH THE VEIL!     ROBERT Q. SALE        MARVEL
NIGHTMARE!                                               MARVEL
THE MAN WHO HAD NO FEAR  BILL FERULIS   "
[originally from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #31]
NIGHTMARE AT NOON   A.TORRES                  MARVEL
MAN WITH WINGS                       K208          MARVEL
WHEN THE WALLS CLOSE IN!         K222        MARVEL
TIMETABLE               DAVY BERG  H451
WHEN DAVE OPENED THE DOOR JOE SINNOTT
THE OLD MAN'S SECRET  "SG"                        MARVEL

NO.165
THE FLY:LXO III'S SECRET WEAPON                ARCHIE
THE FLY:THE MAN WITH THE CHLORDANE HANDS!   "
LAST OF HIS KIND!    PETE CONSTANZA
THE CASE FOR E.S.P.!    CHIC STONE                 ACG?
THE FLY;THE CYCLOPS FROM SPACE              ARCHIE
ONE THIEVING CROW!   CONSTANZA                 ACG?

NO.204
BLUE BEETLE:THE EYE OF HORUS  FRACCIO & TALLARICO                                          CHARLTON
THE GLADIATOR'S WAR   F & T?               CHARLTON
ODD SKILLS  [TEXT]
FOR THE BIRDS  signature inelligible
FROM OUT OF NOWHERE!  DICK AYERS        MARVEL
"TRUE" GHOSTS OF HISTORY
GROTESQUE!             DICK AYERS?
THE BLANK            A. TORRES
HOTEL HOLD UP  [TEXT]
THE IRON BRAIN!      BILL FERULIS       MARVEL

           

           

           
           
           


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Will “Sentimentality” Empty YOUR Pockets? Or: The Cost Of Class

No one who knows me or has been a CBO regular is unaware of the fact that I am a big fan of Alan Class and his Class Comics series.  Before there was proper distribution of US comics to the UK again, around the mid-to-late 1970s, Class reprints were our way of catching up with The Avengers, Daredevil, The Fly, etc.

These were black and white reprints of Charlton, ACG, Timely/Marvel and other US company strips. Print quality was always a little hit-or-miss at times -the comics had to be printed cheaply enough to make money back when they sold.  Alan Class was one of the guv’nors of Independent British publishers.

But how much are the comics worth?




As revealed in Alan Class’s CBO interview (reprinted in The Hooper Interviews and the one off magazine The Amazing World Of Alan Class -both available via the online store) a strip could appear in one title and then later make up the page count in another.  Books were not dated because they could be picked up a year later by someone as new.

At the recent Bristol Comic Expo, one dealer had a big box full of Class Comics and there was a stack more on top of those (not treating the books very well).  The cheapest was £10 and the most expensive I saw was £25.  To me that is just wrong.  The bags were sealed with lots of address labels so you could not open up and look at the quality.  I asked the man behind the table just WHY these comics were so expensive and he pointed at the roughly written sign and said “Collectibles”.

Sheer utter bollocks. He wants me to fork out £10-25 on a comic in an oversized/over sealed bag that I cannot inspect??  I pointed out that these were black and white reprints of US comics and not unique strips -and that print and binding quality varied -why were they that expensive? He turned and walked away.



The next table was Nostalgia Comics where I bought around 20 of the same Alan Class books at between £1-£3.00 each (only one at £3 but it was one I wanted because of a specific strip). The guy asked if I was aware the comics were only “poorish quality reprints of American comics?” I thanked him and told him I was.  Complete difference. No attempt at conning me with the “collectible” line and he couldn’t have been more open.

I was then introduced to a “mystery man”.  Well, it was explained that he was probably the top man when it came to the valuation of comics in the UK. He is a collector himself but he’s like one of those paid “secret shoppers” -anonimity is a must.

We chatted for a while and he asked what I’d brought? I showed him. He looked them over and said “I hope you never paid more than a pound each -even that is stretching it a bit value-wise.” I told him how much I had paid and he just tutted and nodded.  I explained about the £10-£20 a copy table and it seems he had seen it and shrugged:”Fools and money soon parted.”

So I had to ask what he thought even a number 1 Class Comic would cost? “Forget the print quality, it’s a first issue by a publisher so I’d say £5 at the maximum.”  That made me baulk a little.  At my query of really low-pricing he checked through what I had bought and held up Creepy Worlds 239 and pointed out that this was one of the best print jobs but even so, based on how they were printed, there was still fading and the binding glue was showing signs of crystalising.  “These books were throw away or swapsies and not expected to last a year. I was recently involved in valuating and selling two hundred assorted Class Comics that the owner had read and put straight into individual greaseproof paper bags and sealed with tape. The lot sold for £30.”

He went on: “Sentimental value is often given as a reason for buying one of these for £10, which is ridiculous in the extreme pricing wise. I got rather ‘sentimental’ when I was 9 years old and stepped in some dog poop. Am I looking around to buy something similar because of that? No. These are cheap throw-away entertainment and here’s the thing -how many online scans of an Alan Class Comic have YOU seen?”

I knew the answer to that as all seven have ended up on my Yahoo Alan Class group!  The expert pointed out that in many cases it was cheaper to find and buy the original US comic a strip had been taken from “After all” he said, “it was not the entire comic Class was reprinting but individual strips.”

I explained that I had always wanted to establish a Class comics Library for posterity. I asked if he thought that not worthwhile?  Apparently he did think it worthwhile.  I asked whether, if he got any more complete runs for £30 he’d call me?  “That was the exception for an established client -no auction house I know of nor memorabilia dealer would really touch them unless as a very cheap job lot to sell of AS a very cheap job lot.”

I could understand his point though I was slightly annoyed.  He was not putting down Alan Class or his comics but valuing them for what they were -even with certain “sentimental” attachment. In fact, he told me that he had three Class first issues that were valued at £15 in total “simply because it marked a publisher’s debut -the print quality in two is so-so and the staples rusting! I have an Ally Sloper from the 1890s that is in far better condition.”

So, next time someone tells you a Class Comic is going to cost you £35 tell him where to shove it. I still love the comics but I have ALWAYS drawn the line at £1.50-£3.00 in buying one. And if the serious financial value of a first issue is around £5.00 for a well preserved copy….I better close that Caiman Island account!
Comics are, and always should be, FUN!!