Friday, September 28, 2012

How to spot a fake Beano No. 1!

A genuine Beano #1 and its advertising flyer.

I often get emailed asking about values (which you can never say for sure) for first issues of The Beano, only that it turns out they're replicas. So, here's how to spot a fake Beano No. 1.

1. The Staples.

When I get these emails people often say things along the lines of "the staples are nice and shiny". The pages, as with many early comics, were glued, not stapled (and would staples really be shiny after 75 years?).

2. The Centre Spread.

The centre spread in replicas is sometimes printed in black ink, wheras in the original comic it was printed in blue and red.

3. Page Count.

Pretty much all the reprints I have seen have had 24 pages, wheras the original had 28! A complete original can be seen in The History of The Beano, by Morris Heggie.
A recent replica.

4. Border.

On the front cover of some reprints (such as the image above), the red goes right out to the edge of the comic, but in the original (as seen at the top of the post), there is a white border around the edge.

And there you have it - how to spot a fake first Beano!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Big Eggo's Decendants

Big Eggo, quite possibly Britain's, if not the world's, most famous ostrich, was not the only ostrich to appear in The Beano! Shortly after Eggo ended, another ostrich was to take his place - Big Bazooka, illustrated by Charles Grigg. The football loving bird made his first appearence in 1952, and ended a year later in 1953, although he continued in the annuals for several more years.

Here's one of his adventures - from the 1957 Beano book! Click on an image, then again for maximum size.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Captain Pugwash in Eagle...?

Episode 1
John Ryan is most remembered as the creator of Captain Pugwash, the brave television pirate from the 1950's to the 1980's! But, before Pugwash appeared on the box (a DVD featuring a complete series of the T.V. episodes was given away with The Sunday Times a few years ago), he appeared in Eagle comic!

Episode 2
Originally appearing in the very first issue, Captain Pugwash lasted for just 19 issues before he walked the plank! Marcus Morris (the founder of Eagle) decided that the comic was aimed at an older audience, and so replaced him with Harris Tweed, Extra Special Agent, also drawn by John Ryan.

Episode 3

So here are all 19 of Captain Pugwash's adventures from Eagle for you to enjoy!

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Episode 11

Episode 12

Episode 13

Episode 14 
Episode 15

Episode 16

Episode 17

Episode 18

Episode 19

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I'm off on holiday for three weeks, to return home on the 14th October! However, don't worry - I've written some posts so that the blog will update itself whilst I'm away!

- George!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This Weeks Phoenix - No. 37

Its always important to support the British comics industry, so why not grab yourself a copy Britains newest childrens weekly - The Phoenix! The second series of Pirates of Pangaea has just finished, and a new story, entitled Zara's Crown has begun, by John and Patrice Aggs. So far we don't know much, and I don't want to ruin anything, but its about a girl named Zara and her friend Chloe who find a bundle of thousands of pounds on a train! What will they do with it? Well, we'll just have to wait and see...

Also inside are old favourites Cogg and Sprokit, who, as usual, are taking adventure to a whole new level, down in standard, up in excitment! Illustrated by the fantastic Jamie Littler.

Possibly the weirdest strip in the comic is Evil Emperor Penguin about, well, an evil emperor penguin and his sidekick - Number 8 (actually an octopus in a suit). In this weeks story by Laura Ellen Anderson Penguin's snowstorm machine goes horribly wrong, and he has to face an army of giant snowmen in jackets!

So why not grab yourself a copy from wherever you can for only £2.99!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Missing Monkeys

If you have read the Dandy Annual 2013, you may have noticed that one of Lew Stringer's Smasher stories was printed twice! The reason is that Mike D (artist of Bone-O) produced a one page Monkey Bizness, which originally appeared in The Dandy in the late '60's - early 70's. Somehow, the page he produced vanished, and as a result - Smasher's story was repeated! A panel from the missing story is at the top of the post. Who knows - maybe one day we will see the full result!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Buster's 30th Birthday

Buster turned 30 in 1990, and since the comic was still around back then, a special 30th anniversary issue was launched to celebrate the occasion! Not every character got into the feel of things, but those that did had great strips! However, on the front cover the only thing advertising the special number was the advert on the left of the strip. Buster himself has a street party, and all the characters from his own strip turn up, but Mr. Crabbe is having none of it!

Lew Stringer drew an excellent Tom Thug strip, which starred many of the characters from Buster over the years, including Gums (originally drawn by Robert Nixon), Hedley Deadley (originally drawn by Martin Baxendale) and Faceache (drawn by Ken Reid)!

Specky Hector's Totally Crucial History of Buster Comic very briefly summed up 30 years of the "world's greatest comic". A detailed summary would never fit into just one issue! This page was also reprinted in the final issue of Buster.

The centre pages were taken up by a quiz, one for the modern day reader, and one for a reader of the past (your parents), to see how much has changed in 30 years!

Chalky's strip was a made up history of comics, dating back, of course, to the stoneage - when all comics were carved into extremely thick slabs of stone.

The Winners were entering a cake competition, and make a Buster comic cake. Wheras it looked great, it didn't taste the same...! In the final box, Pa Winner says "Great! Now we've got 30 years to practise for the next one! Heh, Heh!".... oh, if only!

The final strip to celebrate the big event was Terry Bave's Double Trouble, who, for once, agreed with eachother and organised a giant party with all of the Buster characters!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beano Annual 2013

This years Beano book is on sale now, and it comes in at a low £7.99 for just over a hundred pages of fun! The excellent wrap-around cover is illustrated by Steve Bright, as are the inside cover spreads.

Inside, Dennis the Menace's parents look like their younger selves, even though this annual went on sale before they got the makeover in the comic. Personally, I think it would be better if they didn't look so young and 'trendy' because Dennis is a rebel and isn't supposed to get on with at all with his parents.

I wont reveal too much about whats inside as this annual is often given away as a Christmas present, but some of the stories inside include this excellent Bash Street Kids 5 page strip by David Sutherland...

... A great story about Fred's Bed and Shakespeare drawn by Nigel Parkinson...

... And a six page Bananaman strip about defeating the cold, illustrated by Steve Bright!

You can get this book on Amazon, through the D.C Thomson website and various stores throughout the country, all for just £7.99! Plus - if you order from the D.C Thomson website you can get both The Beano and The Dandy annual for just £10!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Compal Comics Autumn 2012 Results

As usual, I'll be covering the results of some of the auctions which featured in the latest Compal Comics auction. At lot #6 was the first 72 issues of Modern Wonder, which was a sci-fi magazine with amazing cutaway illustrations! With an estimate of £80 - £120, the set sold for £319!

With a profesionally restored spine and two childrens doodles inside this first Dandy annual appeared at lot #18 in vg condition. It beat its estimate of £450 - £500, selling for £544.

Lot #52 featured a complete year of 1953 Beano comics. 1953 was a very important year for the comic, as it was the year that introduced Roger the Dodger, Little Plum and Minnie the Minx. It completely smashed the estimate of £300 - £400, selling for a cracking £661!

This fine copy of the 1956 Beano book sold for £121, almost doubling the high end of its estimate of £45 - £65.

A near complete year of the Dandy from 1954 was offered, with just one issue breaking its run! With an estimate of £250 - £300, the collection in fine- condition sold for £786!

This fine condition Beezer book from 1958 sold for a whopping £181, well over double the estimate! 

At lot #60 was a vg- copy of Topper #1, with characters such as Micky the Monkey and Beryl the Peril the issue sold for £333!

A tinplate advertisment for Comet featuring Kit Karson had an estimate of £150 - £200, selling for a little over the estimate at £212.

The rare Eagle promotional comic was offered at lot #86. This comic was given away in advance of the actual first issue to see what kids would think of it, and is of course very rare! In very fine condition it flew away to £1089!

A bunch of early TV21 comics were offered, all vg - vfn condition. The first issue with the free gift sold for £177, with the following issues around £40 - £50 each.

The last item in the catalouge was a bound volume of Scream comic with the free gift from #2 and all the summer specials. Scream was banned after just15 issues because it was considered too scary for kids, and so is of course very collectable! With an estimate of £60 - £80, the auction closed at £157.