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19 May 2024

UPDATE: Cuirass (Harrier comics) - a puzzle!

 I was set a puzzle recently by friend of the blog Robert Hardingham and I thought I'd share it here for posterity.

Rob's collecting Harrier comics (a line of comics I really should cover more on the blog but this is in fact their inaugural mention) and was interested in a title call Cuirass. He was interested in know if I thought issue #4 of the title had ever been published. Issue 1 is easily available on ebay... 

and cover images for issue 2 & 3 can be found on the 'my comic shop' website here


But what about issue 4? It was supposed to be a 4 issue mini-series after all. I decided to look back through some contemporary fanzines to see if I could find any reviews / mention of Cuirass #4. 

Speakeasy seemed my best bet and this is from page 61 of Speakeasy issue 86/87 [a combined issue] for June 1988 it says "...Harrier have announced that due to the low orders for the Cuirass title it will not get past issue one. Martin Lock publisher of Harrier put it down to the lack of support in the market for first issues. "There was a time when you could expect a new title to have a high sale for the first issue, but Cuirass #1 was lower than the orders for that month's Barbarienne". Martin says he is reassessing his marketing strategy.

I then thought I'd also have a look at a (then) contemporary comic price guide as well just to see if that had any listings for Cuirass - and it did! Just the first issue though.

So, that seems pretty clear - just the one issue of Cuirass. That doesn't quite solve the mystery of where the images for issue 2 & 3 came from though. I'll have to assume some sort of promotional catalogue, but even then I'm surprised that the images are in colour, I'd have expected them to be in black & white (given the print options available back in 1988). 

UPDATE:
one of the comments on the original post about this comic highlighted the existence of a Harrier 'preview' comic. There's more than one Harrier preview comic available, but this one...
seems the most relevant to my enquiries. One ebay seller has helpfully included a scan of the back page of the comic, which looks like this...

and there they are! Those colourful image of issue 2+3 (and a draft cover for issue 1). So, it seems to me that this advert is the only 'proof' of the existence of issue 2&3. And we know from Martin Lock's contemporary comment that issues 2&3 were never published. Mystery solved!

18 May 2024

UPDATED: Leo Baxendale's 'Supercomic'

Leo Baxendale's proposed Supercomic is surely one of the great lost British comics. As he says (on page 86 of his autobiography A very funny business)... 
I conceived the idea of a monthly comic - Supercomic. Monthly comics are common enough in America, but not in Britain. My intention was that four week's work poured into one issue would produce a truly super-comic. I circulated publishers with the idea, and Odhams took it as an affront.  

It looks like (to me anyway, please tell me if I'm wrong!) that auctioneers Ewbank's have another 2 pages of Supercomic coming up for sale later this month in their comics auction on Wednesday 29th May at noon.

The very first lot (lot 4001) is here with an estimate of £200 - £400 and starting bids at £100. This is the first page of the Fort Fumble strip.

The 2nd lot of the auction (lot 4002) is here 
with an estimate of £200 - £400 and starting bids at £100.  This is the second page of the Fort Fumble strip.

All previous pages (and hammer prices) sold by Ewbank's are recorded below...


I've never come across any of the art from Supercomic and was not aware that any even existed until I spotted the art below at a recent auction (24th August 2023, Ewbank's Entertainment & memorabilia auction).

Lot 1043 (hammer price £950+fees) - the introduction by Spotty mentions Supercomic and the (c) note says Leo Baxendale 1967 - which is exactly the right year for this to have been produced

Lot 1044 (hammer price £200+fees) - this follows on directly from the previous image - more mention of Supercomic and the characters who'd appear in it.

Lot 1045 (hammer price £500+fees) - again, another mention of Supercomic and what's going to be in the comic next week.

If you won the auction congratulations to you and if anyone else out there can shed any more light on the art of Supercomic I'd be delighted to hear about it.

More pages from Supercomic were recently (14th December 2023) sold by Ewbank's at their Entertainment & Memorabilia Premier Live Auction sale. Here are the lots and the hammer price...

Lot 7141, £170

Lot 7142, £180

Lot 7143, £240

Lot 7144, £360

17 May 2024

Dan Dare gyro jeep

I'm always happy to feature unusual bits of Eagle merchandise on the blog. 
There were...
Dan Dare roller skates here
Dan Dare hairbrush here
Dan Dare tie clip here
Eagle stationery here
Eagle club notebook here
With the compliments of the Eagle club here
Eagle / Girl table tennis medals here
Eagle club cycle pennant here

and today I present 'the wonderful Dan Dare gyro-jeep'. As ever, the box is more exciting than the actual toy itself. A rare object.


Images from the 'Eagle and Dan Dare collectors' facebook group c\o Rick Sudars.

16 May 2024

Eric Parker overseas (part 4 of 10)

I've recently begun a lengthy series of blog posts all about renowned illustrator Eric Parker (check out his Wikipedia entry here) who had a 50 year (!) career as a comic illustrator.

I've looked at Roughs (part 1) here
Roughs (part 2) here
Roughs (part 3) here
Roughs (part 4) here
Female heads (part 1) here
Female heads (part 2) here
Female heads (part 3) here
Female heads (part 4) here
Pubs (part 1) here
Pubs (part 2) here
Overseas (part 1) here
Overseas (part 2) here
Overseas (part 3) here

and now we turn our attention to the start of a series of illustrations of foreign climes...

This was painted in Calvi (in Corsica)

This was painted in Calvi (in Corsica)

This was painted in Calvi (in Corsica)

This was painted in Calvi (in Corsica)




15 May 2024

Eaglecon 80 - part 3

It occurs to me that I've not covered anything to do with the very first Eagle comic convention - Eaglecon 80. A recent sale by ace ebay seller phil-comics (here) of one of the awards from Eaglecon 80 (see below) for £155 has inspired me to start looking images.

I looked at some initial images here
We had images about what was on display here

Now we have some images of the original art that was on display

All these images are from the late, great Eagle & Dan Dare historian Adrian Perkins.
Charles Evans-Gunther (left) & Fred Nelson (right)






14 May 2024

Dan Dare tieclip

I'm always happy to feature unusual bits of Eagle merchandise on the blog. 
There were...
Dan Dare roller skates here
Dan Dare hairbrush here
Eagle stationery here
Eagle club notebook here
With the compliments of the Eagle club here
Eagle / Girl table tennis medals here

and today I present an authentic 1950s Dan Dare tieclip - all images swiped from a recent ebay auction




13 May 2024

Sandy James artwork for Tiger

These images are swiped from an eBay sale last month and are a rare chance to see some original Sandy James artwork - from the 22nd September 1984 issue of Tiger




12 May 2024

Kapow - the art of making comics & film; original comic art, part 11

Just ended at the Rugby Art Museum & Gallery is Kapow - the art of making comics and film (more details here). If you've not yet been to this free exhibition here are just a few of the pages of original vintage British comics art that were on display

I looked at vintage British comic art here and here and here
I looked at 2000AD / Dredd art here
Frank Bellamy art is here
Bernie Wrightson is here
A selection of artists here
Jock part 1 was here, part 2 was here, part 3 was here

And now Jock. There was a LOT of art from 'One dark knight' there so I'll present it as a series of posts, so here's part 4...











11 May 2024

2000AD art bonanaza in latest Catawiki auction

Bidding ends tonight on these pages - good luck if you bid!

here's a whole Catawiki auction running at the moment entitled From the valuts of the Book Palace - and as you might expect it's jam-packed with British comics loveliness. I'm just highlighting the 2000AD pages (mainly by Carlos Ezquerra) but all the art is worth a look. Bidding ends on Saturday evening

This page from Al's baby








10 May 2024

The Real Ghostbusters - Puzzlebuster

I'm indebted to Chris Wing & Philip Boyce for alerting me to the existence of this title. It ran for 6 issues apparently and my covers gallery starts now...

The Real Ghostbusters, Puzzlebuster #1, August / September 1990, £1.35
image sourced from here

The Real Ghostbusters, Puzzlebuster #2, October / November 1990, £1.35
image sourced from here

The Real Ghostbusters, Puzzlebuster #3, December 1990/January 1991, £1.35
image sourced from here

The Real Ghostbusters, Puzzlebuster #4
image not to hand - can you help?

The Real Ghostbusters, Puzzlebuster #5
image not to hand - can you help?

The Real Ghostbusters, Puzzlebuster #6
image not to hand - can you help?