It's time for another weekly Heritage Auction of items from my collection. This time the Heritage folks went heavy on the Platinum comic books, plus a smattering of other neat items. With a big holiday weekend coming up, I'm guessing that some bargains will be had while many folks are busy celebrating the 4th by eating too many hot dogs and drinking too much beer. Here's the link to the items on Heritage's website
, and here are my very informative annotations regarding the items they are offering:
|One more big beautiful batch of weekly syndicate proof books, this one is 147 books from NEA (Alley Oop, Robotman, etc) and covering January 2000 - October 2002|
|A set of 4 highly detailed 2-D metal sculptures of famous Italian comics characters in original boxes. This was a gift to me from Martin Mystere writer and comics scholar Alfredo Castelli of Italy.|
|A giant batch -- in fact a comic book storage box full -- of duck books from Gladstone -- there should be a number of complete runs of various titles in there|
A group of four harder to find Platinum books -- Dolly Dimples and Bobby Bounce by Grace Drayton, Tailspin Tommy, Smitty in very rare dustjacket (not pictured), and a rare original content Cupples & Leon, Tom & Jerry the Jolly Plumbers drawn in a delightful animated cartoon style.
Another four scarcer Platinums -- Freckles & His Friends Famous Funnies, Captain and the Kids Famous Comics, Skeezix and Pal (from Gasoline Alley), and Gasoline Alley (not pictured)
|2 platinum books from the Treasure Box series -- Reglar Fellers and Smitty|
A group of six harder to find Platinum books, these ones mostly in the fragile oversized category -- Hawkshaw the Detective, Hans und Fritz, Latest Adventures of Foxy Grandpa, Harold Teen Color & Paint Book, The Story of Happy Hooligan, and a coverless copy of the rare and valuable 1907 Newlyweds and their Baby.
I have asked Heritage to withdraw this lot and reconsider the EXTREME rarity of some of the items. But in case they don't, this is a major collector alert. Along with the three Gulf Funny Weekly sections and the very rare Buttons & Fatty in the Funnies (fragile format and had very limited distribution) are two VERY IMPORTANT early original content comic books. We've talked about the rarity, mystery and importance of The Funnies
on this blog at length, and this is the only copy I have ever been able to lay my hands on despite a quarter century of looking. PLUS, included with it comes a large batch of color and black and white photocopies of issues contributed to me for research purposes by other collectors. Second is a copy of Comic Cuts, also so rare it's the only one I've been able to find. It is said to be the direct predecessor of the DC comics line in that Major Wheeler-Nicholson was inspired by this short-lived series to start his foray into comics publishing. What can I say except FIND ANOTHER COPY -- GOOD LUCK!
Very early Platinum hardcover comic, and not listed in Overstreet, The Billy Prunes Cartoons reprints a series of rollicking traveling salesman comics that appeared in the Minneapolis Journal in 1903-1904. Really fun stuff, and of course exceedingly rare.
The Animated Cerebus Portfolio is a collection of 45 color plates by Dave Sim; a delight for aardvark fans.
Jack Kirby's 1972 Gods portfolio, in original sleeve, from back when no one had ever heard of a cartoon art portfolio.
A really neat activity set that allows kids to create their own customized comic strips based on a bunch of pre-drawn characters. A cool idea, but it sure didn't catch on, because I've never seen another. The art is unsigned but really attractive; reminds me a bit of McCay though it isn't him.
Little Jimmy Picture & Story Book, another hard to find Platimun item by Jimmy Swinnerton; really nice condition, and not colored in.
The great Clare Briggs in a very early book appearance -- 1913. This very large book is scarce but not ridiculously so; however, it is usually found in extremely beaten up and ragged condition. Other than a little bit of handling soiling, this copy is in stunning beautiful shape.
Not only is The Dumbunnies by Albertine Randall Wheelan a very hard to find Platinum book, this copy is incredible -- almost like it just came off the shelf at the bookstore.
A collection of 5 Cupples and Leon Bringing Up Father books, including a very sharp copy of the hard to find #24.
A collection of 6 Cupples & Leon Platinum books -- the big deal here is VEP's Clancy The Cop Second Series, which is both in beautiful condition and very scarce.
A group of 5 cartoon instruction related items, including Cartoon & Story Illustration by Robert Peterson, E.C. Matthews Modern Cartoon Course, Lockwood Art School Art Catalogue with a great Nate Collier cover, The Kiddie Cartoonist by Milt Hammer (which actually should qualify as a comic reprint book) and the public service bulletin How Comic Strips Are Made by cartoonist Russ Winterbotham, which is very scarce.
Heritage has characterized this lot as a bunch of coloring books, which made me do a full Homer Simpson "D'oh" plus face slap. They are actually mostly comic strip reprint books that try to get extra marketing mileage by offering the rugrats a suggestion to color in the pictures after they're done reading. Heritage threw in a 1970s Popeye item (it's kinda neat -- daily comics printed at full original art size), but the rest are fine additions to any really good Platinum collection. I'm not going to describe them all, but I want to highlight a real full-caps RARITY that they threw in without any realization of what it is. I would not be going too far to say that The New York Herald Comic Section Paint Book, which is full of 1915 Herald strips (Mr. Tweedeedle by Gruelle, Snapshot Sam, Colonel Corn, Verbeek's Terrors of the Tiny Tads, etc), might actually be unique. I have never seen or even heard of another copy. It is a small and very unassuming little book that you will likely never have another chance to own in this lifetime.
Back before the internet made practically every rare book at least somewhat accessible, Rube Goldberg's Chasing The Blues was considered so rare that the folks who ran his estate once offered me a four figure sum for my copy, since they could not locate one for their archives. Well, I guess I should have taken them up on that offer. Today they pop up once in awhile. However, my copy does still have the singular quality that it was originally owned, and doodled in, by long-time King Features cartoonist J.P. Arnot!