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A LOOK AT THE COMICS AND PUBLISHING HISTORY OF ALAN CLASS & CLASS COMICS AND THE WONDERFUL MIXTURE OF SCI FI,ADVENTURE,SUPER HEROICS & CRIME PRESENTED IN EACH TITLE!


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.

 

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.

ADDENDA 24th May,2006

As if to under-score the above comments,e-bay [yes,THEM!] have had some 1963 dated Class Comics for sale. These sold for the maximum of £3 each. Other 1960s-1980s Class Comics were selling for anywhere from 50p-£2. This goes to prove the words of a Silver Bullet Comics panel member at the May,2006 Comic Expo;he stated that too many comic buyers were being ripped off and that "e-bay is showing what FANS are willing to pay -not what traders want them to pay!"

ALLY SLOPER

YES! I WILL BUY CLASS COMICS -OR ACCEPT SCANS!

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.

But,if you want to keep your copies but share them with me -PLEASE get in touch as I'll gladly accept scans!

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

Cheers M' Dears!

TERRY