Trawling for Comic Treasure


Above: 'Vintage' Jinty & Penny comics, only $10 each! These were 40 cents each when they sold new in the 1980's and gosh that's about what anyone would pay for them now! Lots of lovely European and UK artwork in these, and some of my fave writers from the IPC's boys comics division as well as their juvenile comics.

In common with many other comic readers rapidly approaching 'middle-age-ness' I like to trawl second hand book shops and markets to pick up old cheap comics for entertainment and blog research. As an irregular feature I'll share a few things on the Pikitia blog, pics from this post are from the Camberwell markets in Melbourne 28 Dec 2014.

UK digest comics, all $2 - $4 each. if I remember correctly the western series Buck Jones and others by Amalgamated Press were created as standard size comics in England for the Australian market and then reformatted for digests in the UK.

These days I have a ridiculous obsession with Charlton Comics, I'd buy any title for a dollar or two. Chances are if it's a horror or Sci-Fi title it will feature something in there by Steve Ditko. $6 is a bit much though. Is that Herbe Trimpe Hulk? I can't tell. I fondly remember buying Hulk from that era off the spinner rack in the late seventies.

More delicious over-priced Charlton comics.

Will we get deluxe hardcover reprints of Gold Key humour titles? Probably not. Gold key comics are an important part of any comic reader's diet.

Newton Comic reprints of Marvel Comics from the 1970's (I think?) Comics historian extraordinaire Daniel Best has recently completed his exhaustive history of Newton Comics, get a copy of the ebook here.

What I bought: I can't help buying any IPC/Fleetway Holiday Specials for a dollar each. War, Battle, and Suspense holiday special digests are hundreds of pages of chiefly journeyman artists but good fun reading for a couple clams apiece, and on the far left a couple reprints of classic New Zealand novels to remind me of the motherland.

John Joseph McNamara Sports Digest Gallery part one

New Zealand artist John McNamara provided sporting portraits and illustrations for articles featured in Sports Digest during the 1950's - 1960's. At the time he was living in England and employed as a cartoonist by Amalgamated Press as well as working on various newspaper strips, most famously Francis Durbridges' Paul Temple. On some occasions McNamara's illustrations are credited as reprinted from UK publications but I suspect he was also providing work via the mail for the New Zealand published Sports Digest which was edited by Wellington journalist Brian F. O'Brien from 1949 to 1979.

McNamara's compatriot on Fleet Street, Neville Colvin, also had spot illustrations featured in Sports Digest.

I'm convinced there are a lot of comics, cartooning and illustration work by McNamara that are now forgotten or weren't credited to him. I'd love to hear from any of his family members that might be able to provide clearer picture of his career in England.