I began collecting Beano & Dandy comics and annuals in 1990 and, like most collectors, spent years browsing local bookshops, comic book marts, antique & collectors fairs and car boot sales. Growing up in the suburbs of Birmingham I would regularly go to Reader's World second hand bookshop in the city centre, where my collecting started, and trawl local free ads papers. I vividly recall the "box of old Beano comics" advert in the Bargain Pages which led to a terraced house in inner city Birmingham and a near full run from 1967 through 1977. A spineless 1958 Beano Book from a local antique fair was like the jewel in the crown, being the first pre-1970 book I had seen and bought. A day trip to Hay-on-Wye, the town of books on the Welsh border, became an enjoyable event each school summer holiday. The first in 1993 was a great success, picking up nine 1960s books for £63. A bargain by today's market, as a mere paperboy that meant five weeks in the red, but it was worth it!
Being on the books of comic book dealers up and down the country proved invaluable, keeping the postman busy to this day. To the relief of all concerned, no wire-haired Abyssinian tripe hound of the "Gnasher" variety resided at our address! Specialist live and postal comic book auctions have been a real eye opener and proved tense but exciting avenues for collecting. Live auctions provided a convenient platform for meeting fellow collectors and, despite much rivalry, some good friendships have developed.
The 21st century saw the rise of the internet and eBay, adding an interesting new dimension to the world of collecting. Two auctions remain in my mind as key items sold through eBay in the early years in the early 2000s. The first contained The Beano comic #1-4, from 1938, being sold by a chap in Mexico of all places! The second, from Leeds, contained a Very Fine consecutive run of Beano comics from 1949 to 1957, all from the same, original source. Just two of many scarce items we have seen being auctioned online.
Physically handling an item in person, at auction or at a fair, is second to none - even the smell can influence a purchase - but you have to be in the right place at the right time. Online auctions allow you to buy from the comfort of your own home as well as securing items you might otherwise miss.
Capitalising on ten years collecting experience, phil-comics started trading on eBay in August 2002. Fifteen years on, with thousands of satisfied and repeat customers worldwide, with our own website, phil-comics auctions are leading online British comic book auctioneers.
Selling on behalf of vendors on a commission basis and selling our own stock which we're always looking to buy, we achieve consistently high prices. Notable results of late include a Good example of The Beano comic #1 - 30th July 1938, which broke our record for a comic at £3,500 plus our record breaking annual - the first Dandy Monster Comic annual, 1939, at £4,050. We also achieved a mouth watering £659 for the Cor!! comic #1, from 1970, with its original free gift! You can browse or search over 32,000 auction results on this website.
In September 2013 we entered the world of book publishing, having obtained a licence from DC Thomson & Co. Ltd to reprint classic comic covers. The Dandy and The Beano - Classic Christmas Comic Covers 1937-1969 was the result. It was very well received and the 1,000 copies printed sold out in just under three years, but you may be able to find the odd copy online.
In 2006, we proudly founded The Beano & Dandy Collectors' Club. We ran the club for three years and in that time produced eight full colour newsletters packed with interesting articles about the UK's most successful comics. Although the club has now closed, we have provided PDF links to the eight newsletters on the Collectors' Club page of this website - feel free to browse and enjoy.
One of the many great aspects of being in the business of scarce, vintage items is that we never know what collections will be offered to us from one week to the next. Indeed, it's a fabulous feeling to receive a phone call from someone looking to sell their childhood collection, often comprising the weekly comics with their free gifts and the associated Christmas annuals and holiday specials. We are offered collections most weeks and are always on the lookout for scarce, vintage items and collections to bring to market, so we hope to trade with you soon whether that be buying or selling!