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    Adventures of The Big Boy #1-233 Bound Volumes (Illustrated Features Corp. 1956-76). "If money were no object, what comic run would be the toughest to put together?" a dealer friend asked us some time ago. His nomination was Adventures of The Big Boy, the giveaway series distributed at the restaurant chain for many decades, and our pal joked that the next level of masochism would be to insist on copies with none of the puzzles filled in! Well, this lot of 13 bound volumes has the toughest part of that run, the first 20 years' worth, and almost none of them have any puzzles filled in.
    The name embossed on the cover of each of these blue hardcover volumes is that of Manfred Bernhard, the series' creator and longtime publisher (and incidentally son of the famous graphic designer Lucien Bernhard)!
    Timely completists will be among the interested parties, since Stan Lee and colleagues famously produced the earliest issues. #1 and #2 have cover and interior art by Bill Everett. While sources put the Timely run at #1-12, issue #13 has a Dan DeCarlo cover, and some later issues, while unsigned, certainly look like DeCarlo's work, with Big Boy's best girl Dolly a dead ringer for a young Betty.

    Condition: While these volumes are not especially attractive from the outside, when you page through these newsprint comics with paper covers, they look fine, with cream to off-white pages (Vol. 1 with issues 1-12 is off-white!). Now and then there will be a small defect such as a torn-off corner, an isolated 2- or 3-inch tear, or a piece of tape. Issue #1 has a one-inch cover tear. Volume 7 has a water stain throughout, the outer cover of Volume 10 is in poor condition with acid stains. Vol. 13 has some moisture damage. While we didn't check every single page of every volume, we only spotted three completed puzzles, all in Vol. 2! Since these comics had no indicia and later issues had the issue number near the spine and thus hidden by the binding, not all issue numbers could be verified, but we found nothing to indicate a missing issue. Some have a penciled issue number on the right side of the cover.
    The earliest issues are mostly from Arizona or California "Bob's" locations, but others bear the imprint of Eat 'n Park (PA), Elias Brothers (MI), Tops, Mark's, McDowell's (ND), Elby's, Mr. B's, JB's (Canada), Ken's, Marc's (WI, not to be confused with Mark's), Shoney's, Kip's (TX/OK), and others. While we have heard that some "East Coast" editions were printed that featured a blond Big Boy, no such issues are in these volumes.
    A bonanza for lovers of nostalgic roadside America and devotees of good, clean fun. Overstreet 2008 VG 4.0 value for group = $1,354.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2008
    22nd-23rd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,615

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