Dell Comics - UK Price Variants
Here is a summary of the Dell UK Price Variants (UKPVs) that I have found hiding between the dates of April 1960 and July 1961 inclusive.
UK Price Variants were printed in the USA at the same time as their cents priced headliners. They are not reprints. If you'd like to know more about them, please click the picture below and you'll be magically transported to the discussion thread in which we talk about them:
215 Dell UKPVs are currently confirmed to exist out of a total of 421 eligible US issues
Here is a detailed summary of what I have found to exist, which I hope you will find of interest.
Notes and Observations
- Dell comics are unique among the seven known UKPV producing publishers in respect of their cover / indicia month format – often, Dell books are dated with multiple months rather than a single month as is the case with Archie, Charlton, DC, Gold Key, King and Marvel. For the purposes of my research, where titles are cover / indicia dated with multiple months (e.g. May-July) the first month is recorded as the cover date.
- Dell UK Price Variants have been found to exist between the cover dates of April 1960 to July 1961 inclusive. Across those cover dates, a total of 421 cents priced comics exist spanning the 40 titles for which one or more UKPVs has been confirmed. At the time of writing, 215 of them have a matching single printed price UKPV confirmed.
- Within the 40 titles which have at least one UKPV book confirmed, Dell Giant and Four Color represent one title each.
At the time of writing, no UK Price Variants have been found for the following 15 titles which exist in the UKPV date range:
- Beep Beep, The Road Runner
- Beetle Bailey
- Carl Anderson's Henry
- Comic Album
- Daffy Duck
- Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan
- Little Iodine
- Marge's Little Lulu
- Marge's Tubby
- Nancy and Sluggo
- New Terrytoons
- Tip Top Comics
- Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker
- The earliest Dell UKPV books I have found are cover dated April 1960, priced at 9d. 16 ongoing titles and a further 3 Four Color issues currently share this honour (18 books in total).
- Three books are currently tied as being the final dated UKPV books, dated July 1961. They are Have Gun Will Travel #10, Wagon Train #10 and the Four Color #1205 (titled David and Goliath). Four Color #1236, titled King of Kings, is indicia dated 1961 making it difficult to place. It is believed to have hit the newsstands in September 1961.
- 66 of a possible 150 Four Colors have been found (150 being based on issues #1087 to #1236). Most of the current UKPV gaps are expected to be by design, especially towards the later dated issues. Peter Gun (#1087) is the first known copy indicia dated April-June 1960. The King of Kings (#1236) – the first UKPV after a 30 numerical issue break – is indicia dated 1961 and is believed to be the last sequential Four Color UKPV copy.
- 10 of a possible 17 Dell Giants have been found. Bugs Bunny Beach Party (#32) is the first known copy indicia dated August 1960 and The Flintstones Bedrock Bedlam (#48) indicia dated 1961 is currently the last known UKPV copy. All 10 copies are priced at 2/-.
I have found only three UK cover prices on Dell books. The ‘regular’ size titles change from 9d to 1/- during the cover months of February and March 1961. The Dell Giant oversize issues are all priced at 2/-. The three known cover prices are:
- 9d (nine pre-decimal old pence)
- 1/- (one shilling)
- 2/- (two shillings) for the Dell Giant books
- The majority of UKPVs are 'dual priced', i.e. the UK versions have both US and UK prices on them. The US versions have, of course, only the US price (sometimes printed twice!).
- The only difference between a pence priced UKPV and its cents priced equivalent is the cover price. Unlike, say, Marvel UKPVs, no other elements differ for Dell books and the indicias are the same in both editions. This is true of every copy I have found so far.
- My research shows that a potential maximum of 421 UKPV copies may exist based on the current known appearance dates. However, a number of the gaps in which no pence books have been found are clearly there by design, making the likely eventual UKPV total much lower.
Happy hunting, if you decide to build a set!
By Stephen Cranch based on v3.2 of the ‘Dell Comics – UK Price Variant Summary’
Here are three examples - one for each known cover price