Albert Tatlock

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  1. You're right, it is a rubbish theory. Nobody I knew back in the day paid the slightest attention to whether the price on the cover was in pence or cents, we just wanted to read them, then some of us decided to form a collection. Something to do with the hunter-gatherer instinct, the trick cyclists tell us.
  2. The question still remains, why did no late 1960 (Strange Tales # 78, JIM # 61, TTA # 11, 12, 13, TOS # 11, 12) Marvels arrive, pence or cents?
  3. We have not made much headway in the first distribution problem area, that of late 1960. As T & P and Miller had been importing Marvels for several months, and presumably doing so profitably, why, or as Stan Lee would have put it, why, WHY, WHY!!?? would they call a halt? And why resume again after so short a gap? Surely there cannot have been time to research circulation figures to assess the impact on overall sales (without Marvels) in so short a period. Also, why was the retail price increased in late 1964? The US price increase of December 1961 from 10 cents to 12 did not hit the pocket of UK buyers, and the dollar/pound exchange rate at that time was fixed, not floating as it is now. A possible explanation is that Marvel decided, because of rising production costs, to increase their price (or reduce their discount, which amounts to the same thing) to T & P, so T & P reduced their order temporarily, resulting in the shortage of late 1964 Marvels, still noticeable as late as 1983 (as Alan Austin recorded in his Price Guide). Of course, T & P would have had to adjust the price of DCs upwards in line with Marvel, even though DCs were in all probability costing them less. We need to find some trade journals of the time.
  4. Possibly the obviously battered copies were weeded out by DC distrtibution staff before shipping. T & P would not have wanted their pennies wasted on substandard merchandise.
  5. Was not to be found anywhere, pence or cents. It was still on many peoples wants list years later. The bundle I found in Tel Aviv in 1972 found customers straight away. As late as 1983, Alan Austin's price guide has it listed as 'Rare', so even after nearly 20 years, only a few copies from the States had dribbled in. Should be common enough by now, though. I think he should have listed it as ND. Unlikely, I think, to find a stamped copy. T & P probably never received any.
  6. From T & P instruction manual: Always find a nice clear light coloured area for your stamp, or collect your cards on the way out. Disgruntled employees who fell foul of this regulation spent the rest of their last shift applying illegibly smudged stamps.
  7. But this is 1 year before official switch to 10d. Surely another indication that T & P recycled their unsold stock.
  8. PATIENT: Doctor, Doctor, my memory is getting worse and worse. DOCTOR: I see. How long have you had this problem? PATIENT: What problem?
  9. Yes, definitely. I can date the early purchases I made by birthdays, school holidays, etc. At the time of my birthday in 1961, Tales Of Suspense # 17 was on sale in a local sweetshop. I had already noticed that DC titles were always 2 or 3 months in arrears. I bought FF # 5 during the summer holidays of 1962, so July, or at latest August. Also, I have some written records, but only from the late 1960s. Will dig them out later.
  10. I know you like documentary evidence, Marwood, so here are 3 documents attached. On 9 July 1975 I had a shipment collected from the luggage room at Grand Central Station, new York. The ship was due to sail on 14 July, but actually did not depart until 23 July. By 12 August, I was receiving correspondence from Thomas Cook about the consignment which had arrived a few days earlier. Maximum crossing time was therefore 19 days (23 July to 11 August). In 1961, Marvels on sale were cover dated roughly in sequence with the calendar, but DCs were 3 months behind calendar date. Presuming that both the Marvels and DCs were at sea for the same length of time, the extra 3 months must correspond to the time it took returns to traverse the system in the US.
  11. But many DCs had US arrival dates on, so obviously had been through the retail chain. Still, it is possible that we got some that had never been on sale in US. Could the anomalous 6 stamped copies of 1959 have been among them? Do any of those have US arrival dates? The circulation statement found in February DC issues in the 1960s has a reference to 'left over', along with 'spoiled' and 'unaccounted for'. We can also gauge the quantity of unsold copies by subtracting the paid circulation figure from the total print run.
  12. Retire it? Never! Not now we are so close to victory, of unravelling the final hidden secrets of the T & P stamp, an accomplishment that will, when completed, rank with the human genome project or Champollion's decipherment of hieroglyphics. When the going gets tough, the tough get going! What you need, mate, is a reminder of some inspiring speeches. Go on YouTube and put in: Fight them on the beaches and Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more or even Though I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, yet have I the heart and stomach of a king. But steer clear of Infamy, infamy!