Sunday, July 01, 2018

Old comics found in WH Smith!

Thanks to reader Gary Knight for sending me this photo of the magazine shelves of WH Smith in Selfridges, Oxford Street, London. Look at the back shelf, tucked away there in the darkness... copies of The Beezer, Valiant, and more!

Not reproductions. Genuine random issues of old comics, bagged. Clearly second hand, as they're somewhat yellowed and used. Somewhat overpriced at £8 or £9 each, but very interesting to see them there! 

Gary tells me they're random old comics from the 1970s and 1980s. He noticed Topper and Warlord there too. Presumably this is unique to the Oxford Street branch because I haven't seen second hand comics in any other WH Smith in the UK. 

How did they get there? Does a London comics dealer have an arrangement with the shop to share the profits of the comics? If any of you know more, please let me know, or just post your opinions below anyway. 

Weird thing is... this is exactly like a dream I once had! Then again, it's probably a dream that most fans of UK comics have at some point! 


7 comments:

Nutty Big D said...

..it's a relief to wake up from a nightmare nd realise it wasn't real, but the old comics dream is the exact opposite, when you wake up and realise you haven't in fact bought that much sought after rarity!!

qamar said...

For £6 I would probably pick one up just for the memories.

I think its great idea though I have never liked WH Smith's display skills lol

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hi All! If I may ask... Smith is a magazine vendor or books too? It is nation wide? I am curious because here in the USA I think every book store chain has been nearly obliterated though there are still a few remnants like Barnes and Nobles seemingly in more affluent areas. (Also we are seeing retail deserts being created before our very eyes as entire strip malls go under left and right! Amazon won.)

Lew Stringer said...

Hi Charlie, Yes, WH Smith is a long established chain of shops selling magazines, books, stationery etc. and the leading retailer here. Most towns and cities in the UK have at least one. They're not without their faults though, especially in their attitudes towards comics.

Manic Man said...

not really comic related but a shop I knew and used to visit for my comics and magazines etc, a few years back (before it closed.. maybe early 2000s?) found a box of perfect copy mid to late 80s Action Force Ladybird books and had them out for original cost price (which was something like 50 p each).. didn't bother myself cause I wasn't interested, but it was very interesting to see..

I remembered when the local W.H.Smiths, this has to be back In the 80s, through to mid 90s, before the local shopping centre (a HUGE MISTAKE) was made, it was a pretty great shop. two floors, the top fill of great range of books, the bottom has some comics, mags etc, but mostly stationery and the like. When the shopping centre opened, it moved into there and went down hill into less of a book and stationery shop into more of an all ground general shop and the magazines and comics seamed to take more of the space, stuff started to be... over priced, books became a small collection of the more 'favour of the month' stuff... these days, a quarter of it is a post office, another quarter was blocked off and closed for no real reason, and the place with magazines is mostly a mess... sigh...

John Sinclair said...

I have had that same dream so many, many, times...
Regarding Smiths: my deeply held belief is that the general Holocaust of comics in this country begand when Smiths were allowed to buy out John Menzies. Suddenly there was only one nationwide newspaper and other periodicals outlet - and distributor - so they could dictate terms to all publishers...
The prosecution rests, M'lud...

Lew Stringer said...

I think there's a lot of truth in that, John. It seems to have frozen out the smaller publishers anyway. Time was you'd never know what to expect to find in a newsagents. Now, most just stock the same pre-school titles and (if you're lucky) a few others.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...