Keith Watson “Battle of the Planets” art for TV Comic included in this week’s Catawiki International Comic Art Auction

There are some great examples of both European and British comic art in the latest Catawiki International Comic Art Auction, running until Thursday (9th September 2021), including work by Ivan Petrus Adriaenssens, Claire Bretécher, Neville Colvin, Jean Dulieu, Fred Funcken, Hermann, Ted Keron, Don Lawrence, Bruno Marchand, Dick Matena, Félix Meynet, Enrique Badia Romero, Tekken Sishirian and William Vance.

While TV Comic‘s “Battle of the Planets” strip may be one unfamiliar to many, the page on offer in this auction is by none other than “Captain Condor” and “Dan Dare” artist Keith Watson (1935 – 1994), although the details of the page on offer, and the accompanying copy of TV Comic, Issue 1543, are slightly misleading.

Watson joined the studio team of Frank Hampson working on “Dan Dare” for Eagle in 1958. After Hampson left the strip the following year, Watson worked on “Captain Condor” for the rival comic Lion, before later returning to “Dan Dare”. His many credits also include “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” for TV Century 21, and he is credited as both writing and drawing some later episodes of “Joe 90” after the merger of TV 21 with Joe 90: Top Secret. He worked for Dutch comics in the 1970s and 80s, including the football strip, “Roel Dijkstra“, created in 1975 by Jan Steeman, inspired by Johan Cruijff, Watson drawing stories between 1983 until 1992 written by former Battle editor Dave Hunt and Jaap Bubenik.

"G-Force Battle of the Planets" - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson
“G-Force Battle of the Planets” – TV Comic No. 1532 – art by Keith Watson

On offer in this auction is a rare, original watercolour storyboard by Keith from “G-Force – Battle of the Planets“, for TV Comic, number 1532, cover dated Friday 8th May 1981.

(The auction entry erroneously suggests the art featured in 1543, but TV Comic archivist Paul Scoones has informed downthetubes this is incorrect. “Issue 1543 features a different ‘Battle of the Planets’ strip that appears to be by another artist,” he notes. “Given that the auction has the wrong issue identified for the art, it raises the question of whether the copy of the issue included, [1543], in the sale is the right one…”).

“G-Force Battle of the Planets" - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson - as published in the comic. With thanks to Paul Scoones
“G-Force Battle of the Planets” – TV Comic No. 1532 – art by Keith Watson – as published in the comic. With thanks to Paul Scoones
  • G-Force Battle of the Planets - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson
  • G-Force Battle of the Planets - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson
  • G-Force Battle of the Planets - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson
  • G-Force Battle of the Planets - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson
  • G-Force Battle of the Planets - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson
  • G-Force Battle of the Planets - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson
  • G-Force Battle of the Planets - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson
  • G-Force Battle of the Planets - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson
  • G-Force Battle of the Planets - TV Comic No. 1532 - art by Keith Watson

Also on offer:

An original "Lucky Luke" drawing by Bernat Serrat

An original “Lucky Luke” drawing by Bernat Serrat

Bernat is a veteran cartoonist, illustrator and animator, who worked on the Lucky Luke toy boxes of the Comansi house in the 1980s. He’s also worked in Disney comics for different countries, on Dungeons and Dragons for the Bruguera publishing house, in Dragons and Dungeons and much more.

An original "Agrippine" illustration by the brilliant Claire Bretécher

An original “Agrippine” illustration by the brilliant Claire Bretécher

Modesty Blaise - "Sweet Caroline" (1983, No. 5838) by Neville Colvin, plus Modesty Blaise Companion
Modesty Blaise - "Sweet Caroline" (1983, No. 5838) by Neville Colvin, plus Modesty Blaise Companion

Modesty Blaise – “Sweet Caroline” (1983, No. 5838) by Neville Colvin, plus Modesty Blaise Companion

This Lot includes an Original Pen and Ink Modesty Blaise strip by Neville Colvin (1918-1991), as well as a Mint copy of the 426 page epic Modesty Blaise Companion with slip case (expanded edition) AND a graphite character sketch of Dave, the cigar smoking gangster from this story.

"Mousquetaires " (The Three Musketeers) by Fred Funcken

“Mousquetaires ” (The Three Musketeers) by Fred Funcken

"Robot Archie" by Ted Kearon, from the 1969 story for Lion, "The Superons"

“Robot Archie” by Ted Kearon, from the 1969 story for Lion, “The Superons”

A page from "The Trigan Empire" story "The Imposters", art by Don Lawrence, first published in 1971. The story is also known as “The Unscrupulous Servant”

A page from “The Trigan Empire” story “The Imposters”, art by Don Lawrence, first published in 1971. The story is also known as “The Unscrupulous Servant”

"Modesty Blaise" by Enrique Badia Romero (No. 3375)

“Modesty Blaise” by Enrique Badia Romero (No. 3375)

Curated by Luis Girard, there really are some great artworks by internationally-renowned artists in this week’s regular auction, spanning several genres. Worth checking out,

Check out all the items offered by Catawiki in this week’s International Comic Art Auction here – bidding closes at 7.00pm on Thursday 9th September 2021

Do note that the UK’s departure from the European Union may mean additional import duties on sales. Catawiki highlights items offered from the continent that will incur additional fees. Prior to Brexit, the effective rate of UK tax on imports of art was 5%, which is lower than most other European countries. An owner could previously import an artwork to the UK from outside the EU and was then free to transport it to other EU countries, where the import tax rates may be higher, without incurring any further import-related tax charges. If the owner then wished to bring the artwork back to the UK, there would also have been no further tax charge.

This apolitical guide outlines what you should be aware of when buying or selling art internationally but it is a work in progress

• Online orders up to £135 are now supposed to have the UK’s prevailing VAT rate added at the point of sale by the EU retailer, which has to have registered with HM Revenue & Customs. Lots of smaller EU-based retailers have decided that the paperwork of collecting UK VAT is not worth the hassle and as a result will no longer supply UK consumers

UPDATE, Friday 10th September 2021 – Keith Watson’s “Battle of the Planets” art sold for €401 (£343)

An earlier version of this article suggested the Battle of the Planets art featured had possibly been delayed from publication, board details indicating it was for No. 1532, but the auction lot describes it as featuring in 1543, which Paul Scoones has checked and informed us this was incorrect. Our thanks to him for checking we amended our article accordingly

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Art and Illustration, Auctions, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Other Worlds

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