Hugh McNeill’s “Harold Hare” hops into the latest Catawiki International Comic Art Auction

There isn’t a huge amount of British comic art in this week’s Catawiki International Comic Art Auction, which closes at 7.00pm tonight, Thursday 7th October 2021, but what there is will surely appeal to collectors, particularly the smashing “Harold Hare” art by the extraordinarily talented Hugh McNeill, and another “Trigan Empire” page by Don Lawrence.

“Harold Hare” drawn by Hugh McNeill

Ten original pages of “Harold Hare” are on offer, drawn by Hugh McNeill and first published between 1967 and 1980. “Harold Hare” – a character now owned by Look and Learn Limited – regularly appeared weekly in the young readers title Jack & Jill, between 1967 and 1980. The stories were “republished” every 10 years. The lot also includes a page from Sjors magazine from 1963, illustrated by Bulders, and a page from another British title, Playhour.

“Harold Hare” drawn by Hugh McNeill
“Harold Hare” drawn by Hugh McNeill

Hugh McNeill (13th December 1910 – 22nd November 1979), a contributor to The Beano before World War Two, creating “Pansy Potter, the Strong Man’s Daughter”, was one of the major contributors to British comics who helped change the face of British comics in the 1940s, drawing both humour and adventure strips, his credits spanning Knockout, the Sun, Jack and Jill, Harold Hare’s Own Paper, Buster and more. Sadly, just a day after his death, it was announced that he was to receive the Ally Sloper Award for his contributions to comic art.

Also on offer this week is a page by Don Lawrence from “The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” story, titled “The Imposter”, also known as “The Unscrupulous Servant”. The story was first published in 1971.

Trigan Empire - The Imposter, drawn by Don Lawrence

Robot Archie” is back too, with art once more by the brilliant Ted Kearon, the page on offer from the story “The Crystal Leopard, first published in Lion in 1967. Archie is in dramatic action on this page, battling a killer crocodile, Tarzan style!

Robot Archie - The Crystal Leopard (Lion, 1967), art by Ted Kearon

Also on offer this week are artworks by European talents such as Claude Auclair, Wally Bishop, Christian Lamquet, Dick Matena, Olivier Pâques, Antonio Parras, and many more, including “Tex” artist Giuseppe Candita, a risqué Modesty Blaise homage on offer.

Giuseppe Candita - Modesty Blaise homage (2021)

• Check out the latest Catawiki International Comic Art Auction here – closes at 7.00pm Thursday 7th October 2021

Steve Holland profiled the career of Hugh McNeill here on Bear Alley

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.



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