Christmas must be coming, because this week’s Catawiki International Original Comics Art Auction is positively crammed with goodies, both British comic art and more.
This weekly auction surely isn’t complete without a “Robot Archie” page from Lion, drawn by Ted Kearon, and this week’s lot, another page from the 1973 story “The Lost World”, certainly doesn’t disappoint. Is it too much to hope Rebellion is buying these for a collection?
Bidding on a stunning page of “The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” by Don Lawrence, from the story “The Alien Dust”, had already reached €470, just one day into the weekly auction. It’s a terrific page, first published in Look and Learn in 1969, not only for its Thunderbirds homage when it come to the shuttle design!
Two “Billy Bunter” pages by the legendary Reg Parlett are on offer this week, both from the same story, both dated 15th June 1968, here and here, as separate lots. Billy is known as “Billy Turf” on the continent.
A Modesty Blaise pin up used as a cover for the December 2002 issue of X9, by Enrique Badia Romero, who drew, by far, the most strips of the newspaper strip. He took over after Jim Holdaway passed away, followed by three further artist, resuming work on the strip in 2002, when his own SF strip, “Axa”, was cancelled.
The Swedish comics magazine Agent X9/Modesty Blaise still reprints the old stories and Romero drew the covers for the magazine until at least 2017. The American magazine Comics Revue also regularly used covers of Romero.
The printed version is a bit different from this art. According to Romero, this is the original drawing, who then copied it and sent the copy to the publisher. He no longer knows whether the cover was adapted by him or by the publisher.
The magazine is featured here for reference, but is not included in the lot.
Outside of British comics, this week’s auction features a host of great artworks, including this “Zamara” page by Pablo Marcos for the Italian magazine, Lanciostory, published in the 1980s; an artist perhaps best known for his work for the American market on titles such as Creepy, Eerie and Dracula, but who also did mainstream work like Teen Titans, The Avengers and Thor.
Also on offer is this page by Luis Bermejo from the series, “Historia corta del Oeste”, published as graphic albums in the 1980s by Italian publisher Bonelli, written by Gino D’Antonio.
Plus, we have opportunity to enjoy a page from the Swiss adventure Le Galop du silence (“Silent Gallop”), art by Derib, the artist’s mastery of equestrian drawing very much in evidence.
Military action more your thing? Then how about this “Buck Danny” art offered by the current artist on the series himself, Gil Formosa? This original drawing of Buck Danny features the hero with F-16 and F4 U behind him, art featured in a limited edition Volume 58 of Buck Danny, published in 2021.
I couldn’t help but notice this stunning looking page by Daniel Koller, for the series Mayam, first published in 2007. If you’re as intrigued by the look of this SF series as I am, good news Europe Comics has published English language digital editions, co-created by writer Stephen Desberg. Check them out here.
There’s plenty more to check out, too, but with Halloween approaching, I’ll leave you with this fun Batman-inspired cartoon by Spanish artist Cera… Enjoy!
Potential Additional International Auction Costs
This advice box was last updated on Friday 6th May 2022
The UK’s departure from the European Union means there may be additional import duties on sales.
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.
The Guardian previously reported that 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.
While buying from European sellers carries the sting of larger costs, the auction house Catawiki does now endeavour to provide an estimate of those in its lot descriptions.
Unfortunately, many 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. It has also meant that some British sellers will no longer export to Europe.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.