There are only two items of direct interest to British comic art collectors in this week’s Catawiki International Comic Art Auction, which closes next Thursday, 12th May 2022 – but some European artists, who worked for publishers here, are represented.
A page by Luis Bermejo, for the comic series Historia corta del Oeste, written by Gino D’Antonio, published by Bonelli in Italy between 1979 and 1980 looks terrific.
Before becoming perhaps better known for his work for America’s Warren in the 1970s, Bermejo worked on a number of British comics from the end of the 1950s, commissioned through the ALI and Bardon Art Agency, on titles as diverse as Girls Crystal and Tarzan Weekly. In the early 1960s, he worked on numerous series of all genres such as Thriller Picture Library, Mirabelle, and on strips such as “John Steel, Mann of Battle”, “Heros the Spartan” and “Johnny Future”, the latter recently reprinted by Rebellion.
Also up for sale is an SF book cover by Fernando Fernández, the title not given. From 1958 through 1964 Fernandez worked on several war comics (including Air Ace and War Picture Library) and romance comics (including Valentine, Roxyand Marilyn) for British publishers. He also painted covers for paperbacks and picture libraries like Commando and Chiller.
A “Paddy Payne” page for Lion by Bill Lacey, published in 1964, offers some great air action, drawn by an artist who served in the RAF during World War Two.
Re-offered is a page from the girls comic, Princess, by Leslie Otway, from the strip “Belle and Mamie”, published in the British girls comic in mid 1965, a strip that continued from Girl, created by George Beardmore. The page appeared to have sold for €205 after it was offered in a Catawiki auction back in February, but is now back on the market.
In Girl, back in 1962, Belle and Mamie moved on from being the stars of the Arenska Dancing School, in “Belle of the Ballet”, and got a job as half of the “Telegang”, bright young things who toured the world making documentaries and having adventures, in “Belle and Mamie”.
While buying from European sellers carries the sting of large postage costs, because Britain is no longer part of the European Union, Catawiki does now endeavour to provide an estimate of those in its lot descriptions. Many British art boards offered in this regular auction sell for well below what you might pay in British auctions, or on eBay.
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.