Catawiki Comic Art Auction Spotlight

The latest International Comic Art Auction on Catawiki closes later today (Thursday 27th May 2021) and has a range of British creators’ work on offer, including work by Cecil Doughty, Sydney Jordan and Angus McBride. There are also artworks by other artists created for British comics, too, including work for Once Upon a Time by Juan González Alacreu.

Here are some of art highlights from this week’s auction…

Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves – (1969) by Juan González Alacreu
36,5 x 51 cm

This beautiful illustration board was painted by Juan Gonzalez Alecru (1939-2009) for an adaptation of Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves published in the comic Once Upon A Time in 1969.

The board is painted in three panels, all showing Gonzalez’s fantastic figure drawing, inking, freehand and texture skills… not to mention his beautiful colour schemes- the first panoramic panel with the treasure filled cave is a fabulous show of force.

Modesty Blaise original strip by Neville Colvin, plus Expanded Edition Modesty Blaise Companion – (1983)
Art measures 52 x 17,9 cm

The letter shown with this lot from Peter O’Donnell to Neville Colvin, praising his work on the strip is for photo reference only, but goes to show that the writer puts Colvin’s strips in very high esteem- equal to the work of Jim Holdaway.

Not included in sale – reference only

Colvin displays incredible inking techniques and inks all the characters in great detail. These are great action panels with Willie throwing a club at the thug and Modesty firing an arrow through another smuggler’s arm.

This strip forms part of the story “The Alternative Man” in which Modesty and Willie Garvin are put to bust a drug smuggling ring. Published 1983.

The accompanying 2021 edition of the book is a must have for any Modesty Blaise collector or enthusiast- It details every villain, every character and every plot synopses to every story, and also reproduces in full, the mysterious and little known strip “In The Beginning”— Modesty’s origin story.

The Mystery of the Mary Celeste – (1963) by Cecil Doughty
68,5 x 48 cm

A huge full colour art board by Cecil Doughty (1913-1985) depicting one of maritime history’s greatest mysteries- “The Mystery of The Mary Celeste”, the ship which was found floating with no one on board in the Atlantic Ocean on 4th December 1872.

Painted for the centrefold of issue No.57 of Look amd Learn, this is an amazing spread full of details to feast your eyes on.

The two pieces of board join together to measure 68.5cm x 48cm.The final image is not a piece of missing artwork, but where a photograph was used in the publication, as shown by the pencilled ‘photo’ and visible in the comic.

Doughty was a contributor to Thriller Comics, Comet, and Eagle, as well as producing many illustrated versions of classic stories such as Robin Hood and Dick Turpin.

There is a small tear which has been reinforced from behind in the last painted panel. A very fine copy of the original comic will be included in the Lot amd sent with the artwork.

Michael Strogoff – Courier of the Czar – (1973) by Alfonso Font
32 x 46 cm

Two incredible pages of beautiful original ink illustration by Alfonso Font, drawn for an adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic ‘Michael Strogoff- Courier of The Czar’ written in 1876.

Both pages are full of action and beautifully drawn figures- tension and emotion comes across in Font’s fantastic work. None of the drawings are obscured by word balloons as these were added later by the publisher for the publication.

This was published in Look and Learn in 1973, whilst Font was working for the agency Bardon Art. This is a good chance to own some early work by Font from this period, as he has now become a world-renowned illustrator, well known for his work on Tex, Dylan Dog, Taxi, The Black Ace, Carmen Bond and Jon Rohner.

Jeff Hawke – “Winner gain all” (prologue) – (1964) by Sydney Jordan (Signed)
41,5 x 14 cm

Episode with Mephisto and the Troll!!

Robot Archie – The Giant Scorpion – (1966) by Ted Kearon
42 x 52 cm

First published in Lion. Illustrated by Edward “Ted” Kearon.

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp by Angus McBride – (1969)
Size 50 x 44 cm

Three fantastic Original paintings put together on acid free board, painted by Angus McBride (1931-2007) for issue 3 of Once Upon a Time magazine, originally published 1st March 1969.

The paintings show Aladin as a child in the cavern of wonders. After rubbing a magic ring his false Uncle has given him, a genie appears and Aladin wishes to be home with his mother- of course, the genie obliges!

‘Princess’ – (1965) – Original Page by Leslie Otway
46 x 59 cm

A beautiful gouache page by Leslie Otway. Published in June 1965 in British magazine Princess.
Leslie Otway was a British comic artist and illustrator from Stoneleigh, Surrey. He graduated from the Camberwell School of Art. His illustrations appeared in detective magazines. He also regularly made work for the publishing house Collins.
Later, he specialised in drawing comics for girls, his work featuring in The Love Story Library between 1952 and 1958, and later also for Schoolgirls Picture Library, Confessions All Picture Library, School Friend Picture Library and the Princess Picture Library, until after 1960s.

In the 1960s, Leslie Otway’s work could be seen weekly in Princess (“Girl of the Timberlost”, 1962-63), Princess Tina (“Alona and The Wild One”, 1967-70) .

Andy Capp by Reg Smythe (Signed)
Format 38 x 11 cm

Original strip of Andy Capp first published in the Daily Mirror

The strip was also published in the 1960s on “Settimana Enigmistica” with the title “Le vicende di Carlo e Alice”.

Be aware that in addition to auction fees, the cost shipping of art from Europe has significantly increased due to Brexit

With thanks to Richard Sheaf

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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