Doctor Who comic art by Mick Austin featuring Fifth Doctor Peter Davison aplenty on offer, at Heritage Auctions

If you’re fan of Peter Davison in his role as the renegade Time Lord in Doctor Who, or a fan of comic artist and illustrator Mick Austin – or both! – then Heritage Auctions has some smashing art in its latest catalogue you’ll want to check out.

Up for sale from the collection of Julius Howe are six pages of Fifth Doctor comic strip, from different strips first published in Doctor Who Magazine back in the 1980s. They include pages from the story “The Stockbridge Horror“, a setting that DWM has returned to many times.

The strips were written by “Maxwell Stockbridge“, whose story “Skywatch-7”  took inspiration from the short story “Who Goes There?” by Joseph W. Campbell, which later inspired the films The Thing from Another World and The Thing, and follows men at an Antarctic base under attack from a shape-shifting alien.

(Maxwell Stockbridge was just a pseudonym used initially by Alan McKenzie and, later, by other writers including Paul Neary, Steve Parkhouse, Simon Hudson and Alan Moore at Marvel UK; the name was inspired by classic pulp writer pseudonyms Maxwell Grant and Grant Stockbridge).

Steve Parkhouse wrote “The Stockbridge Horror”, “Lunar Lagoon” and “4-Dimensional Vistas”, continuing his involvement with the strip that began with “The Deal” in Doctor Who Monthly No. 53 and continued into the Sixth Doctor era, creating some of that regeneration of the Doctor’s most notable comic strip stories, in partnership with artist John Ridgway.

"Skywatch 7 (Part 1)", art by Mick Austin, for Doctor Who Monthly No. 58 (Marvel UK, 1981). Zygons invade a monitoring base in the Arctic, and they inevitably clash with UNIT
“Skywatch 7 (Part 1)”, art by Mick Austin, for Doctor Who Monthly No. 58 (Marvel UK, 1981). Zygons invade a monitoring base in the Arctic, and they inevitably clash with UNIT
"The Stockbridge Horror (Part 4), Title Page, art by Mick Austin and Paul Neary, for Doctor Who Monthly  No. 73 (Marvel UK, 1983).  The village of Stockbridge finds itself once again embroiled in mystery! Local police discover a charred body in a ditch - but without any signs of fire nearby! In a quarry nearby, an impression of the TARDIS is discovered in rock dating back millions of years!
“The Stockbridge Horror (Part 4), Title Page, art by Mick Austin and Paul Neary, for Doctor Who Monthly No. 73 (Marvel UK, 1983). The village of Stockbridge finds itself once again embroiled in mystery! Local police discover a charred body in a ditch – but without any signs of fire nearby! In a quarry nearby, an impression of the TARDIS is discovered in rock dating back millions of years!
"The Stockbridge Horror (Part 5), Title Page, art by Mick Austin and Paul Neary, for Doctor Who Monthly  No. 74 Title Page 1 Original Art (Marvel UK, 1983). Shayde, agent of the Matrix is facing danger
“The Stockbridge Horror (Part 5), Title Page, art by Mick Austin and Paul Neary, for Doctor Who Monthly No. 74 Title Page 1 Original Art (Marvel UK, 1983). Shayde, agent of the Matrix is facing danger
"Lunar Lagoon (Part 2), art by Mick Austin and Paul Neary, for Doctor Who Monthly No. 77 (Marvel UK, 1983). The Doctor's serene fishing trip is interrupted by a Japanese soldier who is still fighting World War Two, and the Time Lord is taken prisoner. A tremendous dogfight scene on this page!
“Lunar Lagoon” (Part 2), art by Mick Austin and Paul Neary, for Doctor Who Monthly No. 77 (Marvel UK, 1983). The Doctor’s serene fishing trip is interrupted by a Japanese soldier who is still fighting World War Two, and the Time Lord is taken prisoner. A tremendous dogfight scene on this page!

You can find all six art works here on Heritage Auctions, just a few of the artworks on offer in the 11th – 13th March 2022 International Original Art and Anime Signature Auction #7265, which also features art by Arthur Adams, Lee Bermejo, Robert Crumb, Alan Davis and Paul Neary, Carlos Ezquerrathe title pages of “Strontium Dog” from Starlord No. 8 – and a Tintin artwork by Hergé, bids already at $28,000, plus art by Jamie Hewlett, Milo Manara, Moebius, Teshirogi Takashi, and many, many more.

The starting prices are incredibly low – and, as previously noted, simply pale into insignificance when compared with the prices Mick Austin’s paintings command today.

Michael J. Austin at work on a beautiful painting that will form part of a new exhibition of his work later this year in London. Image via Instagram
Michael J. Austin at work. Image via Instagram

Now known as Michael J Austin, and currently working on some paintings for a new exhibition in London later this year, he’s been a professional artist since 1981, who started his  career in comics, where he produced artwork for Marvel and 2000AD, and was also a features artist for the Sunday Times from 1985 -92.

As his painting style developed  with the use of oils in the late 1980s, he began to take on more painterly illustration work with book covers and several film posters.

His career took a turn in the 1990s, when he began to paint more seriously and was offered a one-man exhibition with the Jonathan Cooper Gallery, London in 1997; followed by exhibitions most years for the same gallery as well as being represented by other galleries around the world. In 2003, HRH The Prince of Wales took an interest in his work and Michael subsequently accompanied the Prince as tour artist on an official visit to India and Oman.

In November 2016, Michael again accompanied HRH Prince Charles, together with HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, on a tour of the Middle East, visiting Oman the UAE and Bahrain.

Working wet-in-wet with just the three primary colours from his studio in South West England, he paints  mainly in oil and attempts to maintain a fluid style with  expressive brushwork. His paintings are sold and collected internationally and currently works with several galleries in the UK and the US.

• 11th – 13th March 2022 International Original Art and Anime Signature Auction #7265

• Michael J. Austin is online at www.michaeljaustin.co.uk | Instagram | Buy his work from the Jonathan Cooper Gallery

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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