This week’s Catawiki International Original Comics Art Auction, closing on Thursday 2nd February, includes a smashing page from “Karl the Viking” drawn by Don Lawrence – and more besides. But British war comics fans will likely be disappointed ongoing customs issues caused by Brexit mean they won’t be able to bid on one great-looking item.
Originally published in Lion, for the issue dated 25th August 1962, the “Karl the Viking” art is an early page from the story “El Sarid the Merciless” and, unsurprisingly, is attracting fierce bidding.
The seller is British, so there won’t be additional customs charges on top of this item.
Rebellion recently collected the pre-Trigan Empire strip across two volumes, Karl the Viking – Book One: The Sword of Eingar, and Karl the Viking – Volume Two: The Voyage of the Sea Raiders.
Also on offer is the cover of War Picture Library 201 by Pino Dell’Orco, reprinted as War Picture Library 1203, first published by Amalgamated Press in 1963 – but according to the lot details, the bad news is that bids aren’t being accepted on this from the UK
Pino Dell’Orco’s hallmark minimalism often focuses on a single action or object: a plane soaring through the sky or a lone figure walking out from the depths of a jungle with one vivid background colour, so the action appears to explode off the page.
Included with the cover art is a copy of War Picture Library No. 201 book with cover art and War picture library logo.
You can, bid, however, on a page of “Billy Bunter” drawn by Reg Parlett, for the issue of Valiant dated 27th April 1967.
Beyond the British artworks, French artist Cyril Pontet is offering a homage to Brian Bolland and the US series Camelot 3000, a study of the series villain, Morgan La Fey. You may be familiar with his work on The Black Moon Chronicles, published here by Europe Comics.
Another cover artwork by Fernando Fernández is also on offer, a romance cover most likely used for a novel, dated 1978.
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.