After a few quiet weeks in terms of British comic-related art, this week’s Catawiki International Original Comics Art Auction, closing Thursday 20th April 2023, has quite a few items on offer, including Modesty Blaise and Trigan Empire pages.
These British comic artworks are, of course, offered alongside some European comic art that’s well worth taking a look at.
On offer this week are:
• A signed original “Modesty Blaise” strip by Neville Colvin, drawn for an instalment of ‘The Alternative Man’, published in the Evening Standard in 1984. The strip, numbered #5808, comes near the end of the story which finishes on #5814a.
• Two original inked pages from the story “Number 13 Marvel Street“, a story published in Look & Learn issues 663-706. Featuring art by Bill Lacey (artist of “Eagles over the Western Front”, “Maze Master”, “The Man from Yesterday”, etc” and more), the story centres on a young man who suffers a head trauma builds a super computer in his home which helps solve crimes and ancient mysteries.
The seller says this is the first time this set of pages have been made available for sale.
Handwritten numbering on the pages suggests the story may have been collected at some point, but I don’t have any information on this.
The Book Palace currently has two more pages from this story for sale.
• Two original pages by Alfonso Font, drawn for the penultimate episode of a comic book adaptation of “Peter the Whaler“ by W H G Kingston in 1973, published in Look & Learn issue 622.
Font brings the story’s characters alive with his fabulous ink work. On the pages on offer, Peter and the crew have been caught out in a storm on a row boat, but, luckily they come across an abandoned Dutch vessel. Needing repair, they decide to head across the ice and are rescued by Eskimos. When summer arrives they repair the ship-their only chance of survival…
These pages are directly from the publisher many years ago and have never been exposed to sunlight. It’s an extremely rare chance to own some fabulous early work by the brilliant, award-winning artist Alfonso Font, who worked on Tex, Dylan Dog, Taxi, The Black Ace, and more.
• A page from the “Robot Archie” story “The Screaming Beetle“, first published in Lion, art dated 15th May 1965, by Ted Kearon
• A framed, beautiful original half page for “The Trigan Empire” by Don Lawrence, from the story titled “The Revenge of Darak“, first published in Look & Learn in 1967. The main characters of the story are on the page: Emperor Trigo, his brother Brag and finally Perik, top scholar from Tharv and Trigo’s confidant.
In the story, Darak, a commander of Trigo’s fleet, is bribed by the Lokians to kidnap Emperor Trigo. This plan fails and Dakar is sent to the mines but manages to escape and is out for revenge.
• This week’s Catawiki International Original Comics Art Auction, closes at 7.00pm on Thursday 20th April 2023 – view the full catalogue here
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.
This apolitical guide outlines what you should be aware of when buying or selling art internationally but is a work in progress
• Don’t forget Catawiki runs several regular auctions, including a dedicated US Comics auction, too – check out all the current lots on offer here
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