More Trigan Empire, Robot Archie and Princess comic art offered in latest weekly Catawiki International Comic Art Auction

The latest Catawiki International Comic Art Auction includes a range of artworks as ever, including work originally published in British comics.

Here are some highlights…

A Robot Archie page by Ted Kearon, from the story “The Screaming Beetle first published in Lion in 1965. These great pages generally seem to sell for €150, although this does vary depending on the content of the page – a bargain, even taking potential import duties into account.

Robot Archie - The Screaming Beetle (1965) - art by Ted Kearon

Another page of “Eagles over the Western Front” by Bill Lacey, first published in the 1970s in Look and Learn.

Don’t forget Bear Alley Books have republished this entire strip in one volume, available direct here.

“Eagles over the Western Front” by Bill Lacey

A Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” page by Don Lawrence page from from the 1969 story for Look and Learn, “The Alien Dust”.

Trigan Empire - The Alien Dust - art by Don Lawrence

Plus, we’re treated to another fantastic page from the girls comic, Princess, by Leslie Otway, which we’ve now identified as 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.

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”.

Belle and Mamie on the cover of Girl, cover dated 11th January 1964. With thanks to Philip Rushton

Comics archivist Shaqui Le Vesconte directs us toward two more pages from the same strip as featured in Princess as “Belle and Mamie”, both drawn by Leslie Otway here, and this example, the latter presumably from the same story, on ComicArtFans.

It is not, as has been suggested, a tie-in strip inspired by the children’s TV series “The Barnstormers”, made by Associated Redifusion. (Existing episodes of that have been on Talking Pictures TV quite recently).

Art for Princess by Leslie Otway

Otway’s beautiful work simply shines on this page, as closeups of individual panels reveal…

  • Art for Princess by Leslie Otway
  • Art for Princess by Leslie Otway
  • Art for Princess by Leslie Otway
  • Art for Princess by Leslie Otway
  • Art for Princess by Leslie Otway
  • Art for Princess by Leslie Otway

“Belle of the Ballet” was initially drawn by John Worsley when it made its debut in Girl Volume 2, no.4 (cover dated 19th November 1952) who, though an excellent artist, “had a tendency to make his female characters – and Belle in particular – look alarmingly anorexic,” Philip Rushton has previously noted.

“Thereafter Belle and her friend Mamie became a regular fixture in Girl with artistic chores passing in turn to Chris Garvey (in reality, the painter June Mendoza), Stanley Houghton, and Harry Lindfield.”

Earlier episodes of “Belle of the Ballet” were later reprinted in Princess, as “Lyndy of Latymer Grange”, Belle re-named Lyndy and Madame Arenska as Madame Petrova.

Also on offer is another Axa” strip Enric Badia Romero, first published in 1980, another artwork being offered directly through the artist on Catawiki.

Axa by Enric Badia Romero (1980)

Beyond British comics, also on offer are artworks by Eduardo Alpuenteanother of his Marvel cover recreations for the Spanish book market, featuring the Fantastic Four; art for the cover of the magazine Cinevision #38 (August 1970), the artist unidentified, information suggesting the title was a reprint, but the details are a bit vague; another book cover by José Gonsález; and a superb tribute to Clifton, created and signed by Christian Jacot.

Check out items offered by Catawiki in their International Comic Art category – auction closing Thursday 3rd March 2022, at 7.00pm

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

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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3 replies

  1. I’m guessing that the comic artwork from Princess is for the children’s TV series The Barnstormers, made by Associated Redifusion which has been shown (existing episodes) on Talking Pictures TV quite recently.

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