There’s some great British comic art-related items in this week’s Catawiki International Original Comics Art Auction, closing at 7.00pm tonight, Thursday 26th January, alongside some great European art including book and comic covers.
Pride of place in terms of British lots surely goes to two Modesty Blaise items featuring the work of artist Neville Colvin – an original artwork featuring Peter O’Donnell’s internationally famous adventuress, and an example of one of his strips from the series.
The Modesty Blaise strip by Colvin, number 5682, is an episode of the story “Death in Slow Motion”, first published 21st February 1983 – 15th July 1983. The artwork features never before seen graphite and pen drawings on the reverse, including one of Modsty’s companion-at-arms, Willie Garvin.
The sketch gives an insight into the working methods of Neville Colvin, who drew 16 Modesty Blaise stories and used similar inking methods to those of Jim Holdaway, even down to the type of ink nibs he used on his pens. The ink drawing on the reverse of this strip shows how the artist would break in his new nibs so they flowed well.
• An original ink “Dan Dare” storyboard by Martin Baines. for a story published in an early issue of Spaceship Away
• A more finished original ink “Dan Dare” storyboard by Martin Baines for the story published in an early issue of Spaceship Away, dated 2006
• An original drawing of Modesty Blaise drawn in graphite by Neville Colvin, as well as a limited edition (only 100 printed) of the hardback Modesty Blaise Artists, which comes with two signed ex-libris prints
• Original Axa drawing, A3 format, in Indian ink, by Spanish artist Enrique Badia Romero – an “ad image” for his sulphurous post-apocalyptic heroine whose strip ran in The Sun for many years
• An original Modesty Blaise strip, number 8724, by Enrique Badia Romero, offered by the artist himself
The auction also features comic art and illustration from across Europe and beyond, by artists that include Enrique Alcatena, Serrat Bernat, Gil Formosa, two fantastic covers by Fernando Fernández, Juan Gimenez, and Felix Meynet, and manga artists such as Ooshima Rikyu.
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.