It was a bit of a surprise to see that there’s a Catawiki International Comic Art Auction this week, closing at 7.00pm today (Thursday 30th December 2021), but if you’re a fan of the art of Reg Parlett, Don Lawrence and “Axa” by Enrique Badia Romero, you may just want to check it out.
Of principal interest this week is an episode of “Axa” the SF comic strip that featured in The Sun, first published in 1982, which is being offered for sale by the artist, Enrique Badia Romero, himself.
Romero began working internationally in 1959, his art published in the UK, US, France, Italy, Germany and more. In 1970, he began work on “Modesty Blaise”, drawing that strip until 1978, moving on to “Axa”, for The Sun.
“Undoubtedly influenced by the success of Modesty, the idea of creating a new character began to dominate me,” he relates. Keen to create a fantasy adventure, he developed a story set on a post-apocalypse Earth – and The Sun began to publish “Axa” from 4th July 1978, “the dream of every professional,” Romero notes, “a strip for the press, with a heroine to my liking and total freedom to develop their adventures.
“Axa has been and will be my favourite character,” he declares, and he invested all his experience and knowledge of comics into making it a success.
Other British comic art on offer includes an original 2017 artwork of newspaper strip heroines Modesty Blaise and Axa – by, but not from Romero in this instance.
Also on offer is…
• A page by Don Lawrence from “The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” story “The Purple Emperor“, first published in Look and Learn in 1970
• A page from “Robot Archie and the Menace of the Golden Men” from Lion, published in 1966, with some fantastic action-packed art by Ted Kearon
Potential Additional International Auction Costs
The UK’s departure from the European Union may mean 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.
Lots of 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