Art by Hugo Pratt and Moebius is unsurprisingly attracting plenty of early bidding in this week’s Catawiki International Comic Art Auction, closing at 7.00pm Thursday 13th January 2022. But a Warhammer Monthly page by Wayne England has also caught the imagination of comic art collectors, perhaps because pages from this long-running title rarely come to market.
Over 80 artworks are up for sale this week, vintage British comic art rubbing shoulders with modern and classic European comics, single illustrations and covers.
The signed work by Moebius is little more than a rough – an original illustration/project for the design of a poster for a wartime comedy entitled “Le crépuscule des lâches” (“The Twilight of Cowards”) by Jacques Delaporte and Martin Lamotte, played in Paris in the Théâtre de la Porte Saint Martin in 1991.
A similar item was sold on Catawiki last year, which included earlier design work, reaching just under €300, but neither included a copy of the final, fun poster, also used to illustrate a video release of the theatre show, in which a bunch of argumentative French cooks fled wartime France, after accidentally poisoning Hitler.
Attracting strong bidding is more art by Hugo Pratt from the 1980s project “La Jeunesse de Corto Maltese”, work that rarely comes to market on a story well known in France and Italy.
If you’re a fan of the work of Hugo Pratt, and his best-known character, Corto Maltese, then you may also want to check out the separate Catawiki Italian Comics & Original Comic Art Auction, closing tomorrow, Sunday 9th January, which includes more items created by an artist who also briefly worked on British comics.
A page from the story “Better The Warboss You Know” from Warhammer Monthly Issue 26, by Wayne England, published in January 2000, a story about Orks and Gretchins, was always going to be a popular lot, the late, great artist’s work often selling for large amounts.
Wayne, who died in February 2016, was an incredible artist whose work regularly appeared in role-playing games, wargaming rulebooks and magazines and was used on cards for collectible card games such as Magic: The Gathering. If you want to see more of his work, there’s a Facebook group created as a tribute here, by Mark Aronowitz, and a group focused on sales of his work here.
Also on offer in this week’s auction…
• A 1977 Western book cover by Fernando Fernandez, title unknown, commissioned through Selecciones Ilustradas for the European and American Market
• A terrific another page from “The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” story, “The Alien Dust”, with art by Don Lawrence, first published in Look and Learn in 1969
• A page from “Robot Archie” story “The Curse of Dragon’s Island” by Ted Kearon, first published in Lion in 1964
• A complete story – four pages in all – of “Les aventures de Picolo” by Robert Moreau, published in the French magazine, Pierrot, in the 1950s. Robert Moreau (1928 – 2006) worked on the newspapers Femmes d’Aujourd’hui, Le Journal de Mickey, Pierrot magazine and much more
• A Tribute to Morris – “Lucky Luke” by Uwe Reber. Reber also creates official art for Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., including portraits of Tarzan and John Carter; and creates covers for the German Star Wars title, Journal of the Whills, the subscriber special of Star Wars – Das Offizielle Magazin. Between 2008 and 2018, Uwe contributed illustrations for the comic book, Perry – Unser Mann im All. He also did illustrations for Perry Rhodan
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.