Sotheby’s first ever comic strip sale, held on July 4th in Paris, has generated some $810,700, with the highest price paid for the original Tintin artwork for the album “The Shooting Star”. A strip from “The Shooting Star”, the 10th book in Hergé’s The Adventures of Tintin series, was sold for €234,750 ($290,550), drawing close to its high estimate of €240,000. Created back in 1941 by Belgian artist ‘Hergé’ Georges Remi, this original work shows how the soil is melting under Snowy’s feet.
The Sotheby’s sale was held in memory of the French comic book artist Jean Giraud, better known by his pseudonym Moebius and curate at the auction was internationally renowned expert Jean-Marc Thévenet, who commented: “The auction reflects our conviction that comic strips have become an art-form in their own right…In short, the sale aims to be a catalogue raisonné of the first one hundred years of comic strips!”
Among 100 interesting lots at the recently held auction, we’ll single out just some of them. Original artwork, a full page Indian ink drawing from “The Crab with the Golden Claws”, that was supposed to be the top lot of the Hergé selection with an estimate of $296,000-315,000, but surprisingly it didn’t find any buyer. The work is the third full page piece from the earlier black and white edition of 1941, before colour editions were produced from 1943-47.
An original work for “The Gorilla has done it” in the “Robbedoes and Kwabbernot” series by Franquin, fetched over $86,600.
Also, a first edition of Rodolphe Töpffer’s 1833 L’Histoire de M. Jabot was expected to sell for around $19,650 to $22,110. Töpffer originally created what was seen as the radical concept of creating an album which comprises of comic strip drawings alongside the all-important written narrative.
It was the first time auction house Sotheby’s dedicated a sale entirely to comic strip albums or the “Bande dessinée” genre. Belgium and France have a long tradition of graphic novels and comic strip albums.
The comic strip market is emerging as one of the most exciting areas of collecting, with rising values offering great investment potential. All those interested fans and collectors will have the chance to bid on Doug Schmell’s remarkable collection of Marvel comics on July 26-27.