Auctions: $3.9 Million for Original Tintin Comic Art, $2.2 Million for Batman Comic Book

Artwork originally intended to be the cover of a Tintin comic book (album) has sold for 3.2 Euros ($3,872,000.00).

From Artnet:

A picture by the Belgian cartoonist Hergé (1907–1983) has set a new record for the most expensive work of comic book art, selling for €3.2 million ($3.8 million) on January 14 at an auction at Artcurial in Paris.

The 1936 gouache painting was originally intended as the cover image for The Blue Lotus, the fifth volume about boy reporter Tintin, recounting his travels in China during the Japanese invasion of 1931—an usual setting for the time.

The artwork was ultimately too costly for publisher Casterman to reproduce with the four-color printing technique.

Some Tintin history from Hindustan Times.


At the same time the highest known grade of Batman #1 has sold for $2,220,000.00.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

While not the first appearance of the Dark Knight — that would be Detective Comics #27, which came out a year earlier — it does feature the first appearance of iconic villain The Joker and part-time villainess Catwoman.

Driving the price is the comic’s 9.4 CGC designation; finding a key issue from the Golden Age era of comics — a time when publications used cheap paper, were read disposably on a massive scale — is extremely rare. This issue survived that and kept its pages white, to boot.

Geekologie notes:

The current record for a comic book is Action Comics No. 1 (the first appearance of Superman) which sold for $3.2 million on eBay in 2014, so at $2.2 million this issue of Batman is a total bargain.

From Heritage Auctions:

Most collectors’ first question will be: how legit is the grade? Well, few key issues are as easy to judge as a Batman #1, because the cover design ruthlessly exposes any flaw. The front cover “kills” most copies right away, being predominantly yellow and thus prone to smudging or dust shadows, while the back cover is the same with large white areas in addition to the yellow ones. Is it even possible to have a copy with no such smudges or dirt on the front or the back? We think our photos here show that it is, and it’s a test even some pretty darn nice copies have failed.


For those of us that only have thousands of dollars to purchase art instead of millions, Swann Galleries is putting up the Dick McDonough Collection which includes comic and illustration art.

Artfix Daily reports. And the Dick McDonough Catalog.