Don't miss the latest stories
‘Tintin’ Illustration Becomes ‘World’s Priciest’ Comic Book Art, Fetching €3.1M
By Mikelle Leow, 19 Jan 2021
Image via NeydtStock / Shutterstock.com
Hergé’s beloved Tintin character has just been on his most high-paying adventure yet. A cover illustration of the well-traveled reporter has raked in €3,175,400 (US$3,850,550), breaking the record for the most expensive comic book art in the world, according to Artnet News.
The drawing for 1936’s The Blue Lotus sold for such a high sum at an Artcurial auction in Paris on 14 January as it was a rare piece that was never published. The artwork of ink, gouache and watercolor was so elaborate, Hergé’s publisher said it would be impractical to mass-produce it.
The cover art depicts Tintin and his dog Snowy in China, hiding in a large vase, as they await to crack down on a Japanese spy network and opium-smuggling ring. The vibrant illustration has a black background, and is further adorned with a large red dragon and floating Chinese characters.
Due to budget and manufacturing constraints, Hergé produced a less decorative alternative—one that came with less shading on the dragon and without the Chinese characters. The original version was then gifted to his editor’s seven-year-old son, Jean-Paul Casterman.
“Hergé was determined to make the reader shudder,” explained comic book expert Eric Leroy. “Tintin, facing this magnificent dragon, wears an anxious expression. What dangers might threaten him?”
Leroy also told CNN that the art “is so rare because it has never been on the private market before.”
The drawing was folded up and stashed away in a drawer, and only got to see the light of day in 1981.
Video via Artcurial
[via Smithsonian Magazine, cover image via NeydtStock / Shutterstock.com]
More related news
Also check out these recent news