The original artwork for Tintin in America by Belgian artist Hergé sold at auction earlier today for $1.6 million from Paris auction house Artcurial, a world record for comic book art in a public sale. Tintin in America was the third title in the series, published in 1932 and featuring a collection of comic strips which appeared in the Belgian children’s newspaper supplement Le Petit Vingtième from September 1931 to October 1932. The cover had previously sold in 2008 for just under $1 million.
Only five ink and gouache Tintin covers by Hergé exist, and just two of those are in private hands.
Although the Tintin art & collectibles market is a worldwide force unto itself and largely has a different audience of collectors from the American comic book and original artwork market, it’s still interesting to draw the comparison — the record price for a piece of American comic book artwork in a public sale is the 1986 Dark Knight Returns #3 page 10 splash page by Frank Miller which sold for $448,125 in 2011. To pull another (not strictly comic related) price-point comparison out of the air, the most expensive Frank Frazetta painting, Conan the Destroyer, sold for $1.5 million in 2010.