If you’re into comic books, you’ve no doubt heard of R. Crumb, the prolific artist most known for his underground comix movement, including Zap Comix. He also gave the world the counter culture characters Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural. Original artwork from him is always fun to come by, and they command top dollar when for sale. At the most recent Heritage Signature Auction, his art–from collector and musician Graham Nash–brought in some amazing prices;
“Singer/songwriter Graham Nash’s collection of Underground Comix art realized more than $1.1 million to lead Heritage Auctions’ summer Vintage Comics & Comic Art Auction in Dallas. The $6.3 million auction presented fresh-to-market art and key books to more than 2,800 bidders in person and via HALive!.
“The market for original comic art continues to show its strength – especially for works by Robert Crumb,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President Heritage Auctions. “This is the second auction in a row in which we achieved six-figure selling prices of Robert Crumb’s art for our clients.”
The highlight of Nash’s collection was art by Crumb. The artist’s 1967 Original Cover Art for ZAP Comix #1 soared to $525,800 (the cover was never was used for the publication and was thought lost for years). The People’s Comics Complete Four-Page Story Original Art sold for $203,150. Even Crumb’s later works bested high estimates as Weirdo #22 Complete 4-Page Story Original Art from 1988 sold for $131,450 and Crumb’s 1991 ID #2 Original Cover Art ended at $101,575, to round out the collection’s top six-figure lots.
Additional examples of Crumb’s art continued to beat expectations as Your Hytone Comics #nn Complete 9-Page Story “Pete the Plumber” Original Art sold for $89,625 and Mr. Natural #2 Complete 6-Page Story Original Art hammered for $77,675.”