Tintin draw­ing sells for a record 1.55 mil­lion euros

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

An orig­i­nal draw­ing from "Ex­plor­ers on the Moon", widely re­garded as one of the two best Tintin ad­ven­tures, sold for a record 1.55 mil­lion euros at a Paris auc­tion yes­ter­day, auc­tion house Artcu­rial an­nounced. The 50 cm X 35 cm draw­ing in Chi­nese ink by the Bel­gian car­toon­ist known as Herge shows the boy re­porter, his dog Snowy and crusty sailor Cap­tain Had­dock wear­ing space­suits and walk­ing on the moon while look­ing at Earth.

It had been ex­pected to sell for be­tween 700,000 and 900,000 euros ($741,00 and $952,000). Artcu­rial's comics ex­pert Eric Leroy de­scribed the "Ex­plor­ers on the Moon" as "a key mo­ment in the his­tory of comic book art... it has be­come mythic for many lovers and col­lec­tors of comic strips. "It is one of the most im­por­tant from Herge's post­war pe­riod, on the same level as 'Tintin in Ti­bet' and 'The Castafiore Emer­ald'," he added. The 1954 book is viewed as one of Herge's mas­ter­pieces.

The sale was a record

Yes­ter­day's sale was a record for a sin­gle car­toon draw­ing. Herge al­ready holds the world record for the sale of a comic strip. A dou­ble-page ink draw­ing that served as the in­side cover for all the Tintin ad­ven­tures pub­lished be­tween 1937 and 1958, sold for $3.7 mil­lion to an Amer­i­can fan two years ago. Ri­val auc­tion house Christie's is putting draw­ings from an­other rare Herge strip up for sale later in the day in Paris.

It said the page from the un­fin­ished story "Tintin and the Ther­mozero"-es­ti­mated at 250,000 euros-was the first ever to come to mar­ket. Why the artist never fin­ished the tale of es­pi­onage and a ter­ri­fy­ing se­cret weapon set against the back­drop of the Cold War, is one of the great mysteries for Tintin-ol­o­gists. The 1954 "Ex­plor­ers on the Moon" com­pletes the lu­nar ad­ven­ture started in "Des­ti­na­tion Moon" (1953) and fea­tures sev­eral hi­lar­i­ous episodes in­clud­ing Had­dock get­ting drunk on whisky and float­ing off into space to briefly be­come a satel­lite of the asteroid Ado­nis.

It turns on Tintin foil­ing a plot by a mys­te­ri­ous for­eign power to hi­jack the rocket by the evil stow­away spy Colonel Jor­gen. The moon draw­ings are be­ing sold along­side 20 ink sketches Herge cre­ated for a series of New Year's greet­ing cards known as his "snow cards". Prices for car­toon art have mul­ti­plied ten­fold in the last decade, ac­cord­ing to gallery owner Daniel Maghen, who also works with comic art. The sales comes as Tintin­ma­nia again grips the French cap­i­tal, with Herge cur­rently the sub­ject of a huge ret­ro­spec­tive ex­hi­bi­tion at the Grand Palais.


An auc­tion­eer leads an auc­tion pre­sent­ing comic-books by French Jean Gra­ton at the Artcu­rial auc­tion house in Paris. A Tintin comic strip has been sold 1.55 mil­lion euros.

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