The Washington Post

TINTIN’s GREEN TREASURE: Rare Herge art fetches a record $1.6M at auction

GREAT SNAKES! RARE Tintin art has just fetched a treasure that Red Rackham could only dream of.

The 1932 cover art “Tintin in America” — reportedly one of only five such surviving covers by Belgian cartoonist Herge — was purchased at a Paris auction this weekend. The winning bid for the Indian ink and gouache cover was about $1.6-million — a record for original comic art.

[THE MAN BEHIND TINTIN: Two new books about Herge]

The previous record was held by the same item: This cover — which depicts a cowboy-hatted Tintin next to dog Snowy — went for about $943,000 at auction in 2008, the BBC reported.

This time, the anonymity of the private buyer is enough to pique the Thompson twins’ interest. The unknown purchaser was represented at the auction by a friend only known as “Didier,” the BBC said.

By comparison, the record for a comic book at auction is $2.16-million; a near-mint issue of 1938’s Action Comics No. 1 — the debut of Superman — sold last November to a private buyer, the New York-based auction/consignment site ComicConnect/Metropolis told Comic Riffs.

Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson released their motion-capture feature film “Adventures of Tintin” last year. Spielberg met Herge (aka Georges Remi) prior to the “Tintin” creator’s death in 1983.

[TINTIN’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE: Will audiences warm to the mo-cap feature film?]

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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