A new world record for the most expensive comic book art was set this past week, as a rare Tintin cover illustration sold at auction for an incredible €3,175,400 (about $3.84 million USD), according to a statement.
Hergé, the creator of Tintin, had intended the image to be featured in 1936, but fiscally minded publishers told him that the design would be far too expensive for mass-production. Hergé would compromise, switching out colors and mitigating details, for the sake of his boss’s bottom line.
Fortunately, Hergé gifted the original design to his editor’s young son, which is where the work remained in a drawer until 1981.
Born Georges Remi in 1907, the Belgian illustrator took Hergé as a pen name in 1924. The Tintin series would become one of the most popular European cartoon series of the 20th century. It is of note that the previous record-holder was Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin series sold to an American collector for €2.65 million.
If you happen to have an old box of French comic books, now is the time to give them a second glance.