A 1988 polychrome resin sculpture of the comic character Tintin and his dog snowy s displayed at the Artcurial auction house. AP
Gulf Today Report
Who doesn't love Tintin? Middle-aged baby boomers will particularly remember Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi's classic creation, Tintin with his great companion, the dog Snowy, who has entertained comic book lovers the world over for years. He is the investigative reporter who is busy globe-trotting, be it America, Tibet, Egypt or even the Congo, in search of truth and justice. One just can't forget Captain Haddock's eternal line: "Billions of blue blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon."
Now Tintin buffs can catch a socially distanced glimpse of a Tintin drawing by Herge in Paris before it goes under the hammer on Thursday, estimated to sell between 2 and 3 million euros and possibly break the record for the most expensive comic book art in history, according to agencies.
The painting is the work of Remi, better known by his nom de plume Herge, who died in 1983.
The previous world record for comic book art was set in 2014, when a double-page ink drawing that served as the inside cover for Tintin volumes published from 1937 to 1958 sold for 2.65 million euros (roughly $3.6 million at that time).
The painting being offered on Thursday features Tintin and his canine sidekick Snowy emerging from a porcelain jar in front of a menacing depiction of a Chinese dragon.
It was intended for the cover of "The Blue Lotus" from 1936 but was judged too expensive to reproduce by the publisher, which ultimately used a simplified version of the same scene, Artcurial says.
The auction house estimates it will sell for 2.2 to 2.8 million euros, despite clear fold marks.
According to the owners — heirs of Tintin publisher Louis Casterman — the drawing was given as a present by Herge to Casterman's son, who kept it folded up in a drawer.
Other experts have cast doubt on this, saying the drawing might have been folded by Herge himself when he sent it by post to his publishers.
In 2016, an original drawing from "Explorers on the Moon" sold for 1.55 million euros, a record for a single comic book page.
Herge sold some 230 million Tintin albums by the time of his death.
The sale is one of the seven that comprise Christie's Classic Week, a marquee series of sales featuring 19th-century European art, old Master paintings and sculpture, antiquities, and books and manuscripts.
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