A hand drawn image that was used as the cover of the very first edition of evergreen comic series ‘Tintin’, has just been sold at $1.12 million. US-based Heritage Auctions organized the auction in Dallas last week. However the auction house hasn’t revealed the identities of either the buyer or the seller of the drawing.
The illustration was drawn by Tintin’s creator cartoonist Georges Remi, who is commonly known by his pseudonym ‘Herge’. The image was used as the cover of the first Tintin story ‘Tintin in the land of the Soviets’. In the 11.3 x 10.5 inch drawing, Tintin is seen curving a wooden propeller for his plane sitting on a tree stump as his plane’s original propeller has been destroyed while landing somewhere in Soviet Union. In the picture, Tintin’s obedient pet Snowy can also be noticed who is covered with bandage all over the body.
According to the storyline of this edition, Tintin visits Soviet Union to expose the country’s then ruler Joseph Stalin. But before he can finish the task, Tintin got noticed by Stalin’s secret police. Now the challenge occurred for the young Belgian journalist to complete his mission saving own life first.
Tintin is considered as the most popular and commercially most successful comic franchise in history. It was first published in 1929 for a youth supplement of a Belgian newspaper. That time it was published in French. Last week’s auctioned image was used on the first story of Tintin published in this supplement. After the debut, as Tintin’s popularity started to grow significantly, author Herge decided to continue Tintin as a series. In 1946, an entire magazine titled ‘Tintin’ was launched exclusively for Tintin stories.
The journey of this unique comic clan from then just has spread from one corner of the globe to another. Till now Tintin comics has been translated in 70 different languages. Started from the comic version, the adventure stories of Tintin has been converted into movies, television series, animations, games and all other forms of entertainment. Undoubtedly no other comic character in history has seen such mammoth popularity and success as Tintin managed to acquire.
Most of the covers of Tintin’s old editions are currently displayed at the Herge museum in Louvain-la-Neuve town, Belgium. The cover where the last Saturday’s auctioned illustration was used is among those too.
The auctioned image also has the autograph of Herge himself down the drawing, which is believed to have helped to uplift the price of the artwork. However this is not the ‘highest’ example for Tintin! Before this, many items related to Tintin had been sold for higher prices than this one, even upto $1.5 million!