Original Tintin drawings may sell for $1.4m

PARIS • A page of original comic strip drawings from one of the best Tintin adventures, Explorers On The Moon, is expected to sell for up to €900,000 (S$1.4 million) when it goes under the hammer at French auction house Artcurial on Nov 19.

The page, titled We Walk On The Moon, has the boy reporter, his dog Snowy and blundering sidekick Captain Haddock making their first moon walk from their red and white rocket.

The 1954 book is regarded as one of Herge's very best. The artist's British biographer Harry Thompson has called Explorers On The Moon a "technical masterpiece" widely regarded as Herge's "greatest artistic achievement".

Thompson said the book, drawn more than a decade before the first manned moon landings, was "uncannily accurate" in its depiction of the moon's surface.

The late Belgian artist already holds the world record price for a comic strip.

A double-page ink drawing that served as the inside cover of all Tintin adventures published between 1937 and 1958 sold for US$3.7 million (S$5.1 million) to an American fan two years ago.

Auction house Christie's said on Monday that it is putting another rare Herge strip up for sale - also in Paris - on the same day.

It said the page from the unfinished story Tintin And The Thermozero - estimated at €250,000 - is the first to come to market.

Why the artist never finished the tale of espionage set against the backdrop of the Cold War is one of the great mysteries to Tintinologists.

Herge wrestled with it for years, "starting it at the end of the 1950s", but never got further than eight pages, said Christie's.

The sales come as Tintinmania again grips the French capital. Herge is the subject of a huge retrospective exhibition at the Grand Palais.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2016, with the headline 'Original Tintin drawings may sell for $1.4m'. Print Edition | Subscribe