From Snoopy to Astérix : The Golden Age of Comic Strips

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In Paris’s first sale of 2017, our annual Bande Dessinée (Comics) auction, works by some of the masters of Europe’s golden age of comic strips join sought-after pages from well-known American cartoonists. Click ahead to discover 8 highlights from the sale, including pages from Tintin’s creator Hergé and Peanuts artist Charles Schulz.

Bande Dessinée / Comics
21 January 2017 | Paris

From Snoopy to Astérix : The Golden Age of Comic Strips

  • Uderzo, Astérix: Le Devin. Estimate: €140,000-180,000.
    The undoubted star of the sale is this masterpiece by Asterix’s cartoonist Albert Uderzo, appearing on the market for the first time. Taken from Le Devin (Asterix and the Soothsayer), it was presented to Uderzo’s German publisher’s assistant in 1975. The artist’s talent for storytelling and humour are visible throughout, and the final panel is even inspired by Rembrandt’s famous picture The Anatomy Lesson.

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    ASTERIX® - OBELIX® / © 2017 LES EDITIONS ALBERT RENE / GOSCINNY – UDERZO

  • Charles Schulz, Peanuts, Good ol' Charlie Brown, Sunday page of 10 February 1974, Chinese ink, 43 x 61 cm. Estimate: €35,000-40,000.
    Peanuts’ creator Charles Schulz’s work never fails to make his readers laugh, and this charming Sunday page from 1974 is no exception. Schulz introduced a new take on humour that mingled the philosophical with the absurd and established the comic strip as a true visual art form. These Sunday pages are far rarer than the more usual single strips, and this adds value to this already exemplary page.

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  • Hergé, La Palette du Peintre, colouring album cover, 1957. Estimate: €120,000-150,000.
    Originally created for the cover of a 1957 colouring album, this splendid composition places the six main characters from The Adventures of Tintin on an artist's palette. Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock, the Thompson Twins and Professor Calculus cheerfully empty tubes of paint in a work that demonstrates Hergé's exceptional talent as a publicity and poster artist.

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    © 2017 Hergé-Moulinsart

  • Alex Raymond, Flash Gordon, Page of 4 July 1937, 41 x 51 cm. Estimate: €42,000-46,000.
    This original page from Flash Gordon shows artist Alex Raymond at his very best. The timeless work is a real tour de force, its balanced composition making use of skilful geometrical motifs. The crosshatching and shadow effects are reminiscent of Japanese prints.

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  • Franquin, Spirou & Fantasio: Les Petits Formats. Estimate: €75,000-80,000.
    A remarkable example of André Franquin’s artistic talent, this page comes from the golden age of Spirou & Fantasio and was originally published in Le Parisien Libéré, a major French newspaper. The comic strip’s publisher Dupuis was trying to export its protagonist to France from his native Belgium and so decided to publish new adventures independent of the Spirou magazine. In this story Spirou finds himself in the company of the legendary Marsupilami.

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    © 2017 Franquin-Dupuis

  • E. P. Jacobs, Blake et Mortimer – Volume 8, S.O.S Météores, Page 2, Chinese ink on paper, published by Lombard – 1959. Estimate: €70,000-80,000.
    This rare page shows Philip Mortimer in a rainy Paris scene full of humorous details like the well-known traffic jams in the Place de la Concorde. It is however the attention and clarity of Jacobs' drawing that reveal his admirable talent, particularly in the magnificent panoramic view of the train station. Furthermore, each incidental figure, even those who play no role in the plot, seems to have a real, meticulously rendered identity.

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  • Robert Crumb, Fritz the Cat, Fritz the No Good, 1968, Bollantine Books – 1968, page 13, Chinese ink on paper. Estimate: €12,000-14,000.
    The quality of this page from Fritz the No Good can be found in the two techniques used by Robert Crumb. The solid areas in undiluted Chinese ink give extraordinary intensity to the night sky while the crosshatchings laid edge to edge give the panels substance. Crumb’s pen also provides an accurate depiction of urban environments, from the houses to the typically American bridges.

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  • Burne Hogarth, Tarzan, Sunday page - 25 April 1948, Chinese ink on paper. Estimate: €12,000-15,000.
    Collectors will no doubt be enchanted by this exceptional Sunday page of Tarzan from 1948, in which artist Burne Hogarth demonstrates particular skill in the precise anatomical details of his characters. The page can also be seen as a sociological vision of American in the 1940’s, with Tarzan and Jane embodying the ideal archetypes of men and women of the time. Jane in particular reflects the physical ideals favoured by Hollywood at the time.

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