A rare set of Tintin drawings took the highest bid among nearly 300 pieces in a Heritage Auctions sale dedicated to European comic art.  Several pieces of Herge’s artwork were up for bid.  The most valuable Tintin lot in the auction, an inked 12-panel page and pencil layout from Herge’s “The Red Sea Sharks” (originally published in Journal Tintin, 1958), sold for $425,000.  The pre-auction estimate had anticipated the piece would go for as much as $720,000.

In total, the auction, which took place over the weekend in Dallas, Texas, took in nearly $1.3 million.  Other notable pieces in the auction include artwork from Corto Maltese by Hugo Prattt, which sold for $62,500; Moebius pieces including a page from The Black Incal, $21,250, and artwork from Upon a Star, $13,750; and a Milo Manara illustration that sold for $11,875.

The auction also included a few pieces from American artists.  An R. Crumb parody advertisement from Weirdo #15 sold for $20,000; a page of Jack Kamen’s art from Weird Science #9 brought in $18,750; and a Will Eisner splash page netted $16,250.

While certainly prized, the “Red Sea” piece isn’t the most valuable Herge artwork to come to market. In 2016, a page from the book Explorers on the Moon earned the equivalent of $1.64 million (see “Original Tintin Art Earns Record Sum at Auction”).  The original Adventures of Tintin endpapers sold for $3.5 million in 2014 (see "Comic Art Sells for $3.5 Million"), and a Tintin cover sold for $1.6 million in 2012 (see "'Tintin' Cover Sold for $1.6 Million").

The high bid for the R. Crumb piece pales in comparison the record for his work: Crumb’s cover art for the Ballantine Fritz the Cat collection from 1969 sold for $717,000 just over one year ago (see “New Record Price For American Comic Art”).