The Original Drawing for the First-Ever Cover of Tintin, the Beloved Belgian Comic, Could Fetch More Than $1.3 Million at Auction

The drawing will be sold at Heritage Auctions in Dallas this June.

Hergé, cover for The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (1930). The artwork is expected to hammer down at upwards of $1.3 million at Heritage Auctions’ European Comic Art Auction in Dallas, Texas. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
Hergé, cover for The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (1930). The artwork is expected to hammer down at upwards of $1.3 million at Heritage Auctions’ European Comic Art Auction in Dallas, Texas. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The original cover art for the very first issue of the comic album Tintin, created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé (1907–1983), is headed to auction, and the results could be huge. The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is expected to bring in upwards of $1.3 million at Heritage Auctions’ European Comic Art Auction in Dallas, Texas, on June 8 and 9.

The ink on paper drawing from 1930 marked the first time Tintin and his faithful canine companion Snowy graced the cover of Le Petit Vingtième, the youth supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle that introduced the beloved boy detective to the world in 1929. It is one of only a handful of original Tintin covers in private hands.

The artist’s auction record stands at €2.65 million ($3.6 million), set in 2014 for a two-page spread used for the front pages of a 1937 Tintin publication, according to the artnet Price Database. The sale set a record price for an original work of comic art at auction.

“Tintin is a seminal character, who has been loved and admired for generations the world over,” said the director of comic art at Heritage Auctions, Joe Mannarino, in a statement. “His popularity is as great now as it has ever been.”

Hergé's "Tintin et L'etoile Mysterieuse" (Tintin And The Shooting Star) that sold for €2.5 million. Photo: Courtesy of Moulinsart.

Hergé’s Tintin et L’etoile Mysterieuse (Tintin And The Shooting Star) sold for €2.5 million. Photo: Courtesy of Moulinsart.

Hergé‘s Tintin drawings regularly fetch more than $1 million on the auction block, including a €1.55 million sale in 2016 of the most-expensive single cartoon panel drawing ever auctioned, from the “Explorers on the Moon” adventure, according to Agence France Presse. Nine of the artist’s top 10 sales breached the $1 million mark, and nine took place in the last five years. All were from the Tintin series.

Online bidding has already opened for the upcoming auction, with the price for the Tintin cover currently at $240,000. But it’s unlikely the price will stay there: Heritage predicts that the drawing “could end up bringing one of the highest prices ever paid at auction for a piece of comic art.”


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