A rare hand-drawn “Tintin In America” cover has sold for an astounding $1.6 million at auction. The 1932 drawing by the series’ illustrator and writer Herge broke its own record (it had previously sold for $764,000 euros, just four years ago).
“If he’d have been able to get it for less I think he would have been happy,” a friend of the anonymous buyer told Reuters. The piece, which depicts a cowboy version of Tintin and his dog Snowy eating as ax-wielding Native Americans creep up behind him, is drawn in Indian ink and gouache.
Tintin hysteria has never really died down since the series debuted in 1929. Though Herge passed away in 1983, the unfortunately coiffed reporter he created continues to be the pride of Belgium. The Belgian people have adorned Brussels with posters celebrating the title character, and the capitol city boasts two museums of interest to Tintin chasers.
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson teamed up to create “The Adventures of Tintin” in 2011. The animated film went on to rake in over $373 million dollars at the worldwide box office.
Elsewhere, artists have taken the Tintin trope and applied it to grim real-life situations. Contemporary and sometimes dark comics have been released, including “Tintin in Tehran” (which took aim at government brutality in Iran), “Tintin in Barcelona” (a drinking binge leaves our dear reporter exhausted) and “Tintin in Gaza” (a chaotic trip, to say the least).
The record-breaking cover is one of only five remaining originals by Herge. Only two are in private hands.