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Tintin comic book cover goes for record US$1.6 million at auction

PARIS--A rare 1932 cover illustration of “Tintin in America” by Herge, the artist who dreamed up the boy reporter, on Saturday fetched a record 1.3 million euros (US$1.6 million) at an auction in Paris.

“The work has been sold at 1,338,509.20 euros, costs included, by a person who wishes to remain anonymous,” a spokesman for the auctioneers, Artcurial, told AFP.

The previous owner, another Tintin collector, had bought it for 764,218 euros in 2008, which had until today stood as the record price in this domain.

While Artcurial had not announced an estimate of what they thought it would fetch this time, a spokesman said they had expected it to break the one-million-euro mark.

Belgian comic book artist Herge painted the Indian ink and gouache color cover for the first edition of the book, which first appeared in 1934.

One of only five such works of cover art remaining by Herge, it shows the young adventurer dressed as a cowboy sitting on a rock, his dog Snowy at his side, as three Indians, two wielding axes, creep up behind him.

The sale Saturday was part of a larger sale of Tintin-related memorabilia.

In February, a Belgian court refused to ban the sale of “Tintin in the Congo,” rejecting a complaint from a Congolese man, Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, that it was filled with racist stereotypes about Africans.

Herge himself, real name Georges Remi (1907-1983), who revised some of the scenes for later editions had justified the book by saying it was merely a reflection of the naive views of the time.

Last year, film director Steven Spielberg released a 3D film, “Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn” and is already planning a sequel.

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People look at drawings made in 1932 by late Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, aka Herge, as part of his work for the front page of the first release of “Tintin en Amerique,” right, in Paris, Thursday, May 31.

(AFP)

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