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Tintin sets comic strip record at auction, rakes in surprise US$3.4 mil.

PARIS--An original page of drawings featuring the intrepid boy reporter Tintin sold at auction Saturday for more than 2 million euros, a new world record for a comic strip.

The piece, dating from 1937 and signed by the creator Herge, went to an American collector after 15 minutes of furious bidding at the Artcurial auction in Paris.

Experts said the sum, 2.5 million euros (US$3.4 million) including fees, or 2.1 million euros without, reflects the new enthusiasm for cartoon items, which have seen prices soar in a decade.

The piece sold Saturday is a double page ink drawing created by the Belgian artist for the inside cover of the Tintin adventures published between 1937 and 1958, featuring images drawn from the various albums.

Tintin appears with his dog Snowy in different situations, as a cowboy, an explorer, a knight in shining armor, on a horse or in the desert.

The previously highest-selling comic piece, also by Herge — the cover for “Tintin in America” created in 1932 — sold for 1.3 million euros to a “Tintinophile” last June.

“I thought only these inside cover pages could beat the record set by 'Tintin in America' in 2012. This has happened today with this exceptional drawing,” said Artcurial's cartoon expert Eric Leroy.

“This new world record confirms the place of cartoon art as a major art form,” he said.

The gallery owner Daniel Maghen, who also works with comic art, estimates that prices for cartoon art have multiplied tenfold in the last 10 years.

The sale on Saturday was entirely dedicated to the Belgian designer and his blonde-haired creation. A further sale, featuring the work of other cartoonists, will take place Sunday.

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