LYNBROOK, N.Y. – Original artwork for the Flash Gordon Sunday comic strip, done by illustrator Alex Raymond (1909-1956) and dated 1/24/1937, sold for $60,375 at an auction of comics, comic art, animation, illustration art, sports items and movie memorabilia, held Sept. 8 by Philip Weiss Auctions. The runner-up top lot was an example of one of the rarest, most iconic comic books ever printed: Superman #1 (DC Comics, 1939). The less-than-perfect comic book sold for $32,500.
The Flash Gordon strip (below), commissioned in 1937 by King Features Syndicate, distributors of the comic, was the top achiever in a 600-lot auction that grossed approximately $600,000. The strip showed Flash and Dale battling a Magnoped. The lot was fresh to the market, having recently been pulled from a noted cartoonist’s estate.
Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.com.
“This was our first sale of the fall season, and it was a big success, with nice high prices, active bidding and large numbers of bidders,” said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions. “Prices were strong across the board, in all categories, and the market for original comic book art and scarce comics continues to be strong. I feel confident offering more of this material in future auctions.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
The sale featured Part 3 of the Joe Kubert collection. Kubert (1926-2012) was a legendary comic artist, and his estate included important drawings by him of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, as well as signed original cover art for Tor #3 (1974), Starman #12 (1st Special, 1976), Dr. Fate #9 (1975), Omac #8 (1975), Battle Classics #1 (1978) and G.I. Combat #198 (1977). All came up for bid.
Of these, the strongest lot was the pair of costume concept drawings of Hawkman and Hawkgirl (below), done in ink on 6-by-10-inch and 10-by-8-inch sheets and dated 1958-59. They appear to be the first concept renderings of these Silver Age characters, who debuted in 1961. Both were signed and dated and featured Kubert’s handwritten notes. They were sold as one lot for $13,800.
Close behind was Kubert’s original art for Tarzan #242 (Oct. 1975), for the cover story Mayan Sacrifice. The artist-signed, 12-by-17-inch piece went for $11,500. Also, original cover art for Hulk #253 (Nov. 1980), by Rich Buckler, for the cover story Trial By Monster, 11 by 17 inches, hit $7,500 despite condition issues from improper storage after Hurricane Sandy.
A late 1940s release French poster (below) for the Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor classic film The Maltese Falcon, 45 inches by 61 inches (less the frame), finished at $23,000. The linen-backed piece, a “grande” size foreign version, was printed in Paris (Imp. Aussel) and had some areas of restoration and color touch-up.
An original oil on board Halloween-themed illustration (below) by Tom Lovell (1909-1997), signed on the back and inscribed lower left, “To Dick Masselli, May 1964,” topped out at $21,900; and a fresh to the market Krazy Kat comic page, drawn by George Joseph Herriman (1880-1944), dated 3-22-36 and featuring Ignatz, Krazy Kat, Officer Pup and The Ladybug, brought $17,250.
For details contact Philip Weiss Auctions 516-594-0731 or email at Phil@WeissAuctions.com.