On 27 June 2020, the Comic Strips department of Artcurial
will auction more than 200 lots showcasing the 9th art. Classic Franco-Belgian comic strips will be especially well represented, with rare works by André Franquin, Hergé, Morris, Gotlib, Albert Uderzo and Jijé going under the hammer. A rare selection of classic boards by Macherot, Hubinon and Vance will also be on offer, and collectors will have the opportunity to discover several drawings by Jean-Jacques Sempé.
Modern comic strips will have their share of the limelight, too, with drawings by the greatest and most desirable contemporary authors: Enki Bilal, Jean-Claude Mézières, Moebius and Nicolas de Crécy, taking centre-stage.
The world of André Franquin
Belgian author André Franquin will feature in the 27 June sale. A selection of his best boards, including La Pirogue, an India ink drawing created for the cover of the Spirou no.49 compilation, published 1 April 1954. In this drawing, we see the Marsupilami, that enigmatic and mischievous animal imagined by Franquin, hanging from some vines to spy on Spirou and Fantasio as they set off to find him in a canoe. It is estimated at between 350,000 and 450,000.
A poetic panel by Franquin and Gotlib and drawn by Franquin, taken from Volume 1 of Idées Noires, a comic book featuring black humour and social satire, published in 1981, will also be offered for sale. This drawing is estimated at between 70,000 and 90,000.
The drawing Coups de feu au saloon ! by Franquin, showing a law-enforcing Spirou shooting a fake popgun, will complete this set. It is estimated at between 5,000 and 7,000.
An illustration from the Sceptre dOttokar by Hergé
It goes without saying that collectors can also expect to see the iconic Tintin at the sale on 27 June. It will feature a drawing from the Sceptre dOttokar, the eighth comic book in the adventures of Tintin, created for the cover of the magazine supplement Le Petit Vingtième which was published 1 December 1938. The drawing shows Tintin on his arrival in Prague, accompanied by his loyal assistant Milou, stumbling out of the aeroplane and just managing to catch himself on the beard of the mysterious Docteur Halambique, marking the start of the young detectives exciting adventures in the Kingdom of the Black Pelican. This drawing is estimated at between 250,000 and 350,000.
Contemporary and classic comic strips
The section dedicated to modern comic strips will highlight the work of Jean-Claude Mézières, with LOrphelin des astres, a gouache and India ink created for the cover of Volume 17 of the cosmic comic universe of Valerian (estimate: 40,000 - 45,000), and Enki Bilal, with his acrylic and pastel Ulysse in Love, published in June 2012. This blue-shaded illustration shows the path of obstacles encountered by Ulysse on his return to Ithaca (estimate: 20,000 - 25,000). Fans of contemporary comic strips will enjoy discovering the acrylic on cardboard Le Masque vert (1998), by Moebius (estimate: 5,000 - 7,000) and the oil on wood Vue de la fenêtre de lhôtel (2013). by Nicolas de Crécy (estimate: 4,000 - 6,000).
Amongst the classic works going under the hammer will be a gouache by Albert Uderzo depicting the adventures of Astérix et Obélix, created for the cover of the colouring book Punch, published in 1906, which is estimated at between 20,000 and 25,000. Also noteworthy are several works by the French illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé, including the cartoon Y-a-til un médecin dans la salle? on the perils of being an actor, published in 1964 (estimate: 10,000 - 15,000). The India ink on paper Gai-Luron rien quà copier by Gotlib is estimated at between 8,000 and 12,000. Morris will also feature amongst the Belgian artists, with a large colour illustration of the legendary Lucky Luke et Jolly Jumper (estimate: 5,000 - 7,000).
The sale will include a wonderful selection of rare panels by classic authors: one named Chlorophylle et les conspirateurs by Raymond Macherot, pre-published in the Tintin magazine supplement in 1955 (estimate: 12,000 - 15,000), an India ink panel entitled Secret Défense, by Vance (estimate: 3,000 - 5,000) and the illustration Les Maîtres rêveurs by Paul Gillon (estimate: 3,000 - 5,000). Lovely boards by Hubinon, Tillieux and Weinberg will complete this rare ensemble.