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Comics A.M. | Sotheby’s comics art auction rings up $4.1 million

The Rocketeer, by Dave Stevens

The Rocketeer, by Dave Stevens

Auctions | Sotheby’s auction of comics and comics art over the weekend in Paris brought in about $4.1 million for 189 works, including Hergé’s cover art for the 10th-anniversary issue of Le Petit Vingtième (the magazine where Tintin first ran), several Tintin pages, and pieces by Hugo Pratt, Charles Burns and Osamu Tezuka. An acrylic and crayon illustration by Dave Stevens created in 1988 for the first issue of The Rocketeer Adventure Magazine (at right) fetched $66,017, a record for the late artist’s work. [Paul Gravett, Artnet]

Creators | “Hobbes was as much my alter-ego as Calvin was”: In an excerpt from the new book Exploring Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson talks about how he came to comics, how he developed the style and characters of Calvin and Hobbes, and the continuing popularity of the strip years after it stopped running in newspapers. [Comic Riffs]

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Iconic Winnie-the-Pooh drawing sells for record price

poohsticksOne of the most famous illustrations of Winnie-the-Pooh sold at auction today in London for a record $490,470, more than three times initial estimates.

According to Agence France-Presse, E.H. Shepard’s ink drawing of Pooh playing Poohsticks with Piglet and Christopher Robin broke the world record for any book illustration sold by Sotheby’s auction house. A pencil drawing of the same scene went fore more than $92,000 last year.

Related: Polish town rejects “half-naked” Pooh as playground mascot

The piece was first published in 1928 in A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner, serving both as an illustration for Chapter 6 — “In which Pooh invents a new game and Eeyore joins in” — and as the frontispiece.

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Charles Schulz’s love letters expected to fetch $250,000 at auction

Charles Schulz’s Peanuts captured the hearts and minds of millions during its long run, and continues in various cartoons, comic spin-offs and other products. But as it turns out the beloved cartoonist also used his Peanuts characters to win the heart of at least one woman during a brief courtship.

The renowned Sotheby’s is hosting an auction of a series of very personal letters that Schulz sent in 1970 and 1971 to a photographer he met named Tracey Claudius during the waning years of his first marriage. Although never intended for public display, these communications from Schulz reveal an endearingly romantic side of the usually reserved cartoonist. Sold by the family of Claudius to pay medical bills, the 56 pages of letters include 22 original drawings of Peanuts characters. The auction house expects them to bring in at least $250,000.

The Associated Press notes that in two letters, Schulz told Claudius he must stop calling her because the long-distance charges had been discovered by his wife: “Soon after, he created a strip in which Charlie Brown berated Snoopy for his obnoxious behavior when he’s not allowed to go out ‘to see that girl beagle.’ In subsequent panels, Charlie warns Snoopy ‘you’d better start behaving yourself’ and when Snoopy picks up the telephone, Charlie Brown yells ‘And stop making those long-distance phone calls.’

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