Paris: An original drawing from "Explorers on the Moon", widely regarded as one of the two best Tintin adventures, sold for a record 1.55 million euros at a Paris auction on Saturday, auction house Artcurial announced.
The 50 cm X 35 cm drawing in Chinese ink by the Belgian cartoonist known as Herge shows the boy reporter, his dog Snowy and crusty sailor Captain Haddock wearing spacesuits and walking on the moon while looking at Earth.
It had been expected to sell for between US$ 7,41,00 and US$ 9,52,000. Artcurial's comics expert Eric Leroy described the "Explorers on the Moon" as "a key moment in the history of comic book art... it has become mythic for many lovers and collectors of comic strips.
"It is one of the most important from Herge's postwar period, on the same level as 'Tintin in Tibet' and 'The Castafiore Emerald'," he added. The 1954 book is viewed as one of Herge's masterpieces. The sale was a record for a single cartoon drawing.
Herge already holds the world record for the sale of a comic strip. A double-page ink drawing that served as the inside cover for all the Tintin adventures published between 1937 and 1958, sold for US$ 3.7 million to an American fan two years ago.
Rival auction house Christie's is putting drawings from another rare Herge strip up for sale later in the day in Paris. It said the page from the unfinished story "Tintin and the Thermozero" – estimated at 2,50,000 euros – was the first ever to come to market.