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Iconic Watchmen #1 cover art in Heritage Auctions Comics & Comic Art event in NYC
Dave Gibbons Historic Watchmen #1 "Bloody Smiley Face/Doomsday Clock" Cover Original Art (DC, 1986).
NEW YORK, NY.- The original cover art for Watchmen #1 — the issue that began the most influential graphic novel series of the 1980s — is expected to bring $100,000+ as part of Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction Feb. 21-22 in New York. The cover art for issues #2 and #3, along with a color cover guide for issue #1, are also featured in the grouping, which comes to auction from The Shamus Modern Masterworks Collection.

The auction at Heritage will mark the beginning of the sale of all 12 covers from the series in calendar year 2013, with original cover art for issues #4, #5, and #6 in May, #7, #8, #9 in August and #10, #11, and #12 in November.

The 12-issue series by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons was originally published by DC Comics in 1986-87 and revolutionized the medium of comics with its intricate re-examination and deconstruction of the entire concept of the superhero.

"This artwork represents some of the absolute best from not only the period, but from all of comics' history," said Steve Borock, Senior Consignment Director, Heritage Auctions. "To be entrusted by the Shamus family to bring the covers to auction is something we're incredibly excited about and we take the honor very seriously."

"The impact Watchmen had on the history of comics cannot be overstated," said Todd Hignite, Vice President and Comic Art expert at Heritage. "Gibbons' artwork for the series is as groundbreaking as Moore's narrative, unprecedented in its seamless use of symbolism, sophisticated layouts, and pacing for brilliantly dramatic effect."

Cover art from the Watchmen series also functioned as the first panel of each chapter, surpassing the artistic expectations of a typical comic book. As a result, Watchmen has come to represent the graphic novel's highest achievement and stands as a touchstone for generations of readers as well as comic writers and artists.

Time magazine included the series in its list of the top 100 English-language novels published from 1923 to the present and described it as "a landmark in the graphic novel medium" and a "masterpiece." The series was adapted into a major feature film in 2009.

The three covers to cross the block in New York feature some of the most iconic art from the series:

Cover art for Watchmen #1 is Gibbons' opening shot of a bloody badge, worn by Edward Blake, The Comedian, which also doubled as Moore's "smiley face/doomsday clock" symbolism following Blake's murder, which is the catalyst for the entire story. The cover is widely considered one of the most important covers in comics history and is instantly associated with the Watchmen series.

Cover art for Watchmen #2 focuses on the Blake's burial and a series of flashbacks to advance Moore's, tale which deconstructs the traditional superhero mythos in concert with Gibbons' moody and somber art.

Cover art for Watchmen #3 shows Gibbons' evocative and ominous Fallout Shelter trefoil symbol, representing the rising fear of nuclear war while the nation's "heroes" get mired in their own complex relationships, including the imminent exile of Doctor Manhattan, one of the most intriguing comic book heroes ever introduced to readers.

The auction also will feature colorist John Higgins' Watchmen #1 cover color guide original art used during the series' production. The blue line production art was selected for the original color version of the cover.

All four landmark Watchmen works come from the Shamus Modern Masterwork Collection, which has set a number of records in the last year, notably with the sale of Todd McFarlane's cover art from Amazing Spider-Man #328 for $657,250 in August of 2012, the highest price ever paid for a piece of American comic artwork.

In addition to the Watchmen works, Heritage's Feb. 21-22 Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction also features John Romita Sr.'s historic The Night Gwen Stacy Died original cover art from The Amazing Spider-Man #121 and a rare Calvin and Hobbes daily comic strip by Bill Watterson.





Today's News

February 12, 2013

Spain's Prado Museum finds 'unique' painting of French ruler Louis of Orleans

First exhibition in Belgium to be devoted to Antoine Watteau opens at Bozar Expo

Renowned ancient Roman mosaic from Israel, on international tour, makes final U.S. stop at the Penn Museum

Frick presents first U.S. exhibition on Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca

In time for the Oscars, Philbrook Museum opens exhibition of photos from Hollywood's Golden Age

Paintings created by members of the Warli Tribe on view at Grosvenor Gallery in London

Retrospective provides first U.S. opportunity for reappraisal of photographer's work

Alberto Di Fabio unites the worlds of art and science in new installation at Estorick Collection

Morton & Eden to offer 1859 United States Proof set on behalf of the Royal Mint Museum

Asia Week New York rallies Asian art collectors with an unprecedented array of museum-quality exhibitions

Thirteen new and previously unseen photographs by Candida Höfer on view at Ben Brown Fine Arts

Tonya Cameron to auction European antiques and Asian art from fine Boston estates, Feb. 20

Art Madrid hosts 40 galleries in its 8th edition, and installs itself in the attic of the Chamartín station

Fruit basket of Field Marshall Sir Frederick, awarded Victoria Cross at Indian mutiny, on sale at Bonhams

Excquisite blue diamond ring worth over £1M by star jeweller highlights Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale

Julien's Auctions announces sale of property from the collection of Elgin Baylor

Iconic Watchmen #1 cover art in Heritage Auctions Comics & Comic Art event in NYC

Art and spirituality in new exhibition at Valencian Institute of Modern Art

Traveling exhibition of the work of folk artist Bill Traylor comes to Mingei International Museum

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